Airbnb and Uber Face Some Harsh Realities
Airbnb and Uber are maturing startups both facing some hard realities as they grow.
While they have found a loyal and happy user base, they are facing tough resistance from not just the taxi and hotel industries they are disrupting, but also political and social resistance from quarters they probably never imagined when they started their businesses.
In Europe and the US we are beginning to see a backlash against the sharing economy idea. For Uber, this means fighting the existing taxi industry and its government backers. The prevailing argument is that Uber drivers aren't regulated like taxis and it creates an unfair advantage.
Meanwhile Airbnb has been accused of undermining laws related to hotels and rental agreements. It has reached the point where the two companies can't simply pretend they are casual startups trying to launch a new kind of business. There's far too much at stake now with their huge valuations and billions in venture capital –and these political and social elements could be beginning to catch up with them.