Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

The co-op business model: share whatever you've got

I feel like I know almost nothing about business, because the only business I’ve ever done is the co-op / sharing model.

It goes like this:

1. You already have something that people want.

It might be something you own, something you’ve learned how to do, or access to valuable resources, space, or people.

2. Find a way to share it with everyone who needs it.

Share because it’s what you do for friends, because it’s the right thing to do, because it makes the world a better place, and because it’ll make you deeply happy.

Share as your contribution in return for all the things and ideas that people have shared with you.

(If you’re having a bad day, or someone has recently wronged you, you may not feel the world has shared much with you, but here’s a reminder.)

3. If it takes some effort for you to share it, you can charge a little something for your effort, to ensure that this giving can continue.

My examples:

Point being:

None of these things looked like a business venture.

All of them were just sharing something I already had.

People often ask me if I have any suggestions for what kind of business they should get into.

I tell them the only thing I know how to recommend: “Start by sharing whatever you’ve got.

http://www.sexysocialmedia.com/brrwr-sharing-is-caring/