Don’t cross the streams. What happens when Facebook, AirBnB and Uber collide?

In the 1980s classic Ghostbusters, our four heroes are preparing for the final showdown with a skyscraper sized man made entirely of marshmallows, Mr. Puft.

The brains of the operation, Egon Spengler, gives his colleagues some important safety advice about their experimental proton guns. “Don’t cross the streams”; Spengler explains:

“Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”

But despite the grave warning it soon becomes clear that the only way to save New York, and humanity, is to place their lives in mortal danger and bring the streams together. What happens?

In 2018 we somewhat sadly haven’t seen a 100 metre high marshmallow man but we have got some rather interesting new streams of our own within the gig, trust and social economies.

There are now 5m employed in the Gig economy(According to the McKinsey Global Institute), in the UK up from around £1m five years ago, and while some of these are ‘reluctant’ workers, more than 70% proactively choose this work and embrace the flexibility.

On to Trust. What’s really remarkable is that AirBnB, Uber and others have directly taken on 100,000 years of human evolution. Our mammalian brains are hard wired to fear people and places we don’t know because of the threat they may pose. Just 5 years ago we wouldn’t get into a strangers car or let them stay in our house, now there are 40 million Uber rides per month, and 100 million nights are booked each year on Air BnB.

Lastly Social. We are meeting new people faster than ever before — think how it’s changed. With Friends Reunited it was weeks, Bumble, days and Blendr, 24 hours. It’s now completely normal to meet complete strangers in hours.

Here’s the interesting bit. So far these three streams have stayed separate. You don’t use Uber to meet people, you don’t use Bumble to flexibly earn cash and you rarely ask your Deliveroo driver out for date. Makes sense right? These services all have a purpose, for what possible reason would you merge them, sounds monstrous?

Well, consider this. Imagine living in a community that trust one another, asks each other for help when they need something, meet up in minutes for positive social experiences, and people get paid along the way. Sounds like fantasy? We call it Pinga and it already exists.

And what happens when you actually cross the streams? Well back to 1984 — our fighters of the paranormal bring the streams together, defeat Mr Puft and change the city forever. We’re doing the same — drop us a line if you’d like to know more.

Michael Goulden

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