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Synopsis

A simple, powerful idea that's reinventing the way smart, adaptive companies do business.

Most businesses follow the same basic formula: create a product or service, sell it, and collect money. What Lisa Gansky calls "Mesh" businesses throw this model out the window. Instead, these companies use social media, wireless networks, and data crunched from every available source to provide people with goods and services at the exact moment they need them, without the burden and expense of owning them outright. The Mesh gives companies a better understanding of what customers really want.

Already, hundreds of successful Mesh companies are redefining how we interact with the people, goods, and services in our lives. These businesses are easier to start and spreading like wildfire, from bike sharing and home exchanges to peer-to-peer lending, energy cooperatives, and open source design. Consider:

• ZipCar profits from streamlined car sharing
• Kickstarter connects artists with funding from enthusiastic supporters
• Music Gym makes finding a recording studio as easy as joining a gym

The Mesh reveals the next wave of information-enabled commerce, showing readers how to plug in and profit.

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