Thomas Friedman's Welcome to the Sharing Economy is a rave piece on the sharing economy in general and Airbnb in particular.
This is but one of many recent glowing articles on the sharing economy. Examples include The Economist featuring it in cover story a couple of months ago and the Reuters story on the sharing economy going mainstream.
The high profile Altimeter Group has also become fans of the sharing economy. They call it the Collaborative Economy, which they describe as:
Social technologies radically disrupted communications, marketing, and customer care. With these same technologies, customers are now sharing products and services with each other, bypassing existing institutions. Beyond business functions, the Collaborative Economy will impact core business models.
They are pushing the sharing economy as one of the next big things for corporations. Click here to for their collaborative economy report and here for their list of 200+ collaborative economy companies.
We view the sharing economy as part of the broader shift from fixed to variable cost business models.
This isn't as sexy as other descriptions, but we think it better describes the economic forces behind this shift.
Our favorite source of information on the sharing economy is Shareable Magazine. It covers the business, social and environmental drivers behind this trend. Everyone should read it.