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The Housing Cloud (kapilkale.com)
45 points by kapilkale 1755 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite

This seems attractive, but curiously reliant on entities without your interests at heart

> I own most of them on Amazon Instant Video,

> my MP3 collection when I moved to Spotify. Books to > Kindle.

> Photos to Dropbox and Facebook.

> Notebooks to Hackpad.

> Zipcar is the cloud for cars.

> Exec is the cloud for secretarial work.

> And though there isn’t a “cloud” for housing, AirBnB, Craigslist, and VRBO are getting close.

What happens if/when these services go out of business or pursue business models at variance with what you want? This seems to assume that these things will always be available in the form that you like.

I don't think this is for me, it clashes with my desire to be able to not depend on other entities that much. Regards to anyone who can pull it off though.

I can't think of a specific example where I personally am concerned about it. As long as demand for a cloud service is real and profitable to serve, some entity will do it.

Data portability is only a problem with unproven services. If Facebook were to shut down, photo and data export services would immediately crop up.

I'm more concerned about the opposite scenario, where I own something and mismanage it, like losing my hard drive without backup, or having a disaster hit my car / house where I don't have the proper insurance.

I'd be very concerned about Spotify, which is losing money. Although they have massive revenue, they end up immediately paying nearly all of it to record labels. http://hypedsound.com/news/details/SPOTIFY-FINANCIALS-DEEMED... - Link includes a talk by Dalton Caldwell about why anyone doing what Spotify does is basically doomed.

And content portability is definitely a problem with Amazon. Instant Video and Kindle both use DRM, so an export service would likely be illegal, and certainly nontrivial. Amazon could suddenly deny you access to your “purchases”: http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/simon-says/2012/10/rights-y...

The other services don't seem as risky in terms of data loss, although Facebook could suddenly make your photos more public than you set them to be; they've taken many similar steps before.

Spotify is obviously still in the land grab phase. I pay $5 a month for it, and would easily pay at least 6 times that, maybe more.

Furthermore, the vast majority of its users are still freeloaders. I think a sizeable percentage would convert to paying customers if Spotify started to throttle back the free accounts or play more ads. Its an incredible service at a great value, especially when you cough up a tiny bit of money to get rid of the ads.

I pay for Spotify, and paid for Mog before Spotify was in the US. I suspect Spotify is break-even or makes money on paid users, so I'm not worried about it.

Amazon is a more interesting case because I'm paying per piece of content, and I don't get to keep the content. If they shut down Video, I'd lose the value of my library (~$200). But the chances of that seem so low compared to what I have at stake to lose.

Surely the massive revenue would be an incentive for the record labels to keep Spotify alive.

Its ok, I don't have their interests at heart either. That's what business is.

What happens when one of these services go away? I will make other arrangements.

I wouldn't start using a service if the value of the convenience/savings gained, combined with how long I think it will be available, weren't a better deal than the alternatives.

But, yeah, I'd rather own some things than rent them. Movies used to be one of those things, but there's no way I could buy and store all the things I can see on netflix.

I'd still rather own my music. But I will listen to a song hundreds or even thousands of times.

I have lived in three different continents - South America, North America and Australia ( santiago, san francisco, new york, dallas, sydney, canberra) , spending roughly 4 months in each country using this 'housing' cloud.

It was not really planned as such, but rather where my startup took me. But,it was amazing. You meet great people and understand the human race a little bit better.

"Cloud" seems to have become synonymous with "having someone else ____ for you," where the blank is filled in with some verb like store/possess/drive/etc. Words have the tendency to become loaded with additional meaning over time but this one is stuffed full. Cloud starts to sound like service. Admittedly though, I doubt we'll hear things like "the trash service came and sent my garbage to the cloud" and your examples do work.

I agree- "cloud" services seem to be forms of rental, with a dash of internet thrown in (e.g. Redbox isn't really a cloud video company, vs. Netflix / Amazon).

So an old school cabbie service is cars in the cloud?

Exactly - you don't own the depreciating car, nor maintain or insure it (a.k.a. backup, disaster recovery) or even train in how to operate or secure it in a potentially risky environment. Transportation as a Service, man, it's the hot new thing.

Personally I'm still waiting for Service-Oriented Automobiles to knit together.

I live like this, but I tend to circulate around the same places to see friends, and check out new countries as opportunities allow. It allows me to leave winter clothes in someone's closet (you don't want to live in Hawaii temporarily and have to have your Montreal snow jacket taking up valuable suitcase space). But I also own very little and like the OP, as much as I can do online I do. Kindle replaced my need to buy books at airports and subsequently leave them somewhere, and anything really important I'll send home to a lock-up. It's a great way to live for those that don't mind change being constant, not for everyone - but for anyone who wants to, it's so possibly easy now that it's absurd.

I've always thought there's room for a startup that's an abstraction layer above AirBNB. Anecdotally, I know 2 or 3 people who do this semi-professionally for their friends. They'll put up the listing, price it, manage contact with guests, handle all the cleaning/key exchange etc in return for a cut of the profits.

If you're out of town for a month, the effort of setting up an AirBNB can be enough of a deterrent to keep a place empty for many people but if there was a service to abstract away all the details, it's win-win.

Sounds like a property management firm. :-)

Sounds like a lonely place.

Or a vacation or move whenever you like. It could be very liberating.

Personally, I would love to be able to live in New York, Florida and California at different times of the year. Frankly, I would have visited my family a lot more if a place to crash were cheap and clean, once my parents went into a nursing home.

Hotels are usually the most expensive part of any trip. On one trip to NYC, I realized taking the redeye across the country was cheaper than staying the night in Manhattan. It would be great to slash that by two thirds.

yes and no. People increasingly have friends all over the world. I have decent friends in lots of major cities. I could see it actually being a lot of fun.

Would it be for everyone? Definitely not.

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