Pedro’s Goodbye

Pedro was our last PodShare guest. He helped us take down the pods. I am super grateful to him and Daniel (in this video) for being a part of our story. Many more to cmd!

Podestrian proposes on our LAST night!!

Well I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our community co-living project at this location. We have had creative and romantic relationships form here but never an engagement!

New Year New Pods

Dec 31, 2014 we hosted our last party and the last Podestrian numbers at this location. Our crowd funding campaign is live and our creativity is bubbling with excitement to revamp this storefront for co-working while we wait for city permissions on the next co-living space.

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

I have been talking about doing a crowd funding campaign for a year now. I needed the best timing to ask my friends and guests for help. If losing this PodShare co-living space isn’t that, then I don’t know what is.

I put 60 days on the clock and asking for $25,000 to go towards the next location. That pays for architect, city permits, material and labour. I will keep the next location small and in Los Angeles.

This video starts off with a comedic commercial about curing “World Loneliness” and ends with me looking into the camera telling our story. I really appreciate every participant, donation, share of the link and positive vibe during these next 60 days. Thank you!!

Airbnb Sharing Economy Panel

John Zimmer (Lyft founder), Jeremiah Owyang (Crowd Companies founder) and Susan Shaheen (Berkeley scholar) talk share-economy

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John, who attended Cornell Hotel School of Hospitality learned that:
Population density and cities are rising rapidly amongst limited resources & infrastructures that were built decades ago. Our history’s transportation system went from canals to railroads to highways. The occupancy of seats in public transportation is under 20% — so we UNintentionally designed ourselves into solitude. We drive our cars into garages that lead into our private homes.

John’s goal is to get more people in seats by sharing. In 2007 Zimride was created for long distance trips from colleges home. Lyft was born in 2012.

But John’s goal was always to figure out how to increase occupancy levels of cars…so NOW, he introduces LYFT LINE. If everyone is leaving this conference at the end of the day, why not share a ride? Lyft learned that over 90% of rides in a 5min window were going the same way. By offering to pay half the rate to share, in just 2 months Lyft Line makes up 1/3 of rides on the app in SF. Regulators didn’t believe Lyft when they said that this was part of their long term vision. Oops.

John wants want everyone to be a Lyft driver. The daily commute is people’s least happy time of day, socializing it helps.

US spends $2trillion a year on cars.

RE: entering new markets: Lyft is currently in 65 US cities, and plans to go international early next year. There is a large regulatory component for each launch. They start with legal research, come up with their interpretation and ask themselves “should we launch based on the regulatory structure?” In California, there was a rule that applied to limos so Lyft realized they needed a new category. John decided “we’ll just launch.” Soon after, Lyft got a cease & desist which translated to him as “lets meet and talk.” He asked the city what’s important to them? Is this about protecting existing interests or safety? When he learned it was a safety concern, they asked what the city required in order to form a new category. This communication took over 9 months but new rules were finally created!!

Jeremiah works with big companies like Walmart, BMW & Pepsi who want to try sharing.
Companies are asking themselves how they can be a part of the movement. They see the trend coming: the micro entrepreneur revolution. We are all running our own business & re-engeniring society to become self reliant. Jeremiah tells companies that they are not allowed to use the word ‘consumer’ because we are makers, crowdfunders, lyft drivers and airbnb hosts.

Who is the most progressive at the moment? GE because they encourage the crowd to submit ideas through quirky in order to take it to market with their face + name on box (and a cut of sales).

Check out Jeremiah’s the collaborative economy honeycomb that describes 6 industries impacted: goods (Etsy), shared food, shared services (Task Rabbit), transportation, space (airbnb and co-working), and money (bitcoin and crowdfuding) —> VCs are funding these industries.

Also consider the trends of shipping as sharing in instacart, sharing of utilities WIFI with FON, power with Solar Mosaic and healthcare with HelpAround (diabetics help other diabetes). Excitingly – cities are beginning to share with other cities! In Michigan, cities are sharing a sewer cleaning truck that is generating revenues from the rental instead of taxes!

—> 30% of adults are freelancers. Moonlighters as well. it is predicted that 50% will be freelancers in a decade. So that means freelancers will form a union to protect their interests. Jeremiah predicts that we’ll start to see everyone form a guild. The natural order will be to formalize.

Susan studies car-sharing, bike-sharing, employer shuttles and is really into:
Fractional ownership – co-own a car with 2-3 family members or neighbors. That car can be put into a p2p car sharing situation. It is very innovative of Audi to enter into this kind of program. SpinLister shares bike – studies show a 50% reduction in driving due to the use of bike-sharing

SF and BERLIN are cities to watch – they are loaded with sharing.

Saving money means more experience spends and the cost of living goes down. Not financing a car may enable a person to buy a home.

Joe Gebbia chimed in that trust is important to make sharing work.
Why now for the sharing economy? Because the internet needed time to grow up a little bit. There used to be a concern over putting credit card information on the internet.

In the 90′S we got the internet
Then came the critical mass: what do we give them to do? blogs, pictures..
Then they are connected, do we transfer back into the real world again?

City Planning Meeting

As a budget advocate & board member on the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council, I get to do some really cool stuff like sit down with the policy and programs directors at city planning.

Here is what I learned:

General rule of thumb: 30% of your income should be the max paid for housing
Of course in cities like LA, NY & SF that is not the case, but that is our mayor’s longterm goal: affordable housing

LA Population:  3.9m people today ( that’s 400k more people over the last 20 years) and in 2040 LA is projected to have 4.6m residents

City Planning:  Department started in 1925. There are 250 on payroll and 86 vacancies right now. In 2010 the department was forced early retirement which lowered their employee county by 1/3, meaning they lost 75% of help and 6 principal planners left.

There has been a 26% increase in cases!
2100 cases in 2013
2500 cases in 2014
Over 3000 cases projected in 2015

 

Challenges:
The 1946 zoning code needs rewriting
The department is still reeling from the Hollywood lawsuit
How can community plans be done in a timely process? People ask “when is my community going to be re-zoned and re-planned.” Average age of community plan is 20 years – so it needs updating (1990 it was last looked at). City doesn’t have plans in place to manage growth. They need to update growth forecast, look at infrastructure and public service systems.

 
Salaries: Developer fees make up 90% of salaries!

City Planning Vs. Building & Safety: 80% “By right” go to building and safety (zone is correct etc), city planning only see 20% of cases that require variance/entitlements/zone change. These cases are never black and white issues so developers are paying for a right to have a process/public hearing.

Goals to Improve: City Planning’s budget request to the mayor includes the ability to restore those lost positions from 2010 but also to have the right management structure put in place – neighborhood geographic focus: build sections of department where new managers manage geographically focused teams.

Opening New Office & New Structure: The Valley (Van Nuys), Metropolitan/Central LA (Downtown), and the West Side (coming soon to the Sawtelle building from the encouragement of mayors office.) will have training coordinators (hopefully starting July 2015) who integrate sub divisions, phases, a training component, and a geo team made up of 1 principal and 2 senior city planners. The plan is to allot each city planner 3 associates or assistants – so 1 CP with 3 reporting to a senior reporting to a principal.

 

Fee Ordinance: City Planning is looking to create a fee ordinance whereas conditional use permit receivers pay a fee to allow the department to monitor their conditional uses and keep on top of it. They would collect this money to pay additional staff, they call it PACE – proactive code enforcement.

 

Technological Goals: creating BuildLA as a central portal to showcase all developments/developers with automated CAD files and see what inspector the case is with. They are getting a LOI from coders but this project is still 3-4years away. Currently there is a zone map under Navigate LA.

 

WIFI LA: Google Cities allows for FREE city wide WIFI in Portland & in Chattanooga. City Planning is looking for an impetus to bring others in to wire all 469 sq miles in LA but this project may be a decade away because of the vastness of our city.

 

To learn more check out Recode.la

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