Propelled by the idea of “the Uber of everything,” many people are predicting that ever-proliferating “network companies” will radically change the older ways of doing business in all sorts of new fields.
Something like that certainly seems to be happening. Just as Uber and Lyft are taking on traditional taxi companies, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and dozens of other app-centered companies are taking on local companies in their industries. “When you can connect and share assets, people and ideas, everything changes, not just how you rent a car,” writes Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar, in her new book Peers Inc. This new world, she adds, “redefines our understanding of assets -- proprietary versus in-common, private versus public, commercial use versus personal use -- and requires a rethinking of regulations, insurance and governance.”