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12

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5

About Lisa Gansky

Lisa Gansky is an angel investor and author of The Mesh.

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San Francisco, California,

United States

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Interview with Lisa Gansky on the Mesh Economy

Oct 28, 2014

I’ve been watching Lisa Gansky’s work from afar for years, and after stumbling on her Mesh Manifesto recently, I decided to contact her. This is the result of that interaction. About Lisa Gansky I lifted this bio from TED , where she spoke in 2011: Lisa Gansky is the author of The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing, and the “instigator” behind the Mesh Directory ( http://meshing.it ). She often speaks on the topic of technology, social currency and business platforms and models. For more than 18 years, Gansky has been an entrepreneur and environmentalist focused on building companies and supporting ventures where there is an opportunity for well-timed disruption and a resounding impact. A founder and CEO of several internet companies, including GNN (the first commercial web publication) and the largest consumer photo sharing and print service, Ofoto (now Kodak Gallery), Gansky’s attention is on sustainable ventures with positive social impact. Gansky currently serves as a Director of Dos Margaritas, an environmental foundation focused in Latin America. The Interview Stowe Boyd: I read the Mesh Manifesto with great interest. Mesh is your synonym — or perhaps improvement — of the term Sharing Economy. You outlined six reasons that the Mesh will trump the Ownership Economy: Mobile equals local and fresh — mobile means we can connect with where we are. Let’s snuggle up — the argument for increased density in our habitation of earth. Hidden costs unveiled — meshed businesses decrease our common carbon exhaust. Now you see me, now you don’t — sharing leads to deeper connection and customer data. Make their day, do  it again tomorrow — Mesh customers get better products and services. There’s more to life than money — Community and purpose are more important than stuff. Ok. I’m down. Where do I sign up? I only wish you had shared a few paragraphs about the forces that have led to the emergence of the Mesh, to set the big picture. Could you do that, here? Lisa Gansky: Of course. The manifesto and my book were written in 2009 and 2010 (obviously the book and  one  or a  few  or  more  of my talks delve more deeply into context and forces that set up for the Mesh or the Collaborative Economy shift) To put it succinctly, I see that there are 6 forces which together drive us towards this fundamental work/life shift. They are: - Global Population Growth and relatedly, Urban Density - as of this morning we are 7.17B people on the planet rapidly growing to 9.6B. And, for the first time in history, 2010 marks the moment that we became a predominantly urban rather than rural global society. - We are more connected to more people and our things than ever before. Pervasive penetration of smartphones (handheld, GPS, IoT and web enabled devices + connection (social networks and access); these devices have allowed us to find each other and things much more readily and essentially help to take the friction out of sharing. - Distributed power - tools & spectacular examples of the power of individuals and self organizing communities to ignite, create, prototype and share ideas, tools and make change. - Climate change concerns & actions - in communities, corporates and governments a rising concern for our planet’s natural systems are provoking a rethinking and redesign of how we use resources & what we consider ‘waste’. - Rise of distrust of formerly highly regarded brands, industries and institutions. Banks, energy companies, many large corporations have proven that they are focused on their futures, not ours. This break has created an opening where many more people are seeking out new ways of living, working and are keen to explore brands that they have never heard of. - Economic Brakes of 2008 - 4+ years ago, the recession caused much of our ‘reliable economy’ to unravel. Individuals, businesses and governments questioned their practices and began to realign true cost with true value. This caused many to identify ‘unused value as waste’ — a core principle of the Mesh or the Collaborative Economy. SB: The ‘economic brakes of 2008’ might be systemic indicators of us being in the ‘postnormal’ era. If it’s not a temporary hiccup, and instead more like long-term secular stagnation, what are the impacts on the Mesh economy? LG: Richer personal and community experiences. Less waste & less stress and increased resilience for ourselves, communities and the planet. The Mesh or Collaborative Economy invites a tighter, more meaningful connection between us. From a business perspective, I expect more modular and ‘node’ based ways of scaling ideas, designs or brands. As we are more able to find each other and relevant ‘value’ in the right moments, I certainly see a more resilient, self organizing network of people and systems. In many ways, where we’re heading would give Frederick Taylor the shivers! SB: You’ve written a book (The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing), launched a social network ( http://meshing.it/ ) and a conference ( http://www.letsmesh.co/ ) all directed toward informing and building a community of Meshimites (Meshoids?). What’s next? LG: Ah. The research for my book started in 2007 and the book was published in 2010 so, many things which I speculated about in the Mesh are already playing out nicely. Two of the key tenets of the Mesh or Collaborative Economy are: Unused value = Waste  and Access Trumps Ownership Both remain central I think. With respect to the latter, I expect to see a lot of innovation and experimentation around shared forms of ownership. For me personally, there are many cauldrons being stirred! We plan to produce another by invitation, Mesh event next year. These are a highly effective way to bring global ‘instigators’ together and take note of where we are, rub each other the right way and make good things happen faster. Secondly, we’ve been selectively funding a few ventures who are experimenting with new models. This is, by way of confession, necessary for me to be part of  startups  and continue to bother other entrepreneurs. Lastly, since my book has come out, I have been very focused on urban innovation and how to accelerate that. We have several projects in the works which will be launched in early 2015. SB: Where and when will the 2015 Mesh event be taking place? LG: We haven’t decided that yet. The primary focus will be on distributed power, particularly in the form of infrastructure. We are considering hosting instigators in Copenhagen, Barcelona, Milwaukee, Miami or … Stowe, we’re open for inspiration. We’ll define & announce the event in Q1. For now, we are with an ear to the ground — so, quite keen to hear from you and your community as well as the other folks who’ve thus far been vocal. SB: Do you think that the Mesh will colonize the ownership economy a bit at a time, or do you think there will be some rapid point of inflection? And if the latter, what will it be? LG: I love your choice of words, Stowe! Well, the movie in my head is more that we will have far more opportunities to experience each other, places and things beyond what we own now. This alters what we aspire to. We can already see this taking shape as Millennials’ relationship to home and car ownership has conspicuously altered the way that these products and related services and products are marketed. (for example, insurance companies in the U.S. have traditionally used auto insurance as a lost leader - a way to identify new customers, give them a sweet deal on car insurance and then stick with them through life for home, liability, life and other types of insurance people have historically purchased as they mature and presumably acquire more things. ) So, I already see this as a thread that unravels the whole sweater! We are pulling on several key threads around the rock star formerly known as the ‘consumer economy’ — and we are not only impacting cars and home purchased, but also then, all that goes with it. (insurance and home furnishings as 2 examples. )  I fully expect that we, as a global community, will continue to reshape our economy to a more shared and balance form of capitalism. Our collective collaboration is at the center of this shift and it’s beyond exciting! SB: I guess those two are huge, but proceeding from different causes. Home ownership decline may be driven by tightening credit and the wealthy buying up property in many urban areas, while car ownership seems more of a lifestyle choice. Although worsening finances of the middle and lower classes is also a driver, right? LG: There may be different tensions driving this change. One thing is certain, it isn’t only a Millenial thing — older people who are ready to downsize are choosing to cash out of their home and take their act on the road as well. Others are shifting from homes with extra owned space to much smaller private spaces with shared common areas. We are seeing the latter take shape in urban infill homes where tenants or homeowners have 400 square feet of less as their living space and then share a brilliantly outfitted kitchen, equipment, studio space, etc. In NYC, Graham Hill of Treehugger fame, has launched  Lifeedited — they are rolling out several projects with tiny spaces and built-in share based services. Very meshy. Overall, with the urban population growing as it will, we’ve got to shrink our homeprint — most people want to do that without reducing the richness of their experiences. Of course, many of these strategies are far more advanced in Europe and other cultures who are more mature than we are, as North Americans. There’s so much that we can learn from each other and an incredible amount of ingenuity and optimism being unleashed for our shared future! One more thing, when I started to research all of this in 2008, I began building a directory; it grew to 1201 before I decided to write the book. The  directory  is now nearly 10K thanks to many around the world who have added to it over the last few years. It may provide some of your readers with more ways to explore who’s doing what… SB: Thanks for coming out to play! LG: Thanks, Stowe for instigating this conversation. I’ll look forward to hearing from you and your community more… This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Jan 19, 2012
The Way Kodak Died

Lisa Gansky Investments

12 Investments

Lisa Gansky has made 12 investments. Their latest investment was in Planetarians as part of their Angel on March 3, 2018.

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Lisa Gansky Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

3/1/2018

Angel

Planetarians

$0.18M

Yes

7/3/2014

Series A

Traity

$4.7M

Yes

1

6/2/2013

Angel

Feastly

Yes

4/30/2013

Series A

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$99M

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10

4/2/2013

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

Date

3/1/2018

7/3/2014

6/2/2013

4/30/2013

4/2/2013

Round

Angel

Series A

Angel

Series A

Seed VC

Company

Planetarians

Traity

Feastly

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Amount

$0.18M

$4.7M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Yes

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

1

10

10

Lisa Gansky Portfolio Exits

5 Portfolio Exits

Lisa Gansky has 5 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was Honest Buildings on July 16, 2019.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

7/16/2019

Acquired

$99M

4

6/12/2019

Acquired

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$99M

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10

12/13/2018

Acquired

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$99M

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10

9/28/2017

Acquired

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$99M

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10

1/19/2016

Asset Sale

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$99M

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10

Date

7/16/2019

6/12/2019

12/13/2018

9/28/2017

1/19/2016

Exit

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Acquired

Asset Sale

Companies

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Valuation

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

Acquirer

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Sources

4

10

10

10

10

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