By Lisa Gansky
As its tagline forecasts, this book is very business-oriented. You may consider taking one of the previous readings I reviewed if you find yourself more on the side of the consumer, since here you will more likely find out how to mesh up your business and not your life.
So first of all, WHAT is the MESH? I'm pretty sure that there is no better person than the author Lisa Gansky to explain this concept since she is the mind behind its conception. So if you want to make sure you catch up with the real meaning, get the book and give yourself your own interpretation of it.
More concretely, as the author writes "Mesh businesses share four characteristics: sharing, advanced use of Web and mobile information networks, a focus on physical goods and materials, and engagement with customers through social networks". Whereas a "Mesh Design - referred to products - is: Durable, Flexible, Reparable and Sustainable".
After these quotations, it seems clear that the Mesh concept finds its best use in association with the words "business model". However, one of the core characteristics, the one referring to the focus on physical goods, has already got old fashion since the book was pubblished in 2010. Right now, in 2015, I don't think it would be appropriate to state that the materiality of a resource could be associated to its "meshing" nature, the Mesh has got literally everywhere, ranging from skills and competencies to patents, making physical products just a part of it.
What is still to be said, is that the Mesh, just as the sharing economy (someone says they are synonim and I partially agree), shifts the focus from ownership to access, hence representing one of the biggest economic trends of our century.
On my opinion, the reading is quite pleasant but it somehow lacks a little bit of boldness, moreover some more data should have been provided, statistics are sexy and could represent a good of the reading experience. At some point, I think the author confuses the Mesh with one of its attributes: Sustainability. For instance I could think of saying Walmart is getting more sustainable, but I would definitly avoid referring to Walmart when talking about the Mesh, because for me the Mesh is more than that.
Once again, I do recommend this book! Although I'm not fully satisfied with the reading, I do recognize that it is a major work on the topic, and also one of the first of a long series. Don't miss the Mesh Directory at the end of the book, a section plenty of great meshed up businesses - some of them already out of business - to discover!
Make sure you read this book before:
- starting your own Mesh business;
- writing a paper on the sharing economy;
- criticizing mesh businesses for unfair competition.
Best quotations on my opinion:
"Trust is social, which makes all business social; Mesh businesses are hypersocial".
"But like our minds, the Mesh is much greater than the sum of its parts."
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Following this book:
by Charles Leadbeater
by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams