Lisa Fox – Co-founder of Open Shed

Lisa Fox - founder of Open Shed

Lisa Fox is the Co founder and CEO of the peer-to-peer rental site, Open Shed.  Lisa is passionate about spreading the word about the Australian Collaborative Consumption movement and helping Australians access what they need when they need it!

Never be scared to share your ideas. Every moment you are keeping your idea to yourself you are missing out on opportunities to make your idea even better!”

Lisa and her partner Duncan (the other half of Open Shed) have been housesitting around Australia since quitting their jobs in March 2011 to start Open Shed. They have house sat in Hervey Bay, Clare Valley, Melbourne and various Sydney locations. Currently they are based in Sydney.

What are you working on right now?

Open Shed! I am the non technical half of Open Shed. I look after customer service, social, partnerships, legals – basically anything that doesn’t require me to code.

I have been using January as a catch up and consolidation month. The end of 2012 was pretty hectic and a lot of things fell through the cracks. This year I’m trying the set myself up better to deal with the hectic periods that are sure to come in 2013.

How do you make ideas happen?

…sharing the idea with other people introduces a level of accountability.”

I am a bit of a procrastinator, so for me getting started is often the biggest hurdle.

To help myself get started I chunk the idea down into mini goals so it doesn’t seem so big. I’m a list writer and I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to cross multiple things off my to do list each day 🙂

Also sharing the idea with other people introduces a level of accountability. I’ve put my idea “out there”, so now I need to make it happen!

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is just in the process of getting an overhaul. I’m using the start of a new year to start a new routine.

I know I work best in the early morning and late afternoon. So I am reorganising my day to make sure this is when I’m doing my ‘thinking’ work. Middle of the day will be for exercise, meetings etc.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

The two big ones for us are:

  1. the usual “chicken or the egg” issues that any two sided marketplace has – you’ve got to worry about supply and demand at the same time; and
  2. needing to build critical mass (of people and stuff) in a geographic area, so that using Open Shed isn’t just a good “idea”, it is also a convenient option.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

Never be scared to share your ideas. Every moment you are keeping your idea to yourself you are missing out on opportunities to make your idea even better!

By talking about Open Shed (on our blog) before we launched we built up an small community of supporters that gave us feedback and suggestions, and also became our early members.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?

Small Giants –  Australia’s first B Corporation, which has partnered with some other awesome businesses like Dumbo Feather and TOM.

What about internationally? 

Lyft – while in San Franscisco in October we used it a number of time and  absolutely loved the on demand ride sharing service. Highly recommend you give it a go if you are ever in SF. An easy to use app, fist bump on pick up and a pink moustashe – what’s not to love!

What role do you think collaborative consumption can play in affecting social change?

…collaborative consumption has the potential to change the way we live offering us greater flexibility…”

As a social movement I believe collaborative consumption has the potential to change the way we live offering us greater flexibility, a great sense of empowerment over our own lives and far more connected and collaborative communities.

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?

●      www.collaborativeconsumption.com

●      www.collaborativechats.com

●      TED

Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?

●      David Hood – @DavidAHood

●      Kate Kendall – @KateKendall

●      Bernadette Jiwa – @bernadettejiwa (also see our interview with her)

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea? 

We would love to hear from anyone that has a passion for collaborative consumption and is interested in helping with Open Shed. Specific skills are great, but we are also interested in creating an awesome group of community ambassadors.

In 2013 we will be looking for an intern, so if any Sydney based PR / marketing uni students are interested in interning with us, please get in touch with me. Thanks!

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

Ok so since you’re smart you obviously love the idea of Open Shed 😉 what tools/info can we give you to help us spread the word about Open Shed and get more people listing their stuff?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Vini – an awesome ever changing Italian menu

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Sure – a chat with Duncan and I over a home cooked BBQ and a couple beers.

Connect with Lisa

Where: Sydney, NSW

Web: Open Shed

Twitter: @_lisafox or @openshed

Make sure you sign-up to join our amazing community for Australians making ideas happen.

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