Blog: Neal Gorenflo
I had this Battle Los Angeles DVD in my night stand drawer for months. Just sitting there cluttering up my drawer. It bugged me. I don't like clutter. I wanted it G-O-N-E.
It finally dawned on me that this was the perfect excuse to try out Swap.com. I was curious how the swapping site worked. I also wondered how they addressed the coincidence of wants problem that makes bartering difficult.
So you go to someone's house you've never met before, and they serve you and a dozen strangers a delicious, gourmet meal at sunset on a beautiful summer's eve. To start, there's Limoncello cocktails and insalata caprese made with basil picked from the garden in which you're dining. This is followed by a main course of Porchetta - lovingly home butchered and roasted by the host - accompanied by leek bread pudding.
I was sitting in a late model Toyota Scion. I noticed how new everything looked. I took in the unfamiliar dashboard, and was mesmerized by all the instruments set in it like sparkling gems. Then I looked at the strange key ring in my hand, and said to myself, “holy shit, I just rented a car from a complete stranger.” Then I put the key in the ignition, started the car, and was on my way.
About six months ago, a weather-beaten, middle-age man asked me for money on the platform of the Mountain View Caltrain station.
I gave him three dollars. He thanked me, and asked what I did for work. I introduced myself, learned his name (Jeff) and we shook hands. I pulled out a card from my computer bag, and handed it to him as I told him that I publish an online magazine about sharing.
Jeff lit up, “Oh I get that, when you’re homeless, it’s share or die.”
As described by the instigators: "On May 1, 2011 Michael J. Cirino, Daniel Castano, and Jonny Cigar hosted an elegant 6-course meal of haute cuisine on the L-Train."
They fed strangers on a subway with each course delivered one stop at a time. And the food looked amazing. Wonder if there's any reviews on Yelp...
I got my membership card from RelayRides, the peer-to-peer car sharing service, just today. The signup process took about 5 minutes online. I received my membership kit a few days later. The key item in the kit is the pass card, which gives users phyical access to other members' cars. The signup was fairly painless, and through it I learned how to be a good RelayRides community member.
Punk rock, clowns, bruises, and bicycles that are impossible to ride. Those are the starting points for Cyclecide, a self-described, "bike rodeo and human powered carnival for the endangerment of all" whose slogan is, "it starts with a pile of bikes...and ends with a pile of bikes".
Todd Beiber was looking for adventure, and he found it in a roll of film left behind in Brooklyn's Prospect Park after a blizzard. The film contained exquisite black and white pictures of a New York covered in snow. Follow Todd as he attempts to find the photographer and return the negatives. And discover how kindness can be an adventure that transforms.
On Friday evening May 6th, I climbed the steps of an old convent turned artist colony to attend Visionaries & Revolutionaries, a monthly salon hosted by Bobby Fishkin, a theater and technology savant, who, like myself, enjoys good conversation.
Neal Gorenflo is the co-founder and publisher of Shareable Magazine, a nonprofit online magazine about sharing. As a former market researcher, stock analyst, and Fortune 500 strategist, Neal is perhaps an unlikely voice for sharing. An epiphany in 2004 inspired Neal to leave the corporate world to help people share through Internet startups, publishing, grassroots organizing, and a circle of friends committed to the common good.