Should you abandon ownership? I made this venn diagram to show my current opinion of the criteria that should lead one to deciding whether to rent or buy. Everyone is different in how often they need certain things, or what their definition of expensive is, but I think its worth the time to put yourself in this diagram before your next trip to the store.
The Internet is creating markets that enable us to own much less, allowing less daily friction and a more mobile life. Aside from big things like deciding whether to rent or buy a house, there are a lot of other services that give an alternative to ownership. Spotify for music, Netflix for movies, zipcar for transportation, Airbnb for travel, Rent The Runway for clothes and Snapgoods for household items (not to mention, my personal favorite, the library). The common thread of all these sites, as explained in this nytimes article, is that access trumps ownership.