unstash

The manifesto from Unstash, a new collaborative consumption site (in beta; sign up for an invite here).

From their About page:

Unstash is a peer-to-peer platform for collaborative consumption. In other words, we exist to facilitate and enhance the sharing experience. Every social circle has a huge overlap in consumer goods that don’t all need to be purchased, owned, and maintained by every individual. 62% of people state that they are interested in sharing consumer goods; they just haven’t had effective tools to do so, until now.

We believe in access over ownership. With a laser focused vision on making sharing easy, fun, and social, we believe sharing can be the new shopping – while helping you save money, deepen relationships, and create a more sustainable future together.

Create a more humane future through simple acts of sharing

I love the vision - manifesto as they call it - of this new organisation called Unstash. It’s being led by Lon Wong, a good friend of mine and it’s offers a real challenge to our tendencies to endlessly consume goods.

You can find out more via the blog Unstash have and you can request an invite to join the site too. (The site hasn’t launched yet, but is launching soon.)

Found this on the 'Unstash' blog.

Experiences over Things

BY LUCY ON JANUARY 23, 2013

Our experiences bring greater happiness than our possessions. It’s true — take a look at this study at Cornell University which states just that. And in our society today, people are moving towards experiences over things. We like to share our life events on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites. We’re seeing a rise in collaborative consumption organizations focusing on service-centric models over products. With apps like Meetup and Grubwithus, we’re hiking and doing yoga and eating while meeting people and doing what we love.

Here’s a story we found that we think captures this idea nicely:

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups – porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: ”Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate that has been provided us.

We can add that the cups also represent consumerism. The fancy cups literally represent fancy cups. It’s easy to get caught up shopping — billions of dollars are spent training us to believe we need stuff. But our experiences and the people in our lives are the things that really make life memorable. Let’s make a habit of collecting moments, not things.

What’s your fancy cup that you’re getting caught up in?