As people become more familiar with collaborative consumption, they realize that access to things is more important than owning those things. When people choose to embrace the sharing economy “mine” becomes “ours” so that everyone’s needs can be met without waste.
Skyara, a new peer-to-peer marketplace now in beta testing, takes this principle one step further by creating a way for people to swap memorable experiences with each other, just like they would a book or cordless drill.
Founded by Jonathan Wu, Dennis Liu and Steven Ou, Skyara focuses on connecting individuals who seek new experiences with those that can offer them. An experience is a personalized activity or service such as sailing lessons, shadowing a photographer, or peeking behind the scenes at a movie production.
Although it has only launched in San Francisco so far, Skyara offers a comprehensive scheduling, booking and payments platform, allowing anyone to easily list their services and accept payments directly online. The platform also incorporates a suggestion and discovery tool that allows people to find unique experiences in their city and 'follow’ others’ suggestions so that they can be notified when the suggested experience is offered.
As a tool for collaborative consumption, Skyara bears a striking resemblence to other skill-sharing communities on the internet. Although many of the "sellers" on Skyara are indeed sharing a skill or hobby at which they excel, however, it's not required that the buyer learn anything during the experience.
In fact, some of the offerings on the site (like San Francisco City Beer Tour or Find Elusive Bison in Golden Gate Park) don't have anything to do with aquiring a new skill, Instead, these affordable (or even free) experiences provide the chance to create a once in a lifetime memory with a local who loves beer or bison as much as you do.
As a new online platform in a region rife with technical creativity, Skyara has aready attracted attention from the California sharing community. According to the founders, encouraging individuals and comapnies to give back is another important reason for why the site exists.
"I think startups should definitely focus on their business, but they shouldn’t discount the value of helping others in the community, some good karma never hurts," reads a note on the company's Facebook page. "Spending one day of the week offering a cool experience could lead to some random opportunities that you would have never considered before. Let’s all learn to give a little before we receive."
The best part of Skyara is that it gets you out of your house and into the community–where you can meet new people and try new things. And who knows? Maybe you'll make a little money doing something you love.
If you'd like to see this platform grow to include other cities, visit the home page and request to be updated when they expand into your region. If you live in the Bay area, take a moment to offer an experience or request one that you'd like to see in the future. After all, you never know how your life will change after sliding down the cement slides on Seward Street or taking a lesson from a professional magician.
What's something unforgettable you've experienced in the past? What would you love to experience this summer? Tell us in a comment!