One More Thing The Internet Could Disrupt – Car Ownership and Sales…

Here we go – I’m back on this blog after a long hiatus.

And it’s Fred again (he’s good at this) – with this post – making me share a “vision” I had a few days ago. The idea is probably in the heads of other people for some time already without me knowing (see Fred’s comment under my comment). Fred’s post was inspired by Seth Godin.

And I should say – I am constantly inspired by Umair Haque.

Here is what I posted as a comment on Fred’s post:

“How about transforming the car ownership into an investment type of thing.

Imagine people being able to lend their own cars for the times they are not using them. Or even making a small business out of owning a few cars. Everybody sets their own prices.

Think of Zipcar – but without the centralized ownership of the cars.

Think of an Internet platform (could be open source… or even at the level of a protocol may be) which supports the data and logic for such a distributed environment.

Imagine the effects of a dynamic price competition for a short term leased transportation… not to speak of the long term disruption of the car sales market… not to speak of all the “green” goodness coming out of it.

The hardware could be developed and sold by any vendor.

Please, whoever starts doind this – give me a credit… :)”

In fact, Zipcar could open up their platform – and become the Goggle/AdSense of cars. Scott Griffith, do you read my blog.

  • gregory

    great idea… could work for many things

    found your blog from a comment you made on bubblegeneration… you also have good ideas… will keep you on my daily read list… we are in interesting times indeed…

  • Ethan Bauley

    I just beat you to the punch over at Umair’s “open thread” on Detroit!

    [well, not really, since you wrote this a while ago]

    Cool idea, no?

  • Emil Sotirov

    Ethan… by 4 seconds… you devil… :)

    But you’ve seen the idea from my original comments on Fred’s blog a while ago, I’m sure!

    Now, it’s up to you to do the right thing… and acknowledge my preeminence in the field of transforming the car business… :)

  • Ethan Bauley

    NEVER! No one will ever find out that I stole the idea from you!

    Now that I re-read your original thought, I was thinking of it differently…maintain the centralized ownership.

    Seems like that would be the way to get market power at the pump (the the repair garage) and force a conversion to an energy source that is more sustainable/cheaper in the long run.



  • Emil Sotirov

    Some form of co-ownership might keep all parties interested.

    My idea now… answering Umair’s question about Detroit.. is:

    1. changing the car producing business into a car transportation business (see Harvard classics)

    2. having car owners share in the profits of the car transportation business.

  • Emil Sotirov


    3. Freeing as many people as possible from the burden of car ownership – with all the obvious good consequences.

  • Ethan Bauley

    Yes, it’s a similar mind shift the record industry struggled with: “selling plastic discs” vs. “connection listeners and musicians”

    It’s a very rich project that I hope someone tackles. My bet is on someone/some company in China.

  • Emil Sotirov

    Now, about “connecting listeners and musicians”… thank you for bringing this up… :)

    Stay tuned about our project “JuiceTorrent” (see

  • Ethan Bauley

    looks interesting, nice and opaque tho ;-)

    can you drop me an email? this is getting cumbersome.

    would love to be on a contact list for people nets, too


  • zby

    If car was a solution to the transport problem – then this could work – but it is much more a social prestige fetish.

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