With Zipcar's IPO, Stock Market Endorses Rentership Society

More

The rental car's market success shows how the American dream is evolving away from an ownership society

Florida_zipcar_4-14_banner.jpg

Zipcar's stock is soaring on its first day of trading. Its IPO has risen from an expected $14 to $16 to $28, or 60% over what analysts predicted.

I've written elsewhere on how great crashes spur innovation and reset economic geography, giving rise to new spatial fixes and new patterns of living. What powered growth after the Great Depression was not just New Deal spending or mobilization for World War II but the rise of suburbanization, which not only relocated a huge swath of the America's population but powered demand for cars, appliances, and consumer durables coming off America's assembly lines.

Today, we are in the midst of another great shift from suburban sprawl, the American Dream of home-ownership, and an economy powered by housing, cars and energy, to denser, more innovative and more energy efficient patterns of living, the transformation of cities and suburbs alike, and the shift from an ownership to a rentership society.

Joseph Schumpeter long ago argued that economic crises give rise to great gales of creative destruction, which launch new technologies and whole new industries. Zipcar, which provides inexpensive flexible rental cars in 14 major metro areas and 200 plus college campuses, is one of a series of new enterprises and business models that are spurring the shift to a more flexible, less car-dependent rentership model.

The market has spoken.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jump to comments
Presented by

Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More

Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Social Security: The Greatest Government Policy of All Time?

It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

From This Author

Just In