WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 123 of 219

clear vision for addressing a peer-to-peer pay- ment problem with global implications. Hennessey, whose definition of the sharing economy is "the shared utilization of an under- used asset," acknowledges there are lots of start- ups attempting the "Uberization of this or that, and while some are legitimate business models, a lot feel a little forced. Many don't have both the supply and demand required to scale," he says. While some areas of the sharing economy are played out, with early entrants staking their claims to leadership positions, opportunities will continue to exist for businesses that provide ancillary services related to offerings from outfits like Airbnb (i.e., cleaning services for people who want to rent out their homes but not deal with the mess). More evidence of opportunities that lie ahead can be found in a 2016 Pew Research Center survey of nearly 5,000 American adults that revealed almost three quarters of them had never heard of the term sharing economy, which is still in its infancy. "The more that we can get the news out about the sharing economy and start to expand beyond the core demographics who use these services the better it is for everyone," Hennessey says. "It's better for the environment, people's convenience, and even for the GDP of the country the more we're utilizing these assets." So, picture ride-sharing services that you can order to pick up your smartphone-averse grandparents to go grocery shopping or in Superhost Gates's case, helping people prep their houses or spare rooms for home-sharing services. Hennessey says, "I think we're just getting started with a lot of these services." And don't overlook perhaps the least dis- cussed aspect of the sharing economy — the community-building part of it. Gates says she'll go out of the way to stay at an Airbnb location to reunite with hosts who have wel- comed her before. "You kind of become friends with the peo- ple. You want to go back and finish your con- versations," she says. 122 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 Getting Their Fair Share

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