Could the Uber/Lyft business model be applied to other areas of daily life? Or improved upon?... The ride-sharing model could be useful in many other settings. You suddenly find out that you're going to be working late, so why not rent out your apartment to tourists for the next 12 hours? They can crash at your place until midnight, then stay up all night riding the Staten Island Ferry. Or summon an Uber driver to give them a witching-hour tour of San Francisco--maybe even hire a driver from KangaShare to take them all the way back home to Abilene. Beats hotels and hostels any day of the week.

While this piece is mostly jokey, we think the prospect is very real, and very significant. What is really going on is that the "conventional" economy of business and finance are so gummed up -- effectively-centralized, and now broken-down, that they are failing to meet people's everyday survival needs (this is related to the decades-long deterioration of real incomes to below a "living wage" level). Now, there is huge pressure to find ways to "capitalize" (and monetize) various under-used "assets" people have -- from small amounts of actual cash (through P2P lending, startup financing, etc.) to actual physical assets (such as houses or apartments, with spare time and space). This usually takes an online, P2P form, as that cuts out the greedy and all-controlling middlemen (government, corporations, and finance) and allows buyers and sellers (or "use partners") to more efficiently find each other. In essence, a conflict of interest is removed, as those aforementioned middlemen would never match these two P2P parties, as it would entail a loss of business for themselves.

And thus we have a resurrected (but now-digital) "bazaar" economy, where small buyers and sellers can once again efficiently come together, as they were able to do throughout the majority of human history, until approximately the late 19th-century.

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