Just Because a Startup “Could” Exist…
On a random Tuesday in the startup press universe, I tripped over another article about another peer-to-peer fashion rental app landing another high-seven-figure seed round from VC investors. And I’m not gonna bury this particular company but… I just want to ask a simple question.
Does the world need this app?
Full Disclosure: I Do NOT Understand Fashion
For the unfashionable among us, fashion rental apps are exactly what they sound like. I’ve got this $500 pair of pants in my closet that I’m never going to wear again, and if you’re among the unlucky people in my size range, you can rent them from me and send them back when you’re done wearing them.
Sounds like fun.
But this is way beyond the scope of my understanding. In my mind, there are tons of perfectly good Old Navys and Marshallses and I think there are even a few JCPenneys left, offering high-quality fashions at a fraction of designer costs.
So, like I said, I’m not going to scream at a bunch of trendy kids to get off my lawn. I’m going to assume they know what they’re doing.
But the VCs should know better. Especially you associates in your blue dress shirts and $500 khakis. You young folk should speak the bleep up.
You can’t keep funding these things.
These Are Not New Ideas
And as such, they just don’t require massive seed rounds.
The article starts off like there was a magical light bulb moment for the company to pivot from a more data-driven type of app to peer-to-peer fashion rental.
Like: OMG! Why aren’t people borrowing other peoples’ pants?
But this is not a light bulb moment in any sense of the term. Peer-to-peer has already come and gone. It’s basically now seen as the gig-economy equivalent of the brick-and-mortar store — in other words, a combination of two models where the economics are just awful.
Furthermore, there’s already like a billion peer-to-peer fashion rental apps. The…