The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing
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The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  367 ratings  ·  75 reviews
"Lisa Gansky is the ideal tour guide and provocateur for this big idea."
-Seth Godin, author of "Linchpin" and "Poke the Box"

Traditional businesses follow a simple formula: create a product or service, sell it, collect money. But in the last few years a fundamentally different model has taken root-one in which consumers have more choices, more tools, more information, and...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 23rd 2010 by Portfolio (first published September 21st 2010)
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Antoinette Perez
It is a shame this book was so painful to read, because there is some good stuff here, hidden amongst the repetitive, unnecessary business jargon and other distracting tactics. If I could put the book in a pot and boil it down to its valuable essence, we would reduce page count by 80% or a bit more, and eliminate my irritation level entirely. We get it: there are a set of conditions that enable a business to identify itself as a new economy "mesh" business, and because of recent social and econo...more
Mark Fallon
If you’re interested in the shifts in consumerism and business, then I recommend reading Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing. Gansky unveils a shift from the traditional “buyer-seller” model to a “sharer-networker” model. And the network is “the Mesh”.

The sharing concept isn’t brand new. Hotel and rental cars are based on consumers “sharing” products for specific amounts of time. What’s new is the role that information about the consumer plays. Companies are now able to...more
Johann
As other readers already pointed out, “The Mesh” is an engaging, entertaining read on networked business. However, to write an entire book about that topic was a bit too ambitious and so it falls short of really deep and truly thought provoking ideas that are presented in a succinct way.

Others, like Kevin Kelley, do a much better job of outlining the fundamental principles and changes of a networked economy.

If you're completely new to the idea of networked business you might like that book, if...more
Tim Davies
Simple idea, perhaps unworthy of an entire book.
Annie Smidt
OK, this is what I'm talking about. Progressive, thought- and innovation-provoking, useful.

Gansky outlines the ramifications of network-enabled sharing of assets, both tangible and intangible (i.e., goods, like Zipcar and ideas/information of a million ilks, new models for banking, ownership, collaboration). She peppers the book with hundreds of examples of this new model in action, across markets, disciplines and geographies. She clearly illustrates how companies beholden to old-school, proprie...more
Will
The Internet is a wonderful thing. In the 20-odd years since we have gotten used to email, websites, instant messaging and spam, the world has taken to the idea of being connected wholesale. I cannot imagine a facet of life nowadays that doesn’t have an online presence. Even my Mum shops online now!

It is this world that Lisa Gansky has written her new book ‘Mesh’, to demonstrate that there is still a world of development and progress that we can make in the virtual world. Whereas, Web 1.0 ga...more
Ismail Elshareef
The book discusses the increasingly recurring themes of openness and platform that have been discussed in other books like Open Leadership by Charlene Li and Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson.

The core premise of Mesh businesses is: "When information about goods is shared, the value of those goods increases, for the business, for individuals, and for the community."

The author says that, "fundamentally, the Mesh is based on network-enabled sharing--on access rather than ownership. The...more
Walter
Every now and then, you pick up a book which offer such a compelling new idea that you simply cannot put down. The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing by Lisa Gansky is one such title.

In an increasingly crowded, economically uncertain, and enviromentally damaged world, people are becoming increasingly wary about the financial and personal burden of buying and owning stuff. Aided by social media, wireless networks and data crunched from every available source, people are moving towards sh...more
Juho Makkonen
Etukäteen olin kuullut kirjasta seuraavan arvion: "The Mesh on vähän kuin samaan aikaan ilmestynyt Rachel Botsmanin ja Roo Rogersin 'What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption'. Arvio piti kutinsa varsin hyvin. Ganskyn kirjoitustyyli ei ole yhtä letkeä ja vetävä, eikä hänen lähestymistapansa ole yhtä analyyttinen kuin Botsmanilla ja Rogersilla. Koska kirjat ilmestyivät niin samaan aikaan ja kuvaavat niin samaa ilmiötä, toista ei - Ganskyn epäonneksi - voi mainita ilman toista.

Co...more
Dave Emmett
A great look at how sharing is changing business. I think this is a must-read for anyone starting a business today, in order to understand how technology and social values are shifting away from the ownership model and more towards temporary use of items. Zipcar and Netflix are the best examples of this so far, but the book discusses a bunch of other smaller companies which are finding successful niches.

My favorite example from the book is ThredUp, which lets parents swap their kids clothes once...more
Laura
I picked up this book because it was mentioned in some article - "librarians know The Mesh." It is a helpful description of the popular trend of share-platform businesses (think Netflix and Zipcar) and how to determine a niche and how to get your business venture into the Mesh through social networking. I liked the author's reminders that this new way of doing businesses - providing expensive products for people to use and share - is very green and economical. However, after reading these same p...more
Arminzerella
The Mesh is the new way that people and companies are doing business. Businesses appeal to users (often offering incentives to get their opinions/feedback) and use the information they receive from and about their customers to refine and improve the services they offer. Products are shared, repairable, and/or recyclable. Information is shared between businesses. Initial costs are kept down by using existing infrastructures for payment, shipping, communication etc. Lisa Gansky gives many examples...more
Ola
Book describes the idea of businesses and initiatives based on network and sharing. Shows possibilities of re-using things and resources we have. May be an eye-opener in our times when people focus on having things for their own that in a lot of cases is unnecessary and wasteful. The author tries to prove (in a successful way in my opinion) that creating Meshes allows to achieve better results, better customer satisfaction and easier life with lower costs and in the way more favorable and less p...more
Deborah
Great ideas about sharing and networking and how it can improve communities and the lives of individuals. There's a nice section at the end of the book with resources organized by interest categories like "art", "travel", "education" etc that is very helpful. This book offers a look at a future of sharing resources and working together to make our lives better. It also illustrates the positive impact the internet can have on the world. If you are trying to start a business, read this book to lea...more
Molly
I thought it was a good business book, and cleverly describes the most obvious trends of the next few decades. I gave it three stars not because of the quality of the content or the nature of the writing (flippant but engaging) but because the layout was such that a two-page spread of special information would be inserted into a chapter, often in the middle of a sentence, which made me flip back and forth a lot to remind myself what the author had been talking about. Worse yet, these asides were...more
Matt
Though The Mesh opens the door to a new way of thinking about business in the new decade, author Lisa Gansky struggles only in her ability to make the actual book read as wonderfully as her idea does. Gansky has, without a doubt, offered a perspective on business that is bound to influence many other authors, innovators, and entrepreneurs; The Mesh concept is well-supported by a sack full of terminology, examples, and ideals. The book is a quick read, but it is unnecessary to read from cover to...more
Tim
This is a must read book on what is in store for us for the future. Sharing resources online and offline is a growing business model that has pushed traditional business aside (Netflix vs. Blockbuster).

Showing how others have done it, Lisa Gansky shows many different models and the corresponding pitfalls and successes. Learning a new way of doing business that is really an old way of doing business brought back to life by global connectivity could transform your future planning.

Definitely pick u...more
David Hornik
Is it self-dealing to review a book when you're quoted on the back? If so, I'm guilty. What I'm quoted as saying on the back of The Mesh is "Gansky's book is an important read for anyone who cares about the planet or is looking to make a ton of money." I firmly believe it. I am a fan of the many emerging businesses in what is now being called "collaborative consumption" (e.g., RelayRides, AirBnB, etc.). They make good sense economically and they are certainly better for the world. Lisa Gansky wa...more
Anthony
Excellent book that captures the zeitgeist of the coming business revolution. The combination of a push for more sustainable products that take into account TCO, a focus on experiences not stuff, the idea of the long tail, social networks, the data revolution and tech innovations that commidify large tech backends (Cloud Services, SaaS, Amazon Web Services, GetSatisfaction, etc) make it easier that ever to create a new "mesh" business focused on satisfying the consumer. Lisa Gansky deftly and su...more
Nina Duong
While reading about all the great examples of businesses that use Mesh, I found Goodreads! I kept of imagining all the possibilities of this business concept and though I have not grasped a niche that I believe will be utterly successful, I know that mesh businesses may be a way to go.

Other than details of the book, I specifically enjoyed Gansky's idea because she was able to support it with various current examples. While reading the book, I was searching online for the websites that she menti...more
Margaret Sankey
I am familiar with very small scale lending and CSA farming, and the unregulated craziness that is Freecycle's jackals and the mob of tree-squatting, child-abandoning foragers that is Craigslist, but this book makes the case that technology, in the form of third party administration (which can charge enough to be profitable) ratings backed up by financial and choice penalties make viable enterprises as varied as tool libraries, children's clothing exchanges, groupon, Zipcars, make your own wine...more
Jenn
This was a quick read 'cause the last 1/4 of the book is a PRINT directory of Mesh businesses/sites like...Goodreads. Which just about sums up the entire Achilles' Heel of this book: It's late, it's in print where it should be an ongoing discussion, and it's mostly just condensing and summarizing what anyone can figure out from looking at, say, Zipcar or Netflix or crowdsourcing.

That said, sometimes it's nice to have a pithy summary that reminds you these businesses did not always exist and doi...more
Darin Stewart
The Mesh is a nice, non-technical introduction to the intersection of physical asset based business and social computing. It is a bit heavy on cheer-leading for my taste, but the case studies are quite useful. If you are looking for information on the underlying technologies involved, there is little here of interest. If you are more interested on how social media, information sharing and consumer participation are shaping commerce, this book is a good place to start.
Jesse Biroscak
This industry standard book is a fantastic introduction to the Sharing Economy, collaborative consumption, or the Mesh (depending on what you'd like to call it). Recommended for those just beginning their path towards a more shared economy - from a business-person's perspective primarily.

For experts, much of this will be too basic, but it's always good to ensure you've covered your bases by reading it cover to cover.
Jeff Vankooten
This book dealt with the new way of doing business today: Make money by having customers buy less but use more. For speakers, just having a keynote and a book isn't enough. You need to have a multiplicity of delivery channels (twitter, Facebook, linkedin, blog, webinar, etc) to deliver information. Much of it should be given away to build trust and create life long customers for the products that are profitable.
Becky
Aug 19, 2013 Becky marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Seth Godin mentioned this book in his blog, "The future of the library" (May 2011): "The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do co-working and coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided by a librarian who understands the Mesh, a librarian who can bring domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information to bear."
Peter
First chapters are a good read. Keeps its momentum. Sharing vs. owning well explained. Update...Very impressed: just minutes after posting my Goodreads review the author sends me the following personalized tweet "I'll be interested to hear how the ride and the read went. enjoy your holidays! thx for the shout out. lg" Or about eating your own dogfood ;-)
Keith
Seth Godin sent me this book. I liked it. The concept of how society is changing due to the rise of online social networks, and economics makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of talk about this concept now and it is hard to determine where the original thought is, but this is a quick read, and one that could inspire entrepreneurial types.
Masashi
Great for someone like me, who just started looking for web retailing investment opportunities. Tons of websites and company names that I've never heard. The concept of the "Mesh" is intuitive, you see it everywhere and it is probably the business model of the future, but the naming "Mesh"... probably needs few more brainstorming sessions.
Eric
Meh. There were some decent ideas in this one, a great deal of stating the obvious...and man, if she doesn't say ye word 'mesh' about 12 times a paragraph. I almost gave up on it because I couldn't stand hearing myself say 'mesh' in my head anymore. I understand that she's making a point and building a foundation , but that was almost too much.
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