Buy or Borrow? Plan a great winter beach getaway!

When planning a winter beach getaway, whether by yourself, with a few friends or family, there is a lot to do before you board the plane. Making your trip a little greener is easy to do. Use this infographic to remind yourself what you should buy and what you can borrow. Borrowing is great for items you only use once a year and it’s a great way to save money and reduce waste.

buy vs. borrow for beach vacation


Borrow Your Next Party Dress

As we enter the Holiday Season, our social calendar includes events that require dressing up. From office parties to family gatherings, we want to look great. There’s the dress, the shoes, a handbag and jewelry too. It’s all fun and cheerful until we see the bill! Dressing up for an event can cost hundreds of dollars, even when shopping at an affordable store. And chances are your new dress will never see the light of day again after the one glamorous night.


The solution: borrow a dress, and shoes and handbag and even jewelry too!

The concept is simple: Borrow a dress from a friend for few days, wear it, dry clean it and then return it.  Lendogram makes it easy to source and borrow dresses and accessories from friends.  Find out how!

Lendogram available on iOS, Android, Windows OS, and even Blackberry

When we first started building Lendogram sharing platform, we thought the best way to deliver the experience was to create it using a native iOS App. Since we launched the App, whenever I talk about sharing with friends and how Lendogram makes it easier to share than to buy, the first (and sometimes the only) question is always:
Will it work on my phone?

mobile responsive web

It took us a while, but we can now say: YES, it does!
It works on your phone, your friend’s phone, your desktop, laptop, on a train in a tree, it works on any device with a web browser (Lendogram mobile web)!

Of course, the App is still the most feature rich version of the platform, so if you have an iPhone or iPad, we recommend downloading and using the App but if you don’t have one, you can use a web browser to access your inventory and share items with friends and even create groups.

So visit the mobile web site today and sign up to create your account and start sharing with friends. Let us know your thoughts on our mobile web version and what you want to see implemented next!


Halloween Costume Share Party 🎃

Halloween night is one of my favorite times of year to walk around in my neighbourhood. Whether it’s raining or not, kids are running from house to house trick or treating in their scary, funny or cute costumes. Parents follow a little behind, chatting and catching up with friends and neighbours. A great neighbourhood social event.


To prepare for this amazing night of fun, terror and unlimited candy, kids spend days deciding what costume to wear. Some design their own, others pick one from the store, and everyone with a specific intention.  But they hardly ever wear the same costume two years in a row. What a waste of material and money to buy or make an awesome costume to wear it only for a few hours and then somehow store it or dispose of it. And many of these costumes cost somewhere in the range of $50-$100+.

Last year a few of my friends, neighbours and I started a Halloween Costume Share Party. Everyone brought a few kids or adult costumes. We gathered at my house, sorted the costumes and then started brainstorming about what to wear. Those who already had their costume ready tried to find accessories, some of us made new costumes based on how we felt.  We also ate, drank and socialized while we were picking our costumes. We used Lendogram to keep track of who borrowed what and everything was returned after Halloween! Win-Win-Win!

We’re planning the same event this year. It’s not too late to organize your own Costume Share Party with friends and neighbours and have some fun creating costumes and share with friends. Post your pictures on Instagram and tag us with #HowIShare or #myLendogram.

Happy Sharing and have a great Halloween 🎃



Using the Sharing Economy for your Startup


The sharing economy connects individuals who need a particular product or service with other individuals who have or offer that particular product or service. We have heard how individuals use services such as Uber (the ridesharing app) or Airbnb (to rent your spare room or empty house) but what about businesses and using the sharing economy to reduce the cost of running a startup? There are a few ways you can use the sharing economy to reduce operational cost and raise capital for your startup. There are just a few examples:

Reduce Operational Cost

Marketing – Every startup needs some form of design, be it a complex website that directs your customers to their needs, or a simple logo for people to associate your brand with. Going through a marketing agency or a graphic/web design company is usually attached to a hefty price tag, and that’s simply out of the question for most startups.

Through peer-to-peer networks like or, you get to immediately connect with a large user base of designers all around the world, who’ll certainly have differing visions and ideas of what your brand’s image will look like. You can reach out to them, check out their portfolio, and pick a designer or a team to work on your logo, website, product design, you name it.

The cost is significantly cheaper as you cut out the corporate middlemen between you and the designers. For example, an established web design company in the U.S. can cost about $60 – $200 an hour, easy totalling up to thousands for your website.

But on you can find an experienced web designer who’ll get the job done for a fixed rate of $100. These platforms usually provide consumer-protection as well, and they’ll only release your payment to the designer when you’re 100% satisfied with the work submitted to you. You’ll also be able to communicate directly with your designer, and set milestones to check in, make sure they’re on the right track.

Staffing – If your startup requires employees or people with certain skill sets, but you’re not at a place where you can afford a full timer’s salary plus benefits yet, you can check out websites like, or

These websites link you up with virtual stores where people in your neighborhood or all over the world who offer their services at various rates. Just to name a few, you can find accountants, lawyers, virtual assistants, customer service representatives for anything between $2 – $100/hour depending on the type of skills required. Depending on your startup’s needs, having a skilled worker on standby would be significantly more cost-efficient than a full-time employee, especially when business is still picking up.

Raise Capital

Let’s say you have a really, really great idea for a startup, but the only thing holding you back is the initial cost. Traditionally, the first resort most startup owners would go to would be a business loan from a bank. But with high interest rates and a fixed payback scheme, it’s no easy feat to guarantee your startup will yield returns high enough and fast enough to repay your debt. Instead, you can try crowdfunding websites like or

These sites give you an inlet of ‘pledgers’, people who believe in your startup idea and are willing to donate or invest in it. For a certain amount of money pledged, you can offer something in exchange to the pledger related to your startup. For example, a largely popular video game, Dark Souls, has an extremely close-knit community of millions of players. A company called Steamforged games decided to make a Dark Souls board game, but needed roughly £100,000 to fund it. They decided to offer pledgers a chance to purchase the board game at £80, when the retail price after the official release would be £190. They got the word out in gaming forums and Facebook fan pages to create hype. Within 3 minutes of launching their crowdfunding campaign on, they reached their goal of £100,000. That was on 20th April 2016, and as of today, 21st July 2016, they’ve received a total of £3,771,474. You read that right, over 3 million Pounds pledged to an idea, a concept, that hasn’t even begun to come close to fruition.

Aside from monetary support, these crowdfunding platforms also provide a forum of sorts. Your pledgers then have a direct way to provide you with comments on what they think your startup should offer, giving you priceless feedback from your target audience.

When building your startup, keep in mind that sharing economy is based on the human connection, and an element of trust between you and your pledgers, partners, or employees. You’re accountable to each other in a way that’s relatively new in the business sense, and your reputation within the community is at stake. Networking is key, so maintaining good relations will no doubt ensure further fruitful cooperations, and opportunities to grow your startup.

How to Start a Sharing Movement

When we look at the way society functions in modern times, we seem to forget that amongst the teeming masses of humanity are made up of individuals.

Individuals of a Society

The thoughts and beliefs, as well as the actions of individuals in this mass of humanity we call society shape the future, the reality of our existence as we know it.

It is then imperative that we understand our own power as an individual. Power is simply the ability to do, to change, or to affect change in a situation, in reality.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
— Gandhi

The fact that we can affect change in our society and as an individual, we must also carry out the obligation that we have to share.

To share, and create social value is a very natural human phenomenon, albeit not restricted to Homo Sapiens alone. To share and to consciously understand and create sharing movements, and values, as well as social value is however, a uniquely human concept.

Sharing is not limited to advertisements on billboards, nor is it, or should it be limited to thirty second jingle tunes on the radio, accompanied on tv by a short clip.

The Sharing Movement is not about the promotion of goods, services, or values for the purpose of collecting a profit. It is a wider social movement to promote a cultural and very human need to be socially connected, through the act of sharing.

The origin of the Sharing Movement is from a cultural and human need to socially connect.

The sharing movement itself does not start, nor does it end with the physical act of sharing either – it starts with a mindset within us, as well as the understanding of what we are doing, and why.

Some people share because they feel great doing it, since altruistic acts in human behaviour actually help to propagate the altruist’s genes in the race for survival in the natural selection process. In certain cultures, sharing is seen as both a form of wealth redistribution, as well as promotion of the largesse of the patron who shares his wealth with others, hence their ability to share material goods.

But looking beyond just personal feelings as well as creating social value for ourself, sharing is about connecting people in an egalitarian manner. This is not about the promotion of our largesse, or the promotion of other’s largesse, but about us, and another person forming a connection through the need for a physical item. This connection can be formed only in the most personal of settings, as it requires trust as a currency, and trusting people is the first step to a closer community of friends, neighbours, and family.

These connections cannot be forced upon people, coerced onto people, nor can they be really effective, since being friendly, and being friendly and trusting are two different things altogether.

How we can truly see this is through ad campaigns for a friendlier neighbourhood, which rarely work. What does work however, are events where social value is created and trust slowly but surely formed amongst community members.

Sometimes, these events are initiated by the local council, made up of more outgoing members of the community, and other times, the local government(rarely).

Most of the time, these kinds of events, such as barbeque cook-outs, communal celebrations and observations of religious, cultural, or ethnic festivals open to everyone in the community are usually started by people in the community.

These are simple, yet effective tools to open up people to the idea of a sharing community that is there for every member to utilise and support.

Barbeques, celebrations and gatherings aren’t too hard to organize for someone of average means are they? yet they are the ties that bind, that hold a sharing community together.

youYet, all these need not be started by companies. Nor governments. These can be started by you.

The people you come with into contact daily, as well as the people you talk to, can be part of the sharing movement, but you have to speak out, and more than just talk about what being part of the sharing movement means, to also act on it.

Share when you can, with the people you can

If everyone did their part, and practiced sharing in their own corner of the world, soon, communities of people accustomed to sharing naturally and consciously will form.

And then, growth of the sharing mindset will increase exponentially, since ideas spread like wildfire.

Ideas are powerful, and so are actions. Alone, you cannot reach the moon, but with friends, neighbours, and other people who share, connecting groups of people will become easier, and more viable, not just economically, but physically as well as socially.



The Sharing Economy in Diverse Places

In many places, people tend to overlook that doing business is a given right. To own a start-up, to be able to legally operate one, as well as find business partners without having to resort to underground or illicit methods in doing so are all taken for granted.

In most countries, sharing economy start-ups fall in between the grey area of semi-legal to being governed by unclear laws, regulations and jurisdictions.

In others, most, if not all businesses are banned or made illegal due to strict property laws (Cuba for example, where property cannot be sold) and sharing businesses as a result pop up to feed growing hospitality and tourism industries.


The two main sectors affected by such developments in the legal landscape are also the biggest by far, ride-sharing and home-sharing or property-sharing. These are sometimes not strictly speaking, sharing economy start-ups, but they do fall under that category.

A point to note is that while the sharing economy has its roots in a non-profit driven model, to operate in a market driven economy and to deal with costs, start-ups have adapted their business model to generate some form of revenue to keep their costs covered.

As such, some have evolved completely from a non-profit driven model to a for profit sharing startup model. While revenue is needed to cover costs, profits should not be the be all and end all goal of sharing start-ups, and many would do well to remember that.

One country to look at where an organic model of the sharing economy has taken root for some years due to an eclectic mix of factors is Cuba. Yes, surprisingly, it’s Cuba.

Cuba has a slow but very steady growing tourism industry, with tourism bringing in hard cash in the form of US dollars and Euros. In Cuba, the monthly government salary is about 10 US dollars a month, with the local Cuban currency being worth a lot less on the international market.


However, since buying and selling property is not permitted in Cuba, as well as development and refurbishment of existing hotels and other residential properties is quite difficult due to the embargo, enterprising Cubans have turned to renting out their houses and villas in a sharing economy style arrangement for profit.

One night at a Cuban villa, paid in US dollars, or the local equivalent can be a monthly salary and more for a Cuban homeowner. The way this is done is simple – the owners of the house get people who usually guide tourists around at the airport to recommend them their rooms, or villas, as well as distributing their business cards to any potential customers.

Casa particular (Spanish for “private house”) is a phrase meaning private accommodation or private homestays in Cuba. As a result of more government action, Cubans are now also allowed to rent out their rooms to tourists. 

Casa Particulars

The difference between an Airbnb apartment and a casa particular is simple – you rent a room online via Airbnb, you get the keys, the owner shows you the house, and then you stay there. It’s a transaction.

Casa particulars however, have their owners still living in them alongside you in an actual sharing arrangement. As such, you can ask them where to visit, or request breakfast or dinner cooked for you at a agreed rate. Perhaps, this is what sharing should have been?

This is not to suggest that the sharing economy should be limited, or that it should be kept small scale and not be able to scale up. But the fact still remains that the sharing economy at its core is meant to serve a very human need – to be able to distribute resources efficiently while putting people in touch with other people, not acting as a platform for just transactions, but also for the human connection.

Ride-sharing done different

A great example of another start-up going back to the sharing economy roots is based in Austin, Texas. Now, if you remember correctly – America is a hot battleground for the two largest ride-sharing app start-ups in the world, Uber and Lyft. However, both companies have been stopped dead in their tracks in Austin Texas, as the saying goes, because the town ain’t big enough for the both of them.

Austin, Texas is really large, it’s just that the city has rules limiting and regulating ridesharing companies. Now, this rule isn’t so much related to worker welfare, or pay at all, but rather was about identification and private data concerning drivers.

Due to this, both Uber and Lyft have stopped operating in the city till now.

Enter RideAustin, a not-for-profit app that follows the regulations as well as has a heart for the local poor and needy. RideAustin has the feature for riders to round up their fares to the next dollar, with the difference in the actual amount and rounded up amount being donated to a charity of the rider’s choice.

There’s also another interesting feature that deals with the revenue and finance side of things – Uber is famous for its surge pricing model, and it’s a model that people think of when they hear of the sharing economy. However, RideAustin has made it entirely optional. Riders who pay the surge pricing of course, get first pick of rides, but riders can also choose to wait it out in the virtual queue of people waiting for a ride.

So far – RideAustin starts all their operations in June, having already had the support of local companies who have prepaid for rides along with donations from private locals to fund this venture.

Perhaps, this time, David will beat Goliath again?


Lendogram 1st Birthday!

This week is an important week for us at Lendogram as we officially turn ONE and I wanted to thank you all for being part of this community with us.


We’ve come a long way towards reaching our goal to make sharing easier than buying!

Over the last year, we’ve added some useful and time saving features to the Lendogram platform but the most exciting is the introduction of Groups: you can now create your own private group!

Think Your Own Library of Things with Friends lovethis

And it’s so easy to get started:

  1. Create your own group
  2. Invite your friends, family or co-workers
  3. Start sharing!

I hope Lendogram has created a bit more time and love in your life, sharing with your friends instead of spending time buying stuff we don’t really need all the time.

I love hearing y0ur stories and how you use Lendogram… Share with us a picture or your experiences on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram or respond to just in the comments below. 


Lendogram Team

Celebrate Earth, One Share at Time

As winter gives way to spring, and eventually summer, let’s reflect on how nature affects us all, and conversely, how we affect it.

The snow is melting, and the sun is getting stronger, and it’s time to enjoy the outdoors, maybe go camping – but what about all the equipment to setup camp? Should we buy  it all?


Let’s just take a look at the life cycle of a tent.

A tent is a simple structure made up of fabric and tent poles. In the old days, tents would probably be propped up by rope made from vegetable fibres such as hemp, and cloth made from felt, or wool or animal skin. All of this would be probably available from an area of 100 sq. km around where the tent would be setup. The downside is that it took more time, labour and energy to produce such materials due to the lack of industrial manufacturing facilities and technology.

The modern tent is an entirely different animal. The tent poles are made of metal, and if it’s a better quality tent, the poles will be made of aluminium. The fabric of the tent, can comprise of more than 10 different type of material, from polyester to high grade kevlar thread.

To simplify the process for making the tent poles:

  1. Metal needs to be mined out of the ground. During this process, if mining is done irresponsibly, run-off from toxic metals and chemicals used to extract the metal ore can pollute groundwater and affect local communities. Over time, this run-off will eventually seep into the water table, the underground reservoir of water, which farmers as well as surrounding communities also access for drinking and to water their crops.
  2. The metal ore then needs to be smelted. Done properly, air pollution is reduced to a minimum and metal is extracted efficiently from the ore. If the smelter is using polluting fuels to heat the smelter, air pollution occurs, as well as vast emissions of greenhouse gases. Most modern smelters and plants these days use induction heating, which sounds high tech but is surprisingly easy and simple to implement with magnets and electric currents.
  3. After the metal is processed, it is then sent to a factory to be manufactured and made into tent poles, shipped with the tent, and then sold to you.

As for the fabric of the tent – most plastics and plastic based threads such as polyester, the most common material found in tent fabrics, are petroleum based products. The petroleum industry isn’t evil per-se, but it does have a bad track record of polluting the earth when it comes to drilling and pumping oil out of the ground, as well as transporting it.

The fact stands that for a simple thing like a tent, so much carbon emissions are produced in its production alone, not to mention the transportation, as well as the sales and advertising materials needed to market it to everyone.

When used for just one or two summers and then kept on the top shelf of the storage room, it’s value is wasted, and there are double carbon outputs when you throw it away after a few years maybe because a chipmunk chewed a hole in it to get to your food.

Most tents are kept for 10 years and are used 3-4 times during this time – and then thrown away. On average, you could use a tent for over 100 times before it’s beyond repairs.

Think about that for a moment – all that effort, all that labour and Earth’s resources going to waste.

You can spread that cost of carbon emissions through sharing!

And you will create goodwill amongst your friends and colleagues through the very same act of sharing, and they could share their stuff with you too!

Today this is possible and very convenient, just by using apps like Lendogram!  Your friends borrow your stuff, you borrow theirs. You save the earth, and so do they, and everyone saves money!

Of course, if you’re not an outdoors person, this can apply to other things too! Lendogram isn’t just about tents! Dresses, jewellery, video games, toys, books, and even air mattresses for your house guest, you can share all these and more with your friends and family!

Save the earth – one share at a time!
Lendogram ❤️


Why the Sharing Economy is Here to Stay

Lyft, Coursera, Taskrabbit, Airbnb, Zipcar? You may have seen these names, heard about them on the news, or used their services. These services are all manifestations of what’s called the Sharing Economy (or Peer-to-Peer economy) in their own separate industries, and their popularity reflects a trend away from the more traditional consumerist style of buying from large corporations.

Wonder why? Well, after the crisis of 2008, the economy has become more precarious than ever, with household debt being steadily on the rise. This is especially true of the Millennials of the day (along with Generations X to a lesser, but still significant extent), who have also come to a realization that they could not live as their parents and grandparents did, what with the damage did to the Earth by the Industrial Revolution and beyond (Global warming, anyone?)

Thus, the response seems to be a sea change into a mindset of “own less, access more”.

Adding on that with the increasing lack of income security, many more individuals have begun to rely on their own pre-existing resources, using their own ingenuity to further tap into things they have owned but not put to full use.

With internet penetration increasing daily worldwide, more people are able to use technology to mitigate the risks of sharing their own personal property. How?

Through the Internet, and social media, we can use reputation checks or online records provided by service coordinators and platforms to ensure people are trustworthy, and the sharing economy’s thrives.

Indeed, it seems to be a win on multiple fronts. For one, you’re tapping into resources you have but don’t need to use all the time, by turning your very ownership into cold cash.

You’ve got a nice blue dress that you only wore once when your fifteenth cousin thrice removed got married? Rent it out to others, maybe. You get some of your cash back, and the person you rent it out to, saves a pretty penny as they didn’t have to buy a dress that they would only wear once!

Another thing is that the sharing economy, to put it simply, saves the Earth. With this, your assets might be used much more than if you weren’t lending it to others as well. What’s more is that you’ll most certainly get much more mileage out of it than if you were using it alone, a point that hasn’t been missed by the more environmentally conscious.

Let’s look at another example, shall we?

In winter, you have to heat your whole house, and pay for utilities and upkeep throughout the year, but you’re certainly not staying in there all the time, are you? In this, sharing a room produces less wastage of gas, water, and electricity per person.

Your roommate and you may use more energy collectively – but less individually, so that means less greenhouse gas emissions!

To add on to that, if you have a car, even better! Sharing your car with your roommate spreads costs, as well as reduces emissions since you’ll both be using one car instead of two individually again. Just a figure for you – car sharing participants have been shown to reduce up to 40% of their individual emissions.

The third fact is when you share, you build stronger relationship and bonds with friends and people you share your stuff with. One more interaction in this busy world. Go out there – help your friends, form strong bonds, we don’t live alone on our planet!

In our previous articles, we also mentioned several “Libraries of Things”, which are perhaps the most innovative incarnation of the sharing economy. Indeed, the example of having to first learn how to use a tool which you have borrowed is one of many which serve as gateways to greater bonding within the community.

When you lend something to someone, you’re going to want to know if you could trust them with your prized possessions – and what better way to get an impression of them than to interact with them in person? The sharing economy could be what we just need – a remedy to the individualistic and consumerist culture of late, and a chance to connect with others in an increasingly colder world.

But – there is no doubt that there are some issues with the sharing economy. A lack of trust still casts its shadow over the more paranoid and less tech-savvy who may be reluctant to participate in libraries of things and the sharing economy in general, even with the added security of today.

Another point to notes is also the fact that such ideas, and companies have increasingly been subjected to increased taxes and regulations, inflating the costs for both consumer and business as traditional businesses or governments attempt to adapt to the appeal and popularity of the sharing economy for millennials.

However, what is clear is that in the current climate, what with the rising costs of owning and maintaining assets such as houses and cars, as well as the increased jobs and services these provide for both consumer and worker – the sharing economy has found its niche and is here to stay.