Rentoid :: A Recession Proof Business

Not many of can safely say that our business is Recession Proof. My friend Steve can.


Steve runs a little website called Rentoid. Rentoid is like the ‘ebay of renting’.

Instead of buying a lawnmower that you use once a quarter, to mow your dining-table-sized lawn, you can rent one for a day on rentoid. And instead of having your drumkit sitting unused in your shed 363 days a year, you can list it on rentoid (and make some money).

It’s a simple idea. Definitely a good one (Disclaimer time – I worked with Steve on Rentoid in it’s infancy).  And one that’s going to strengthen even further, given the state of the economy and the environment.

It’s great to see a lot of businesses finally getting their act together, and making greener products for us all to buy. But rentoid goes a whole lot further, by challenging ‘consumption’.

As the recession kicks in, people are starting to think harder about how much ‘stuff’ they actually need. At the same time, more and more of us will realise that we need to pull the reigns on climate change too. That’s why is the sort of forward thinking business that’s going to suceed; it turns our over-producing, over-consuming capitalistic world on its head. I’ll drink to that.

Anyway, the purpose of this post was supposed to be to give you a link to a cool video that Steve and his team put together to promote rentoid. But as soon as I start thinking about Steve’s business, and it’s potential, I just go off on one. It’s truly a recession-proof business idea.

Here’s the vid:

Ten Commandments of Good Design has a great article on the 10 Design Commandments of 1960’s Braun industrial Designer, Dieter Rams. The 10 commandments state that:

  • Good design is innovative
  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic
  • Good design helps us to understand a product
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is durable.
  • Good design is consequent to the last detail.
  • Good design is concerned with the environment.
  • Good design is as little design as possible.

It’s well worth reading the article in full, and seeing how wonderfully timeless Rams’ product designs are. Like these speakers below, which were designed over 50 years ago.

Dieter Rams’ work is considered to be a huge inspiration for Apple’s chief product designer, Jonathan Ives. The similarities are definitely there.

(via Daring Fireball)

Save the Economy AND the planet?

With governments around the world continuing to pump colossal sums of money into their plunging economies, a grand global experiment is under way: can the unprecedented spending provide not only a quick fix for the economic catastrophe but also the measures vital for dealing with global warming.

Yes It Can!

Dare I say it … Thank gawd for the downturn.

Can the economic rescue plans also save planet? | Environment | The Guardian

Social Media – Listen, Say Sorry and Move On

This post is not a rant about why Big Brands don’t belong in Social Media. Nor is it a plea that that you HAVE to get your brand on Twitter and any other hot social media property de jour.

It’s about one of the really great benefits of Social Media marketing – If you mess something up, you can just apologize, learn from your mistakes, and move on.

Look at Telstra Big Pond for example. Clearly, they set up a Twitter account before they had ANY idea about using Twitter – as illustrated by their first 5 tweets shown below:


I could sit here and whine and moan about how “Big Business” don’t get it, like i usually do. But I won’t. Because that’s irrelevant.

What is relevant is BigPonds most recent 5 Tweets:


Did you see that? Real Humans instead of robots. Telstra learnt, probably quite quickly, that Twitter wasn’t the place for automated responses. They listened to some feedback:


They wised up. They learned their lesson. They re-thought their approach to Twitter. They got some real people onto the case. And they kept going with it. Now Telstra BigPond … they have over 500 followers.

My point is this. The great thing about Social Media marketing is that if you make a mistake, it doesn’t really matter. All you need to do is learn from your mistake, apologise, and move on. It’s that simple. And it’s just as true for a big corporations as it is for a small business using any type of social media tool.

There are countless other examples of forward thinking brands that experiment with Social Media, but don’t get it right the first time. And that’s OK. No one remembers if you fumble in the first place. And even if they do, you can recover from this easily.

Just listen, say sorry and move on.

Business Card for 2009

Business card status updates. What a cool idea.

(via SwissMiss)

Flocking fantastic!

flock Wondering why I’ve been able to blog 3 times today? (And I’ve been busy today) Well, it’s because I’ve discovered a new blogging weapon – Flock.

Actually, that’s not entirely true –
I’ve tried Flock  before. But that was back in 2005 when I first started blogging, and my all-round online addiction. Back then, it was a little buggy, so I gave up on it.

Now Flock has grown up, having recently released version 2.0. I tend to get excited about anything with “2.0” tied to it, so I decided it was time to give it a another go.

V.G.I.D! Very Glad I Did.

What is Flock? Well, for starters it’s a web browser. Based on the Firefox code-base, it runs just like Firefox. But it’s a whole lot more that just a browser. Flock integrates a whole stack of social networking features, from Twitter to Flickr to Facebook to WordPress, and a whole lot more.

I’m writing this blog post from within Flock’s blog editor. Which means I can publish a blog post without even visiting my blog page. I can also add pictures from my flickr stream directly into my posts, and copy a quote from a site, and simply re-post it. Makes posting a quick blog post easy, without interrupting your flow. You can also post a tweet, check my rss feeds, and my web-based email, all within the browser.

It’s probably not 100% perfect yet – I can already see some improvements that I’d like to see. But I think it’s definitely worth trying out.

Keep your eye on Samsung

This looks interesting. A mobile phone that is A) solar powered, B) touchscreen, C) made from recycled plastics, D) extremely energy efficient and E) non-toxic.

The Blue Earth phone by Samsung has been launched Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Perhaps it’s a promising sign of greener gadgets from Samsung and other manufacturers.

via – PSFK: Samsung Releasing a Solar Powered Cell Phone –

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