The biggest risks to Uber, Airbnb and sharing economy platform business models doesn’t come from technical or commercial dimensions but from their social impacts, yet these are being largely ignored.
The large for-profit sharing economy platforms, such as Uber and Airbnb, come with social risks and opportunities and I will give a balanced overview over both. The critics see them as leading to a “dystopia, with increasingly powerful platforms facing disempowered workers” [“that deliver a latte in a rainstorm to the more fortunate ones”]. Optimistic observers spot utopian possibilities of a crowd- and trust-based economic system and the emergence of a “networked society of micro‐entrepreneurs”
With a number of recent blows to both Uber and Airbnb in the US social and regulatory risks become crucial … understand what’s going on and how it may affect your ideas!