When is the ‘share economy’ going to hit the Gold Coast?

WHEN is the share economy going to hit the Gold Coast?

The more I learn about it, the more excited I get – and the greater my levels of FOMO* become. When you hear about some of the things that are happening overseas in this space, you may be chomping at the bit for some of the action as well.

For those who are out of the loop, the ‘share economy’ is a broad phrase that encompasses the range of activities available by sharing our existing resources – whether it’s time, space or personal services.


Some of these are old news; sites like AirBnB, which allows you to rent out a spare room or bunk on someone else’s couch instead of paying for a hotel room, have been operating for years. I recently spoke to a guy, Steven, who in 2014 rented his couch out for half of the year. For $35 a night, he opened up his sofa to dozens of weary travellers and pocketed over six grand (tax free) for his trouble.

Others are newer, such as ParkShare and OpenShed, which focus on sharing resources (in this case: car parking spaces and tools and equipment) with the broader community.

But really, it’s the innovative on-demand services coming out of the United States that I’m most excited about. They are beyond fantastic. In fact, they’re magic.

The first one is literally called Magic, and it works by matching busy people with ‘helpers’ who can assist with anything you want – whether it’s delivering a pizza, milk and shampoo by 7pm; sourcing a rare part for your bike; or booking the cheapest delivery option to send flowers to your mum.

The second one is even better. Alfred helps everyday people get through their daily grind by taking care of all the little tasks and chores that clutter your free time.

From as little as $25 per week, you can have someone purchase your groceries (and then, importantly, unpack them); line up at the post office to send packages on your behalf; wash, fold and put away your laundry; fill your pharmacy prescriptions; and even do a little home cleaning.

Doesn’t that just sound decadent? It’s like having a personal assistant, but you don’t have to be rich to afford it.

With any luck, a savvy Australian entrepreneur will steal the idea and launch locally. Last night our family ate scrambled eggs with carrots and hummus for dinner, because I was meant to do the grocery shopping three days ago. I could really use a little Alfred in my life…

* Fear Of Missing Out

[signoff icon=”icon-thumbs-up”]The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au [/signoff]