Life, by subscription

Life, by subscription

The American dream is no longer for sale — but it is for rent. We are slowly going through a subtle shift in how the economy is owned and operated, with massive implications. On an average day, you may wake up, shower, dress, drive to work and return home. But the way you do it is changing: Where once you would own the car, the house and the clothes, you now have the option to live life by subscription. The idea of subscription itself is nothing new — from milk and newspaper delivery to fitness clubs, the business model has been a mainstay in the American economy for centuries . But for many assets, ownership seemed for so long like an inviolate trait. You might lend your car to a neighbor, but you owned it at the end of the day. Now, as the world of the middle class flattens, this boom in subscription businesses reflects a deep foundational change in how our generation thinks about property and ownership. Welcome to the club Roam.co is a simple startup with an audacious idea: you don’t need to own a home, and “home” doesn’t have to be tied to one location. By paying $1,600 a month — maybe half what it costs to live in an apartment in San Francisco — you get access to co-living spaces around the world. The project, piloting in Bali, Miami, Buenos Aires, Lisbon and Kyoto, seeks to radically redefine how the “digital nomad” generation finds a place to live. As their website states, “Just show up with your bare essentials and immediately feel at home.” Yet this idea, in its simplest form, isn’t that radical. Rent, for example, is at its […]