Rivaling the biggest of hotel chains, Airbnb is a connecting service for individuals to rent lodging from other individuals. It is part of an estimated 3.5 billion dollar economy of sharing according to Forbes. Airbnb takes a portion of each transaction when one party rents space from another. The system, much like eBay, works largely based off the credibility of user reviews and rankings. High praise and a high rank ensure repeat customers for the proprietor and a safe bet for the renter. Other services from car sharing to tool sharing sites have popped up to take a slice of the huge revenue potential.
Could there be a Printbnb type of service? Some newspapers in Europe have already experimented with renting out press time during non-peak hours. Considering the volume of equipment and the lack of barriers for the digital distribution of content, there are few technical hurldes to jump. Printers could rent time, with additional charges for consumables, to other printers or other organizations not quite ready to invest in their own equipment. Non-profits, churches, civic organizations, student groups, and more might find value in renting versus owning. A more likely starting point comes from the previous example where the established newspaper was renting their facilities to weeklies – a pure B2B proposition.