There are a lot of eye-popping Enterprise software headlines this week:
- Box files to go public at a $ 2 billion valuation, based on its $124 million in revenue last year and $168 million in losses
- Coupa raises another $40 million
- Demandbase, a B2B marketing company, raises $15 million in another round
- Yet another B2B ad network/platform, Tube Mogul, filed to go public
- TriNet, a tech-enabled managed services provider went public with a $1 billion plus valuation
But it was the above B2C headline that really grabbed my attention– and reminded me of the last bubble. In case you do not quite follow the gist of the headline, Pley bills itself as “a LEGO® subscription service commonly known as the Netflix for LEGOs.” That’s a quote from the press release. Yes, the “sharing economy” –which made Airbnb, Zipcar, HomeAway, Uber, Lyft, and so many other companies– successful has now expanded to kids’ Lego sets. The subscription economy meets toys.
According to the press release:
To date, Pley has shipped more than 75,000 packages from its San Jose warehouse, where each LEGO set is fully inventoried, cleaned and sanitized between shipments. Monthly Pley subscriptions are available at three levels: $15, $25 and $39 depending on the size of LEGO set desired.
“Pley is uniquely positioned to create a new paradigm for play as it expands to multiple toy lines for different ages,”
Here’s the website’s pitch:
I really should not be commenting on B2C ideas, and I hate to “yuck” someone else’s “yum”. I’m sure these are really nice people and the idea has some appeal. But is it just me or are things so crazy that some of these headlines could mean we are all being Punk’d?!
My girls are grown now. They love vintage clothes and the sharing economy. But when they were young, I would not have spent $15 a month on cleaned and sanitized Legos, dolls, or EZ-Bake ovens! At that age, I’m not sure they were ready for sharing!
Pley, though, has inspired me with a new business idea for the sharing economy. I’ll call it Pets.com. (Is that name taken?) It will be the “Netflix of pets”. We will share each others pets. Why commit to one boring pet for an extended period, when you can rotate and share with thousands of other families? Subscribe by the month and get a new pet every thirty days. If this idea works, I will extend it to spouses and kids. It’s not human trafficking as long as it is sold on a subscription basis. Anyone want in? I’ll start the Kickstarter project so we can share in the success! 😉