Rob experienced a revelation after trying out Airbnb a couple of times. “The peer-to-peer rental model was a great experience. In my previous job I was fascinated with marketplaces and matching supply & demand, so I immediately started to think of ways the Airbnb model could be applied to other things.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
During the past few months, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what is the focus of the Sharetribe platform. We have now come to a conclusion. Our goal is to make Sharetribe the best possible platform for creating marketplace websites, just like Shopify is a platform for online stores and WordPress for blogs.