Third Places

  • Idea of having comfort and consistency in a place you do not own or inhabit all the time
  • May include increased privacy and luxury
  • Digital layer makes customization/personalization and scheduling easier, such as Uber + Spotify integration so a rider’s music plays through the Uber driver’s speakers automatically


  • Car as second home
  • Starbucks as global living room/meeting space
  • Plane and Hotel as third places
  • Car rental and hotel apps which allow frequent users to set preferences in advance

Shared Ownership/Sharing Economy

  • Shared ownership, usually of expensive or highly specific goods
  • Can be shared ownership between individuals or through ‘rent’-like services
  • Increases individual purchasing power by fractionalizing ownership, e.g. timeshares
  • Digital layer lessens convenience and cost impacts on individuals owners by coordinating access and service; may include insurance or expanded warranties
  • Barter or swap (either of goods or services) may be critical component to increasing usership


  • Getaround
  • Ford co-leasing
  • Tool libraries
  • Bagborrowsteal, renttherunway
  • Zipcar
  • Sharegrid


Mobile Environments

  • Environments that come to the user, or that can be moved to various locations
  • Flips paradigm of humans traveling to a particular environment—instead, environments travel to humans
  • Mass-culture precedent in food trucks, pop-up stores; digital layer involves telling users where environments have been [re]located or even directly summoning environments
  • Imagine offices, schools, stores or clinics arriving at your home or an another convenient location


  • Philips Hue portable lighting
  • On-demand classrooms in school buses (Curitiba, Brazil)
  • Pop-Up Stores and Food Trucks
  • Ideo concept
  • Robotic Architecture (import an environment)


Digital Natives/Gen Y (Millennials)

  • Worried about the future, sometimes more than parents: (terrorism, global warming, global economic crises, job possibilities, health, etc)
  • Asset-light: in some situations, may have fewer owned items, preferring liquidity and/or flexibility
  • Different way of shopping than previous generations, willing to try new brands based on interactivity, message, friend recommendations or functions rather than age of brand or traditional marketing
  • Expect to be able to find data easily
  • Their tech is ‘always-on’
  • Accustomed to online-enabled relationships & experiences
  • Technology reports on past & present around them


  • Snapchat/WeChat
  • Katy Perry
  • Carsharing
  • On-demand services



  • Local-first focus for customers—locally-produced agriculture, locally-offered services, locally-manufactured products, locally-focused culture
  • Digital services around localization trends usually require extensive cultural customization and awareness of physical places; for example, Facebook Pages allow end users to provide feedback on the relevance of particular services and Google Maps has detailed building maps for shopping centers and complex streets
  • Local-first movements emphasize keeping spending with local businesses for health of micro-economies 


  • Farmers’ Markets (US)
  • Apps for finding local resources (Foursquare, Apple’s Apps Near You)