The One Advantage You and Corporate Conglomerates Share - Original Post by BarterSugar

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Launching a Startup is Hard...Really Hard

Are we at a race to the top, or to the bottom? Trading products, services, surplus, and space is now a $110 billion dollar market that increases in value every day.  Accounting giant, PWC, predicts that the potential value of the five main sharing economy sectors will be roughly $335 billion by 2025. Entrepreneurs are racing to the ticket booths at full speed for the chance to snag a seat aboard this profitable train, launching marketplaces like BlaBlaCar, with more forming every day (see Crunchbase daily insights).

Paul Graham said “A good growth rate during YC is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week you're doing exceptionally well. If you can only manage 1%, it's a sign you haven't yet figured out what you're doing.”  With expectations like these, the pressure surrounding each startup is unmistakable. You can see it in the withered, reddened eyes working tirelessly through the night in microscopic apartments. The anthem sounds like manic tapping feet in co-working spaces.  

The pressure to hit relevant milestones quickly is tremendous, and is affecting the community profoundly. The current rate of depression in America for adults is 6.7% as reported by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Among entrepreneurs surveyed by Dr. Michael Freeman, a clinical professor at UCSF, 30% reported depression. To illustrate, this means that if one hundred startup hopefuls occupy three offices, almost an entire office may suffer from depression.

The Good News Is...

Fortunately, there are cost-efficient, tech resources available to help startups flourish without carving out a large portion of their bank account. A powerful solution relaunched from a traditional method is bartering. When was the last time you went to your neighbor for sugar, as in, something your business needed to thrive? If you’ve swapped professional space, services or products before, then you’ve done what Fortune 500 companies have been doing for years. Bartering for what you need has never been easier.  Sites like, a marketplace where businesses barter online and offline to get the things they need the most, already have hundreds of businesses trading for what they need.

Everything from photography to legal consultations are being slid across the table in exchange for something needed instead of cash. Richard Brandt, CEO of, reports having bartered web design for an alternative power source worth over $2,000. In a recent conversation, he said “Barter relieves a lot of stress from startups. It cuts down the step of getting money before things get done, and it's faster. Instead of making sales for 2 months before buying a service, we can now get the service from other startups immediately [when] we offer our own services to them; it's faster and solves the problem.”  

Competition is at its highest yet businesses are exchanging inside skill, space and hardware rather than traditional currency. “Collaboration for my business is highly important as an entrepreneur.” Brandt went on to say, and he’s not alone in recognizing the power of network technologies. On her website, Rachel Botsman expresses, “collaborative consumption is transforming business, consumerism and the way we live for a more fulfilling and sustainable quality of life.”

So now that you know the facts, are you ready to barter?

About the Author:

Megan Lee is the Community Manager at BarterSugar, a marketplace where startups trade, online and offline, for what they need instead of spending money.  Register for free at