You’ve probably heard of ZipCar. But you probably haven’t heard of GetAround, a startup in San Francisco my friend Jon Sterling showed me over coffee a few weeks ago. The difference between the two — GetAround connects you with locals who put their own cars up for rent.

Extend the same concept to DVDs to take on RedBox with a true person to person DVD sharing platform.

My friends’ family has a wall of DVDs and Blue Rays at least as big as the photo to the right (and more like twice as big). There is a RedBox about a quarter of the mile away, but I still stand a better chance of finding a movie I want to watch if I walk two doors down and borrow one from my neighbor.

There are four challenges to this approach in my mind:

  1. Convincing individuals to upload their entire DVD inventories – How do you convince individuals to upload their entire library to make it searchable (and tagged to a lat/long)? It seems the only real way to do this is to build the upload tool straight into DVD players, so that every time someone watches a DVD, it auto submits that to their digital library.
  2. Making it worthwhile for individuals – Users should get paid, maybe $2 per rental? Is that even worth the hassle of loaning out their DVDs for days at a time?
  3. Pick Up – how do you organize picks and drop offs when the DVDs are sitting in living rooms across the country?
  4. Reaching scale – how do you get to a point where anyone that uses the site can find someone to borrow a DVD within a mile or two of their house?

What do you think? Would this work, or is getting individuals to upload their entire DVD libraries too much of a hurdle for not enough financial gain?

[Photo via http://tyedyedork.blogspot.com/]


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