mfioretti: airbnb*

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  1. I’ve found a similar experience when renting cars from RelayRides, GetAround, or Zipcar. In general, the interiors of the vehicles are dirtier than a traditional rental cars. The reasons for this are obvious. Rental car companies prep the cars for each renter, the same way hotels clean / prep the rooms for each guest. But with the economics of car sharing by the hour, it doesn’t make sense to professionally clean a car every time someone wants to pay $10 to take it to IKEA.

    As more of these companies come into existence, it’ll be interesting to see if a set of standards is developed so renters / guests can come to expect a certain amount of cleanliness when reserving a car/apartment/etc…. That will most likely increase consumer confidence in these services and take them closer to mainstream use.
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  2. So-called collaborative consumption epitomized by the likes of Airbnb has been trendy for a while. But the extent to which it has become popular is impressive.

    Tcheou is not Lagod's friend, and she is not a professional taxi driver. She's an unemployed 25-year-old who happens to have time on her hands and a car filled with gas. So she signed up to give strangers a ride in her car using a new mobile ridesharing service called Lyft.

    It's one of a flood of new startups that aim to create online and mobile social networks that let people share in the real world. There are apps that find and borrow power tools from your neighbors, that let you rent a nearby stranger's car or hire someone close by to pick up dog food. You can go online to rent your parking spot when you're not using it or you can find a home for your dog when you travel.
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  3. as the sharing economy reaches a critical mass, some observers are starting to see a potential shadow side emerging. The informal, good-vibes nature of the participatory economy can run afoul of regulations designed to ensure safety and fairness, both for those who provide goods and services and those who use them. In New York City, an Airbnb host was fined $2,400 for violating city hotel laws, and ride-hailing apps Uber and Hailo have faced injunctions by cab drivers for unfair competition in several cities, raising the question of just who benefits from sharing—and who doesn't.

    "I admit, the sharing economy is mind-blowing and its potential to transform commerce is amazing," writes attorney Janelle Orsi, the director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center in Berkeley, California, and a foremost expert on the emerging law of the sharing economy, in her book "At the same, the lawyer in me hears all this and thinks: Oh, boy. . . . ” Here are just a few of the issues raised by the sharing economy:
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  4. The resolution, which legally is more of a goal than a guarantee from attendees of The U.S. Conference of Mayors, acknowledges that the sharing economy serves a purpose, and says cities should encourage such behavior. More specifically, it states that the 15 co-sponsoring US mayors involved will focus on:

    creating local task forces to review and address regulations that may hinder participants in the Sharing Economy and proposing revisions that ensure public protection as well; and
    playing an active role in making appropriate publicly owned assets available for maximum utilization by the general public through proven sharing mechanisms.

    Resolution No. 87 is certainly the best news Airbnb’s heard since being legalized in Amsterdam…

    Again, this doesn’t mean it’s clear seas from now on for every sharing economy startup, but it’s a milestone of a blessing compared to what’s happened lately.
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  5. As part of my ongoing coverage of the Collaborative Economy (read all the posts) it’s important we explore all facets of this disruptive trend to corporations not just upsides, but the downsides. I also see that marketplace friction is a sign of disruption as power changes hands, which should make the seasoned web strategist want to look closer.

    If you’re from the sharing movement and are offended by this post, first, read my opposite of this post is the three drivers of the Collaborative Economy where we’ve documented over a dozen specific attributes that are driving this movement While the recently published report on the Collaborative Economy lists out the key challenges continues to get traction, let’s focus in on a deeper level on what’s counter-acting this market and look at both sides, objectively.

    Index of Challenges: The Dark Side to the Collaborative Economy
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  6. Just how big the sharing economy could grow remains uncertain, but there is some research on its market potential. In a Masters research project, more than 84% of the Dutch respondents expressed interest in participating in collaborative consumption of some sort. While current uptake in Australia falls well short of these levels, new collaborative consumption startups are appearing on a regular basis and participation is growing.

    Recent legal responses to the disruptive emergence of the sharing economy may indicate that it is indeed seen as a threat to the establishment. In New York, Airbnb is caught up in an investigation into possible breaches of a 2010 law that makes it illegal to rent out your own apartment in the city. New York City’s Attorney General filed a subpoena for data on all Airbnb hosts in the city. Ride sharing startups in the United States have also run into legal trouble in several cities.
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  7. For one month, I became the “micro-entrepreneur” touted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage.

    My experiences in the gig economy raise troubling issues about what it means to be an employee today and what rights a worker, even on a assignment-by-assignment basis, are entitled to. The laws regarding what constitutes an employee have not yet caught up to the idea that jobs are now being doled out by iPhone push notification.

    In a recent lawsuit filed against Uber–in the wake of an incident in which a driver hit and killed a child pedestrian on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco–the prosecuting attorney is arguing that Uber drivers are employees because their vehicles are logged by the Uber App and are therefore “on the clock” even when they don’t have a customer in their car. Postmates asks their workers to sign up for shifts. Zirtual asks them to be available during working hours. And most gig economy platforms have a system for weeding out employees who don’t get good reviews from customers. TaskRabbit “removes” them after the “second strike
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  8. In almost every case, what compels people to open up their homes and cars to complete strangers is money, not trust.

    To understand why the sharing economy is thriving now, it's worth taking a look at how many full-time jobs have been replaced by part-time jobs since the recession of 2008:
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  9. Succede speso che su Airbnb non si affittino interi appartamenti, ma camere all’interno di case abitate. Dimostrare, in tal caso, che la destinazione della casa è commerciale sarebbe impossibile, o quasi. E’ lo stesso principio attuato a New York, dove Airbnb potrà continuare ad esistere solo nel caso in cui proprietario ed inquilino condividano lo stesso tetto. Se nella Grande Mela la limitazione si esaurisce per i contratti superiori ai 30 giorni, a patto di sottoscrivere un normale contratto d’affitto, a Berlino il limite è invece fissato a due mesi.

    “Cercano un capro espiatorio per il problema del caro degli affitti” è il pensiero dell’amministratore delegato di Wimdu, Arne Bleckwenn. Probabile, certo è che dopo il recente divieto di Uber, la app che permette di mettersi in contatto direttamente con autisti privati evitando i taxi, Berlino mette un altro stop davanti ad una tipologia di offerta di servizi che, sfruttando il digitale, rende ogni privato cittadino un possibile-piccolo imprenditore.
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  10. La zona grigia della sharing economy : i problemi legali di Uber e UberPop

    La sharing economy propone dei modelli che fanno fatica a rientrare, o non sono proprio previsti, dalla legislazione, che ha dei tempi di adattamento infinitamente lenti rispetto al mercato.

    Durante la prima tappa del nostro percorso d’aggiornamento Inspiring Route, avevamo elencato alcune “zone grigie” della sharing economy, due delle quali erano proprio la difficoltà a stabilire il confine tra ciò che è privato e ciò che è business e quindi quali regole sono da rispettare nel determinato contesto.

    Le problematiche incontrate in questo senso non sono sicuramente un caso unico italiano e, per fare un esempio, lo stesso Uber è stato da poco messo al bando in Belgio.

    Anche AirBnb ha subito la stessa sorte ed è stato messo sotto accusa a New York, vietato a Berlino ed è da tempo che è oggetto di dispute legali in tutto il mondo, assieme ad altri servizi di house o room sharing come Wimdu, 9Flats and HouseTrip.

    Con l’introduzione di UberPop, la reazione del Comune è stata repentina e l’assessore alla mobilità Pierfrancesco Maran ha dichiarato: “Non si discute sul fatto che sia istigazione a delinquere”.


    Come mai questa decisione?

    Secondo le istituzioni, fissare una tariffa e ricevere un pagamento per un servizio che è considerato privato, non rientra nei termini fissati dalla legge. L’articolo di Martina Pennisi su Wired lo spiega bene: “Viene applicata una tariffa: il fatto che si possa lucrare rende di fatto il guidatore un tassista abusivo”.

    E qui arriviamo a un punto delicato.

    Un valore realmente condiviso passa attraverso la collaborazione

    A prescindere dal concetto di giusto o sbagliato, ciò che può spiazzare del caso di UberPop a Milano non è tanto la filosofia alla base del servizio – nella capoluogo lombarda esistono già diversi servizi di car sharing (Uber, Enjoy, Car2Go, GuidaMi, E-Vai), per cui la città non è nuova ai modelli della sharing economy – ma l’approccio utilizzato per la sua introduzione.

    Se, di base, alcune problematiche legislative legate alla sharing economy sono note, viene da chiedersi quale sia stato l’atteggiamento di Uber al riguardo: si sarà seduto a dei tavoli per contrattare? Avrà seguito il principio secondo il quale l’innovazione non può attendere i tempi della legge, tirando avanti per la sua strada?
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