The latest startup to embody this revolution of “Power to the People” 21st century-style is EatWith. EatWith is a company that encourages people to share their cooking in a social environment, the way AirBnB gets people to share their rooms, and Uber gets people to share their rides.
The twist here is that EatWith makes sure you have three things to begin with. First, you must be able to cook. Second, you must be able to socialize and third, you must have a home to be able to host your guests. If you have all three (and most budding chefs do) you get to attract a very adventurous crowd and serve them a meal. It’s a social site/app which allows you to turn your cooking skills into a test-launch for your very own restaurant.
But what’s a social site without feedback?
After the meal, EatWith then hosts the feedback from the guests who attended the chef’s ‘dinner party’. Sounds like a restaurant? Yes, it does, in the same light that Uber’s model resembles that of a taxi company and AirBnB is similar to a motel or Bed and Breakfast.
You may not have heard as much about EatWith as you have Uber or AirBnb, but believe me, this startup is growing rapidly.
EatWith now has a presence in over 30 countries and it has more than 5000 host members. Imagine going to Spain and wanting to try what homemade Paella is like. That’s one of the dimensions of this company. The other dimension is that anyone can kick up a food business and cater to foodies from all over the world.
Do you see the trend developing in our economy?
Everything we do is being made more efficient and more social through sharing… from sharing storage space, to living space or travel space – sharing dining space is just the latest addition to our evolving economy.
When companies like Facebook and Twitter emerged, it was essentially sharing information of one’s self and likes. Twitter extended that and you could share everything from recipes to your opinion of a restaurant, to your opinion of the government of the day. Then there was Bitcoin and the whole cryptocurrency revolution. Still not seeing the trend?
The Sharing Economy
As entrepreneurs, let’s look past the tech and understand the fundamentals of what’s going on in our economy. Growth is coming from sharing. The sharing and distributed services paradigm is continuously expanding because it allows you to experience everyday activities better by meeting new people, while simultaneously extending your purchasing power. And now it’s changing the food industry with the entry of EatWith.
The sharing economy, as it is widely known, is about putting assets to use more effectively. But with EatWith, this paradigm is sprouting a new dimension. It’s not just physical assets and space, or transport – things that are asset-based, it is also skills and talent-based.
Look at Etsy; that startup gave a venue to people who were skilled in their trade to sell to people who wanted something unique. EatWith took Etsy, added some Uber, put in a whole lot of Airbnb, set the time on and voila!
Be on the look out for this new dimension of the Internet and the entrepreneurial opportunity it has created. Even things like power and utility are headed in this sharing direction.