Airbnb and Uber may seem revolutionary now, but they're just the beginning of a much larger movement, says venture capitalist Fred Wilson.
Melissa Tsang's insight:
"When we get to an economy where we are interacting in a peer-to-peer marketplace without a centralized axis of power -- and for Wilson, it's a question of when, not if-- then we as a society will have to confront some fairly fundamental belief systems that may no longer be relevant.
“What is the right ownership model for that kind of a system? Is it a corporate system or is it something else? What is the role of capitalism in that system? Will there be venture capitalists?” he asks. “What is the role of government? What is the role of capitalism? What is the role of corporations? I think those are real questions that we are going to have to grapple with in the next 10 or 15 or 20 years.”"
"In a spirit of collaboration, if they are genuinely concerned about New York tenants, Airbnb could work with tenants’ associations and other providers. If Lyft and Uber are actually interested in the welfare of drivers, they could work with taxi driver unions such as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. (Oh, andstop taking their own drivers’ tips.)
The chances of the adoption of any of these recommendations are slim. Taking a modest supporting role in reviving the supposed spirit of the sharing economy is incompatible with the hubris of leading large companies, and most of these suggestions would compromise the revenue growth that investors are looking for.
The “sharing economy” has seen a rapid slide away from collaborative sharing towards further deregulated and precarious employment — the direct consequence of venture capital funding and the growth imperatives that come with that money. Such a project won’t bring us any closer to the more equitable society we want to see any time soon.
By Alexandra Le Tellier The best thing about the sharing economy is that it lets ordinary people turn a quick profit by renting out their assets. Not doing anything Friday night? You could make a nice chunk of change driving people around the city via rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. Going on vacation next ...
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