Building Trust in the Sharing Economy
While growth in the sharing economy continues to revolutionize traditional industries by allowing individuals to conduct business directly, it does have some clear setbacks. Arguably the most important is the safety of the transaction. Most new companies are seeking to minimize risk by enhancing trust among their user base. You can see this with AirBnB and Taskrabbit which have both created platforms that encourage transparency so that their clients feel comfortable using the services. Still other companies are emerging that look to solely focus on creating trust communities by consolidating online reputations. Trustcloud is one example of this new trend, however the newest kid on the block appears to be Traity.
Traity was previously known as Trait Perception and provided an online activity evaluation of sorts to companies seeking to retrieve more background information on their employees. The new product they have created is designed for the end consumer, allowing him/her to upload a variety of information to the site confirming an array of traits from Identity (email, facebook, passport photo, phone number) to transactional (Ebay, Airbnb, etc) to career (Linkedin). The interface is sharp and intuitive and will likely give TrustCloud a run for their money as it is more user friendly...at least in our opinion.
It is unclear how sites like Traity will sell their services going forward as many of the larger platforms like AirBnB will undoubtedly opt to maintain control of their community. However, for newer start-ups (like Entrusters), quickly having access to tools that can validate users can greatly strengthen the foundation of their platform and give users even more confidence regarding the level of safety around the transaction. It will be fun to follow the growth of this new branch of the sharing economy and find ways to collaborate with the best in breed.