Ex-Saatchi Exec Aims To Save The World Through Sharing, Pairs With Ex-Wal-Mart Exec

PSFK Labs talks with yerdle Co-Founder Adam Werbach about how sharing products is the easiest way to save the world.

PSFK Labs recently had a chance to catch up with Adam Werbach, Co-Founder of the social exchange platform yerdle (whose launch we recently covered here). Prior to launching yerdle, Adam founded Saatchi and Saatchi S where he worked with his yerdle co-founder Andy Ruben, who was Chief Sustainability Officer for Wal-Mart during their collaboration, to mobilize one of the largest employee forces in the world to be more environmentally conscious. We talked with Adam about his vision for yerdle and how sharing can save the world. Check out the conversation below.

How you are bringing communities together?

Today it’s easier to buy a new tent online than it is to get one from a friend. The economic and environmental costs of this are outrageous.  We launched yerdle to flip this around and to make social commerce more lovely than retail. There’s no reason to buy something new when it’s sitting in your friend’s closet, gathering dust.  The key here is knitting together our new types of communities and using tools like Facebook to make sharing simple.

 How do you see communities interacting online, offline and transitioning between the two realms?

At yerdle we’re collecting a set of affinities of our members in order to help them build sharing circles. These sharing circles match a number of different qualities, like your Facebook friends, your neighborhood, your school, and your musical preferences, in order to find you people to share with who you can trust.  It’s a delicate balance between building you a small sharing circle and ensuring that you see enough items so that you can discover what you might want.  While the searching and browsing all happens in the digital realm, the majority of items on yerdle are self-delivered.  And typically people who are getting something give a small gift as a token of their appreciation.

What is your business, if everyone is sharing?

At yerdle we’re trying to make each pound of natural resources go further, creating greater resource productivity. We’ll pay our bills by charging a fee to help you ship your items. But the really interested projects begin as we help product manufacturers redesign their products based on feedback from their members.

 How can this increase in sharing save the world?

For every pound of product produced there are seventy pounds of resources wasted in the supply chain. Reusing an item is far preferable to recycling it.

 Thanks Adam!

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