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 Fiverr.com or 99designs.com, 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 Freelancer.com 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 Zaarly.com, Upwork.com or Taskrabbit.com.

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 kickstarter.com or gofundme.com.

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 Kickstarter.com, 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.

Household Happiness Factor

Household debt is defined as the amount of money that all adults in the household owe financial institutions. It includes consumer debt and mortgage loans. With consumers constantly buying items on credit, it seems as though the world is starting to get into a huge consumer debt.



In Australia, Australian households have more debt compared to the size of the country’s economy than in any other world. As of the third quarter of 2015, it is now the world’s most indebted household sector relative to GDP. It has around $2 trillion in unconsolidated household debt relative to $1.6 trillion in GDP.

In Canada, reports showed that Canadians are ending 2015 with record-high debt and mid-2016, household debt is still growing. The Bank of Canada has expressed concerns about the elevated levels of household debt, which pose a potential risk to Canada’s financial stability in the event of a sharp economic downturn.

In Asia, China’s total debt is more than double of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, and industry experts have expressed concerns that the debt linkages between the state and industry could be fatal. The country’s debt has increased to almost 250% of its GDP due to use of cheap credit to stimulate slowing growth, and releasing a massive debt-fuelled spending binge by consumers.

In Japan, it looks like the country is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game. The Japanese economy is trapped in a vicious cycle of deflation and stagnation where escaping from this requires bold attempts on both monetary and fiscal fronts.

“We buy things to make us happy. And we succeed for only a short period of time. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

Consumerism is good to a certain extent as it helps in stimulating growth in the country. However, consumerism becomes excessive when it extends beyond what is needed. When we start consuming excessively beyond our income level, boundaries are removed.


Although cheap and easy credit allows us to obtain money to purchase more items. Does possessing more material goods result in increase in happiness?

A study shown by Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for two decades, says that it might not necessarily be so. According to him, “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a short period of time. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

“Buying more might cause unhappiness”

This refutes the basic assumption that we’ve been holding for ages. For example – when we spend money on a physical item – as opposed to an experience, the same physical item lasts longer and supposedly makes us happier for a longer period of time as compared to a one-off experience like a concert or vacation.

In fact, buying more items might be the cause of our unhappiness. Gilovich suggests that instead of buying the latest iPhone or the latest BMW, you’ll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling.

One study conducted by Gilovich showed that if people have an experience they say negatively impacted their happiness, once they have the chance to talk about it, their assessment of that experience goes up.

He attributes this to the fact that something that might have been stressful or scary in the past can become a funny story to tell at a party or be looked back on as an invaluable character-building experience.

Sharing experiences can also help us connect with others more than sharing our thoughts about our material belongings. For instance, you’re more likely to feel a connection with someone who has also taken a trip to Bali than someone who also just bought a 4K TV.

Furthermore, when we buy material goods and items, new items are exciting to us at the beginning. But over time we start to adapt to them and a vicious cycle of buying goods and items in a bid to maintain that feeling of happiness occurs.

Gilovich’s research has huge implications for individuals who want to maximize their happiness return on their financial ‘investments’, for employers who want to have a happier workforce, and policy-makers who want to have happy citizens.

If we are to take this research to heart, it means that we should not only have a shift in how individuals spend their discretionary income, but also place an emphasis on employers giving paid vacation and governments taking care of recreational spaces.

In other words, before you start spending credit on those shoes or gadget, think to yourself, do I really need this? If the answer is yes, then think of ways where you won’t need to spend money or borrow credit to get that item. Because ultimately, with the technology that’s available to us and how connected we are, we can find access to what we need before having to spend money we don’t have and create debt we may not be able to pay off.

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

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?