Daniel Niklaus

1) When did you start working in the Sharing Economy?

That’s a long time ago…23 years to be precise. I did my apprenticeship as a salesman when I started the project “Car pool”. My goal was that people share their way to the work place in one car rather than driving on their own.

If you are interested, this is a newspaper article about the project

2) Wow, 23 years is a long time! What has changed since then? Has it become easier or harder to start an idea in the sharing space and how so?

In 1991, the World Wide Web was not even invented. I had to use classic media. Distributing flyers and talking to companies if they would inform their employees. After 3 months I had about 90 people who signed up but only two lived in the same town and worked close by. Obviously the project died. Everyone thought it was a good idea but not practical for themselves.

The car pooling idea came back again and again. I had a client who tried a similar concept in 1997 and I was involved in a project sometime around 2002. Every time it failed. When the next wave came in 2008/2010, I was convinced it would not work either. But I was wrong. Too many things had changed to advance the sharing economy and car pooling. There were enough people online. Cars in cities became less important. At the same time people travelled more. And people started to understand the concept of sharing from other fields like couch-surfing. So, today it is a lot easier to start a project in the sharing economy. People „know“ the concept, they like the concept and they have experienced a form of sharing themselves already or at least some friends tried it. That makes it easier for people to give the sharing economy a chance.

So, today it is a lot easier to start a project in the sharing economy

3) Now you are working on Züri-kocht. What is Züri kocht?

With züri-kocht.ch private people can cook once a month for private people in Zürich at their home.

4) What has been your initial response, what and where have you cooked so far?

We are very happy. Just last Friday we had our first event and got some amazing feedback from our hosts and guests. We could offer 10 meals in and around Zürich. And we already have 5 meals for the next event on December 5th. That sounds like small numbers and they are. But that’s o.k. We already brought more people together then I did back in 1991 when I tried it the first time with car pooling. And I see the web statistics on züri-kocht.ch. There is a growing interest. That’s important. We know that the majority of people first are just looking until they are booking. They need the proof that this website is o.k. and the concept works. So I am very optimistic that we will have a nice growth in the next few months.

There is a growing interest. That’s important.

My personal tip for everyone starting a project in the shared economy. Watch the youtube video How to Start a Movement.

5) What are your next goals?

First we want to establish züri-kocht.ch as a part of Zürich’s event community. Then we have some other cities in mind that will love our concept as well.