Where Will the Sharing Economy Go Next?
It’s been 20 years since the founding of eBay kicked off the online peer-to-peer marketplace that has become known as the sharing economy. In the years since, we’ve seen the rise of Zipcar, Lyft, Uber and Airbnb, not to mention hundreds of smaller services that will board your pets, deliver your meals, find you a handyman or lend you a bicycle.
But it hasn’t all been rosy. The car-for-hire service Lyft announced today it was paying $12 million to settle a class action suit. It will also extend some benefits for drivers and reimburse them for expenses. Uber and Airbnb have also faced lawsuits over employee benefits and customer safety.
Meanwhile, Airbnb recently released a community compact vowing to work within all government and community regulations. It came after cities like San Francisco started placing restrictions on the short-term rental market.
Billee Howard is founder and chief engagement officer of Brandthropologie, a New York-based communications consulting firm. She’s written extensively about the sharing economy, including the book “We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy.”
She joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to share her insights about new trends and the future of the sharing economy, as we head into 2016.