The Internet greatly facilitates contact between people with complementary needs, but not all such opportunities have been realized. In the spirit of Airbnb and Uber, I’d like to suggest another.
Dual-career couples, in both academia and the corporate world, have a lot of trouble with transfers. Finding a comparable job for the spouse, usually on short notice, ranges from difficult to impossible. But there’s a better way!
When our generic urban professional moves from New York to Los Angeles, we match him up with someone moving in the other direction, and they then trade spouses, families, houses, and pets. As our service expands, the possible matches get better. Eventually we can hope to achieve decent approximate matches on spousal age and appearance, number and sex of children, pet species, etc. For maximum ease of integration, everyone acts as if nothing has changed, just as when Darrin, the husband in Bewitched, suddenly stopped being Dick York and was replaced by Dick Sargent, as if by magic.
The possibility of spousal/family upgrades surely exists, although there would naturally be a substantial added fee.
Next big thing in the sharing economy: Strangers on a Train.