Airbnb CEO Tells us His View on the Sharing Economy

Brian Chesky is not only the CEO of home-share platform Airbnb, but also one of the first to become a billionaire off the shared economy. Last week he discussed his predictions for the Sharing Economy at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival. Considering Chesky's success his bold predictions are worth paying attention to.

He explained that society started on micro-entrepreneurial roots:

"Cities used to be generally villages, and everyone was essentially kind of like an entrepreneur, before there were factories. You were either a farmer, or you worked in the city as a blacksmith, or you had some kind of trade. And then the Industrial Revolution happened." 

Throughout the interview, Chesky makes several predictions about the future of the sharing economy and its impact on society.

Chesky predicts that not only will the industry be able to create upwards of 100 million micro-entrepreneurs, but it will also save us from future recession and robot-worker society. We'll also be living in a world where people can become businesses versus the traditional work-for-the-man archetype. He also predicts that everything will be small with less big chains and outright ownership. "You're not going to have big chain restaurants. We're starting to see you have farmer's markets, and small restaurants, and food trucks. But, soon, restaurants will be in people's living rooms."

While worth the watch, If the 1 hour video is too long for you check out the recap from Venture Beat. Gregory Ferenstein's article "Airbnb CEO Spells Out the End Game For the Sharing Economy in 7 Quotes" breaks down the main points of Chesky's interview.

Let us know what you think. These are pretty bold predictions and the one thing we'd love to hear is a timeline. Is this the future of the Sharing Economy? Will we see it in this lifetime?

Taxi Protests Gridlock Downtown Washington DC

A caravan of angry taxi drivers gridlocked downtown Washington DC this Wednesday. The source of their anger? Ride-sharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar.

A taxi caravan of hundreds drove slowly and honked car horns as they held up traffic on Constitution Ave on Wednesday. Photo via Washington Post

A taxi caravan of hundreds drove slowly and honked car horns as they held up traffic on Constitution Ave on Wednesday. Photo via Washington Post

Photo via Washington Post

Photo via Washington Post

Cab drivers all over the world have been protesting these new ride-sharing services claiming they have an unfair advantage over traditional taxi drivers. Cabbies must follow strict regulations and require special licensing to operate. Regulations on ride-sharing apps are still being decided and at best, a gray area. 

Wednesday's gridlock has been the newest form of protest from the taxi-industry and it wasn't just in DC. Drivers in London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin brought traffic to crawl earlier this month, honking their horns and waving signs denouncing the local transportation agency and taxi apps.

Wednesday's protest shows that cab drivers will not back down and raises concern as to just how far they will go. Considering that some of these protests have gotten violent, the question now is how (and how quickly) regulators will respond. Driver's voices have been heard in some areas including Virginia, who recently issued a cease and desist letter to Lyft. Where in other cities, such as Seattle, ride-sharing apps have been welcomed as competition to local taxi services. 

"Authorities said Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest opened in both directions around 1 p.m. The roadway had been closed from 15th to 9th streets Northwest because of the protest. The street closure caused other delays in the downtown area. Ironically, because of the protest, some people reported difficulty hailing cabs."

Check out the Washington Post article and let us know what you think. Are these protests getting out of hand or are they warranted? 

Share NY

Today Greg and Jillian headed to the inaugral Share NYC conference at NYU. Hosted by Arun Sundararajan, Luke Williams, and Cynthia Franklin, #ShareNYC featured speakers and panels discussing current hot topics in the sharing economy. The event joined together "entrepreneurs, government leaders, academics, business executives, VCs and students for a unique day of discussion and thought leadership about the emerging collaborative, peer-to-peer and sharing economies." Unfortunately the event was not live-streamed, however Twitter gave us a pretty decent play by play on the main points of discussion.

The first Share NYC conference seemed to be a success and continues to confirm the interest society has in the sharing economy. It's excellent to see such a young economic model hashed out by groups of educators, regulators and enthusiasts while still in development. Did you have an opportunity to attend #ShareNYC? What did you think? Are these conferences developing the sharing economy or not?