The sharing economy is growing rapidly across a range of sectors and is now believed to be worth at least $26b according to Rachel Botsman, the author of a book on the subject, Whether it is room-sharing with airbnb, car-sharing with zipcar or ride-sharing with lyft, sharing is becoming big business and is popular because it makes efficient use of resources and avoids waste.
The startup community is a sector of the economy that can benefit more than most from sharing resources, providing access to vital resources without the a financial commitment.
Startup founders need access to a broad range of skills to build their product. These skills are in short supply and often very expensive.
A typical founder may require access to graphic design, UX expertise, and development skills just to get to build an MVP. Thereafter, there will be a requirement for sales, marketing, social media and PR skills to take the product to the next stage. Skill sharing is a way to avoid costs at an early stage.
As in other sectors it is the internet that has opened up the possibility to share skills between startups. Platforms such as Dreamstake allow detailed searches of personal profiles to help identification of the relevant skills for specific projects. Contact can be made through the platform and exchanges can be agreed. For example, someone with marketing skills may need a developer to complete a web-site. Once a match has been made agreement can be reached on how many hours each participant is willing to provide.
Networking at events is another very important component of skill sharing. It is hard to make decisions regarding human resource, purely from an on-line profile. It usually makes sense to get to know potential providers in real life and networking events provide an excellent opportunity to do so.
In summary, startups will always struggle to find good resources at a cost they can afford. Swapping skills provides a way around this problem. We would like to see more Dreamstake members taking this innovative approach to building a startup.
Dreamstake www.dreamstake.com is Europe’s fastest growing platform for early stage internet startups. Our objective is to help build robust new businesses by providing access to knowledge, resources and funding. We run weekly Dreamstake Academy workshops as well as larger networking events at Google Campus. We also provide Startup Loans and access to angel investment.
We are keen to help European startups to get noticed by potential users, investors and the press. We help by offering guest slots at our ‘startup stories’ events and welcome suggestions for guest blogs. Our unique rating system allows others to track progress of startups as they emerge.