Lame marketing gimmicks: Sharing economy companies have handily won over early tech adopters, but they have to prove their worth to average folks who don't live in the Bay Area. So a few enterprising companies regularly do promotions -- or what I call gimmicks -- to get people to sign up. Want an ice cream truck or a kitten to cuddle? You could order those on-demand during promotions this year. They're silly but effective at grabbing people's attention. Uber's latest, a $135 Christmas tree delivery run in New York , was particularly ridiculous, because you can get a tree in New York for less than $50 -- and most tree lots offer delivery.
A serious concern: Sometimes it seems sharing apps face such intense scrutiny because they're up-ending traditional industries, but we forget that consumer protections exist for a reason: to keep people from getting ripped off or hurt. Stories about Lyft drivers who harass their passengers, Uber drivers who get in car accidents, or Airbnb hosts who use the site to run illegal hotel operations might be few and far between, but those outliers could poison the well for everyone.