The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I've been part of the sharing economy for the past two and a half years as a frequent Airbnb host in the Flagstaff/Grand Canyon area. We live in a small community with an equally small job market so Airbnb has been of great financial help for my family. In fact, if Airbnb did not exist, we would not even be living at our cabin near Flagstaff simply because we wouldn't be able to afford it. But more important than the money is the people aspect of Airbnb - when I host I feel as if I'm in touch with the world as a global community of human beings. The more I host, the more I understand how alike we all are and how easy it is to meet friends from various places and cultures without leaving the comfort of one's home. There is always some sort of connection I feel to my guests: with the Germans I get to practice my rusty German and give them tours of local breweries, with others I go on Grand Canyon adventures, with some I cry over the loss of the loved ones. It helped so much to go through grief for my late mother when I realized that so many guests of mine lost their loved ones and understand exactly how I feel and what I'm going through. Not to mention the fact that I became a baker because of Airbnb. Striving to offer the best breakfast fare possible, I started baking bread and granola at my house. Soon enough I was selling my baked goods in the neighborhood (because my Airbnb guests encouraged me to do so). Right now I'm on the verge of buying out a bakery in town and starting my own baking business. To conclude, my life would have been very very different had there not been Airbnb. I'm most certainly a better person as a result of the sharing economy and highly recommend anyone to give Airbnb a try.