Perhaps a better way to understand the new sharing economy than using Uber or Airbnb's services (after all these businesses are for-profit) is through a "library of things." I really like the idea. A similar principle already exists in the form of seed banks, from which you can obtain seeds as long as you bring back seeds from your harvest at the end of the season to replenish the seed bank.
Libraries of Things go beyond lending books, movies and magazines, as a recent NY Times article explained. They lend tools, equipment or things to community members. The benefits are multifold. For one, you as an individual won't need to invest in the cost of say an expensive 3-D printer to experiment with, or buy a pair of snowshoes for that once-in-a-while winter hike. The investment happens at the community level, for which we all chip in via our local taxes. At the same time an economy in manufacturing develops because less stuff needs to get made. Moreover, access to such a library reduces the stuff you need to store and upkeep. It is likely that you only use your hedge clippers or power drill a few times a year. Why not borrow one from a tool library instead of buying a brand new expensive tool that sits idle most of the time, collects dust and takes up real estate in your garage?
Along similar lines there are hour exchanges, where you get time, help and experience from others for services you need against time for your expertise, as well as babysitting services. All neat ideas to explore sharing and meeting new people.