The change that triggered this conflict came fast: Airbnb, the key player in the drama, has succeeded mightily in the mere seven years since it blossomed in Northern California’s fertile start-up soil. Its business model — make it easy for budget-minded travelers to connect with homeowners eager to bolster their recession-era bottom lines — led to global expansion.
Venture capitalists threw money its way, pushing its value toward $20 billion and inspiring a slew of imitators to jump into the water. As such websites have grown in popularity, some users have taken the “sharing” model to another level, operating entire homes and buildings much like hotels. Read full article.