The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear Policy Makers, I saved up enough money and bought my first condo three months ago. A few days following my signing I was let go by my employer. I did contract work for a Canadian internet company. Because I'm technically self employed i do not qualify for unemployment. Everything happened so quickly I was left with dilemma of paying my mortgage, adding furniture to my condo, and paying my month to month bills. How would I ever pay for everything? Additionally, I was left with the task of looking for work or transforming my business? One thing for sure I was not going to let the situation get the best of me. I decided to two things; 1.) supplement my income through AirBNB and Uber 2.) Build an internet business self sustaining enough to move away from contract work. "Share Economy" businesses like AirBNB and Uber allow me the flexibility and capability to provide for myself while pursuing another dream of mine. Three months later, I have generated roughly $2500 towards these bills through share programs. All this I'm able to do seamlessly while building my business. The business is growing and my debt is still manageable. In a few months I hope to be fully reliant on my internet business. However, I still plan to AirBNB my condo when I'm lucky enough to go on vacation, and work an occasional Uber shift on a Sunday because I enjoy it. Here's a little day in the life of me. I generally start work on my internet business around 8am and work until 330 pm. Three out of the five weekdays I drive uber for the 3-4 hours a day working the commuter shift. Occasionally I'll work a Sunday shift to earn extra. Additionally, AirBNB allows me the flexibility to schedule a weekend or two each month where I can lease my condo. The money is much better for AirBNB and requires little effort other than turning my place for my guests. However, I am little inconvenienced by the task of making arrangements to stay with family or friends the nights my condo is booked, but I'll take that any day. I hope my situation sheds some light in how share programs have helped me provide for myself and add value to the economy.