In this follow-up to my conversation with Grover Norquist about government interference in the sharing economy, I'll list 7 of the weirdest apps of the sharing economy that just might be completely insane or pure genius. You be the judge!
1. PiggyBee.com - PiggyBee is an app that allows you to ship items with total strangers who happen to be traveling in the same direction. So if you have a box of cookies that has to get to your son on the other coast, you just find someone who is traveling there and get them to deliver the cookies to your son for you. You then reward that traveler with money or a ride to the airport or what have you. I'm sure drug mules LOVE this app!
2. BlaBlaCar - This is a ride sharing app that allows you to choose a roadtrip companion based on their level of chattiness. And once again, this is another app that relies on a total stranger NOT to be total psychopath or serial killer. So if you have a lot of faith in humanity and need to get somewhere without spending a lot of money, try BlaBlaCar.
3. FuneralFund - FunerFund is crowdfunding for end of life expenses. If your loved one has passed away and you don't have the money to give them a proper burial, then you can post a photo and an obituary on funeral fund along with your anticipated expenses. Members can then donate to pay for the funeral. Morbid or amazing? You be the judge.
4. HireaWingWoman.com - Orinally started as HireaBostonWingWoman.com, this site helps socially awkward guys by hooking them up with attractive sociable women to mitigate their creepy factor and help them meet other women.
5. RentaFriend.com - If you thought hiring a wingwoman was bizarre, then you probably won't be inclined to try this one. RentaFriend bills itself as largest online platonic friendship website in the world. If you're lonely and need a friend to go to the movies with or hang out or whatever, you can pay the $24.95 monthly fee to find a friend who will only charge $10-15 per hour to enjoy your company. RentaFriend states that it is not a dating site or an escort site and there is no physical contact allowed between "friends." Mmm hmm. Riiiiiight.
6. EasyNest.com - EasyNest lets you share a hotel room with someone off the internet because as their tagline says “why pay for double occupancy when traveling solo." So if you're traveling to New York City and can't afford a hotel room, you can find a total stranger on this site who will share a room with you and split the cost. EasyNest calls it "luxury hosteling" that appeals to "fun-loving globetrotters" and offers a way to "meet new friends, build your network [and] create new opportunities.” Not surprisingly, at the time of this podcast, they only had 4 listings.
7. LeftOverSwap - Yes. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. If you're full and have leftovers that you don't want, just take a photo of your uneaten food and post it on this site along with your location. Some cheapskate will contact you and arrange to pick up your uneaten food and pray that they don't get food poisoning. Again, when I checked the app, I didn't see many takers for this app on either end, but I did see a lot of gag listings presumably from drunk and/or high college students.