Why peer-to-peer marketplaces fail, part 2: The focus is too broad

This is the second post of our 3 post series on why peer-to-peer marketplaces fail. Read part 1 here and part 3 here.

Focus by Mark Hunter | CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en) (cropped)It is surprisingly often that I talk to people who have this idea of a marketplace for “sharing everything”. And it does make sense intuitively: people who share their tools are probably also likely to share their cars. And when you have built a network of trust for sharing one asset, why shouldn’t you use that for other assets too?

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Option pattern in Ruby

Have you seen this?

NoMethodError: undefined method `[]' for nil:NilClass

I bet you have, many times, way too many. However, it doesn’t have to be so. There’s a pattern that helps you to get rid of the errors you get when handling nil-values.

Meet Option pattern! The idea is simple: Wrap the value in a wrapper and treat nil values the same way you would treat non-nil values.

There are many existing gems that use this pattern. Also, I rolled up my own version called Possibly. In this post all the examples use the Possibly gem.

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3 reasons why peer-to-peer marketplaces fail (and how not to)

This is the first of a series of 3 posts. Read part 2 here and part 3 here

Fail Reel by Nicko Gibson | CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en) (cropped)Peer-to-peer marketplaces can be great businesses. They combine the convenience of online stores with the scale that comes from the notion that every consumer can also be a provider. This combination is so powerful that starting a new peer-to-peer marketplace might be one of the most popular online business concepts of the day. Many people are inspired by the recent successes of Airbnb, Etsy, Lyft and the likes and want to apply these ideas to new markets.

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Faster Cucumber startup: Keep PhantomJS browser open between tests

At Sharetribe we take integration testing seriously. We’re providing a platform for multiple marketplaces which each have a different set of configurations and customizations. At the same time we are rapidly developing our platform further and deploying new features every week. When we release a new feature, we hardly ever do any manual regression testing. We have implemented a comprehensive test set which we trust to catch regressions. In addition, as a small startup we simply don’t have time to waste for testing manually something that can be automated.

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A startup with a social mission

Atlas, it's time for your bath by woodleywonderworks | CC-BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en) (cropped)As many of you guessed, Sharetribe is not giving up open source or suing anyone over using the word “share”. The previous post of this blog was our 1st of April post of 2013. As the post was pretty much an antithesis of what we believe in and what we want to represent, I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk a bit about what, then, are the real mission, vision and values guiding our actions.

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