I have argued for a while, making concrete examples, that it is really ridiculous, and a sign of incompetence, to call stuff like Uber or AirBnB “sharing economy”. This week one of those examples came true.
In 2014, for example, I wrote that “I don’t get Uber labeling…” (as sharing economy, that is), because, among other things, calling “sharing economy” something whose “sharers” go ON STRIKE is ridiculous and self-contradicting:
In this other post of 2016 (Italian only, sorry), I observed that:
- AirBnB may have been actual “sharing economy” when it started, in 2008, but it quickly became something completely different that did not deserve that name at all, because of gentrification and other issues
- definitions of the “sharing economy” as the economy “in which people rent beds, cars, boats and other assets directly from each other, co-ordinated via the internet” while still very popular among “experts”, as late as 2013 are absurd and misleading in and by themselves, regardless of Airbnb, Uber and friends
This is the explanation I gave in 2016 of why I find such definitions really wrong:
Calling "sharing economy" stuff like "people who rent beds... directly from each other, via the internet" [makes no sense at all] because in that case, should Paris Hilton decide to keep all her hotels as they are, personnel and all, but renting the rooms directly by herself, online, then that too would be "sharing economy".
This, in 2016. Today, it turns out I was only using the wrong hotel group as example. Because, in April 2018, a six-month “homesharing” trial by the largest hotel company in the world is still called exactly a move to “break into the sharing economy”:
Of course, even “homeSHARING” is ridiculous, when applied to a multinational like Marriott (*). But calling it “sharing economy” is much worst. Please stop.
(*) while we are at this, please note one thing: calling the rental of any home by me, you and Marriott… all in the same way implicitly makes the point that there is no intrinsical difference between us and Marriott: we are all “persons” “sharing” their homes. It may be, that is, yet one more hint that the whole “corporate personhood” thing has gone too far. But that’s a topic for another day.