The Mesh by Lisa GanskyWe all know it’s better to own than to rent, better to have than to borrow. But what if there’s a wiser way — one that takes advantage of the 21st century’s exploding opportunities for tapping information networks and connecting with others?

Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing describes an emerging ecosystem of people and businesses who are sharing, swapping, and trying without buying everything from automobiles to Zinfandel. Gansky outlines several factors — including economic and environmental pressures, urban growth, and distrust of the old corporate style of doing things — that have contributed to the rise of the Mesh economy and will keep it on a glide path.

The Mesh is Netflix, with its individualized movie recommendations and instant streaming video. It’s Zipcar, whose motto is “Car rental is so last century.” It’s ThredUp, a way for parents to swap barely used,  stylish kids’ clothing with families across the street or around the country. For more examples, check out the links below. Then pick up your copy of The Mesh and get connected. (Buy it at Amazon,, Borders, or 8CR).

  • — More about the book and the author, plus a directory of Mesh organizations.
  • Shareable — People sharing things you didn’t think were sharable.
  • Lending Club — Mesh-y finance.
  • Couchsurfing — Why pay for a hotel room when there are so many empty couches out there?
  • Crushpad — The fun of being a wine maker without the headaches of owning a winery.

10 Responses to “Another book recommendation: The Mesh”

  1. rhonda page says:

    This is a really interesting concept. Kind of takes bartering to a new level. Would be cool to see the shift in society where everything isn’t buy buy buy any more.

  2. Pinkie says:

    Wow – you are SO in the know. I need to get my tail in gear and visit more site (and shop more)!!!


  3. leonard says:

    Can somebody lend me the book “the mesh” so i don’t buy it ?

  4. Sally (a librarian) says:

    It’s a book about sharing, right? You know who lends books? The library. Ask your public library to purchase a copy so that lots of people can read it. I imagine this isn’t necessarily what authors wish to hear, but by and large they’re usually big proponents of libraries. 🙂 Just a thought.

  5. Ryan Jenkins says:

    Sounds like a great read!
    I recently read an article about a new website allowing people to rent out their tools (lawn mower, electric drill, blender, etc). Our culture is moving into a more MESHed and sharing culture.
    Brings a new meeting to peer to peer sharing!
    Thx Dan!

  6. Lisa Hamaker says:

    Thanks Dan! Looking forward to another good read.

    Another great sharing site is Yahoo’s freecycle. Others are using things that I could not fix, paint where the color looked different on the wall so I decided not to use it, mittens and hats, and more! I have obtained snowboard equipment, Coke bottles from around the world, and other fun stuff.

  7. I like the ideea. I think that I may use couchsurfing service.

  8. Caroline Q says:

    Yesterday I ran into Time Banking and today, The Mesh. I am intrigued. Moving away from money-for-time to time-for time is something that could help my small mountain-top community (Big Bear, CA) We have many great people, with so much to offer, who are under employed (under utilized, under appreciated) in our community. If we share our services rather than trying to charge what we are worth (much more than most of us can afford to pay in the present system), we value everyone and get more support for our giving/volunteering, as well as becoming more friendly. The possibilities!

  9. We have just launched a website based on this theme:
    It is a favour website where you:
    – connect with friends [ FB friends/ LinkedIn friends/ etc… ]
    – post favours [ to your friends or groups of friends ]
    – offer to help
    It is free to use and you can choose who you post to. For example I have a “People I trust with my house” group so when I go away I can post to this group to see if someone is available to house sit/ water my plants/ pick up the post etc.
    I have yet to read the book “Mesh” but now that it has been recommended I am going to order it right away… or better yet maybe I should see if I can borrow it from a friend.
    In any case, I would be grateful for anyone interested in the concept of our website, checking it out and inviting their friends.
    All comments and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!