Just Ask: Neighborrow Is Taking the Awkward Out of Knocking on Your Neighbor's Door Just Ask: Neighborrow Is Taking the Awkward Out of Knocking on Your Neighbor's Door
Business

Just Ask: Neighborrow Is Taking the Awkward Out of Knocking on Your Neighbor's Door

by Adam Berk

April 17, 2013
 
I love a good startup "we were surprised" story. Founders thought one thing, they learned something else, doubled down on that thing, and success was right around the corner. 
 
Perhaps it's a bit more complicated than that. But you get my point. 
 
We experienced something similar at neighborrow. Neighborrow started as a platform to pool inventory of seldom used items that all "lived" in the same apartment building. It started in Battery Park city. My apartment had things I only used once in a while, and I assumed my neighbors had things that I needed to use for things like vacations, projects, or just when I wanted to watch a new movie. 
 
At neighborrow we thought that it would be really hard to get people to list the stuff they wanted to lend to neighbors (and actually lend it), and really easy to get people to borrow stuff—it's less than the cost of renting, you don't have to store it, etc.  
 
We learned that people are actually very willing to lend things, but we were quite right that most people did not want to list an inventory of everything they owned in the hopes that someone needed it. They were also way less concerned than we thought about a verification process for the borrower. As long as they knew what someone wanted, and they had it, they were surprisingly willing to lend, regardless of compensation. 
 
So, we've been switching the model around. I am a big fan of Amanda Palmer's TED Talk, The Art Of Asking, and for neighborday, I encourage you to do just that: ask. 
 
ASK a neighbor if you can borrow something. To make that even easier, we're going to make you an offer you can't refuse. If you ask a neighbor to borrow something on Neighborday, April 27, and document it on Twitter or Facebook, we will centralize all the data and guarantee that the item is replaced, no matter what.
 
The lender will get the item back, in less than one month, even if we have to buy it for them ourselves. (You don't need to use the Neighborrow platform, you just need to tag a photo of the transaction and #neighbordayGT13. We will replace any item that you lose, break, etc up to $100 no questions asked and up to $250 if you, the lender, and the item are all in the photo along with social media posts from both sides.)
 
No more awkward borrowing moments. 

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Just Ask: Neighborrow Is Taking the Awkward Out of Knocking on Your Neighbor's Door