Making Peace with the Sharing Economy

On the surface, many companies that have been deemed part of the sharing economy seem to have much in common: They attempt to disrupt incumbents by going direct to consumers with an offering that is more convenient, more flexible, and often less expensive than what their traditional rivals offer. They have created a new wave of micro-entrepreneurs able to create value by unlocking underutilized resources, such as extra space for lodging and idle automobiles. Others let customers hire someone to do small jobs, rent a bicycle from a neighbor, or borrow money. They have filled unmet market needs.

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