TaskRabbit

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pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

The change meant that for every $107.50 spent by a customer, TaskRabbit received $37.50 and the worker earned $70. The TaskRabbit listing on Peers.com, a now defunct nonprofit created to support the sharing economy, further highlighted the company’s entrepreneurial ethos. Before the Peers.com website content disappeared, the site noted that, “as a Tasker, you can use your skills and free time to become a microentrepreneur and build your business.” The TaskRabbit Tasker resource site even included a link to print-quality logos so that workers could “create your own marketing materials to promote your business on TaskRabbit,” along with the suggestion that Taskers “build their business” by customizing their TaskRabbit URL. However, research suggests that there were limits to the type of small business formation supported by TaskRabbit. Juliet Schor’s graduate students at Boston College found that Taskers had generally positive views of the service before the first pivot, and several respondents were using it as an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Trust is generally defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, and ability of something; but in the sharing economy, trust is easily conjured—Airbnb’s website even features a TED Talk by cofounder Joe Gebbia on how the service “designs for trust.” TaskRabbit also markets its “trust and safety” efforts, which include an identity check, criminal-offense screening, and a two-hour orientation that discusses the best practices for success on the TaskRabbit platform. As the TaskRabbit website explains, “We share knowledge of what creates a great task so that [Taskers] can deliver safe and superior experiences.” Again, trust is something the user demonstrates to TaskRabbit and its workers—not something TaskRabbit is willing to rely on. This expropriation of positive terms such as trust and sharing is often crucial to the marketing of the sharing economy and serves to mislead and redirect, painting an image of trustworthy friends as opposed to workers and de facto temporary employers.

Or maybe it was a client who had asked about paying him outside the platform, a violation of the TaskRabbit terms of service.2 When we met, he read me his email from TaskRabbit: You have violated the following TaskRabbit policy: “Don’t display unprofessional or unbecoming communication or behavior in any form. . . .” Due to this we have removed you from the TaskRabbit community. Please do not continue to contact clients or continue with any of your scheduled tasks. If you have started work on any tasks that have not been completed, please let us know immediately. Make sure that all payments owed to you from your account balance will be paid on the next cycle. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this email, the TaskRabbit policy team is available via email and by phone, appointment only. He had emailed back immediately to ask for the first available meeting and to learn more about the claims against him.


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Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

On occasion, more exotic transport modes, including boats and helicopters, are also offered: Justia Trademarks, ‘Everyone’s private driver: trademark details’, https://trademarks.justia.com/858/16/everyone-s-private-85816634.html, archived at https://perma.cc/9AEQ-SHNV 9. TaskRabbit Support, ‘Is TaskRabbit in my city?’, https://support.taskrabbit. com/hc/en-us/articles/204411090-Is-TaskRabbit-in-my-city-, archived at https://perma.cc/8RC8-GV5H 10. TaskRabbit Support, ‘The TaskRabbit trust & support fee’, https://support.task- rabbit.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204943200-The-TaskRabbit-Trust-Safety-Fee, archived at https://perma.cc/2EDG-7MHT * * * 144 Notes 11. TaskRabbit Support, ‘Ratings and reviews on the TaskRabbit platform’, https:// support.taskrabbit.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204668060-Ratings-and-Reviews- on-the-TaskRabbit-Platform-, archived at https://perma.cc/FEE8-UN7W 12. Sara Horowith, founder and executive director of Freelancers Union, com- menting on an Upwork press release about 2014 US freelancing figures: Upwork, ‘53 million Americans now freelance, new study finds’, http://www.

com/business/2017/apr/05/deliveroo-couriers-employees-managers, archived at https://perma.cc/XW66-CAE5; Sarah O’Connor, ‘Deliveroo pedals the new language of the gig economy’, Financial Times (5 April 2017), http://www. ft.com/content/9ad4f936-1a26-11e7-bcac-6d03d067f81f, archived at https:// perma.cc/KY7L-YZ6F * * * 156 Notes 48. TaskRabbit, ‘Featured tasks’, http://www.taskrabbit.com/m/featured, archived at https://perma.cc/RZY2-BGCP (emphasis added). 49. TaskRabbit, ‘Terms of service’, http://www.taskrabbit.com/terms, archived at https://perma.cc/S6ZM-VXUS. The UK equivalent (http://www.taskrabbit. co.uk/terms, archived at https://perma.cc/XTH7-Q8V4) attempts to set up functionally equivalent legal structures. We return to a legal analysis of these terms in Chapter 5. 50. Julia Tomassetti, ‘Does Uber redefine the firm? The postindustrial corporation and advanced information technology’ (2016) 34(1) Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal 239, 293: Uber and Lyft sublimate their agency in the production of ride services into algo- rithms, programming, and technology management.

* * * Notes 163 50. M. Six Silberman, Human-Centered Computing and the Future of Work: Lessons from the Mechanical Turk and Turkopticon, 2008–2015 (PhD dissertation, University of California Irvine 2015), 3, http://wtf.tw/text/lessons_from_amt_and_turkop- ticon_summary.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/2WN3-D7F5 51. TaskRabbit, The TaskRabbit Handbook (on file with author), 9; Task Rabbit, ‘Community guidelines’, https://support.taskrabbit.com/hc/en-us/articles/ 204409440-TaskRabbit-Community-Guidelines, archived at https://perma. cc/VX4Q-77CT; Josh Dzieza, ‘The rating game: how Uber and its peers turned us into horrible bosses’, The Verge (28 October 2015), http://www.theverge. com/2015/10/28/9625968/rating-system-on-demand-economy-uber-olive- garden, archived at https://perma.cc/CVU4-GEV7; Benjamin Sachs, ‘Uber and Lyft: customer reviews and the right to control’, On Labor (20 May 2015), http://onlabor.org/2015/05/20/uber-and-lyft-customer-reviews-and-the- right-to-control/, archived at https://perma.cc/9TNM-Y95X 52.


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What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

90 Fenske, “After Our Uber Exposé, Their PR Team Tried to Dupe Us.” 91 Reporter, “Uber Sought To Hire Opposition Researcher To ‘Weaponize Facts.’” 92 Geist, “Popular yet Controversial App-Based Car Service Has No Privacy Policy Specific to Canada.” 93 Powell, “City Councillor Asks Federal Taxman to Investigate after Email States Riders Aren’t Charged HST. Uber Canada Says Its Drivers Are Responsible for Collecting and Remitting the Tax.” Chapter 5 1 Crunchbase, “TaskRabbit.” 2 Silver, “The Sharing Economy: A Whole New Way of Living.” 3 Carhart, “The Ten Ninety Nihilists.” 4 Shontell, “My Nightmare Experience As A TaskRabbit Drone.” 5 Raphel, “TaskRabbit Redux.” 6 Said, “TaskRabbit Makes Some Workers Hopping Mad.” 7 TaskRabbit, “TaskRabbit Announces Novel Integration with Amazon Home Services.” 8 Wohlsen, “Google Pours Millions Into New Tech Gold Rush: Housecleaning.” 9 Jordan, “Unpacking the Grocery Stack.” 10 DePillis, “At the Uber for Home Cleaning, Workers Pay a Price for Convenience.” 11 Geron, “Startup Homejoy Works With Public Sector To Find Home Cleaners.” 12 Roose, “Does Silicon Valley Have a Contract-Worker Problem?”

He always posts that it’s four loads of laundry and every time I did his laundry it filled 10 or 15 double loading washers. It was a mountain of laundry and it was all covered in cat diarrhea.4 Leah Busque responded to Shontell, and emphasized that “TaskRabbits take on only the jobs they want to complete. TaskRabbit is an open marketplace. As such, TaskRabbits are free to bid on the jobs they find ­attractive—taking into consideration the amount of time involved, the nature of the work, etc. No TaskRabbit is ever forced into any job or task. One thing to note is one person’s imperfect task is another person’s ideal task. It is not up to us but rather the TaskRabbits themselves to decide which tasks to bid on.” Carhart took up the claim “that violations of employment standards are ‘not our problem’ and ‘not up to us,’ with labor lawyer Catherine Ruckelshaus, who responded: That’s the narrative that employers who misclassify their workers as independent contractors use.

“How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other.” Wired Magazine, April 23, 2014. http://www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy/. Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D. Williams. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Expanded ed., paperback ed. New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin, 2010. TaskRabbit. “TaskRabbit Announces Novel Integration with Amazon Home Services.” TaskRabbit Blog. Accessed June 19, 2015. http://blog.taskrabbit.com/2015/03/30/taskrabbit-announces-novel-integration-with-amazon-home-services/. Taylor, Astra. The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. New York: Picador, Henry Holt and Company, 2015. The Linux Foundation. “About Us.” Linux Foundation Web Site. Accessed August 23, 2015. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/about-linux.


pages: 394 words: 57,287

Unleashed by Anne Morriss, Frances Frei

"side hustle", Airbnb, Donald Trump, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Jeff Bezos, Netflix Prize, Network effects, performance metric, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, women in the workforce

The model seems to work as long as labor suppliers—contractors providing the final, consumer-facing step in the service—can capture a reasonable surplus.16 Many companies have struggled to pull this off, but an inspirational exception is TaskRabbit, the company that in many ways launched the gig economy. One of the lessons of TaskRabbit’s evolution is that even gig companies can create business models where everyone wins: customers, companies, and, yes, even suppliers. Strategic transformation at TaskRabbit TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot (remember her from chapter 1?) made the leap from Google to TaskRabbit (initially in the COO role) when she felt a calling to do something new. She was captivated by the chance to empower an organization: “How can I help a community of people do something more than they could otherwise accomplish on their own?”17 The breakthrough business model she encountered at TaskRabbit had proven you could build a business that connected consumers to freelance workers, but there were cracks in the model that Brown-Philpot felt she could address.

Neil Irwin, “Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers after All,” New York Times, September 15, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/15/upshot/gig-economy-limits-labor-market-uber-california.html. 17. David Gelles, “Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit on Being a Black Woman in Silicon Valley,” New York Times, July 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/business/stacy-brown-philpot-taskrabbit-corner-office.html. 18. David Lee, “On the Record: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” BBC News, September 15, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49684677. 19. Casey Newton, “TaskRabbit Is Blowing Up Its Business Model and Becoming the Uber for Everything,” The Verge, June 17, 2014, https://www.theverge.com/2014/6/17/5816254/taskrabbit-blows-up-its-auction-house-to-offer-services-on-demand. 20. Lee, “On the Record: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot.” 21. James K. Willcox, “Cable TV Fees Continue to Climb,” Consumer Reports, October 15, 2019, https://www.consumerreports.org/tv-service/cable-tv-fees/. 22.

We introduced an earlier version of this definition in an article in Harvard Business Review (January–February 2011) that we wrote with our colleague Robin Ely titled “Stop Holding Yourself Back.” Robin has been an important collaborator and inspiration to us personally and professionally. She makes us better. 2. David Gelles, “Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit on Being a Black Woman in Silicon Valley,” New York Times, July 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/business/stacy-brown-philpot-taskrabbit-corner-office.html. 3. Dave Lee, “On the Record: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” BBC News, September 15, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49684677. 4. Reid Hoffman, “Keep Humans in the Equation—with TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” Masters of Scale (podcast), October 9, 2019, https://mastersofscale.com/stacy-brown-philpot-keep-humans-in-the-equation-masters-of-scale-podcast/. 5. “The Reid Hoffman Story—Make Everyone a Hero,” WaitWhat, Masters of Scale (podcast), October 23, 2019, https://mastersofscale.com/reid-hoffman-make-everyone-a-hero/. 6.


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The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

Similar to Trade School, the babysitting co-op app TimesFree, started by Francis Jervis, a PhD student at NYU, represents a gift economy with some market economy elements to it. Communities set up co-ops with a virtual currency: each participant is issued a set of “tokens”; one earns tokens by babysitting, and one spends tokens on getting sitters. By contrast, labor markets like TaskRabbit and Handy have few, if any, gift economy dimensions. On TaskRabbit, prospective providers (called “taskers”) are hired by clients at hourly rates chosen by the taskers, and can choose filters to ensure that they are only matched with jobs that meet their preferences, such as their minimum hourly rate or the times when they are available. TaskRabbit is thus a matching market for labor services. You might make friends with your tasker, but in the same way you’d make friends with your local grocery checkout clerk. The Sharing Economy and Human Connectedness There are numerous other sectors in which one sees platforms that span the market-to-gift continuum.

After all, why hire a cleaner or repairperson on Craigslist when you can hire one who has been background-screened on TaskRabbit or Handy?2 True, the cleaner or repairperson you hire on TaskRabbit may end up having pretty much the same skills as one you could have found on Craigslist. You may be happy or unhappy with either person. But on Craigslist, there are no checks and balances. You could be letting anyone into your home. If you don’t like the job these providers do, you can choose not to hire them again, but there’s nowhere to launch a complaint if something is damaged or stolen. Of course, this also means that there is less motivation for the cleaners and movers you find on Craigslist to do a great job. After all, while they may lose a potential repeat client, they won’t lose future customers. In contrast, if you hire a cleaner or mover on TaskRabbit or Handy, you not only get someone who has been vetted by the platform but, more importantly, if that person does a bad job, you can give him or her a bad rating.

Table 3.1 provides some dimensions associated with hierarchies and with markets, classifying four popular platforms (Uber, Airbnb, Etsy, and TaskRabbit) along each of 22 dimensions. (I return to many of these dimensions in chapter 8, showing how they may also be useful in assessing ways in which the providers to a platform are “employee-like,” or whether the platforms themselves are supportive of sharing economy entrepreneurship.) Table 3.1 Platforms: hierarchies, markets, or hybrids? *Some Uber drivers are constrained by their auto loans. **In some cities, Uber’s staff may send information to drivers suggesting when to be available and where. ***Airbnb has a pricing tool built into the platform. ****TaskRabbit makes active suggestions, and perhaps restricts many customers from browsing all available providers. My MBA students Andrew Covell, Varun Jain, and June Khin at NYU Stern have helped me classify over a hundred sharing economy platforms using this framework.


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Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Still, Nandini didn’t have much of a choice, so she dove in and committed herself to TaskRabbit with the same alacrity she had shown toward her job search. She had always liked cleaning, finding it a great stress reliever, so she sought out those jobs, along with food service, cooking, office organization, event hosting, and similar work. She found that many of the people she worked for were gracious, but some seemed to have no idea how to handle a stranger working in their home. One well-to-do NYU student, who hired Nandini to clean the West Village apartment she owned, sat on the floor staring at Nandini as she worked. Other challenges emerged. Because Nandini was bidding for jobs, she found, as many other TaskRabbit workers have, that she had to continually lower her rates in order to compete. That, combined with the 20 percent cut that TaskRabbit takes on every gig, made it difficult to earn much more than minimum wage—a particularly tough prospect in an expensive city such as New York.

What might be most draining is the daily race to find good tasks before the competition does. “You can bid on every single TaskRabbit job and never hear back,” she said. The most she might hear is a one-sentence apology telling her that the task went to someone else. Other tasks offered less than minimum wage or would be frustratingly vague, not listing the time required or explaining the work involved. Still more are downright bizarre: requests for girls to pose as escorts and accompany men to a party; invitations to follow someone’s girlfriend; demands for people of certain ethnicities. A couple of weeks before we met, TaskRabbit had suddenly changed its bidding system, completely altering its mechanics and leaving some less experienced TaskRabbit members in the lurch. Under this new system, contractors such as Nandini no longer bid for jobs—a process which, while it pushed down wages, at least gave her some control and allowed her to seek out work on her own initiative.

The company acts essentially as a search engine or aggregator, bringing the parties together, contributing little, bearing the least amount of risk of anyone involved, and pocketing a nice fee. Uber, for instance, takes about 20 percent of each fare from UberX, its popular, low-budget offering, along with a $1 safety fee. As with online labor markets, the app serves as the ultimate mediator. No one ever has to meet, which is by design. As one TaskRabbit worker remarked: “That’s part of the strategy of TaskRabbit—to keep us apart from one another. We can’t message each other on the Web site. The only way you get to meet another TaskRabbit is if you post a task, and I think they do this to keep us apart because they don’t want us fixing the process. They don’t want us unionizing.” Nor are sharing economy workers ever truly employed in the sense that most people are used to. When a group of Uber drivers assembled outside the company’s headquarters to protest their firing, the company’s general manager said that the drivers weren’t employees and that, when they were fired, it simply amounted to deactivating the drivers’ accounts.


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Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, digital map, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit, turn-by-turn navigation, ubercab

From its initial $500,000 seed money financing to successive rounds of funding well into the millions, Mixpanel has not gone begging. In the wake of a $10 million funding deal in May 2012 Doshi told VentureBeat, “Mixpanel has been cashflow positive for a while, so we weren’t in a hurry to raise funding.” TaskRabbit The online and mobile marketplace TaskRabbit was launched in 2008 in Boston as “RunMyErrand.” It became TaskRabbit in 2010 to avoid perceived limitations in the word “errand” and to go with a name that was more memorable and fun. At the same time, the base of operations was changed to San Francisco. TaskRabbit is a venue for outsourcing small neighborhood jobs to pre-approved “TaskRabbits” who compete for job listings that describe the required task and give an offered price or ask for bids. Dropping the word “errand” from the service’s name helped branding. While users might hire someone to run to the grocery store for them, the job might also be assembling a shelving unit or organizing a closet.

The more all-encompassing word “task” was chosen to open up user’s imagination about why and how they might utilize the service. In May 2011, TaskRabbit secured $5 million in financing with 2,000 TaskRabbits proving the concept was workable. Over the course of a year, the service expanded into four more markets: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County and also launched a mobile app. A second round of funding to the tune of $17.8 million in December 2011 allowed the company to focus on their product development, including incorporating a gamified approach. Top workers are ranked on a leader board that also displays their average customer reviews. This kind of peer-to-peer sharing involves crafting a perception of trust so users are willing to do business with strangers. Each potential TaskRabbit is given a criminal background check and interviewed via video before they are approved.

The site design emphasizes this guarantee, “Find safe, reliable help in your neighborhood” from “20,000+ Background Checked TaskRabbits.” Sign-up is free and requires only an email address and a zip code, a dead simple method taken from the playbook of highly successful buy low-key sites like DropBox. TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque advocates staying in constant update mode to make sure that users are always having the best possible experience with the product. Every two weeks the company tests its site design, user experience, and other features with A/B testing through Kissmetrics. For instance, the company studies the effectiveness of photos versus illustrations on the front page and determined that photos result in twice as many sign-up. There is a strong emphasis on the company’s culture to ensure that everyone hired reflects the quality of the brand. TaskRabbit values openness with a helpful, collaborative, and friendly approach.


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The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Alyson Shontell, “Founder Q&A: Make a Boatload of Money Doing Your Neighbor’s Chores on TaskRabbit,” Business Insider, October 27, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com/taskrabbit-interview-2011-10 (accessed August 12, 2013). 29. Tomio Geron, “Airbnb and the Unstoppable Rise of the Share Economy,” Forbes, January 23, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/01/23/airbnb-and-the-unstoppable-rise-of-the-share-economy/ (accessed August 12, 2013). 30. Johnny B., “TaskRabbit Names Google Veteran Stacy Brown-Philpot as Chief Operating Officer,” TaskRabbit Blog, January 14, 2013, https://www.taskrabbit.com/blog/taskrabbit-news/taskrabbit-names-google-veteran-stacy-brown-philpot-as-chief-operating-officer/ (accessed August 12, 2013). 31. Johnny B., “TaskRabbit Welcomes 1,000 New TaskRabbits Each Month,” TaskRabbit Blog, April 23, 2013, https://www.taskrabbit.com/blog/taskrabbit-news/taskrabbit-welcomes-1000-new-taskrabbits-each-month/. 32.

., “TaskRabbit Welcomes 1,000 New TaskRabbits Each Month,” TaskRabbit Blog, April 23, 2013, https://www.taskrabbit.com/blog/taskrabbit-news/taskrabbit-welcomes-1000-new-taskrabbits-each-month/. 32. “Employment Situation News Release,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 3, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.htm. Chapter 15 TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE 1. Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999); Interim Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout (New York Independent System Operator, January 8, 2004), http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hepg/Papers/NYISO.blackout.report.8.Jan.04.pdf. 2. Steven Cherry, “How Stuxnet Is Rewriting the Cyberterrorism Playbook,” IEEE Spectrum podcast, October 13, 2010, http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/telecom/security/how-stuxnet-is-rewriting-the-cyberterrorism-playbook. 3. Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired, April 2000, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html. 4.

In fact, it’s given rise to a large new crop of companies, often grouped together as the ‘peer economy.’ Peer economy companies satisfy their customers’ requests by crowdsourcing them. Some of the graphs you see in this book, for example, were generated or improved by people we’d never met before. We found them by posting a request for help with the task to TaskRabbit, a company founded by software engineer Leah Busque in 2008. Busque got the idea for TaskRabbit after she ran out of dog food one night and realized that there was no quick and easy way for her to use the Internet to find (and pay) someone willing to pick some up for her.28 That same year, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk also launched a website that used the Internet and the crowd to better match supply and demand. In their case, the demand was not for help with a task, but instead for a place to stay.


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Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Wave and Pay

That’s why social curation tends to be more inefficient on platforms with higher sampling costs. CURATING SERVICES Services marketplaces like oDesk, Fiverr, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit rely on social curation. In these instances, two additional factors need to be considered to determine the effectiveness of social curation: 1. The ability of the platform to own the end-to-end interaction 2. The service cycle A platform that can own the end-to-end interaction is more likely to succeed in capturing user inputs on quality. For example, Upwork and Clarity enable the exchange of services on-platform, whereas Airbnb and TaskRabbit require the exchange of services to be conducted off-platform. When the actual exchange occurs on-platform, the consumer of services (and, in some cases, even the producer) may be asked to rate the other party within the context of the exchange.

Freelancers who don’t get business within X days, requests that don’t get satisfied within Y minutes, and products that aren’t liquidated within a certain period may all be indicative of interaction failure. The exact measure of interaction failure will vary by platform, and the importance of tracking interaction failure will, in turn, depend on the multihoming costs. Tracking and avoiding interaction failure is an ongoing discipline that all platform-scale businesses must embrace. 3.9 INTERACTION OWNERSHIP AND THE TASKRABBIT PROBLEM When The Ecosystem Avoids The Platform Platforms that connect non-standardized service providers with clients (such as TaskRabbit and Upwork) are faced with a unique challenge. Most such platforms cannot facilitate a transaction before the buyer and seller meet and discuss the scope and terms of service. However, connecting the buyer and seller often encourages off-platform collusion, in which the buyer and seller take the transaction off-platform to avoid the transaction cut that the platform charges.

Connecting buyers and sellers directly before charging the transaction cut weakens the platform’s ability to capture value. The party that is charged the transaction cut is motivated to abandon the platform and conduct the transaction off-platform. This problem is further enhanced when the delivery of the service requires the buyer and seller to meet in person. A platform like TaskRabbit enables users to find service providers locally. Since the delivery of service may often involve an in-person meeting, the payments may also be executed in person. This prevents the platform from extracting the transaction cut. Finally, on platforms like TaskRabbit, a client may want to continue using the same plumber for subsequent interactions once he finds a good one. Every time the platform enables a successful interaction, it is reducing its repeatability, as the client and the service provider can connect off-platform for subsequent interactions.


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The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The Battery member and Uber investor Shervin Pishevar expressed this same techno-libertarian fantasy in under 140 characters. “Let’s just TaskRabbit and Uberize the Government,” Pishevar tweeted to his 57,000 followers.63 He might as well have said: Let’s just TaskRabbit and Uberize the economy. Let’s just turn everything into the so-called sharing economy, a hyperefficient and frictionless platform for networked buyers and sellers. Let’s outsource labor so that everyone is paid by the day, by the hour, by the minute. Because that’s indeed what is happening to the Bay Area economy, with some Oakland residents even crowdfunding their own private police force64 and Facebook (of course) being the first US private company to pay for a full-time, privately paid “community safety police officer” on its campus.65 Pishevar probably believes that unions should be Uberized and TaskRabbited, too. But, of course, with freelance Web service platforms like TaskRabbit—which provide such short-term “jobs” as waiting in line to buy a new iPhone on behalf of one of San Francisco’s lazy “meritocrats”—there is no role for unions, no place for anything protecting the rights of the laborer, no collective sense of identity, no dignity of work.

But, of course, with freelance Web service platforms like TaskRabbit—which provide such short-term “jobs” as waiting in line to buy a new iPhone on behalf of one of San Francisco’s lazy “meritocrats”—there is no role for unions, no place for anything protecting the rights of the laborer, no collective sense of identity, no dignity of work. TaskRabbit has even managed to offend traditional freelancers, with the executive director of the FreelanceUnion arguing that “the trend of stripping work down to discrete, short-term projects without benefits for workers is troubling.”66 TaskRabbit calls its iPhone service #SkipTheLine. But actually, the economic system being rigged up is all about the Bay Area’s wealthy techies—who, surprise-surprise, tend to be as white, male, and young as those awesome dudes at FailCon—skipping a more fundamental line.

If you don’t like it, walk, Uber tells its customers, with Kalanickian tact, about a service that uses “surge” pricing—a euphemism for price gouging—which has resulted in fares being 700–800% above normal on holidays or in bad weather.12 During a particularly ferocious December 2013 snowstorm in New York City, one unfortunate Uber rider paid $94 for a trip of less than two miles that took just eleven minutes.13 Even the rich and famous are being outrageously ripped off by the unregulated Uber service, with Jessica Seinfeld, Jerry’s wife, being charged $415 during that same December storm to take her kid across Manhattan.14 Along with other startups such as Joe Gebbia’s Airbnb and the labor network TaskRabbit, Uber’s business model is based upon circumventing supposedly archaic twentieth-century regulations to create a “what you want when you want it” twenty-first-century economy. They believe that the Internet, as a hyperefficient and so-called frictionless platform for buyers and sellers, is the solution to what they call the “inefficiencies” of the twentieth-century economy. No matter that much of the business generated at networks like Airbnb is under investigation by US authorities, with many of the fifteen thousand “hosts” in New York not paying tax on their rental income.15 Nor that TaskRabbit’s so-called distributed-workforce model—whose simple goal, according to its CEO, Leah Busque, is to “revolutionize the world’s labor force”16—profits from what Brad Stone calls the “backbreaking” and “soul-draining” nature of low-paying menial labor.17 “This revolutionary work built out of Silicon Valley convenience is not really about technological innovation,” warns the podcaster and writer Sarah Jaffe about the role of labor brokers like TaskRabbit in our increasingly unequal economy.


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Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Query your favorite search engine for images of “women laughing alone with salad,” and you’ll see a cliché used to evoke health and happiness. I suggest taking a look if you haven’t recently—partly because it’s hard not to laugh at the fake emotions, but mainly because a similar caricature shows up in how on-demand service platforms market themselves. TaskRabbit, for example, portrays images of smiling helpers cleaning kitchens while women hold babies. Unlike stock photos, however, we meet TaskRabbit in real life. Their marketing may be full of clichés, but on-demand service platforms are also full of opportunities for us to become emotionally invested. Platforms like TaskRabbit leverage our emotional investment to grow their user base. Their user experience is designed to delight us, especially at key moments around transactions. When interacting with a chef, host, or any service provider who loves their job or gig, we enjoy acts of kindness that have little to do with rating systems.

We started by concentrating on nonprofit grassroots initiatives that were trying to re-shape the way Americans get access to, exchange, and consume goods and services, such as a time bank and a food swap. We later added educational and learning sites, such as online courses and workshops that offer “upskilling,” and a makerspace. Then we moved on to the far more controversial for-profits, such as Airbnb, and peer-to-peer car rental sites. We’ve also been studying on-demand labor sites, including TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Favor. We’re interested in many aspects of these innovative arrangements. How are they organized? Who is benefiting from them? How do people (on both sides of the markets) feel about them? What are the dynamics of inequality and access that operate in these spaces? Participants in the platform cooperativism movement have high ambitions to create platforms that are owned and governed by their users, that embody principles of equality and access, and that serve the common good.

Incredibly, the share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent is no higher today than during our grandparents’ time. It’s as if the New Deal had never existed. RACE TO THE BOTTOM IN THE FREELANCE SOCIETY Now a new and alarming mash-up of Silicon Valley technology and Wall Street greed is thrusting upon us the latest economic trend: the so-called sharing (or gig) economy. Companies like Uber, Instacart, Upwork, and TaskRabbit allegedly are “liberating workers” to become “independent entrepreneurs” and the “CEOs of their own businesses.” In reality, these workers also are contractors, with little choice but to hire themselves out for ever-smaller jobs (“gigs”) at low wages and with no safety net, while the companies profit. Silicon Valley is redesigning the corporation itself. These gig companies are little more than a website and an app, with a small number of executives and regular employees who oversee an army of freelancers, temps, and contractors.


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The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Airbnb nets 9–15 per cent on every booking. TaskRabbit charges 30 per cent of the task fee (15 per cent for repeat bookings) and obliges the client to pay an extra 5 per cent for its insurance guarantee scheme. The revenues gained from these transaction fees far outweigh the cost of services provided by the platform – development of the technology, administering booking and payment systems and so on. The platforms insist that taskers are not employees but independent contractors, so are not covered by labour laws, entitling them to certain benefits and safeguards, including, in the USA and elsewhere, the right to unionise. Uber goes to great lengths to justify the independent contractor label, describing drivers as part-time ‘driver-partners’ who choose to provide rides using the Uber platform. TaskRabbit’s support centre poses the rhetorical question ‘Do Taskers work for TaskRabbit?’

TaskRabbit’s support centre poses the rhetorical question ‘Do Taskers work for TaskRabbit?’ and gives its answer: ‘No, they do not. Taskers are local entrepreneurs and independent contractors who work for themselves. TaskRabbit simply provides the platform for Clients and Taskers to meet. We vet and background-check all Taskers before allowing them onto the platform to ensure they are professional and reliable individuals.’ This is disingenuous. Most taskers are neither entrepreneurial nor independent; few will build a business based on queuing for iPhone buyers, as some are tasked to do. But it would be equally wrong to call them ‘employees’ in the classic sense of that term; they are not directly supervised, they own the main means of production and, in principle, they have control over their working time. However, taskers are not self-employed either.

How can politicians look into TV cameras and say we have a free market system when patents guarantee monopoly incomes for twenty years, preventing anyone from competing? How can they claim there are free markets when copyright rules give a guaranteed income for seventy years after a person’s death? How can they claim free markets exist when one person or company is given a subsidy and not others, or when they sell off the commons that belong to all of us, at a discount, to a favoured individual or company, or when Uber, TaskRabbit and their ilk act as unregulated labour brokers, profiting from the labour of others? Far from trying to stop these negations of free markets, governments are creating rules that allow and encourage them. That is what this book is about. ONE MAN’S NIGHTMARE… There he was, speaking to the 2015 Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in the principality of Monaco, in the company of glamorous wealth.


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Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Work by Sarah Kessler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, financial independence, future of work, game design, gig economy, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, law of one price, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, payday loans, post-work, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Eventually the true independence of the micro-entrepreneurs these businesses relied upon would be challenged in court; workers who felt exploited rather than emancipated by on-demand labor would complicate an otherwise utopian narrative; and what became known as the “gig economy” would attract attention to the ways in which the rest of the economy was unprepared for the future of work. But at the height of “Uber for X,” few people in the startup world batted an eye. As the then-CEO of the odd job–marketplace TaskRabbit put it, the gig economy was on track to “revolutionize the world’s labor force.”12 CHAPTER 2 NO SHIFTS. NO BOSS. NO LIMITS. By the end of 2014, Uber had launched in Paris, Sydney, and London, and its momentum was so strong that Fast Company ran a story headlined “How Uber Conquered the World.”1 The five-year-old startup was launching in a new city nearly every other day. Not just in global cities, but in Flint, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Salt Lake City, Utah—places where cabs have never been prevalent.

A Forbes cover story in 2013 explained that the sharing economy and gig economy had created “an economic revolution that is quietly turning millions of people into part-time entrepreneurs.”13 Tech journalists and bloggers, perhaps having spent too much time immersed in the optimism of entrepreneurs, typically went for full-out hype. “Will You Leave Your Job to Join the Sharing Economy?” prompted the tech blog VentureBeat in a 2013 headline.14 The article’s author had met a Lyft driver who also worked for TaskRabbit, a website on which neighbors could hire each other to complete odd jobs. She had also posted her apartment on the peer-to-peer lodging website Airbnb. “The combination of these three things is making her more money than she made working full time,” the article’s author gushed. “Plus, she feels like she’s working for herself without the risk of starting her own company.” The conclusion was in sync with Silicon Valley’s vision: “I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a year where we start to hear about people leaving full-time employment to do a combination of different shared services so they can have a more flexible schedule.”

Rather, it had the opposite effect: It created international competition for jobs, even some local ones that the people of Dumas would have had to themselves without the internet. Dumas wasn’t unique in this regard. In a preliminary study, NYU Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan plotted the hourly wages of workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who found jobs through the odd jobs website TaskRabbit against the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s average wage rates for the same area. He found that workers who won gigs online actually earned more than their offline peers when the job required a physical presence, such as electrical work or carpentry. His hypothesis was that because the gig economy website made it less of a hassle to find workers to complete these jobs, more people sought services, which pushed wages up.


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Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

Uber trades on our cultural assumptions about technology to frame every driver as his or her own boss, implying that its platform fosters a collaborative and equitable environment without traditional top-down labor or management hierarchies. This is an illusion, but sharing rhetoric does overlay longer histories of contingent work. The gig-economy job offerings at Uber, TaskRabbit, and Fiverr are a feature of low-wage work already. As sociologist Julia Ticona discussed with me in conversation, for low-wage workers it’s not a choice between TaskRabbit or Uber and a forty-hour-a-week job with benefits. It’s TaskRabbit or twenty hours a week at McDonald’s and the other twenty hours at a friend’s hardware store. The blend of formal and informal work blurs all the categories of employment we’ve held sacred for a long time.56 Nonetheless, sharing-economy companies have had remarkable success in redefining the nature of work as a technology phenomenon and as a form of “sharing,” because technology can be framed as a countersolution to more predatory forms of commerce.

Instead, Uberland is an exploration of how Uber and other corporate giants in Silicon Valley are redefining everything we know about work in the twenty-first century through subtle changes ushered in by technology. Chapter 1 traces the rise of Uber in the context of a new sharing economy. In the midst of declining economic conditions and class mobility at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, technological innovations sparked the rise of companies like Uber, TaskRabbit, and Airbnb, sparking rapid changes for American workers in the process. Against this backdrop, chapter 2 explores Uber’s success in constructing a mass workforce by examining the kinds of workers who decide to drive with the platform and exploring their motivation. Given that each group of drivers—full-timers, part-timers, and hobbyists—has unique needs, Uber has found ways to divide and conquer by pitting drivers against each other.

Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors in the eyes of the law and termed “driver-partners” in Uber’s official lexicon: these categorizations imply a higher level of autonomy and equity in the company than they have in practice. The company positions drivers as “partners” with messages like “be your own boss and “get paid in fares for driving on your own schedule.” Other digital economy labor platforms, like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and sharing economy companies like TaskRabbit, call their workers, respectively, “Turkers” and “Taskers” or “Rabbits” and bill them as entrepreneurs or micropreneurs.46 This careful dance with terminology distances platform employers from the rules and norms of labor law.47 These new platform companies attempt to align themselves with a lineage of “cooperative commerce”48 or acts of mutual help and generosity like hitchhiking, carpooling, and couch surfing.


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Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

., “Soylent: A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside,” 2010, http://courses.cse.tamu.edu/caverlee/csce438/readings/soylent.pdf. 260 people who identify as designers: Topcoder, “Topcoder Is Different,” accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.topcoder.com/member-onboarding/topcoder-is-different. 261 Kaggle: Kaggle, accessed March 10, 2017, https://www.kaggle.com. 261 officiating at a wedding: JamieV2014, “Task of the Week: Perform My Marriage,” TaskRabbit (blog), March 26, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/03/26/task-of-the-week-perform-my-marriage. 261 delivering ice cream cake: LauraTaskRabbit, “Task of the Week: Deliver Ice Cream Cake to My Grandpa,” TaskRabbit (blog), November 18, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/11/18/task-of-the-week-deliver-ice-cream-cake-to-my-grandpa. 261 waiting in line at the Apple Store: JamieV2014, “We’re First in Line at the Apple Store,” TaskRabbit (blog), September 17, 2012, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2012/09/17/were-first-in-line-at-the-apple-store. 261 The TV show Veronica Mars: IMDb, s. v. “Veronica Mars: TV Series (2004–2007),” accessed February 8, 2017, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412253. 262 To find out, they launched a campaign: Rob Thomas, “The Veronica Mars Movie Project,” Kickstarter, accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project. 262 offer of rewards for different levels of support: Ibid. 262 within the first twelve hours: Sarah Rappaport, “Kickstarter Funding Brings ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie to Life,” CNBC, March 12, 2014, http://www.cnbc.com/2014/03/12/kickstarter-funding-brings-veronica-mars-movie-to-life.html. 262 The movie premiered on March 14, 2014: Business Wire, “Warner Bros.’

-“Veronica-Mars”-Movie-Opens-March. 262 “One could argue that”: Marc Andreessen, interview by the authors, August 2015. 263 In early 2016, Indiegogo introduced: Jacob Kastrenakes, “Indiegogo Wants Huge Companies to Crowdfund Their Next Big Products,” Verge, January 6, 2016, http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/6/10691100/indiegogo-enterprise-crowdfunding-announced-ces-2016. 263 “real-time customer feedback”: Indiegogo, “Indiegogo for Enterprise,” accessed February 8, 2017, https://learn.indiegogo.com/enterprise. 263 including some of the world’s largest hedge funds: Telis Demos and Peter Rudegeair, “LendingClub Held Talks on Funding Deals with Och-Ziff, Soros, Third Point,” Wall Street Journal, last updated June 9, 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lendingclub-and-hedge-funds-have-discussed-major-funding-deals-1465476543. 263 In 2014, well over half: Shelly Banjo, “Wall Street Is Hogging the Peer-to-Peer Lending Market,” Quartz, March 4, 2015, https://qz.com/355848/wall-street-is-hogging-the-peer-to-peer-lending-market. 264 “Teespring is the modern method”: Andreessen, interview, August 2015. 264 “In general it is not the owner”: Joseph Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1934), 66. 265 Eric von Hippel: Eric von Hippel, Democratizing Innovation (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006). 265 “Wouldn’t it be nice”: Alexia Tsotsis, “TaskRabbit Turns Grunt Work into a Game,” Wired, July 15, 2011, https://www.wired.com/2011/07/mf_taskrabbit. 265 Apple acquired 70 companies: Wikipedia, s. v. “List of Mergers and Acquisitions by Apple,” last modified January 21, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple. 265 Facebook more than 50: Wikipedia, s. v. “List of Mergers and Acquisitions by Facebook,” last modified February 4, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Facebook. 265 Google nearly 200: Wikipedia, “List of Mergers and Acquisitions by Alphabet,” last modified February 2, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Alphabet. 266 Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram: Evelyn M.

Sometimes you don’t want to bring together an entire crowd; you simply want to find, as quickly and efficiently as possible, the right person or team to help with something. The chances of finding a good fit increase with the number of people who see the request, which explains why platforms for task matching have become so popular. These include 99designs and Behance for graphic design and other creative work, Upwork for information technology and customer service tasks, Care.com for personal services, and TaskRabbit for a wide variety of odd jobs, like officiating at a wedding, delivering ice cream cake to someone’s grandfather, or waiting in line at the Apple Store ahead of a new iPhone release. The insight common to these businesses is that the web and the smartphone brought unprecedented opportunities to better match supply and demand for business services, as we highlighted in this book’s section on bringing together products and platforms (Part 2), and that one way to do this was to put a request in front of as many eyeballs as possible.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit by Marina Krakovsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, buy low sell high, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, Joan Didion, Kenneth Arrow, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social graph, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

Yet, to reach new heights of fame and fortune, these newly minted celebrities have been signing with professional middlemen—the talent agents who scout YouTube for clients needing an advocate in negotiating TV deals and endorsement contracts.10 Facebook, Twitter, and other social media make it easy to strike up conversations with strangers, but when big stars use Facebook and Twitter to engage with fans, it is typically through social media marketers, publicists, and other middlemen with the expertise to do the job better and more efficiently than the celebrities could on their own.11 Finally, consider the workings of the so-called “peer-to-peer” or “sharing” economy—people selling bits of unused labor or other form of spare capacity—which wouldn’t exist through buyers and sellers acting alone. Everywhere you look in the sharing economy, from Airbnb to TaskRabbit, Uber, and ZocDoc, right in the center is a middleman business. So much for the end of middlemen. Of course, there is no question that the Internet has shaken up entire industries and caused the loss of many middleman jobs: think of the stockbroker who merely executes your trade or the travel agent who does nothing more than take your order. But on the whole, the web’s growth has actually gone hand in hand with a rise in the middleman class, and economic statistics show that middlemen now make up a larger part of the economy than ever.

“One way to look at middlemen,” Maples says, “is that because of the advent of the Internet, the world has become more ‘inter-networked.’”14 More people, companies, and products are connected than ever. In this highly connected world, “things and entities that accelerate connections are going to be more valuable,” Maples believes.15 This idea is self-evident when you think of core Internet technologies and social networking tools that speed up our personal connections; it is also true of middleman businesses Maples has backed, such as Chegg, Lyft, and TaskRabbit, that speed up connections between buyers and sellers. Perhaps more surprisingly, it is also true of many human middlemen, including venture capitalists like Maples himself: great at spotting high-potential entrepreneurial ideas, effective venture capitalists (VCs) command the space between entrepreneurs and the limited partners (LPs) who entrust VCs with their capital. For the LPs, a venture capitalist connects their investment dollars with business ideas capable of generating high returns; for the entrepreneurs with these promising ideas, the venture capitalist channels the LPs’ dollars toward the ideas and also helps entrepreneurs quickly form other important connections—to talent, to trusted advisors, and, if all goes well, all the way to the stock market.16 The rest of us benefit, too, whenever we enjoy the products and services of innovative entrepreneurial ventures, because without the VCs, the most high-flying companies might never get off the ground.

The little boys are with their nanny; child care is not a problem, Thiers jokes because she knows I want to talk to her as the founder of SitterCity, an online service that matches parents with babysitters and nannies.33 SitterCity, which today is successful enough to have allowed Thiers to retire on a chunk of her founder’s stock, struck me as remarkable for two reasons. First, the business started during the dot-com bust—not only before such online matching businesses as Uber, TaskRabbit, and Airbnb had begun to spring up everywhere, but even before the rise of social networking sites. Facebook, LinkedIn, and even now-defunct Friendster did not yet exist in 2000. The other surprise about SitterCity: Thiers is no tech whiz, and she hadn’t taken a single business class; when she conceived of the idea, she was studying opera as a music major at Boston College. The idea for the service came to her when she saw a heavily pregnant woman who had come to the college to post fliers in search of a babysitter, and Thiers couldn’t believe the absurdity of the situation.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want by Diane Mulcahy

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, deliberate practice, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mass immigration, mental accounting, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, passive income, Paul Graham, remote working, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wage slave, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Uber drivers work under similar circumstances that most taxi drivers always have: they are contractors with no benefits, no overtime or minimum wage, and no access to unemployment insurance. But there are many more people willing to be Uber drivers than taxi drivers, in part because they can control when and how much they work. Similarly, the economic plight of an on-demand worker for a company like TaskRabbit or Postmates is not materially different from that of a low-wage hourly worker in a fast food restaurant or retail store. They both have low wages and no benefits, but workers who wouldn’t dream of applying for a job in a fast food restaurant are willing to work on platforms like TaskRabbit or Postmates partly because they can do so when and how much they wish. The Gig Economy gives low-skill workers the chance to move from bad jobs to better work. It’s not a big change, but it’s a change in the right direction. Is the Gig Economy Really New?

If we think of the current world of work as a spectrum, anchored by the traditional corporate job and career ladder on one end, and unemployment on the other end, then the broad range and variety of alternative work in between is the Gig Economy. The Gig Economy includes consulting and contractor arrangements, part-time jobs, temp assignments, freelancing, self-employment, side gigs, and on-demand work through platforms like Upwork and TaskRabbit. Many of the topics in this book are based on what I teach, and many of the exercises are based on assignments that have helped my students succeed in the Gig Economy, and have led them to start new businesses, plan time off, restructure their finances, and begin to create lives that are more engaging, satisfying, and better aligned with their priorities. The Gig Economy is still in the early stages of disrupting how we work.

The more the Gig Economy demonstrates that white-collar and professional work can be restructured, contracted out, and purchased more cheaply, the more disruptive it feels. TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES: Somehow, when we encounter part-time workers with no benefits at the local fast food drive-through or contract workers in our local taxi, it’s less newsworthy than when we can beckon those same part-time workers and contractors on our phones and ask them to deliver stuff to us or drive us somewhere. Technology platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit that are built on contract labor models and achieve stratospheric valuations are much more compelling clickbait than a story about a regular taxi driver or someone’s personal assistant. It seems like now that it’s a tech story, labor is suddenly interesting. The labor issues raised by the Gig Economy are not at all new. Back in 1995, the Department of Labor (DoL) deemed our labor market incentives perverse.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor

This mouthful of a term, now in vogue among academics, refers to taking the tools of traditional for-profit online platforms and directing them to more collaborative and democratic ends. While they are small-bore now, these new app-reliant online co-ops also employ middle-class workers and may put more to work that they have control over in the future. For instance, Stocksy is a successful stock-photo collective that ensures that photographers are paid for their work, and Loconomics, a San Francisco co-op, hopes to compete with the “freelance labor” company TaskRabbit. (When TaskRabbit was purchased by IKEA, I had to wonder whether the ultimate aim was to provide anxious and cheap human workers to help customers assemble their Swedish plywood desks, in a batteries-included scenario.) Stocksy and Loconomics help us imagine new arrangements that could begin to address the many binds in which gig economy workers currently find themselves. The dream is for tech-savvy co-ops to empower workers; otherwise, workers could dehumanizingly be ordered up like pizzas.

The cleaner apps of the past, in the words of one organizer, were “a faceless yellow dismembered hand that cleans your house for you.” The new apps and platforms can train consumers to do more than simply look for the cheapest service and the highest ratings. But what they cannot do is provide this class of worker with things like benefits, which is a big part of their struggle. The workers now TaskRabbit-ing or Uber-ing, however, aren’t thinking about high-minded conception platform cooperativism when they gigged to pay their bills. Matt Barry, for instance, mostly thought about the financial pressure of the area where he lived. Like other Uber drivers, he was plagued with guilt over having to take a side job and not spending time developing his wisdom and skill as a teacher. He thought about this when he taught the economics of Silicon Valley to his students, knowing that many of them wouldn’t be able to afford to live in the area themselves when they grew up.

Scrolling through Uber’s PR materials in praise of its moonlighting middle-class drivers reminded me of A Modest Proposal’s famous “suggestion” that the poor Irish survive by selling their children as food to the rich. But Uber’s publicists are neither Jonathan Swift nor Juvenal. In the symbolic realm where a tech company like Uber dwells, the teacher, like the nurse or the firefighter, is instead traded, with the tap of an app, for “well-meaning” capital. The gig economy’s workers often seem to exist in the abstract, as if TaskRabbit’s workers really were the cartoon bunny on its logo, or Uber drivers were simply a human-shaped extension of the company’s letter U. Today the larger problem of undervalued—and underpaid—teachers is that their years of advanced degrees and hard work are more cherished by companies trying to project legitimacy than by the politicians who have long paid teachers mere lip service. “It should be a warning sign to us that teachers have to grade papers between giving lifts,” said Richard Ingersoll, his voice rising.


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The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction by Jamie Woodcock, Mark Graham

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, global value chain, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, Lyft, mass immigration, means of production, Network effects, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, precariat, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

They were successful, winning improvements to terms and conditions, as well as no longer being classed as independent contractors (Vandaele, 2018: 15). There are also emerging stories of resistance on other kinds of platforms, many of which face significant barriers to organizing. For example, Juliet Schor6 points out that on TaskRabbit, workers taking customers off-platform ‘is very prevalent’. TaskRabbit allows customers to request location-specific tasks from workers, while charging a 20 per cent fee. Rather than continuing to have their pay docked by TaskRabbit, Schor notes that ‘once the relationship with the client is established, they don’t feel like TaskRabbit should take such a high fee.’ The reliance on independent contractor or self-employed status makes the issue of worker retention difficult for platforms. To maintain the illusion of self-employed status, platforms cannot be seen to direct the work too closely or exert too much control.

Bezos’ letters 87–8, 106 Turkopticon 106–7, 123, 133 Anderson, B. 80 Antunes, Ricardo 36 application programming interfaces (API) 58 apps 5, 51, 52, 133, 138 artificial intelligence 50, 58, 60, 66 Aslam, Yaseen 76 assembly line 24, 94, 117 Australia 127 Australian Independent Contractors Act 128 automation 66–7 Avendano, Pablo 73 B Badger, Adam 86–7 Bangalore (India) 98–9, 102 Barbrook, R. 37 Barry, J. 49 Beck, Ulrich 17 Bent, P. 13, 16 Berg, J. 55 Besant, Annie 14 Bezos, Jeff 87 Bolt 77 Bourdieu, Pierre 17 ‘BrainWorkers’ 33 Braverman, Harry 111 Bryant and May match factory 14 C Californian Ideology 37 call centres 24, 31 outsourcing of 37, 54 Callinicos, Brent 49 Cameron, A. 37 Cant, Callum 40, 96 capitalism cognitive 37 gendered basis of 29 car industry 110 care work 64, 66, 79–83 low barriers to entry 67 and repeat transactions 68 Care.com 80, 80–1 casualization 5, 15 Caviar 73 ‘ChainWorkers’ 33 Cheung, Adora 103 China worker resistance and strikes 100 Christie, N. 73 cleaning work 5–6, 64 low barriers to entry 67 migrant workers 30 cloudworker platforms 6, 43, 53–61, 63, 64, 69, 93 atomization of 92 availability of 56 location of 55, 57 removal of barriers to entry for 69 and resistance 104–8 setting rates of pay 65 and spatial control 63 temporal control 64 cognitive capitalism 37 collaborations 123, 132, 136 collective bargaining 30, 34, 37, 49, 80, 130, 134, 135–6, 143 collective organization 100, 134 commercial content moderation (CCM) 61 computerization 66 consumer attitudes/preferences 27 contingent work 19 Convention on Platform Work, Draft 130, 146–51 cooperatives, platform 138–9 Countouris, N. 129 Craigslist 22 crowdsourcing 58 crowdworkers 55, 90 see also microwork; online freelancing D Dalla Costa, Mariarosa 29 Darcy, Alison 60 data collection 65–6 De Stefano, V. 129 deindustrialization 36, 84 Deliveroo 2, 6, 23, 32, 40, 71–4, 115, 127 experience of working for 7–8, 31, 71, 72–4 self-organization for workers 95 strike action 95–6, 97 delivery work(ers)/platforms 5, 27, 62, 63, 68 and automation 67 and collective organization 134 experiences of workers 71–5 low entry requirements 67 see also Deliveroo democratic ownership 136–40, 141 Denmark 3F trade union 134–5 Desai, Bhairavi 79 developing countries internet penetration rate 25 Didi Chuxing 22, 102 digital divides 25 digital legibility 23–5, 65–7 digital platforms 1, 2, 3, 4, 54–5 Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Condition in the European Union 129 dock work(ers) 13–14, 15, 38 strike (1889) 15 domestic work(ers) 29–30, 62, 63, 66, 79–83 as central component of capitalism 29 factors determining working conditions 80 numbers 80 positive and negative outcomes for 81 and repeat transactions 68 in South Africa 81–3 Doogan, Kevin 18 E economic crisis (late 1970s) 33 Elance 22 entertainment industries 135 Eurobarometer 40 European Commission 35 Expensify 60 F Facebook 45, 60, 121, 123, 133 factories/factory work 15–16, 94 measuring of factory labour process by Taylor 23–4 Fair Crowd Work website 123 Fairwork Foundation project 121–2, 130, 146–51 Farrar, James 75, 75–6, 77–8, 101 feedback 52, 80, 92, 93 financial crisis (2008) 35 Fiverr 20, 23 flexibility, desire for by workers 4–5, 30–3, 71, 115 flexicurity 35 Flipkart 22 Foodora 127 Fordism 117 fragmented work 5, 40, 114 Freelancer 6, 54, 64, 89 freelancing, online see online freelancing Frey, C.B. 66 G gamification 86 gender and capitalism 29 and relationships of work 28–30 geographically tethered work/platforms 5–6, 7, 34, 50–2, 63 control over workforce 68 forms of resistance in 94–104 setting rates of pay 65 temporal control 64–5 Ghana 8, 64, 92 gig economy advantages 4–5 characteristics 114–15 controversy over classification of people involved 43–4 existence due to digital transformation 114 factors facilitating growth of 19, 114 five principles for ‘fair work’ in 122 future 112–45 governance in 62 meaning of 3–7 numbers working in 1–2 operation of 41–69 origins 11–40 pitfalls 5, 116 preconditions that shape the 19–28 rise of 38–40 ways to bring about change 142–4 gig economy workers barriers to entry for 67–8 communicating with each other 132–4 de-personalization of 118, 120 desire for flexibility 4–5, 31–3, 71, 115 experiences of 70–92 invisibility of 6, 80 lack of collective voice 6, 77 lack of effective regulation for 128–9 misclassified as self-employed 44 numbers 39–40 securing protection through courts 127 working conditions 6, 9 gigs, musical 3 Global North 12, 13, 32, 46 and cloudworkers 55 and microwork 84 and outsourcing 44 size of gig economy 39 Global South 32, 46 internet penetration rate 25 size of gig economy 39 women and online freelancing 90 globalization 19, 37–8 Goodwin, Tom 45, 121 Graeber, David 31 Guru.com 22 H Handy 80 Harvey, David 33, 53 Heeks, Richard 39 Herman, S. 39 Hilfr.dk 134–5 Homejoy 68, 103–4 Howe, J. 58 human intelligence tasks (HITs) 60 Humphries, S. 13–14 Hunt, A. 28, 81, 82 Huws, U. 39–40 I IAEA (International Arts and Entertainment Alliance) 135 Iles, Anthony 32 ILO (International Labour Organization) 16–17, 129 Declaration of Philadelphia (1944) 142 Independent Workers Union of Great Britain see IWGB India delivery drivers 74 strikes by Uber drivers 102 Industrial Workers of the Word see IWW industrialization 16 interface 45 International Arts and Entertainment Alliance see IAEA International Labour Organization see ILO Internet access and penetration rate 25 Irani, Lilly 106 IWGB (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) 73, 97, 101, 109, 127, 134 IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) 97, 101 J James, Selma 29, 81 job insecurity, growth in 18–19 K Kalanick, Travis 23, 48, 49 Kalleberg, A.L. 18 Kenya Ajira Digital programme 35 Kessler, Sarah 11 L labour law 114, 117, 126, 128, 129 Lagos (Nigeria) 89, 124 Lanier, Jaron 58 LaPlante, Rochelle 60 lean platforms 35, 45 legibility, digital 23–5, 65–7 Li, Qi 100 Limer, Eric 85–6 Living Wage Foundation 122 London taxi arrangement 47 long-term unemployment 18 low-paid work, increase in 35, 139 M Machingura, F. 81, 82 McKinsey 1–2, 39 McKinsey Global Institute 66 Manila (Philippines) 89, 90 Maputo (Mozambique) 26–7 Marsh, Greg 129 Marx, Karl 11–12, 22, 72, 121 Mason, Paul 35 mass connectivity 25–7 Massey, Doreen 63 Matchwoman strike 14 Mateescu, A. 79, 80, 81 Messina, Jim 48–9 microwork 6, 55, 58–61, 62, 83–9, 104 and automation 66–7 experiences of workers 83–9 feelings of alienation 88 numbers engaged in 83–4 wages 84–5 see also Amazon Mechanical Turk 59 migrant workers 30, 80, 90 migration status 30 Mitropoulos, Angela 17, 32 mobile phones 25–6 Mondragon Corporation 138–9 Moody, Kim 40, 111 Moyer-Lee, Jason 98 N Nedelkoska, L. 66 neoliberalism 18, 33–5, 52 characteristics of 34 New York Uber 78–9 NHS (National Health Service) 5 Novogratz, Mike 49–50 O O’Connor vs Uber Technologies Inc. (2015) 124, 126 Ojanperä, Sanna 55 Ola 102 online freelancing 6, 7, 8–9, 43, 55, 62, 141 barriers to entry for workers 67 barriers to organizing 104 experiences of workers 89–92 and feedback 93 reasons for doing 89–90 support forums 104–5 wages 90, 91 and worker resistance 104–5 Osborne, M.A. 66 outcome thinking 118, 124 outsourcing 19, 37–8, 39, 44–5, 51, 54 microwork as extension of 58 P Pandor, Aisha 83 Pasha, Tanveer 102 pay rates, setting of 65 Peck, Jamie 33, 35 Peterloo Massacre (1819) 108 Platform Cooperative Consortium 138 platforms/platform work 2, 4 ability to set pay rates 65 and accountability 125–30 barriers to entry for workers 67–8 as a civic utility 139–40 cloudwork see cloudwork connecting workers and clients 20–1, 22–3, 43, 138 cooperatives 138–9 core functions 23 degree of explicit coordination 68–9 democratic ownership of 136–40, 141 digital legibility 23–5, 65–7 Draft Convention on Platform Work 130, 146–51 early 22 geographically tethered model see geographically tethered model infrastructure 20–3 intermediate function 42–3 lean 35, 45 meaning and operation of 42–6 microwork see microwork negotiation-based matching 22–3 reliance on network effects 45 repeat transactions 68 setting up of ‘counter’ 123 spatial control 62, 63–4 spatiality and temporality of 42–3 spending money on public relations and advertising 28 static-price matching 23 temporal control 64–5 understanding how they work 61–9 Plouffe, David 49 Pollman, E. 49 precariat 18 precarious work(ers) 13–19, 32–3, 38 definition 16–17 two kinds of 33 profitability, crisis of 35, 36, 42 public sector and gig economy 17 and outsourcing 44 Q Quintini, G. 66 R racialization of work 30 racism 30 ratings strategy and transparency 122–3 Ravenelle, Alexandrea 37, 70 Raw, Louise 14 Reagan, Ronald 34 reddit 123 regulation 144 lack of for gig economy workers 128–9 labour law 19, 114, 117, 126, 128 state 19, 33–6 regulatory entrepreneurship 49 repeat transactions and platforms 68 resistance see worker resistance Roberts, Sarah 61 S SAG-AFTRA 135 Samman, E. 28 Schifter, Doug 79 Scholz, Trebor 48, 49, 138, 139 Schor, Juliet 103 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) 135 Second World War 110 self-employment 32, 43–4, 96, 98, 108 Semuels, Alana 84 service industries, growth of 34 Seymour, Richard 18–19 sharing economy 11 Shekhawat, Dushyant 74 ‘shock doctrine’ 34 short term contracts 4 Silberman, Six 106 slavery 30 Slee, Tom 50, 78 soldiering 23 South Africa domestic workers in 81–3 Uber 76, 127–8 worker resistance 99–100 South African Domestic Services and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) 82–3 South African Labour Relations Act 128 South Korea 35 South London Gas Workers strike (1889) 14–15 Spain 127 spatial control and platforms 62, 63–4 Srnicek, Nick 4, 42, 45 standard employment relationship 5, 12–13, 16, 18, 32, 33–4 Standing, Guy 17–18, 27 state regulation 19, 33–6 strikes 14–15, 94, 95–6, 99–100, 109, 142–3 preconditions for starting 109 surveillance 24 of delivery drivers 74 Upwork workers’ resistance to 105 Susskind, R. 118 SweepSouth 80, 81–3 Switzerland Notime 102 T TaskRabbit 103 taxi industry 51–2 taxi work(ers) 75–9, 134 and collective organization 134 see also Uber Taylor, Bill 100 Taylor, Frederick 23–4 Taylor, Matthew 129 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, The 129 technological changes 19, 21 temporal control and platforms 64–5 temporary work(ers) 3, 17 Thatcher, Margaret 34 Thompson, S. 34 Ticona, J. 79, 80, 81 Tillett, Ben 14 tipping 75 Tolpuddle Martyrs 108–9 trade unions 6, 18, 34, 36, 92–3, 97, 108–9, 134, 135, 143–4 decline of 36, 37 and dock workers 15 early 108–9 and gig economy workers 109–10, 136 and IWGB 97 rise in membership 15 textile 108 Transnational Federation of Couriers 97 transparency 118–24, 141 establishment of ‘counter platforms’ 123 ratings strategy 122–3 Transport for London 28 Turkopticon 106–7, 123, 133 U Uber 2, 4, 20, 23, 25, 32, 44, 45, 46–50, 52, 61, 73–9, 94–5, 108, 115, 121, 124, 139 business model 48 Change.org petition 28 data collection 50, 65–6 drivers’ wages 49–50, 77–8 engagement with regulation and transport policy 48 funding 47–8 and ‘greyballing’ 49 in New York 78–9 O’Connor vs Uber Technologies Inc. (2015) 124, 126 power passengers hold over drivers 75–6 public relations and lobbying campaigns 48–9 rating system 75 safety issues and rising petrol prices for drivers in South Africa 76–7 and self-driving vehicles 50 and tipping 75 Uber International Holding(s) BV 128 Uber Technologies SA 127 UberX 47 worker resistance and strikes 100–2 unfair dismissal 44, 134 United Kingdom employment regulation issues 129 neoliberalism 34 and outsourcing 44–5 worker resistance and strikes 100–1 United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) 75 United States neoliberalism 34 Uber 47–9 UPHD (United Private Hire Drivers) 76, 101 UpWork 6, 8, 43, 54, 64, 121 resistance of surveillance methods by workers 105 Upwork.com 89, 91 US Chamber of Commerce 108 V van Doorn, Niels 42 Vandaele, Kurt 95, 97 venture capital 36 visibility 136 vWorker 22 W wages microworkers 84–5 online freelancing 90, 91 setting of pay rates 65 Uber drivers 49–50, 77–8 Ward, H. 73 Webster, G.E. 16 Weightman, G.E. 13–14 WhatsApp 95, 99, 123, 132, 133 Williams, Eric 30 women and domestic work 29–30 and online freelancing in the Global South 90 Wood, Alex 95, 104–5, 107 work, transformation of 12–13 worker power 19, 36–7, 130–6, 141 worker resistance 93–111, 113–14 and cloudworkers 104–8 and communication 107 food platform strikes 95–7 formation of networks and meetings 95, 98–9 geographically tethered work 94–104 history of 94 legal battles over employment status 98 and online freelancing 104–5 and self-employment status 98 strikes 14–15, 94, 95–6, 99, 100–1 taking of work off-platform 103 and trade unions 97, 107–11 Uber 101–2 and WhatsApp groups 98, 99, 132 workers’ rights 34, 44, 98, 101, 130, 135, 139, 140, 144 Y YouTube 60 Z Zomato 98–9 POLITY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT Go to www.politybooks.com/eula to access Polity’s ebook EULA.


pages: 116 words: 31,356

Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, deskilling, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mittelstand, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, platform as a service, quantitative easing, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, total factor productivity, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unconventional monetary instruments, unorthodox policies, Zipcar

Uber, Airbnb), which attempt to reduce their ownership of assets to a minimum and to profit by reducing costs as much as possible. These analytical divisions can, and often do, run together within any one firm. Amazon, for example, is often seen as an e-commerce company, yet it rapidly broadened out into a logistics company. Today it is spreading into the on-demand market with a Home Services program in partnership with TaskRabbit, while the infamous Mechanical Turk (AMT) was in many ways a pioneer for the gig economy and, perhaps most importantly, is developing Amazon Web Services as a cloud-based service. Amazon therefore spans nearly all of the above categories. Advertising Platforms The elders of this new enterprise form, advertising platforms are the initial attempts at building a model adequate to the digital age.

Whereas the previous platforms have all developed business models that generate profits in some way, today’s lean platforms have returned to the ‘growth before profit’ model of the 1990s. Companies like Uber and Airbnb have rapidly become household names and have come to epitomise this revived business model. These platforms range from specialised firms for a variety of services (cleaning, house calls from physicians, grocery shopping, plumbing, and so on) to more general marketplaces like TaskRabbit and Mechanical Turk, which provide a variety of services. All of them, however, attempt to establish themselves as the platform upon which users, customers, and workers can meet. Why are they ‘lean’ platforms? The answer lies in an oft-quoted observation: ‘Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles […] and Airbnb, the largest accommodation provider, owns no property.’57 It would seem that these are asset-less companies; we might call them virtual platforms.58 Yet the key is that they do own the most important asset: the platform of software and data analytics.

Moreover, the aftermath of the crisis was a jobless recovery – a phenomenon where economic growth returns, but job growth does not. As a result, numerous workers were forced to find whatever desperate means they could to survive. In this context, self-employment is not a freely chosen path, but rather a forced imposition. A look at the demographics of lean platform workers seems to support this. Of the workers on TaskRabbit, 70 per cent have Bachelor’s degrees, while 5 per cent have PhDs.76 An International Labour Organization (ILO) survey found that workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (AMT) also tend to be highly educated, 37 per cent using crowd work as their main job.77 And Uber admits that around a third of its drivers in London come from neighbourhoods with unemployment rates of more than 10 per cent.78 In a healthy economy these people would have no need to be microtasking, as they would have proper jobs.


pages: 285 words: 58,517

The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models by Barry Libert, Megan Beck

active measures, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversification, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of writing, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Oculus Rift, pirate software, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, software as a service, software patent, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Asset builders focus on physical capital (things); service providers invest in human capital (people); technology creators develop intellectual capital (ideas); and network orchestrators develop network capital (relationships). The relationships, or connections, created by a network orchestrator may actually provide access to any of the other asset types and leverage a digital platform for connectivity. Here are examples. eBay and Etsy are network orchestrators that provide access to physical capital (things you can buy). TaskRabbit and Upwork are network orchestrators that provide access to human capital in the form of errand runners and freelancers (people). Innocentive and Yelp are network orchestrators that provide access to intellectual capital, such as technological innovation or restaurant reviews (ideas). Facebook, LinkedIn, and Match.com are network orchestrators that provide access to network capital, specifically social and professional connections (relationships).

As a business model, network orchestration is highly differentiated because it is the only model in which the company enables and allows the network to serve itself (participants serving other participants) instead of the company trying to serve all the network’s needs on its own. As you consider each network’s needs, keep in mind the four asset classes. Network platforms can help facilitate the creation and exchange of any of the four types: Physical capital: access to physical assets that are related to your products, value proposition, or industry. Examples: Airbnb, Uber Human capital: expertise related to your products, processes, or industry. Examples: TaskRabbit, Apple Developer Network Intellectual capital: feedback on products or services, input on product design, data about themselves, or product usage. Examples: Yelp, TripAdvisor Network capital: word-of-mouth advertising, access to friends and family. Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn The best place to begin is with those networks that already have high affinity for your firm; these members are the most likely to participate in a new network initiative.

See also mindset action by network leaders and evolution of, 192–194 as barriers in strategy shifts, 50 of boards, 106, 108 breaking habits and, 198 mentoring for, 198–199 move to intangible assets and, 46 of network orchestrators, 194–195 new stories needed for, 198 Pinpointing in PIVOT process, 137–139 reinforcing, to realize change, 197–199 mentors, 108, 162, 198–199 Microsoft, 76, 80, 133 millennials, 8, 89, 90, 130, 155, 199 mindset, 28, 113–120 diversification of new ideas and methods in, 115 examples of companies using, 118–119 General Motors’ example of change in, 113–114 move from closed to open in, 115–118, 120, 186 network orchestrators and, 114–115, 118, 202 openness to change and, 114–115 organizational culture supporting, 117–118 questions to ask about, 117 scoring your company on, 121–122 minorities, and board membership, 105, 108 mission, 67, 92, 103–104, 118, 119, 140, 163 mission statement, 117 mobile technology customers’ use of, 156 examples of companies using, 36, 53, 70, 110, 191, 197 as key technology, 32 network orchestrators and, 148 platform choice and, 162 multiplier (price/revenue) market valuation comparison among business models using, 18–19 performance comparison among business models using, 16 use of term, 17–18 Myatt, Mike, 90 NASA, 73 Netflix, 46, 82–83, 196 Net Promoter Score (NPS), 65, 83 network capital business model based on, 15, 132 inventory of, 126, 145, 146, 149–151 mental model values on, 138 network orchestrators’ use of, 16 network platforms and, 160 Network Challenge, The (Kleindorfer, Wind, and Gunther), 7 network leader on teams, 169–170, 178, 179 network leaders in organizations, 189–203 core beliefs of, 192 digital technology changes and, 190 guiding principles of, 192–193 mental model evolution of, 192–194 network orchestrators as, 202 new thinking needed by, 189 responses to rapid pace of change by, 190–191 network orchestrators as allocators, 51, 54 boards and, 106–107 digital platforms used by, 33, 36–37 economic advantages of, 15–16 evaluating organization’s performance as, 135–136 examples of, 14 financial services and, 130 identifying organization’s characteristics related to, 133–135 industry sector adoption comparison for, 22–23 intangible assets and, 42, 44 leadership and, 56, 58–59, 60, 61, 62–63 market valuation comparison for, 17–19 measurement used by, 97 mental models of, 21, 194–195 mindset openness and, 114–115, 118, 202 network capital used by, 15 as network leaders, 202 number of companies analyzed for, 13 number of companies using, 22 overview description of, 14 performance comparison for, 16 PIVOT assessment of business models with, 132–133 possible situations behind slow adoption of, 23 scalability characteristics of, 15–17 tracking network and platform metrics for, 178–179 value creation comparison for, 19–20 Visualizing business model for, in PIVOT process, 157–158 networks best practices of legacy firms compared with companies using, 20 boards and, 104–106, 110–111 customer groups within, 149–150 intangible needs met by, 21 law of increasing returns and, 12 open organizations’ use of, 116 power of, 8, 12, 24, 28 subscription model using, 80 network sentiment, 44, 97, 98, 100, 150, 179, 180 Nickell, Jake, 68 Nike, 53, 70, 82, 160, 161, 171 Nike+, 53, 161, 171 Nordstrom, 76 Ocean Tomo, 97 Oculus VR, 36 online forums, 70, 72, 162 OpenMatters, business models research of, 131 OpenMatters website additional resources and support on, 128, 131, 203 business model resources on, 121 digital tools on, 10, 131 mental model assessment on, 138 survey of organization’s characteristics on, 135 openness examples of companies with, 118–119 mindset with, 114–115, 120 open organizations diverse initiatives and business units in, 116–117 examples of, 118–119 innovation pipeline in, 116 move from closed organization to, 115–118, 120, 186 organizational culture supporting, 117–118 questions to ask about, 117 talent in, 117 Operate step in PIVOT, 126, 127, 169–176, 186 creating platform in, 170–172 Enterprise Community Partners example for, 175–176 goal of, 169 management plan for, 174–175 management practices in, 172–174 selecting network leader and team in, 169–170, 173 organizational culture, and openness, 117–118 Page, Larry, 118, 119 Palmisano, Sam, 50 partners customer contributors as, 34, 58, 59 independent workers as, 89, 90–92, 93 performance business model comparison for, 18–19 Pinpointing in PIVOT process, 135–136 Phone Case of the Month, 81 physical capital business model based on, 15, 132 inventory of, 126, 145, 146, 163 mental model values on, 138 network platforms and, 159 Pinpoint step in PIVOT, 126, 130–141, 185 assessing current business model in, 131–132 defining current business model in, 132–133 defining mental model in, 137–139 Enterprise Community Partners example for, 140–141 goal of, 130–131 identifying organization’s characteristics in, 133–135 reviewing economic performance in, 135–136 Pinterest, 44 PIVOT, 123–186 additional resources and support for, on OpenMatters website, 128, 131 change leader in, 132 Enterprise Community Partners example for, 127 five steps of, 126–127 introduction to, 125–128 Pixar, 68 plans for big data use, 99–100 for filling technology, talent, and capital gaps in platforms, 171–172 for growth, on OpenMatters website, 10 for network management, 174–175 for reallocating capital, 157–158 PricewaterhouseCoopers, 106 principles for network orchestration, 25–122 as challenges and levers for change, 27 list of, 27–28 research identifying, 21, 28 scoring your company on, 121–122 Principles of Economics (Mankiw), 49 Project Loon, 167 Red Hat, 133 referrals, 78, 79, 175, 183 Reichheld, Fred, 65 relationships with customers data collection in, 81–82 as intangible asset, 42 leaders affected by changes in, 56–58 personalized approach to, 82 in subscription model (see subscription model) revenues, 28, 75–83 advantages of subscription models for, 77–78 data acquired with, 78, 81–82 move from transaction to subscription in, 78, 79–82 Netflix versus Blockbuster example in, 82–83 nonrevenue activities in subscription model and, 78–79 recurring, in subscription model, 75–77 scoring your company on, 121–122 reverse mentoring, 108, 162, 199 ride-sharing services, 44, 85, 113, 155, 197 Rouse, Jim, 127, 128, 165, 184 Rouse, Patty, 127 Russell Reynolds, 107 Salesforce.com, 176 scalability advantages of, 31 business model comparison for, 15–17, 132 cloud technology and, 32 costs with, 12, 16, 17, 19, 33, 63, 139 digital technology enabling, 3, 33, 41, 44, 162 economics of scale contrasted with, 17 global access and, 31 of network lodging options, 156 network orchestrators and, 172, 202 Threadless example of, 69 scale economics, 17 service providers evaluating organization’s performance as, 135–136 examples of, 14 human capital used by, 15 identifying organization’s characteristics related to, 133–135 industry sector adoption comparison for, 22 market valuation comparison for, 18–19 number of companies analyzed for, 13 overview description of, 14 performance comparison for, 16 PIVOT assessment of business models with, 132–133 scalability characteristics of, 16, 17 value creation comparison for, 19–20 services as intangible asset, 41 subscription model using, 80 shared vision, and co-creators, 61 sharing-economy companies, 44, 85, 113, 155, 197 show-rooming, 45 Sidecar, 44 Sitaram, Pradip, 140, 152, 164, 175–176, 183, 184 skills assessment, 138 smartphones, 29–30, 32 social media, 29 boards’ use of, 107 CEOs’ use of, 199 customer data from, 97, 98, 101 examples of companies using, 53–54, 143, 180 interactions with companies using, 58, 80, 107, 202 as key technology, 32 leveraging for marketing and communication, 34 network sentiment tracked on, 180 platform choice and, 33, 162 public relations problems from customers’ use of, 42–43 subscription model using, 77–78, 80 Softlayer, 48 software subscription model, 76, 80 Spencer Stuart, 105 Sprint, 81 Stanford University, 107 Starbucks, 53, 109, 143, 190, 191 Starwood Hotels, 4, 43–44 strategy, 27, 47–54 barriers to changing, 48–49, 50 best practices of allocators in, 52–53 capital allocation as focus of, 49–51 IBM as example of shift in, 47–48, 50 move from operator to allocator in, 51–52 Nike-Apple partnership as example of, 53–54 questions to ask about, 52 scoring your company on, 121–122 subscription model advantages of, 77–78 customer contributors and, 77 data acquired in, 78, 81–82 examples of companies using, 75–76 moving customers from transactors to subscribers in, 78, 79–80 Netflix versus Blockbuster example in, 82–83 nonrevenue activities in, 78–79 personalized approach in, 82 recurring revenue from, 76–77 surprising and delighting the customer in, 81 themes in implementing, 80–82 types of offerings in, 80 talent big data collection and, 100 customer contribution of, 69 for digital platform operation, 170–171 experience in digital technologies needed by, 35 innovation and, 168 in open organizations, 117 tangible assets as financial liabilities in, 43–44 market valuation of intangible versus, 40, 46 move to intangible assets from, 44–45 Target, 76 TaskRabbit, 15, 159 Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World (McChrystal), 55 technology, 27, 29–37 advantages of using, 31 business models incorporating, 30–31 embracing “digital everything” in, 30–31 essential aspect of, 29–30 importance of understanding and using, 30 management practices for intangible assets related to, 42 mentorships for, 199 move from physical to digital in, 34–37 platforms and, 33–34 questions to ask about, 35 scoring your company on, 121–122 talent needed for, 35 understanding five key technologies in, 32–33 technology creators evaluating organization’s performance as, 135–136 examples of, 14 identifying organization’s characteristics related to, 133–135 industry sector adoption comparison for, 22 intellectual capital used by, 15 market valuation comparison for, 18–19 number of companies analyzed for, 13 overview description of, 14 technology creators (continued) performance comparison for, 16 PIVOT assessment of business models with, 132–133 scalability characteristics of, 16, 17 value creation comparison for, 19–20 Tesla, 114 Threadless, 68–70, 72, 73, 78, 79, 81 3M, 91, 190 Thrun, Sebastian, 168 Topsy, 98 Track step in PIVOT, 126, 127, 177–184, 186 Amazon example of, 177–178 Enterprise Community Partners example for, 183–184 goal for, 178 network and platform metrics for, 178–179 network dimensions used in, 179–180 ongoing experimentation with, 182–183 platform dimensions used in, 180–181 team dimensions used in, 181–182 Trader Joe’s, 78 transactors, customers as, 78, 79–80 TripAdvisor, 10, 14, 44, 159, 174 Trunk Club, 76 Twitter, 42, 59, 60, 66, 72, 78, 79, 89, 97, 100, 107, 148, 171, 180, 199 Uber, 3, 4, 44, 66, 70, 81, 85, 91, 114, 155, 159, 160, 174, 197 United Healthcare, 133 US Board Index, 105 US interstate highway system, 11–12 Upwork, 12, 15, 43 value creation business model comparison for, 19–20 co-creators and, 61, 62–63 mental model beliefs on, 138–139 nonemployees and, 91 values assessment, 138 van Kralingen, Bridget, 47, 48 Verizon, 81 virtual reality (VR) technology, 36 Visa, 133 vision, and co-creators, 61 Visualize step in PIVOT, 126, 127, 156–165, 186 analyzing possible contribution to networks in, 160–161 beginning step for, 157–158 choosing platform in, 162–163, 170 Enterprise Community Partners example for, 163–165 goal of, 156–157 identifying potential networks in, 159–160 network orchestrator business model in, 157–158 overview of process in, 158–159 selecting network for, 161–162 team in, 158 VRBO, 156 Walmart, 4, 14, 76, 110, 133, 144 Wealthfront, 130 Weatherup, Craig, 110 WeChat, 4 Welch, Jack, 108, 199 Werhane, Charlie, 140, 164, 184 Wikipedia, 8, 46 Wind, Jerry, 6, 7 women, and board membership, 105, 108, 109 workforce.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

Part-time work increased in importance during the economic crisis of 2008–9, but has ebbed as economic conditions have improved. Still, there is indisputably the opportunity for significant growth in the future. The question is whether the gig economy will lead to the suspension of the trilemma. The trilemma implies that to scare up enough consumer demand for ‘gigs’, the price – of the Uber trip or the TaskRabbit errand, for example – must be low. That, in turn, means that pay must be low. Uber driver wages can’t rise to too high a level or Uber will accelerate automation. Similarly, TaskRabbit tasks can’t be too expensive, or people will only use the service on rare, higher value occasions, reducing the labour-absorbing power of the service. A suspension of the trilemma means the arrival of a world of hyper-specialization, in which the market-expanding, match-generating power of the web becomes so powerful that most of the world’s billion workers can find themselves a tiny niche that is nonetheless lucrative enough to keep them fed and housed, but which isn’t, in the end, doable with software.

Yet the firm’s business does demonstrate how the technological deskilling of an occupation can lead to both a better experience for consumers and better pay for some workers. Yet the example is not especially cheering. Many more of the digital revolution’s disruptive business models work by reducing employment of less-skilled workers than by creating new opportunities for them. Other labour-intensive apps – such as TaskRabbit, which allows users to hire people for short-term gigs as errand-runners – work not because they make unskilled labour vastly more productive, but because unskilled labour is abundant and cheap enough to make it economical to harness such workers to do unproductive jobs: waiting in queues, for example. Perhaps more importantly, new business models that open up opportunities for unskilled workers by simplifying the tasks done in an industry arguably pave the way for the eventual automation of those tasks.

Ray labour abundance as good problem bargaining power cognitive but repetitive collective bargaining and demographic issues discrimination and exclusion global growth of workforce and immigration liberalization in 1970s/80s ‘lump of labour’ fallacy occupational licences organized and proximity reallocation to growing industries retraining and skill acquisition and scarcity and social value work as a positive good see also employment Labour Party, British land scarcity Latvia Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine legal profession Lehman Brothers collapse (2008) Lepore, Jill liberalization, economic (from 1970s) Linkner, Josh, The Road to Reinvention London Lucas, Robert Lyft maker-taker distinction Malthus, Reverend Thomas Manchester Mandel, Michael Mankiw, Gregory marketing and public relations Marshall, Alfred Marx, Karl Mason, Paul, Postcapitalism (2015) McAfee, Andrew medicine and healthcare ‘mercantilist’ world Mercedes Benz Mexico Microsoft mineral industries minimum wage Mokyr, Joel Monroe, President James MOOCs (‘massive open online courses’) Moore, Gordon mortality rates Mosaic (web browser) music, digital nation states big communities of affinity inequality between as loci of redistribution and social capital nationalist and separatist movements Netherlands Netscape New York City Newsweek NIMBYism Nordic and Scandinavian economies North Carolina North Dakota Obama, Barack oil markets O’Neill, Jim Oracle Orbán, Viktor outsourcing Peretti, Jonah Peterson Institute for International Economics pets.com Philadelphia Centennial Fair (1876) Philippines Phoenix, Arizona Piketty, Thomas, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) Poland political institutions politics fractionalization in Europe future/emerging narratives geopolitical forces human wealth narrative left-wing looming upheaval/conflict Marxism nationalist and separatist movements past unrest and conflict polarization in USA radicalism and extremism realignment revolutionary right-wing rise of populist outsiders and scarcity social membership battles Poor Laws, British print media advertising revenue productivity agricultural artisanal goods and services Baumol’s Cost Disease and cities and dematerialization and digital revolution and employment trilemma and financial crisis (2008) and Henry Ford growth data in higher education of highly skilled few and industrial revolution minimum wage impact paradox of in service sector and specialization and wage rates see also factors of production professional, technical or managerial work and education levels and emerging economies the highly skilled few and industrial revolution and ‘offshoring’ professional associations skilled cities professional associations profits Progressive Policy Institute property values proximity public spending Putnam, Robert Quakebot quantitative easing Race Against the Machine, Brynjolfsson and McAfee (2011) railways Raleigh, North Carolina Reagan, Ronald redistribution and geopolitical forces during liberal era methods of nation state as locus of as a necessity as politically hard and societal openness wealth as human rent, economic Republican Party, US ‘reshoring’ phenomenon Resseger, Matthew retail sector retirement age Ricardo, David rich people and maker-taker distinction wild contingency of wealth Robinson, James robots Rodrik, Dani Romney, Mitt rule of law Russia San Francisco San Jose Sanders, Bernie sanitation SAP Saudi Arabia savings glut, global ‘Say’s Law’ Scalia, Antonin Scandinavian and Nordic economies scarcity and labour political effects of Schleicher, David Schwartz, Anna scientists Scotland Sears Second World War secular stagnation global spread of possible solutions shale deposits sharing economies Silicon Valley Singapore skilled workers and education levels and falling wages the highly skilled few and industrial revolution ‘knowledge-intensive’ goods and services reshoring phenomenon technological deskilling see also professional, technical or managerial work Slack (chat service) Slate (web publication) smartphone culture Smith, Adam social capital and American Constitution baseball metaphor and cities ‘deepening’ definition/nature of and dematerialization and developing economies and erosion of institutions of firms and companies and good government and housing wealth and immigration and income distribution during industrial revolution and liberalization and nation-states productive application of and rich-poor nation gap and Adam Smith and start-ups social class conflict middle classes and NIMBYism social conditioning of labour force working classes social democratic model social reform social wealth and social membership software ‘enterprise software’ products supply-chain management Solow, Robert Somalia South Korea Soviet Union, dissolution of (1991) specialization Star Trek state, role of steam power Subramanian, Arvind suburbanization Sweden Syriza party Taiwan TaskRabbit taxation telegraphy Tesla, Nikola Thatcher, Margaret ‘tiger’ economies of South-East Asia Time Warner Toyota trade China as ‘mega-trader’ ‘comparative advantage’ theory and dematerialization global supply chains liberalization shaping of by digital revolution Adam Smith on trade unions transhumanism transport technology self-driving cars Trump, Donald Twitter Uber UK Independence Party United States of America (USA) 2016 Presidential election campaign average income Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) Constitution deindustrialization education in employment in ethno-nationalist diversity of financial crisis (2008) housing costs in housing wealth in individualism in industrialization in inequality in Jim Crow segregation labour scarcity in Young America liberalization in minimum wage in political polarization in post-crisis profit rates productivity boom of 1990s real wage data rising debt levels secular stagnation in shale revolution in social capital in and social wealth surpasses Britain as leading nation wage subsidies in university education advanced degrees downward mobility of graduates MOOCs (‘massive open online courses’) and productivity see also education urbanization utopias, post-work Victoria, Queen video-gamers Virginia, US state Volvo Vox wages basic income policy Baumol’s Cost Disease cheap labour and employment growth and dot.com boom and financial crisis (2008) and flexibility and Henry Ford government subsidies and housing costs and immigration and industrial revolution low-pay as check on automation minimum wage and productivity the ‘reservation wage’ as rising in China rising in emerging economies and scarcity in service sector and skill-upgrading approach stagnation of and supply of graduates Wandsworth Washington D.C.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

anything else for you: Steven Overly, “Washio Picks Up Your Dirty Laundry, Dry Cleaning with the Tap of an App,” Washington Post, January 30, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/washio-picks-up-your-dirty-laundry-dry-cleaning-with-the-tap-of-an-app/2014/01/29/08509ae4-8865-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html; Steven Bertoni, “Handybook Wants to Be the Uber for Your Household Chores,” Forbes, March 26, 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/03/26/handybook-wants-to-be-the-uber-for-your-household-chores/#221628987fa9; Brittain Ladd, “The Trojan Horse: Will Instacart Become a Competitor of the Grocery Retailers It Serves?,” Forbes, July 1, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/07/01/__trashed-2/#7cc74ef1e4d1; Ken Yeung, “TaskRabbit’s App Update Focuses on Getting Tasks Done in under 90 Minutes,” VentureBeat, March 1, 2016, https://venturebeat.com/2016/03/01/taskrabbits-app-update-focuses-on-getting-tasks-done-in-under-90-minutes; all accessed August 18, 2018. “wanting to replicate mom”: Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery), “So many Silicon Valley startups,” Twitter, September 13, 2017, accessed August 18, 2018, https://twitter.com/clarajeffery/status/907997677048045568?lang=en. for a predictable income: Corky Siemaszko, “In the Shadow of Uber’s Rise, Taxi Driver Suicides Leave Cabbies Shaken,” NBC News, June 7, 2018, accessed August 18, 2018, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/shadow-uber-s-rise-taxi-driver-suicides-leave-cabbies-shaken-n879281.

By the mid-2010s, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs started flooding the market with apps designed to optimize nearly every fiddly task of everyday life—offering to do work so you didn’t. There was Washio (a service that dispatched laundry “ninjas” to pick up your dirty clothes), Handy (on-demand apartment neatening), Instacart (to pick up items from the local grocery store), and the endless phalanxes of TaskRabbits (to do basically anything else for you). In terms of pure demography, there’s a deep narcissism at work here. The blizzard of “do stuff for me” apps is what you get when you populate a tech hub—San Francisco—with a plurality of young men just out of college, and give them the tools of optimization and geysers of money for start-ups. The odds are high the “problem” they’ll decide needs most urgently to be solved is the re-creation of the conveniences of dorm and home-life—where everyone prepared their meals, cleaned up after them, and ferried them around in vehicles.

(game), ref1 spaghetti code, ref1, ref2 Spanner, ref1 spear phishing, ref1 Spectre, Rob, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine” (Good), ref1 Speer, Robyn, ref1, ref2 spellcheck, ref1 Spertus, Ellen, ref1 Spolsky, Joel, ref1 Stack Overflow, ref1 Stallman, Richard, ref1, ref2, ref3 Stand Out of Our Light (Williams), ref1 Starr, Arnold, ref1 start-ups culture fit concern in hiring women coders, ref1 10X coders and, ref1 Stevens, William, ref1 Stone, Biz, ref1, ref2, ref3 Stroustrup, Bjarne, ref1 Sullivan, Danny, ref1 Superintelligence (Bostrom), ref1 surge pricing, ref1 SVG graphics, ref1 Swartz, Aaron, ref1 Symbolics, ref1 Symbolic Systems, ref1 Systrom, Kevin, ref1, ref2 tangible and objective results, coder’s pride in achieving, ref1 Tanz, Jason, ref1 TaskRabbits, ref1 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, ref1 technical debt, ref1 10X coders, ref1 Andreessen on, ref1, ref2, ref3 “brilliant jerk” problem, ref1 Brooks on, ref1 at Dropbox, ref1, ref2 examples of software built by one- or small-person teams, ref1 origins of concept, ref1 pop culture examples of, ref1 start-up environment and, ref1 unease of 10x coders with rock star concept, ref1 TensorFlow, ref1 Terminator (film), ref1 Thiel, Peter, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Thompson, Ken, ref1 Thornton, Jacob, ref1 Thorpe, Chris, ref1 Thunderbird, ref1 Tor, ref1 Torvalds, Linus, ref1, ref2, ref3 trolls, ref1, ref2 Tron (film), ref1 TRS-80, ref1 Trulia, ref1 Trump, Donald, ref1, ref2, ref3 Tufekci, Zeynep, ref1, ref2 Turner, Fred, ref1 Turner, Jamie, ref1, ref2 Tweepy, ref1 Twilio, ref1 Twitter, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 ad tech, civic impacts of, ref1 algorithm ranking systems at, ref1 content moderation, ref1, ref2 ethical blind spots of designers and engineers, effects of, ref1 free-to-use model of, ref1 harassment on, ref1, ref2, ref3 measures to combat harassment, ref1 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), ref1, ref2 2600, ref1, ref2 Uber, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Unlocking the Clubhouse (Fisher and Margolis), ref1 Upload VR, ref1 user behavior, ref1 Uwazie, Nnamdi, ref1 Vaidhyanathan, Siva, ref1, ref2, ref3 Varma, Roli, ref1, ref2 venture capital funding pattern matching bias and, ref1 priorities of next generation of, changing, ref1 scale and, ref1 Vim, ref1 voting machines, penetration testing of, ref1 Wall, Larry, ref1, ref2 Wang Xing, ref1 WannaCry malware, ref1, ref2 Ward, Matt, ref1 WarGames (film), ref1, ref2 Washio, ref1 Waste Land, The (Eliot), ref1 waterfall design, ref1 Weapons of Math Destruction (O’Neil), ref1 web coding, ref1 WeChat, ref1 Weinstein, Harvey, ref1 Weisman, Jonathan, ref1 Weizenbaum, Joseph, ref1, ref2 Wescoff, Marlyn, ref1 “When and Why Your Code Starts to Smell Bad” (Tufano et al.), ref1 Whitney, Max, ref1, ref2 Whyte, William H., ref1 Weird Science (film), ref1 Wikipedia, ref1 Wilkes, Mary Allen, ref1, ref2 development of LINC personal computer and, ref1 education of, ref1 first how-to programming book written by, ref1 hired as programmer at MIT’s Lincoln Labs, ref1 IBM 704 programming of, ref1 Wilkes, Maurice, ref1 William, Alan, ref1 Williams, James, ref1, ref2 Wing, Jeannette, ref1 Wired, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 women coders, ref1 bifurcation in pay and prestige of coding jobs available to, ref1 biological argument for dearth of, ref1 black women coders, ref1 capacity crisis, impact of, ref1 culture fit concern of start-ups in hiring, ref1 current lack of, ref1, ref2 decline in computer science degrees, 1984 onward, ref1, ref2 ENIAC computer and, ref1, ref2 experiences of, in programming classes, ref1 first compilers designed by, ref1 front-end coding and, ref1 geek myth, impact of, ref1, ref2 hacker generation of late 1960s and 1970s and, ref1 Hollywood’s reinforcement of boys’ club message, ref1 hostile work environment and harassment encountered by, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 in India and Malaysia, ref1 Lovelace as first programmer, ref1 midcareer women leaving industry, ref1 mistaken for PR personnel, ref1 in 1950s and 1960s, ref1, ref2 open source software and, ref1 pattern matching bias and, ref1 percentage in workplace, 2017, ref1 reversing shift of women out of coding, ref1 shift to maleness in coding and BBS cultures of 1980s, ref1, ref2 undermining comments and negative feedback given to, ref1 in World War II, ref1 Word2vec, ref1, ref2 word embedding, ref1 WordPress, ref1 Wozniak, Steve, ref1 writing versus coding, rewards of, ref1 Wu, Brianna, ref1 Wyden, Ron, ref1 Yan, Jinghao, ref1 Yang, Kevin, ref1 Y combinator accelerator, ref1 Yee, Marty, ref1 Yitbarek, Saron, ref1, ref2 Young, Michael, ref1 Your Career in Computers, ref1 YouTube, ref1, ref2 algorithm ranking systems at, ref1, ref2 content moderation, ref1, ref2 measures to limit upranking of disinfo videos at, ref1 Zawinski, Jamie, ref1, ref2 Zeiler, Matt, ref1 Zero to One (Thiel), ref1, ref2 Zhu, Yan, ref1 Zimmermann, Phil, ref1 Zork (game), ref1 Zuckerberg, Mark, ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 apologizes for and releases privacy code for News Feed, ref1 negative reaction to News Feed and, ref1 on political schisms fostered by News Feed, ref1 Zunger, Yonatan, ref1 Zuse, Konrad, ref1 C o d e r s Clive Thompson is a longtime contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a monthly columnist for Wired.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

Also, your car is protected under HyreCar’s industry ridesharing insurance. Poshmark People buy or sell their clothing via Poshmark’s mobile app. The premise is that you can “make money from clothes that are just sitting in your closet.” Fon Fon enables people to share their home Wi-Fi network in exchange for getting free Wi-Fi from other users in the network. TaskRabbit and Zaarly Mobile marketplaces such as TaskRabbit and Zaarly allow you to hire people to do jobs and tasks, from delivery to handyman to office help. You can use these platforms to market your own services, from home repairs to iPhone repairs. DogVacay DogVacay connects dog owners with hosts who will take care of their dogs while they are away. Love dogs? Become a host and earn some money doing something you love.

Shopify silver, as Momentum investment opportunity simplicity Sivers, Derek sleep, and energy amplification and productivity rituals social media, and podcast promotion promoting entrepreneurial efforts with social media marketing, as entrepreneurial opportunity Solopreneurs space travel Spinlister spiritual energy stock market investments, Bank Strategy and economic cycles and failure of conventional investments Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) Sharelord Strategy vs. real estate investments storage units stress, and strengthening your mindset subscriptions, and Active/Passive Scale support for specific causes support groups sweat equity, and real estate investments sweep accounts. See Wealth Capture Accounts T Taleb, Nassim Nicholas talent, and entrepreneurial opportunities and purpose TaskRabbit tax-deductibility, of health savings accounts (HSAs) and incorporation of loans of real estate investments using CPAs to maximize taxes, and entrepreneurship and failure of conventional investments and financial efficiency and real estate investments and retirement plans and Wealth Capture Accounts See also specific taxes tax lien certificates technological changes, and entrepreneurial opportunities and Wealth Capture Accounts Templeton, Sir John Tertullian The Zigzag Principle (Christiansen) Think and Grow Rich (Hill) thinking outside the box Thompson, Hunter S.


pages: 119 words: 36,128

Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed by Laurie Kilmartin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, call centre, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Uber for X

He can take comfort in the fact that his disgusting fantasies, like his eye color, are genetic. Your son is a second-, third-, perhaps even fourth-generation degenerate and it’s okay for him to know that. One day, he will log on to Ancestry.com and see that he is descended from a long line of men who liked gang bangs. If you don’t have a son, how about a son-in-law? You gave your daughter away to him, he feels even worse about his porn. No son-in-law? No problem. Time for TaskRabbit. (Task-Rabbit is like Uber, for chores.) Open the app and search for “handyman services.” Then, let “Harry S” be your son for the day. When he arrives 15 minutes later (oh boy, this is already sounding like a porn movie), tell him “five stars” if he gets rid of everything. Is there any handier man than one who removes incriminating evidence AND doesn’t know your last name? REMEMBER: We daughters have spent a lifetime being vexed by penises.


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

Airbnb, basic income, bitcoin, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, fixed income, full employment, future of work, high net worth, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), iterative process, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, litecoin, mass incarceration, means of production, Occupy movement, pattern recognition, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-work, postindustrial economy, price mechanism, private military company, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart meter, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

But a market, for any one particular type of thing or service, can also be considered as a technology, one with very different meanings and effects depending on the larger social structure in which it is embedded. In a society like ours, characterized by extreme concentrations of wealth and income, the market allocates social power in proportion to money—thus producing a society of “one dollar, one vote.” Consider the example of companies like the car-sharing service Uber, the errand-outsourcing website TaskRabbit, and the short-term rental market AirBnB. All represent themselves as part of the “sharing economy,” in which individuals make small exchanges of goods and services under conditions of fundamental equality. The idea is that I might rent out my apartment when I’m on vacation, and hire you to drive me somewhere when you have the spare time, and that we all therefore end up with a bit more convenience and a bit more money.

In that case, nobody has enough wealth and power to exploit anyone else, which would make this a good example of what the sociologist Erik Olin Wright calls “capitalism between consenting adults” who have equal power in the marketplace.20 As they exist now, these companies really just demonstrate how unequal and nonconsensual our current system is. They are unequal in two different ways. There is inequality between the buyers and sellers of services in these systems: people employed through TaskRabbit can do little to challenge abusive or unreasonable demands for fear of being fired. Many AirBnB properties are run by companies that are essentially unlicensed hotel chains, not by individuals trying to let a spare room for a few days. And the companies themselves, backed by major venture capitalists, have power over buyers and sellers because they control the platforms on which the exchange occurs and can change the rules at will to maximize their profits.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Buyers and sellers who find each other on the platform are naturally incentivized to take the interaction off the platform if they can, in order to avoid paying the transaction fee. This problem is especially rampant with platforms that connect service providers with service consumers. With the rise of the freelancer economy and the spread of the online sharing economy, platform businesses from Airbnb and Uber to TaskRabbit and Upwork have sprung up to facilitate service interactions. However, most of them are faced with the challenge of capturing the interaction on-platform. In most cases, the interaction can’t occur until the producer (in this case, the service provider) and the consumer (the purchaser of the service) agree on the terms of the service, which usually requires the two to interact directly. Furthermore, the actual exchange of money often follows the delivery of the service, which also requires the two participants to interact directly.

Do we want to live in a society where those with the most money can claim an ever larger share of the most attractive public goods? These are some of the questions about external impacts that a seemingly simple case like the MonkeyParking story raises. Labor platforms, bulwarks of what some call the freelance or 1099 economy, raise still other issues of social impact and equity. Platforms like Upwork, TaskRabbit, and Washio are fine for people who value a flexible work schedule above all, but are much more problematic for people who find themselves with no choice except to operate as full-time employees on a freelance basis without the benefits and worker protections normally mandated by law. It’s understandable that businesses want to take advantage of the agility and low overhead costs that labor platforms make possible.

It’s a classic illustration of how regulatory debates that evoke majestic concepts such as equity, freedom, and the sanctity of the marketplace often turn, in the end, on nitty-gritty issues of dollars and cents and the political clout that various players bring to the legislative table. Labor regulation. Those who operate labor platforms usually choose to describe their systems as intermediaries that serve solely to match labor with demand for services. In this view, the people who sign up for work through firms such as Uber, TaskRabbit, and Mechanical Turk are truly independent contractors, and the platform bears little legal (or moral) responsibility to the parties on either side of the interaction once the match has been made. However, from the perspective of regulators who are charged with safeguarding the welfare of working men and women, this position is dubious. In the traditional world of offline business, a number of firms that classify full-time, permanent employees as contract labor for legal and regulatory purposes have been drawing unfavorable attention for the practice.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Of the companies that are poised to profit on this coming war of all against all, Uber is the most famous; as I have mentioned, it invites each of us to spend our spare time as hacks for hire. But with the magic of innovation, virtually any field can join the race to the bottom. There’s LawTrades, a sort of Uber for lawyers, and HouseCall, an Uber for “home service professionals.” Everyone’s favorite is something called TaskRabbit, which allows people to farm out odd jobs to random day laborers, whom the app encourages you to imagine as cute, harmless bunnies. “Crowdworking” is the most startling variation on the theme, a scheme that allows anyone, anywhere to perform tiny digital tasks in exchange for extremely low pay. This way, everyone can become part of the great “on-demand labor pool” of millions, coming together to parse data and make Silicon Valley’s bottom line that much fatter.

Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks, while TaskRabbit is just a modern and even more flexible version of the old familiar temp agency I worked for back in the 1980s. Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are “the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.”26 This is atavism, not innovation.

See also technocracy Sister Souljah 60 Minutes (TV show) Snoop Dogg Snowden, Edward social class Democrats and political parties and social question and two-class system Social Innovation Compact Social Security privatization of Social Security Commissions Solomon, Larry South by Southwest (SXSW) Sperling, Gene Sperling, John Stanford University Stanislaw, Joseph startups State Department State New Economy Index STEM skills Stenholm, Charles Stiglitz, Joseph stimulus of 2009 stimulus spending, Bill Clinton and stock market. See also financial crisis of 2008–9; and specific indexes Crash of 1929 stock options student loans subprime mortgages Summers, Larry surveillance Suskind, Ron symbolic analysts Syria TaskRabbit Tate & Lyle lockout Tawney, R. H. taxes Bill Clinton and capital-gains Carter and Cuomo and marginal rate Massachusetts and Obama and Social Security and taxi drivers teachers Teach for America Teamsters Union Tea Party technocracy Technocracy and The Politics of Expertise (Fischer) Techtopus scandal TED talks Teixeira, Ruy telecommunications Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Ten Percent Third World Time To Save Everything, Click Here (Morozov) Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Treasury Department Truman, Harry Trump, Donald Truth in Sentencing Tsongas, Paul Twilight of the Elites (Hayes) Twitter Uber unemployment UNICEF innovation team United Auto Workers (UAW) United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights U.S.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Tripping.com competes with Flip-Key, Roomorama, VacayHero, and Wimdu.52 ShareDesk lets you find on-demand workspace in more than four hundred cities.53 A sharing economy service or equivalent exists for just about anything you can think of. That includes sharing people as well. If you want to hire freelance labor for everyday work, TaskRabbit is operating in approximately thirty cities. If you are interested in food delivery, Postmates might be a better alternative. Sundararajan’s book on the sharing economy carries a subtitle, The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism. The implication is that, as more work migrates to the sharing economy, it will be less valuable. Part-time workers now perform jobs that once came with salaries, health care, and other benefits. A part-time Uber worker displaces the fleet taxi driver. A skilled union electrician suddenly finds himself doing part-time work via TaskRabbit. A lot more people are going to be working in the gig economy. But perhaps the most significant phenomenon of all is what we would call the hub-and-spoke business model, in which a small, highly compensated core group works for a company that organizes the work of hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of subcontractors.

It might be said that the “secret sauce” of the shared economy is the principle that the more workers you can outsource, the better it will be for the owners and senior management. A permanent employee is a double-edged sword. Loyal, skilled, and committed employees are a great asset. No business can succeed without them. But they are also an expensive burden. Companies have to provide them with health insurance, retirement benefits, vacations, time off for emergencies, and pay them when they come to work, even if there is no work to do. So, in a sense, the Uber and TaskRabbit business models are ideal for employers. The beauty of it is that the free market sets the value of the work done by the non-core employees. Since the company takes a cut of what the contractors make, its fixed costs are very low. WHEN SUCCESS MEANS SMALLER In 1997, Clayton Christensen published one of the most influential business books of all time, The Innovator’s Dilemma. He describes how the very processes that enable market leaders to succeed also set them up for failure when disruptive new products and technologies appear.


pages: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

The International Monetary Fund has found that trust between workers and management makes labour markets work better, and worker empowerment is likely to boost that trust. For all these reasons, policies that improve employee representation in decision-making can potentially boost an economy’s productivity as well as enhance workers’ autonomy, agency, and sense of control directly.20 Statutory rights for nonemployment work relationships. Internet platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit have made it possible to procure and offer work in a much more fragmented way than through traditional employment relationships. The “gig economy” may not yet be as extensive in proportion to the entire economy as the media attention would lead you to believe, but it constitutes a significant share of new jobs since the Great Recession of 2008, and it is likely to continue to grow as it becomes practical to outsource more and more tasks as “gigs”—including cognitive ones.21 That model is, moreover, well suited to technological developments that will require more frequent job changes.

In production, because if bigger companies can make better use of digital technologies to reduce their costs and outcompete smaller ones, their market share becomes even bigger. In labour markets, it seems inevitable that the digital revolution will continue to upend traditional work structures. Not only will many jobs—such as driving or retail—become scarcer, but fragmented flexible working will increasingly take the place of regular full-time employment. Internet platforms will play a part in this—not just the well-known ones such as Uber and TaskRabbit but across the economy. The concept of the internet platform is now a well-established model to intermediate between buyers and sellers of services, as it makes it easy to solicit and offer work outside permanent work relationships. But that also means platforms will to a large extent regulate the conditions under which people work and the terms on which new businesses can bring their products and services to market.

See also economics of belonging Social Democratic Party (Germany), 231 social market economy: challenges to contemporary, 12–13; failures of, 9–10; in Germany, 60; policies and actions leading to creation of, 11–13; postwar accomplishments of, 8–9; principles of, 5; promise of, 8, 9; restoration of, 10; significance of, for political health of the nation, 7–8, 10, 12–16 soft skills, 33–34 Solow, Robert, 55–56 Soros, George, 89 Soviet Union, 6 Spain, 59, 150, 172, 175, 270n6 Springsteen, Bruce, 35 Starbucks, 181 structural change, mismanagement of, 55–62, 67 Subramanian, Arvind, 79–80 subsidies, 196–97 sudden stop, in money flows, 218 Summers, Lawrence, 66, 145 Sweden: economic change as trigger for populism in, 42–44, 47; egalitarianism and prosperity in, 99–100; job mobility in, 107–8; job training programmes in, 109; manufacturing technology in, 79 Sweden Democrat party, 43–45, 47 swing voters, 16 Switzerland: negative interest rates in, 164; net wealth taxes in, 172, 175, 177, 261n6, 263n12 “Take Back Control,” 8, 111, 221 TaskRabbit, 124, 128 tax avoidance, 179–81, 218–19 taxe GAFA (French tax), 180 tax policy, 168–87; carbon tax, 183–87; corporate taxes, 178–83, 218–19; harms inflicted on the vulnerable by, 168–69; income inequality arising from, 56–57, 169, 171; loopholes in, 175; net wealth taxes, 172–78; progressive taxes, 171; Trump’s, 179, 264n18. See also universal basic income (UBI)/negative income tax (NIT) tax rates, 115, 170 tax treaties, 182, 227, 264n23 Tea Party movement, 40 technology: digital, 30, 113, 128–30; economics of belonging aided by, 97; globalisation aided by, 72; government’s failed response to, 51; inequalities exaggerated by, 30; job creation by, 28–29; job loss caused by, 17–18, 23, 28–29, 35, 50, 56–62, 68–70, 77, 79; in knowledge economy, 28; labour productivity increased by, 97; low-paid labour vs., 97–98; in manufacturing, 79; market abuse facilitated by, 30, 113, 128–30; Norwegian economy’s use of, 96–97, 101; wage structures as means of encouraging investment in, 98–104; wealth concentration aided by, 169 Thatcher, Margaret, 57, 230 third-way political/economic approach, 117, 231, 232 Tilbury, England, 17, 18, 22, 32 Tooze, Adam, 87 trade: classical and non-classical types of, 73–75; employment created by, 78, 249n9, 250n16; globalisation and, 72–82; unemployment linked to, 77–78, 249n9, 249n13 Treaty of Detroit, 52, 55 Trump, Donald: ideological supporters of, 15; illiberalism of, 7; and immigration, 82; and manufacturing, 75; masculinity as value of, 33–34; political shock of, 7, 18; tax policy of, 179, 264n18; voter support for, 16, 33, 41, 45, 46, 72, 192–93 trust, 47–48 Uber, 69, 113, 124, 128, 180–81 unemployment: cultural and psychological consequences of, 9, 26, 35; employment opportunities lessened by periods of, 138; GDP in relation to, 136; from global financial crisis, 63; globalisation as cause of, 70, 73, 75–78; immigration’s role in, 82–83, 215–16; manufacturing-related, 22–27, 22, 77; of marginalised groups, 135, 136; recessions’ effects on, 135; technology as cause of, 17–18, 23, 28–29, 35, 50, 56–62, 68–70, 77, 79; trade as cause of, 77–78, 249n9, 249n13; usurpation story about, 18, 21–22, 26, 82, 90 unions: alternatives to traditional, 122–25; decline of, 57–58, 60, 69, 121; future of, 234; for gig workers, 125; in the Nordic countries, 100–103, 110, 121, 123; as obstacles to change, 122; social contract role of, 52, 54, 61; wage structures linked to influence of, 52, 54, 57–58, 60, 121; and workplace empowerment, 121–25.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Not just Uber and Lyft, but Google, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Snap, Baidu, Tencent, and Apple draw a great deal of their strength from the fact that they are networked marketplace platforms, managed by algorithm. As we’ll discuss in Chapter 5, they have some fundamental differences from the twentieth-century organizations with which they compete. Might networks and technology platforms provide a new form of organization that trumps old corporate forms, replacing them with something even more powerful? On Demand. It’s easy to put a platform like TaskRabbit, whose app allows consumers to hire occasional labor such as movers, house cleaners, or gardeners at the touch of a button, into the same map as Uber and Lyft. Even Upwork, which lets you tap into a global marketplace of professional programmers, designers, and other skilled workers for short-term “gigs,” is a clear fit. For many observers of the next economy, the map begins and ends there. But what can we call Amazon but an on-demand company, when increasingly its products are delivered same-day (sometimes even by a network of on-demand drivers in their own cars rather than by traditional package delivery companies)?

The wonders of the first industrial revolution were brought about by workers partnered with new kinds of machines. Could we build skyscrapers or fly through the air or feed seven billion people without machines that make us stronger, faster, and more powerful? So too it is with today’s technology. If it is being deployed correctly, it should allow us to do things that were previously impossible. The amount of augmentation may vary. A service like TaskRabbit augments workers’ ability to find customers, but not to do the job. Uber and Lyft drivers have additional augmentation in their ability to navigate and find clients. Surgeons and oncologists might be working in traditional organizations but are cognitively augmented workers, with “senses” that were not available to their forebears; so too, with the advent of augmented reality, will be building inspectors, architects, and factory workers.

Because employment law allows different classes of benefits for part-time and full-time workers, with the threshold being at 30 hours per week, this loophole allows core staff at the company to be given generous benefits, while the low-wage contingent workers get the bare-bones version. Once you realize this, you understand the potentially damaging effect of current labor regulations not just for new Silicon Valley companies but also for their workers. Turn on-demand workers from 1099 contractors into W2 employees, and the most likely outcome is that the workers go from having the opportunity to work as much as they like for a platform like Uber or TaskRabbit to one in which they are kept from working more than 29 hours a week. This was in fact exactly what happened when Instacart converted some of its on-demand workers to employees. They became part-time employees. (Even before the advent of computerized shift-scheduling software, companies played shell games with employee pay and benefits. I remember student protests at Harvard that my daughter was part of in 2000 focused on the unfair treatment of janitors and other maintenance personnel.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, IKEA effect, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the new new thing, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

For many users, switching services means abandoning years of investment and starting over. No one wants to rebuild a loyal following they have worked hard to acquire and nurture. Reputation Reputation is a form of stored value users can literally take to the bank. On online marketplaces such as eBay, TaskRabbit, Yelp, and Airbnb, people with negative scores are treated very differently from those with good reputations. It can often be the deciding factor in what price a seller gets for an item on eBay, who is selected for a TaskRabbit job, which restaurants appear at the top of Yelp search results, and the price of a room rental on Airbnb. On eBay both buyers and sellers take their reputations very seriously. The e-commerce giant surfaces user-generated quality scores for every buyer and seller, and awards its most active users with badges to symbolize their trustworthiness.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

Like the ride-sharing service Uber, Instacart creates work by connecting affluent customers who have more money than time with part-time workers who have the opposite problem—lots of time, not enough money.”6 At first blush, this way of working seems very democratic. Anyone can participate! But in many platforms, however, participation quickly becomes a meritocracy, and poor performers are rapidly winnowed out through negative comments and poor ratings. The bad or unreliable drivers on Uber, the hosts with dirty apartments, and the errand runners on TaskRabbit who never seem to be on time won’t do much business. Neither will freelancers on Guru, eLance, and oDesk, medical practitioners on ZocDoc, entrepreneurs on Kiva, and food preparers on Feastly if they have bad reviews. High-quality peers are valuable co-creators. A small subset of individuals will have work that stands out because it is so much better than the others’. Jordi Muñoz is clearly one such example.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, “employees” get benefits, expect a long-term relationship with the employer, and perform work that is a key aspect of the business. Peers do all of this but don’t get benefits. Is this a bum rap? Let’s look a little closer. Employers control things such as how a worker is paid and whether expenses are reimbursed, and they provide the tools required to get the job done. Here we find murkiness. Many peer platforms do set rates, like the peer taxi services and TaskRabbit. And how exactly does one define “tool” today? A significant part of the platform’s purpose is to provide access to the tools that make production vastly simpler and easier. Employers control what the worker does and how the worker does it. Quality constraints and standards for participation enacted by the platform (be a good driver, maintain a good rating) make it feel like platforms could in some circumstances actually be exercising a lot of control around work production.

In my thinking, some platforms are in fact people-centric partnerships, opening up the possibility of a new localized, customized, specialized economy as delivered by the people. Platforms have unleashed the talents of artists and craftspeople (Etsy), musicians (SoundCloud), freelance administrators, accountants, and logisticians (eLance-oDesk), illustrators (Behance), cooks (Feastly), dog sitters (Rover), caregivers and babysitters (Care.com), errand runners (TaskRabbit), editors, programmers, designers, and videographers (Fiverr.com), communities of knitters (Ravelry), and gardeners (GardenWeb). This list could go on for pages, as we all know. All of these people now have newfound agency, new corporate powers, and access to a marketplace. These are examples of platforms that do not simply aggregate a commodity such as spare bedrooms but act as marketplaces for genuinely creative people to find audiences for their work—the same job that record companies and movie studios started out doing.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

“For the first time in startup history,” the article asserted, “girl wonders actually have an edge over the boys.” Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, was featured, and shorter profiles were provided of more than two dozen others, including Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting, and Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus of One Kings Lane. Jessica Mah was included, too. The caption accompanying her picture said, “The stereotype: Only boys launch companies when they’re still in college. The reality: Girls have dorms, too.”10 The tone of the article, which begins by emphasizing the supposed “edge” that women founders in the Valley enjoy over men, changes markedly near the end, when it suggests women remain as behind men as ever. The author, E. B. Boyd, expresses her dismay as she watches Busque, the founder she’s featured most prominently, step out of the chief executive role at TaskRabbit to make way for a male outsider that the board has hired to take her place.

See also Kalvins Ries, Eric, 55, 77, 147 RocketMail, 151 RocketSpace, 136 Rolnitzky, David, 89–90, 134 Ruby, 31, 124, 148, 193 Rushkoff, Douglas, 267n1 Russell, Andy, 127–28 Sacca, Chris, 57, 61 Said Business School, 57 Salesforce.com, 31, 204 Salt Lake City, UT, 42 San Diego, CA, 20 San Francisco, CA, 41, 54 CampusCred, 111 hipsters, 36, 211 living in, 9, 35–36 Mission, 165 MobileWorks, 90 MUNI, 153 rideshare listings, 120–21 Russian Hill, 165 South of Market, 163 Standard Chartered Bank office, 90 Taylor Street, 223–24 Y Scraper, 223–24 YC founders in, 58, 71, 133–34, 141, 142, 163, 229 San Francisco Gray Line, 1 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, 41–42, 202–3 Santa Barbara, CA, 20 Sapient, 29 Say It Visually, 101–2 Schmidt, Geoff, 234 Science Exchange, 46, 163, 171–82 Scott, Riley, 51 Scribd, 166, 224, 230 Seattle, WA, 71 Securities Act of 1933, 205 Seibel, Michael, 142, 144, 228, 229 Sequoia Capital, 3, 66, 74, 86, 87, 153, 157 Seyal, Omar, 66, 151 Shah, Sagar, 110–14, 117, 136–37 Sharpie, 165 Shazam, 81 Shear, Emmett education, 15 Kan, Daniel, 229 Kan, Justin, 162–63 Kiko, 14, 16, 23 Justin.tv, 141–44 Rap Genius, 201 Twitch.tv, 144–47, 228 2005, summer batch, 14–16 YC partner, 63, 150 Shen, Jason, 68, 69, 163–64, 266n3 AnyAsq, 166 Art of Ass-Kicking blog, 9 Demo Day, 211 finalist interview, 10 Prototype Day, 120–21 Rehearsal Day, 187–88 Shirky, Clay, 105 Shpilman, Felix, 88, 222 Siberian ginseng, 134 Sift Science, 70–76, 121, 134, 138, 210 Silicon Valley Australian view of, 267n6 failure, forgiving of, 220 image, 114 merit over seniority, 60 programmers, 212 startups, 56–57, 58–59 Taggar, Harj, 58–60 tours, 1 uniqueness of, 237, 238 women in, 54 YC, 40 Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford, 57 Silver Tail, 54 Sims, Zach, 124–25, 147–49, 192–93, 194–96, 215–16, 227 Singapore, 154, 238 Skype, 17, 38, 124, 223, 265n1 Snapjoy, 43–44, 103, 130–33, 186–87, 194 Socialcam, 144, 147, 228 software is eating the world, 1–2, 6, 216, 238, 239 South Africa, 17 Spain, 238 Spanish (language), 213 Splitterbug, 123, 187, 209 Square, 91 Stamatiou, Paul, 219 Standard Chartered Bank, 90 Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, 47 Bing Nursery School, 52 computer science students, 47, 60, 66, 256n6 dorms, 52 Google, 86 graduates of, 9, 29, 68, 91, 214, 261n1, 266n3 photo books, 10 Stanford Daily, 163 students, current, 213 Start Fund, 43, 95, 137, 169, 219, 233 Andreesen Horowitz, 230 beginnings, 4, 28 Clerky, 126 Graham, Paul, 35, 87–88 Science Exchange, 179 Shpilman, Felix, 88 Tagstand, 154 Steiner, Chris, 51, 191, 208–9, 264n2 Stigsen, Alexander, 51, 103 Stripe, 64–66 Stypi, 194 Su, Andy, 52–53 Sunnyvale, CA, 125, 130, 149 SuperValu, 209 Suzman, Ted, 164–65, 224 Suzman, Tim, 164–68, 223–24 SV Angel, 137, 219, 233 Andreesen Horowitz, 230 Clerky, 126 Conway, Ron, 88–89 Lee, David, 88–89, 91 MongoHQ, 95 Science Exchange, 179 Stripe, 66 Tagstand, 154 Sweden, 168, 238 Swedish, 214 Taggar, Harj (Harjeet) AnyAsq, 166 Auctomatic, 60–63, 204 Boso, 57–58 coding, 58, 60 Kalvins/Ridejoy, 68 Rap Genius, 80–85, 127, 196 Sift Science, 71–75 Silicon Valley, 58–60 speaking style, 81 on startups, 59, 61, 66, 161–62 2007, winter, 58–61 YC partner, 62–63, 150, 166, 256–57n3, 263n13 Taggar, Kulveer, 151–60 Auctomatic, 60–62, 159, 204 Boso, 57–58 coding, 58, 60 Demo Day, 210, 264n1 Tagstand, 66 YC, 58–61, 66, 154, 160 Tagstand, 66, 151–60 Taiwan, 238 Tam, Chris, 98–100 Tamagotchi, 156 Tamplin, James, 134–36, 138 Tan, Garry Science Exchange, 171, 180–81 Tagstand, 151, 155 YC partner, 63, 64, 150 Tan, Jason, 71–76, 121, 134–36, 210 TapEngage, 187, 192, 209 Target, 169 TaskRabbit, 54 Tech Wildcatters, 41 TechCrunch, 93, 197 Codecademy, 195, 227 Snapjoy, 131 Socialcam, 147 women, 48 YC, 194 TechStars, 41, 42–44, 53, 169, 255n5–6, 255n10, 261n2 10gen, 30, 93 Thiel, Peter, 66, 140, 261n1 Thing Marks, 148 Thomas, Eric, 106, 108 TightDB, 51, 103, 223 Toontastic, 127–28 Topps, 152 Traf-O-Data, 16 Transition School, 15 Trott, Mena, 46 Tumblr, 147 Turkey, 17 Twitch.tv, 145–47, 228 Twitter, 57, 58, 91 Codecademy, 195, 227 Conway, Ron, 87 female users, 256n10 NowSpots, 168 Socialcam, 147 280 North, 64 UC Davis, 20 UCLA, 20 UC San Diego, 20 UC Santa Cruz, 20 UK, 17, 57, 59, 61, 184, 238 Union Square Ventures, 267n1 United Nations, 162, 214 University of Maryland, 39 University of Miami, 171 University of Southern California, 20, 88 University of Texas, Austin, 112 University of Washington, 15, 70, 71 U.S.


pages: 173 words: 53,564

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes

"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

Instead of reaching for a pair of barber shears, they reach for their smartphones and register to become Lyft drivers and Postmates delivery people. TaskRabbiters pitch in to assemble furniture, rake leaves, or even stand in line to buy theater tickets or a newly released iPhone. In some cases, these contract jobs are a godsend because they help workers who only get part-time hours elsewhere to supplement their income, as laborers have done since the beginning of time. We often think of millennials in these jobs, the masters of the art of the “side hustle,” but the numbers show it isn’t just millennials doing contingent work. A quarter of the working-age population in the United States and Europe engage in some type of independently paid gig, some by choice, but many out of necessity. People who find work through apps like Lyft and TaskRabbit get a lot of attention, but they are the tip of the iceberg.


pages: 215 words: 55,212

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social web, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, walkable city, yield management, young professional, Zipcar

http://www.guru.com Ideas Culture: Offers a team of Idea Agents to help create a company’s next big idea. http://www.ideasculture.com Spudaroo: Helps you solicit expert advice on your project. http://www.spudaroo.com Squidoo: Passionate experts share advice and direct seekers to best resources. www.squidoo.com Swapaskill: Swap something you can do for what you need. http://www.swapaskill.com TaskRabbit: Service networking. Users network to get their errands done. http://taskrabbit.com SOCIAL NETWORKING The newest wave of information technology enables Mesh businesses to unite people with common interests through social networks. Members of these online platforms can engage in conversation, exchange information, share photos, and form special-interest groups. Other Mesh companies in this category use advanced data capacity for tracking and aggregating information to analyze and report trends that develop on social networking sites.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, deindustrialization, discovery of DNA, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, mini-job, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, open economy, patent troll, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, zero-sum game

Worker compensation has not kept pace with productivity, so the share of income going to workers has decreased. So too, working conditions have, in many places, deteriorated. Workers are contracted without any certainty about the hours they will work, the income they will receive, or whether they will be pushed to work overtime without additional compensation. Moreover, online platforms for workers to sell their services, such as Uber or TaskRabbit, fragment the labor force and mute their voices. Chapter 9 discusses the key issue of the weakening of worker bargaining power. In this chapter, we focus on the market power of firms over their customers. We see it everywhere in the limited choices individuals have. One example is the vital information technology sector. This industry is dominated by only a few American corporations: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft.

The paradox is that, in some respects, we seem to be reversing a long-term trend associated with development, which is the move from informal jobs to formal jobs with better protections. In some cases, firms like Uber have tried to take advantage of legalistic arguments by claiming that their workers are independent contractors—even as the company controls many details of what they do. In some countries, courts have ruled against these obvious ruses. Box 9.1: The Gig Economy in Europe, Its Problems, and Possible Solutions Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit are examples of internet-based companies that connect clients with service providers (mini-cab drivers, owners of accommodation, and domestic work, respectively) through easy-to-use mobile apps. They often operate in a legal vacuum. While owners and shareholders reap large profits from low labor costs, workers–contractors pay for fuel, maintenance, insurance, and other direct costs. Additionally, risk is transferred from the employer to the service provider—if there is no demand, there is no work.

See also Greece; Italy; Portugal; Spain sovereign debt crisis aftermath of, 34 bond markets and, 171–72 Europe creating, 177–78 impacting social welfare programs, 240 response to, 90 Spain bond interest rates, 80 ECB demands of, 77 Gini coefficient in, 47 investment ratio of, 106 pension programs in, 247 Stability and Growth Pact and, 38 2008 crisis and, 35 unemployment levels in, 31 wage reduction in, 39 Stability and Growth Pact (1997) defined, 17–18 as enforcement mechanism, 34–35 failure of, 30, 37–41, 47–48, 104 flawed thinking about, 78–79 hindering investment agenda, 97–98, 105–6 investment proposal for, 110–11 revising, 50–52 Trichet on, 66 Stability Mechanism (ESM), European, 90–92 stagflation, 64 stakeholder capitalism, 136–37, 139 Stakeholder Capitalism Doctrine, 21 Starbucks, 193 state capitalism (China), 297, 298 Stetter, Ernst, xx Stiglitz-Stern Report, 201 structural policies, 69–71 subsidiarity principle, 25, 60, 150, 318 subsidies offsetting, with bank taxation, 202 wage, 267–68, 279 Sweden, 109, 192, 214, 222, 229, 247–48, 267 systemically important banks (G-SIBs), 164, 171–72 tariffs non-tariff barriers, 317 WTO overseeing, 310–11 TaskRabbit, 269 taxation avoidance and evasion, 162, 195–98 European, vs. US, 188–89 housing support tied to, 232–33 income tax harmonization, 199–200 of internet-based service providers, 269–70 negative income tax, 253 reforming, 206–7, 318–20 as revenue need, 189 society and economy, shaping, 187–88 taxation, progressive committing to, 188, 190–91 corporate taxation, 191–99 EU tax options, 199–200 property taxes as, 232 taxation externalities and internalities environmental taxes, 201–2 financial transactions tax, 202–6 overview of, 200 sin taxes, 200–201 tax competition, 192–93 tax codes, corporations and, 141 tax credit (EITC), earned income, 267 technological change inequality growth related to, 219–20 investment impacting, 101–2 job loss related to, 288 technology policy and, 19 technology companies competition policy and, 327 information technology sector, 129 patents by, 144 telecom sector, 131 tobacco and alcohol taxes, 200–201 Tobin, James, 204 trade.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Casey Newton, “This Is Uber’s Playbook for Sabotaging Lyft,” Verge, August 26, 2014, http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/26/6067663/this-is-ubers-playbook-for-sabotaging-lyft. 29. In September 2012, I washed cars for the Cherry service in San Francisco and was mentored and reviewed by an older washer, Kenny Chen. “Brad needs to look out for traffic,” he wrote; Brad Stone, “My Life as a TaskRabbit,” Bloomberg.com, September 13, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-09-13/my-life-as-a-taskrabbit. 30. Dan Levine, “Exclusive: Lyft Board Members Discussed Replacing CEO, Court Documents Reveal,” Reuters, November 7, 2014, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lyft-ceo-lawsuit-exclusive-idUSKBN0IR2HA20141108. 31. Douglas Macmillan, “Lyft Alleges Former Executive Took Secret Documents with Him to Uber,” Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2014, http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/11/05/lyft-alleges-former-executive-took-secret-documents-with-him-to-uber/. 32.

But its originators, carefully trying to fit the idea within the legal protections that state law afforded to casual carpooling, devised a more innocuous term: ridesharing. Internet-enabled ridesharing already existed, amorphously and unremarkably, well before it became a massive moneymaking opportunity. Ridesharing was a popular standalone category on Craigslist in many cities and on the labor marketplace TaskRabbit, founded in 2008, where requests for rides to the airport constituted 10 percent of the early traffic, according to its founder Leah Busque. In 1997, Sunil Paul, a native of India and the founder of an anti-spam company Brightmail, had the intuition that a phone could one day be used to facilitate rides between people traveling in the same direction. He was granted a patent for his System and Method for Determining an Efficient Transportation Route by the U.S.


pages: 276 words: 78,094

Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy

Airbnb, complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Isaac Newton, John Gruber, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, web application, wikimedia commons, Y Combinator

By using this sloppy, community-driven site, people are giving a middle finger to all those polished corporate newspapers that took their money for so many years. Sometimes Visual Design Is Your Advantage But, of course, craigslist is an exceptional case, and its market share is being eroded by a variety of services that specifically target various categories within craigslist. Services such as AirBNB (www.airbnb.com), TaskRabbit (www.taskrabbit.com), and oDesk (www.odesk.com) all provide solutions that are more tailored to the needs of their specific vertical markets and incorporate much more attractive visual design. There is no better example of a company that enjoys a heavier advantage thanks to its design than Apple. In 1997, Steve Jobs – upon returning to the company after a 12-year absence – discovered the under-appreciated design laboratory of Jonathan Ives.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

This is an important insight and suggests that jobs will be sliced and diced, with some tasks being automated, and other tasks being retained by the human who previously did the whole job. Some would argue that this process is already under way. Parts of the economies of developed countries are being fragmented, or Balkanised, with more and more people working freelance, carrying out individual tasks which are allocated to them by platforms and apps like Uber and TaskRabbit. There are many words for this phenomenon: the gig economy, the networked economy, the sharing economy, the on-demand economy, the peer-to-peer economy, the platform economy, and the bottom-up economy. Is this a way to escape the automation of jobs by machine intelligence? To break jobs down into as many component tasks as possible, and preserve for humans those tasks which they can do better than machines?

Many freelancers find they have simply traded an unreasonable boss for unreasonable clients, and feel unable to turn down any work for fear that it will be the last commission they ever get. Many freelancers find that in hindsight, the reassurance of a steady income goes a long way to compensate for the 9 to 5 routine of the salaried employee. Whether or not the new forms of freelancing opened up by Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy and so on are precarious is a matter of debate, especially in their birthplace, San Francisco. Are the people hired out by these organisations “micro-entrepreneurs” or “instaserfs” - members of a new “precariat”, forced to compete against each other on price for low-end work with no benefits? Are they operating in a network economy or an exploitation economy? Is the sharing economy actually a selfish economy?


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

But beyond that, the benefits in financial acumen, stewardship, and collective responsibility that this approach produces are unparalleled. Gig Economy. The platforms behind the gig economy like to talk about their movement as the savior of the American worker, empowering otherwise underemployed individuals to be their own bosses and live the entrepreneurial dream. After all, the drivers and laborers who make Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Fiverr, and TaskRabbit work can choose when and where they work with unprecedented control. Realistically, though, many of the workers in the gig economy need money. That’s why they’re side hustling. They’re underemployed or unemployed, and the minimal extra income they earn from these services—85 percent make less than $500 a month—is helping them make ends meet. That doesn’t sound like the ultimate in entrepreneurial freedom.

salary you’d earn if you worked there: “Buffer’s Transparent Salary Calculator,” Buffer, accessed September 1, 2018, https://buffer.com/salary/software-engineer-mobile/average; “Calculate Your Salary,” Stack Overflow, accessed September 1, 2018, https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/salary. “title ‘Director of Engineering’”: Reed Hastings, “Netflix Culture: Freedom and Responsibility,” SlideShare, August 1, 2009, www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664. deck to invent the future: Stacey Leasca, “These Are the Highest Paying Jobs in the Gig Economy,” Forbes, July 17, 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/sleasca/2017/07/17/highest-paying-jobs-gig-economy-lyft-taskrabbit-airbnb/#e2d9eeb7b644. wage policy and productivity: MIT Press, summary of Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently? by Dale T. Mortensen, accessed September 1, 2018, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/wage-dispersion. But it simply isn’t so: Joshua Isaac Smith, “The Myth of Rational Decisions—How Emotions Flavour Our Choices,” Adapt Faster, May 17, 2017, www.adaptfaster.com/the-myth-of-rational-decisions-how-emotions-flavour-our-choices.


pages: 337 words: 86,320

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor

A former Google employee, Dan Siroker, brought this methodology to Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, which A/B-tested home page designs, email pitches, and donation forms. Then Siroker started a new company, Optimizely, which allows organizations to perform rapid A/B testing. In 2012, Optimizely was used by Obama as well as his opponent, Mitt Romney, to maximize sign-ups, volunteers, and donations. It’s also used by companies as diverse as Netflix, TaskRabbit, and New York magazine. To see how valuable testing can be, consider how Obama used it to get more people engaged with his campaign. Obama’s home page initially included a picture of the candidate and a button below the picture that invited people to “Sign Up.” Was this the best way to greet people? With the help of Siroker, Obama’s team could test whether a different picture and button might get more people to actually sign up.

., 224 Snow, John, 275 Sochi, Russia, gays in, 119 social media bias of data from, 150–53 doppelganger hunting on, 201–3 and wives descriptions of husbands, 160–61, 160–61n See also specific site or topic social science, 272–74, 276, 279 social security, and words as data, 93 socioeconomic background and predicting success in basketball, 34–41 See also pedigrees sociology, 273, 274 Soltas, Evan, 130, 162, 266–67 South Africa, pregnancy in, 189 Southern Poverty Law Center, 137 Spain, pregnancy in, 190 Spartanburg Herald-Journal (South Carolina), and words as data, 96 specialization, extreme, 186 speed, for transmitting data, 56–59 “Spider Solitaire,” 58 Stephens-Davidowitz, Noah, 165–66, 165–66n, 169, 206, 263 Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth ambitions of, 33 lying by, 282n mate choice for, 25–26, 271 motivations of, 2 obsessiveness of, 282, 282n professional background of, 14 and writing conclusions, 271–72, 279, 280–84 Stern, Howard, 157 stock market data for, 55–56 and examples of Big Data searches, 22 Summers-Stephens-Davidowitz attempt to predict the, 245–48, 251–52 Stone, Oliver, 185 Stoneham, James, 266, 269 Storegard, Adam, 99–101 stories categories/types of, 91–92 viral, 22, 92 and zooming in, 205–6 See also specific story Stormfront (website), 7, 14, 18, 137–40 stretch marks, and pregnancy, 188–89 Stuyvesant High School (New York City), 231–37, 238, 240 suburban areas, and origins of notable Americans, 183–84 successful/notable Americans factors that drive, 185–86 zooming in on, 180–86 suffering, and benefits of digital truth serum, 161 suicide, and danger of empowered government, 266, 267–68 Summers, Lawrence and Obama-racism study, 243–44 and predicting the stock market, 245, 246, 251–52 Stephens-Davidowitz’s meeting with, 243–45 Sunstein, Cass, 140 Super Bowl games, advertising during, 221–25, 239 Super Crunchers (Gnau), 264 Supreme Court, and abortion, 147 Surowiecki, James, 203 surveys in-person, 108 internet, 108 and lying, 105–7, 108, 108n and pictures as data, 97 skepticism about, 171 telephone, 108 and truth about sex, 113, 116 and zooming in on hours and minutes, 193 See also specific survey or topic Syrian refugees, 131 Taleb, Nassim, 17 Tartt, Donna, 283 TaskRabbit, 212 taxes cheating on, 22, 178–80, 206 and examples of Big Data searches, 22 and lying, 180 and self-employed people, 178–80 and words as data, 93–95 zooming in on, 172–73, 178–80, 206 teachers, using tests to judge, 253–54 teenagers adopted, 108n as gay, 114, 116 lying by, 108n and origins of political preferences, 169 and truth about sex, 114, 116 See also children television and A/B testing, 222 advertising on, 221–26 Terabyte, 264 terrorism, 18, 129–31 tests/testing of high school students, 231–37, 253–54 and judging teacher, 253–54 and obsessive infatuations with numbers, 253–54 online behavior as supplement to, 278 and small data, 255–56 See also specific test or study Thiel, Peter, 155 Think Progress (website), 130 Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), 283 Thome, Jim, 200 Tourangeau, Roger, 107, 108 towns, zooming in on, 172–90 Toy Story (movie), 192 Trump, Donald elections of 2012 and, 7 and ignoring what people tell you, 157 and immigration, 184 issues propagated by, 7 and origins of notable Americans, 184 polls about, 1 predictions about, 11–14 and racism, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 133, 139 See also elections, 2016 truth benefits of knowing, 158–63 handling the, 158–63 See also digital truth serum; lying; specific topic Tuskegee University, 183 Twentieth Century Fox, 221–22 Twitter, 151–52, 160–61n, 201–3 typing errors by searchers, 48–50 The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera), 233 Uncharted (Aiden and Michel), 78–79 unemployment and child abuse, 145–47 data about, 56–57, 58–59 unintended consequences, 197 United States and Civil War, 79 as united or divided, 78–79 University of California, Berkeley, racism in 2008 election study at, 2 University of Maryland, survey of graduates of, 106–7 urban areas and life expectancy, 177 and origins of notable Americans, 183–84, 186 vagina, smells of, 19, 126–27, 161 Varian, Hal, 57–58, 224 Vikingmaiden88, 136–37, 140–41, 145 violence and real science, 273 zooming in on, 190–97 See also murder voter registration, 106 voter turnout, 9–10, 109–10 voting behavior, and lying, 106, 107, 109–10 Vox, 202 Walmart, 71–72 Washington Post, and words as data, 75, 94 Washington Times, and words as data, 75, 94–95 wealth and life expectancy, 176–77 See also income distribution weather, and predictions about wine, 73–74 Weil, David N., 99–101 Weiner, Anthony, 234n white nationalism, 137–40, 145.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

You Lost Your Job—Here’s a Gig Instead Where did all those laid-off factory workers and clerical workers and middle managers and postal workers go? Some went into service-sector jobs, where employment grew 17 percent, from 108 million in 2000 to 127 million in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But lately many have ended up in the gig economy, driving for Uber or running errands via TaskRabbit. The gig economy is the second way in which Silicon Valley has helped drive down wages. Instead of hiring employees, companies use the Internet to assemble a workforce of contract employees. The shift to gig work was helped along by the Great Recession, which put 8.7 million people out of work between 2007 and 2010—just as companies like Uber and Airbnb were being formed. The problem is that the jobs people lost had provided them with health insurance and some kind of retirement plan.

Today, in addition to cleaners, Q provides companies with people who do maintenance and repair, and provide IT services; Q even provides office temps and receptionists. Teran wanted to offer more, things like painting, plumbing, moving, and HVAC work. To do that, he launched Q Marketplace, which acts as a middleman, connecting customers to service providers. A customer in Chicago with a broken sink can do a search on the Q Marketplace website and find a local plumber who can come right away. It’s not quite the same as services like TaskRabbit, where you can hire someone to run any kind of errands. The Q Marketplace vets all the service providers, and they’re only dealing with people or companies that provide office services. To distinguish between its two businesses, Q labels its original cleaning business Q Services. That group—the cleaning business—still generates 95 percent of Q’s revenues, but eventually Teran thinks Q Marketplace could become the larger part of the business.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Gigwalk, which relies on half a million smart-phone-enabled workers, offers an example of how this new world of employment works. When Proctor and Gamble needs to know how and where its merchandise is being placed on Walmart shelves around the world, it can use Gigwalk’s platform to instantly deploy thousands of people who are paid a few dollars to walk into Walmart and check the shelves. Results come in within an hour. Staff-on-demand initiatives similar to Gigwalk are springing up everywhere: oDesk, Roamler, Elance, TaskRabbit and Amazon’s venerable Mechanical Turk are platforms where all levels of work, including highly skilled labor, can be outsourced. These companies, which represent just the first wave of this new business model, optimize the concept of paying for performance to lower customer risk. For talented workers, working on and getting paid for multiple projects is a particularly welcome opportunity.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Spotify, Netflix) 9) To what extent is Social functionality and collaboration a central element of your product/service offering?* ( ) No social/collaborative aspect is designed into our products/services (e.g. buying a lawnmower) ( ) We have bolted social/collaborative structures onto existing products/services (e.g. products have a Facebook page or Twitter feed) ( ) Social/collaborative functionality is used to enhance or deliver product/service offerings (e.g. 99Designs, Indiegogo, Taskrabbit) ( ) Social/collaborative inputs actually build our products/services offering (e.g. Yelp, Waze, Foursquare) Data & Algorithms 10) To what extent do you use algorithms and machine learning to make meaningful decisions?* ( ) We don’t do any meaningful data analysis ( ) We collect and analyze data mostly via reporting systems ( ) We use Machine Learning algorithms to analyze data and drive actionable decisions ( ) Our products and services are built around algorithms and machine learning (e.g.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Airbnb is among the most successful of the shared-economy companies. Unlike many traditional businesses, shared-economy companies have no single base of customers. Rather, these companies provide two-sided markets that connect sellers (or people with something to share) with buyers (who are willing to pay for the product or service)—like the transportation-network company Lyft, which connects passengers who need a ride to drivers who have a car, and TaskRabbit, an errand-outsourcing company that connects people who need something done with “taskers” who will do the job. For Airbnb, it’s connecting local residents with room to spare and travelers who need a place to stay. To grow, shared-economy companies have to keep both sides of the market—sellers and buyers—happy. And growing matters, because these companies face what are known as network effects—in other words, the positively reinforcing cycle in which more buyers attract more sellers and vice versa.

., [>]–[>] Everest climbers and, [>]–[>] overview/examples, [>]–[>] Start-Up Chile and, [>] strategy (business) simplifying strategy for execution, [>]–[>] “Strategy as Simple Rules” (Harvard Business Review), [>], [>] See also execution of strategy strength coach role, [>] suicides depression and, [>] note authenticity determination, [>], [>] Sull, Donald action research on simple rules and, [>]–[>] background, [>] as bouncer/rules, [>], [>]–[>] Internet study and, [>] Executive Education (London Business School) simple rules and, [>]–[>] program for simple rules/personal issues, [>]–[>], [>] simple rules program (London Business School) and, [>], [>], [>] See also simple rules program (London Business School) Suri, Sanjiv, [>], [>] Talmudic advice (1/N principle), [>]–[>], [>] n TaskRabbit, [>] tax code (US), [>]–[>], [>] Taylor, John, [>] team approach/simple rules and, [>]–[>], [>] thermoballing, [>] 30 Rock, [>], [>] Thirty Years’ War, [>] 3G Capital, [>] Time (magazine), [>] timing rules in competitive situations, [>]–[>] description, [>] event pacing, [>] insomnia and, [>]–[>] overview/examples, [>]–[>] partnerships and, [>] time pacing, [>], [>]–[>] Toy Story, [>] triage rules Boston Marathon bombings and, [>] criteria used, [>]–[>] n effectiveness, [>], [>] explosion example (2004/Iraq), [>]–[>] prioritizing rules and, [>]–[>], [>] Turconi, Stefano, [>], [>] Turley, Shannon background sports diversity/rules improvement, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] nutrition/eating rules, [>], [>] Stanford football and, [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] Twin Peaks, [>]–[>] uncertainty, [>], [>] n Valentinian III (emperor), [>] values and rules, [>]–[>] variable-threshold strategy, [>] VLS-Group, [>] Wansink, Brian, [>], [>] Weaver, Warren, [>]–[>] Weima Maschinenbau, [>], [>] whales.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

And in that same period, thanks to Silicon Valley’s timely opportunism, the country gained an endless bounty of gigs. Tech startups, backed by Wall Street, swept in to offer displaced workers countless push-button moneymaking schemes—what Bloomberg News called “entrepreneurialism-in-a-box.” Need fast cash? Take out a “peer-to-peer” loan, or start a crowdfunding campaign. Need a career? Take on odd jobs as a TaskRabbit or pitch corporate swag as a YouTube “vlogger.” Nine-to-five jobs with benefits and overtime may be in the process of getting disrupted out of existence, but in their place we have the internet, with endless gigs and freelance opportunities, where survival becomes something like a video game—a matter of pressing the right buttons to attain instant gratification and meager rewards. More than a third of American workers now qualify as “freelancers” or “contingent workers”—that is, their livelihoods are contingent upon the whims of their managers.

See Yarvin, Curtis Guy Monkeywrench International Moore, Gordon More, Max More Right Moritz, Michael Morozov, Evgeny Mossberg, Walt Muck Rack Musk, Elon Myers, PZ MySocialPetwork.com Nail, Rob NASA National Review National Science Foundation NerdWallet Netflix Netscape Newbridge Capital Newsweek New Yorker New York Times Nike Nimoy, Leonard Nissan Northrup Grumman Obama, Barack Odierno, Raymond Omni OpenBazaar Operation SLOG Oracle Othman, Ghazi Ben Outbrain Page, Larry Palantir Pando Pandora Patchwork Paul, Terry PayPal Paytm Pelosi, Nancy PepsiCo Petbu PewDiePie PharmaBot Plouffe, David Polous, James Poole, Chris Prabhakar, Hitha Procter & Gamble Product Hunt Quinn, Zoe Rand, Ayn Reagan, Ronald Reddit RentAFriend.com Reuters Rodger, Elliot Roof, Dylann Runway Sacks, David SAIC Samsung Sanders, Bernie San Francisco Chronicle San Jose Mercury News Sarkeesian, Anita SBIR Scalia, Antonin Schmidt, Eric Schulte, Todd Seasteading Institute SENS Research Foundation Sequoia Capital SF Weekly Shockley, William Silicon Valley Index Silk Road Singularity Singularity Is Near, The (Kurzweil) Singularity Summit Singularity University Sjöblad, Hannes Skinner, B. F. Skype Slate Snapchat Sony Soros, George Soylent SpaceX Spotify Srinivasan, Balaji Stanford, Leland Stanford Review Stanford University Startup Conference Startup Vitamins Startup Weekend Stephens, Trae Stoppelman, Jeremy Swain, Robert Taboola Tamkivi TaskRabbit TechCrunch Teleport Tesla Motors Theranos Thiel, Peter Thiel Capital Tiffany, Michael Time magazine Tinder Tlon Tolkien, J.R.R. Tradehill TripAdvisor Trump, Donald Tumblr Tunney, Justine 20Mission 23andMe Twitch.tv Twitch Partners Twitter Uber Udacity Ulbricht, Ross Union Square Ventures Urbit Vanity Fair van Oudenaarden, Tom VC Taskforce Verge Verizon Vice Vinge, Vernor von Bolschwing, Otto Wagon Wallis, Stewart Wall Street Journal Week, The Wells Fargo WhatsApp Whetstone, Rachel White Ops Whitesides, George T.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

In the past few years, the incubators and venture capitalists of Silicon Valley have turned their attention to new areas ready for algorithmic reinvention that are more distant from the traditional technology sector. The triumph of gamification, ubiquitous computing, and remote sensing (in other words, the quantification of everything) has led to a slew of new businesses that add an algorithmic layer over previously stable cultural spaces. Companies like TaskRabbit, Uber, and Airbnb are adapting algorithmic logic to find new efficiencies in lodging, transportation, and personal services, inserting a computational layer of abstraction between consumers and their traditional pathways to services like taxis, hotels, and personal assistants. These companies take the ethos of games like FarmVille and impose their “almost-magic circle” on what was previously considered to be serious business.

., 144–145 Rid, Thomas, 199n42 Riskin, Jessica, 136–137 Robotics, 31, 34, 43–45, 132–134, 188 Rood of Grace, 137 Rotten Tomatoes, 96 RSE encryption, 163 Samantha (Her), 77–85, 154, 181 Sample, Mark, 194–195 Sandvig, Christian, 107, 131 Sarandos, Ted, 98, 100, 104 Schmidt, Eric, 66, 73, 127 Schwartz, Peter, 160–161 Scorsese, Martin, 59 Searle, John, 4 Shannon, Claude, 27 Sharing economy, 54, 123, 127–129, 145, 148 Shoup, Donald, 127 Silicon Valley, 3, 9, 30–31, 49, 54, 87, 100, 124, 182 SimCity (game), 194 Simondon, Gilbert, 40, 42–44, 53, 59, 84, 106, 118 Singhal, Amit, 72, 76 Siri abortion scandal and, 64 abstraction and, 64–65, 82–84 anticipation and, 73–74 as beta release, 57 CALO and, 57–58, 63, 65, 67, 79, 81 cognition and, 57–65, 71–84 computationalist approach and, 65, 77 consciousness and, 57–65, 71–84 conversation and, 57–65, 71–84 DARPA and, 11, 57–58 Easter eggs in, 60, 148 effective computability and, 58, 62, 64, 72–76, 81 emotional work and, 148 Enlightenment and, 71–76, 79–80, 82 gender and, 60–61, 80 interfaces and, 59–60, 63, 75, 77 intimacy and, 11, 75–81 language and, 57–65, 71–84 launch of, 57 machine learning and, 62–65, 182 market issues and, 59, 75–77 meaning and, 65 ontology and, 62–65, 71–73, 82, 84 parsing data and, 182 performing knowledge and, 59–61 quest for knowledge and, 71–75, 82, 84 reading, 58–59 reduced abilities of, 59 speed of, 131 Skinner boxes, 61, 115–116, 119–120, 122 Smith, Adam, 12, 146–147 Smith, Kevin, 88 Sneakers (film), 3 Snow Crash (Stephenson), 1, 3–5, 9, 17, 36, 38, 50 Social behavior, 22, 146 addiction and, 114–119, 121–122 discrimination and, 21, 130 exploitationware and, 115–116 Social gaming, 114, 118, 120–122 Social media, 6 Arab Spring and, 111, 186 changing nature of, 171 digital culture and, 3, 7, 18, 22, 43, 49, 66, 87, 156, 160, 191, 193–194 Enlightenment and, 173 identity formation and, 191 in-person exchanges and, 195 intellectual connection and, 186 newsfeeds and, 116, 177–178 peer review and, 194 raising awareness and, 174 Spoiler Foiler (Netflix) and, 101–102, 108 transaction streams and, 177 Uber and, 148 Software agency and, 6 Apple and, 59, 62 apps and, 6, 8, 9, 15, 59, 83, 91, 94, 102, 113–114, 124, 128, 145, 149 blockchains and, 163–168, 171, 177, 179 cathedrals of computation and, 6–8, 27, 33, 49, 51 Chun on, 33, 42, 104 Church-Turing thesis and, 25 consciousness and, 77 dehumanizing nature of, 116 depersonification of, 6 digital materiality and, 53 experience and, 34 as foundation of computational expression, 47 imagination and, 186, 194 in-house affect and, 59 interfaces and, 124 (see also Interfaces) logic of general substitutability and, 33 Manovich and, 112 material layers and, 48 as metaphor for metaphors, 35 Metaverse, 50 networks vs. individuals and, 118 open source, 6, 162, 167 Pasquale on, 21 reality and, 10 self-modification and, 1, 38 Weizenbaum and, 33–40 Solaris (Lem), 184 Sourcery, 3, 10, 17, 21, 33–34 Space of computation, 2–5, 9, 21, 42, 45, 76, 154, 185 Spacey, Kevin, 98–99, 106–107 Spoiler Foiler (Netflix), 101–102, 108 SRI International, 57, 59, 63, 169 Srinivasan, Balaji, 169 Star Fleet Federation, 67 Star Trek computer anticipation and, 73–74 conversation and, 67 Google and, 11, 65–82, 159, 186 interfaces and, 67–68 LCARS and, 67–68 Memex and, 186–189, 195 public expectations and, 67 Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series), 67 Stephenson, Neal, 1, 3–5, 9, 17, 36, 38, 50, 51 Stiegler, Bernard, 43–44, 53, 106 Streaming content, 49, 54, 87, 90–92, 97, 99, 101–102, 104, 205n39 Strogatz, Steven, 44, 183 Sumerian myths, 3, 5, 16 SuperPACs, 174 Symbolic logic, 2, 21, 24, 39, 41, 44, 54–55 Symposium (Plato), 82 Tacit negotiation, 20 Taggers, 54, 88, 92–93, 96, 99 Tanz, Jason, 116 TaskRabbit, 124 Taylorism, 93 Teller, Astro, 66 Terminator (film series), 191 Terrorism, 163, 178 Theory of Communicative Action, The (Habermas), 109 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 12, 146–147 Thiel, Peter, 170–171, 174 Third parties, 59, 114, 125, 132–133, 147, 162, 170–171 Thurston, Nick, 12, 140–145 Tindr, 128 Transaction fees, 164–165 Transcendent Man (Kurzweil), 184 Transparency bazaar model and, 6 cryptocurrency and, 160–164, 168, 171, 177–178 feedback and, 146 freedom and, 9 interfaces and, 189 market issues and, 160–164, 168, 171, 177–178 politics of algorithms and, 18, 20 proprietary platforms and, 9 Traveling salesman problem, 19 “Trending Topic” widget, 180 Turing, Alan, 8, 23, 42, 79–80, 182 Turing Machine, 182 Berlinski and, 9, 24 computability boundary and, 23–24 concept of, 23 effective computability and, 42 finite-time processes and, 42 game of life and, 29–31 language and, 33, 41 McCulloch-Pitts Neuron and, 28 as though experiment, 23–24 as uniting platform, 25 Turing’s Cathedral (Dyson), 6 Turing test, 43, 79–82, 87, 138, 142 Turner, Fred, 3, 46 Twain, Mark, 151 Twitter, 53, 101–102, 173, 177, 179, 194–195, 210n43 Uber, 9, 12, 97, 138 abstraction levels of, 129 African Americans and, 130 business model of, 54, 93–94, 96 feedback system of, 145–148 interface economy and, 123–133, 145, 147 massive infrastructure of, 131 threats to, 129 Ubiquitous computation algorithms and, 3–4, 15, 33, 43, 54, 119, 124–125, 127, 178, 189–190 Bitcoin and, 178 colonization of margins and, 119 gamification and, 124 imagination and, 189–190 interfaces and, 189 Uber and, 125, 127 Unit Operations (Bogost), 118 U.S.S.


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Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, IKEA effect, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, standardized shipping container, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

That is the underlying premise of the sharing economy – also known as collaborative consumption – in which participants aspire to share access to goods and services rather than to have individual ownership. Sharing economy firms include Airbnb (sharing homes), RelayRides, BlaBlaCar and easyCar (sharing cars), ParkatmyHouse (sharing parking spaces), BringBee (sharing trips to the grocery store), Wishi or Wear It Share It (choosing clothes), Eatwith (sharing your dinner), yerdle.com (sharing household equipment with neighbours), Skillshare (sharing skills and knowledge) and TaskRabbit (outsourcing small jobs and errands). As we saw in Chapter 1, these services typically take advantage of the web and social media to enable ordinary people to monetise their time, space, knowledge or skills. The sharing economy contributes to environmental sustainability because it reduces individual consumption by allowing, for instance, four people to share the same car rather than having to buy four different cars.

MacArthur Foundation 14 John Deere 67 John Lewis 195 Johnson & Johnson 100, 111 Johnson, Warren 98 Jones, Don 112 jugaad (frugal ingenuity) 199, 202 Jugaad Innovation (Radjou, Prabhu and Ahuja, 2012) xvii, 17 just-in-time design 33–4 K Kaeser, Joe 217 Kalanick, Travis 163 Kalundborg (Denmark) 160 kanju 201 Karkal, Shamir 124 Kaufman, Ben 50–1, 126 Kawai, Daisuke 29–30 Kelly, John 199–200 Kennedy, President John 138 Kenya 57, 200–1 key performance indicators see KPIs Khan Academy 16–17, 113–14, 164 Khan, Salman (Sal) 16–17, 113–14 Kickstarter 17, 48, 137, 138 KieranTimberlake 196 Kimberly-Clark 25, 145 Kingfisher 86–7, 91, 97, 157, 158–9, 185–6, 192–3, 208 KissKissBankBank 17, 137 Knox, Steve 145 Knudstorp, Jørgen Vig 37, 68, 69 Kobori, Michael 83, 100 KPIs (key performance indicators) 38–9, 67, 91–2, 185–6, 208 Kuhndt, Michael 194 Kurniawan, Arie 151–2 L La Chose 108 La Poste 92–3, 157 La Ruche qui dit Oui 137 “labs on a chip” 52 Lacheret, Yves 173–5 Lada 1 laser cutters 134, 166 Laskey, Alex 119 last-mile challenge 57, 146, 156 L’Atelier 168–9 Latin America 161 lattice organisation 63–4 Laury, Véronique 208 Laville, Elisabeth 91 Lawrence, Jamie 185, 192–3, 208 LCA (life-cycle assessment) 196–7 leaders 179, 203–5, 214, 217 lean manufacturing 192 leanness 33–4, 41, 42, 170, 192 Learnbox 114 learning by doing 173, 179 learning organisations 179 leasing 123 Lee, Deishin 159 Lego 51, 126 Lego Group 37, 68, 69, 144 Legrand 157 Lenovo 56 Leroy, Adolphe 127 Leroy Merlin 127–8 Leslie, Garthen 150–1 Lever, William Hesketh 96 Levi Strauss & Co 60, 82–4, 100, 122–3 Lewis, Dijuana 212 life cycle of buildings 196 see also product life cycle life-cycle assessment (LCA) 196–7 life-cycle costs 12, 24, 196 Lifebuoy soap 95, 97 lifespan of companies 154 lighting 32, 56, 123, 201 “lightweighting” 47 linear development cycles 21, 23 linear model of production 80–1 Link 131 littleBits 51 Livi, Daniele 88 Livi, Vittorio 88 local communities 52, 57, 146, 206–7 local markets 183–4 Local Motors 52, 129, 152 local solutions 188, 201–2 local sourcing 51–2, 56, 137, 174, 181 localisation 56, 137 Locavesting (Cortese, 2011) 138 Logan car 2–3, 12, 179, 198–9 logistics 46, 57–8, 161, 191, 207 longevity 121, 124 Lopez, Maribel 65–6 Lopez Research 65–6 L’Oréal 174 Los Alamos National Laboratory 170 low-cost airlines 60, 121 low-cost innovation 11 low-income markets 12–13, 161, 203, 207 Lowry, Adam 81–2 M m-health 109, 111–12 M-KOPA 201 M-Pesa 57, 201 M3D 48, 132 McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) 84 McDonough, William 82 McGregor, Douglas 63 MacGyvers 17–18, 130, 134, 167 McKelvey, Jim 135 McKinsey & Company 81, 87, 209 mainstream, frugal products in 216 maintenance 66, 75, 76, 124, 187 costs 48–9, 66 Mainwaring, Simon 8 Maistre, Christophe de 187–8, 216 Maker Faire 18, 133–4 Maker platform 70 makers 18, 133–4, 145 manufacturing 20th-century model 46, 55, 80–1 additive 47–9 continuous 44–5 costs 47, 48, 52 decentralised 9, 44, 51–2 frugal 44–54 integration with logistics 57–8 new approaches 50–4 social 50–1 subtractive method 48 tools for 47, 47–50 Margarine Unie 96 market 15, 28, 38, 64, 186, 189, 192 R&D and 21, 26, 33, 34 market research 25, 61, 139, 141 market share 100 marketing 21–2, 24, 36, 61–3, 91, 116–20, 131, 139 and R&D 34, 37, 37–8 marketing teams 143, 150 markets 12–13, 42, 62, 215 see also emerging markets Marks & Spencer (M&S) 97, 215 Plan A 90, 156, 179–81, 183–4, 186–7, 214 Marriott 140 Mars 57, 158–9, 161 Martin Marietta 159 Martin, Tod 154 mass customisation 9, 46, 47, 48, 57–8 mass market 189 mass marketing 21–2 mass production 9, 46, 57, 58, 74, 129, 196 Massachusetts Institute of Technology see MIT massive open online courses see MOOCs materials 3, 47, 48, 73, 92, 161 costs 153, 161, 190 recyclable 74, 81, 196 recycled 77, 81–2, 83, 86, 89, 183, 193 renewable 77, 86 repurposing 93 see also C2C; reuse Mayhew, Stephen 35, 36 Mazoyer, Eric 90 Mazzella, Frédéric 163 MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) 84 MDI 16 measurable goals 185–6 Mechanical Engineer Laboratory (MEL) 52 “MEcosystems” 154–5, 156–8 Medicare 110 medication 111–12 Medicity 211 MedStartr 17 MEL (Mechanical Engineer Laboratory) 52 mental models 2, 193–203, 206, 216 Mercure 173 Merlin, Rose 127 Mestrallet, Gérard 53, 54 method (company) 81–2 Mexico 38, 56 Michelin 160 micro-factories 51–2, 52, 66, 129, 152 micro-robots 52 Microsoft 38 Microsoft Kinect 130 Microsoft Word 24 middle classes 197–8, 216 Migicovsky, Eric 137–8 Mikkiche, Karim 199 millennials 7, 14, 17, 131–2, 137, 141, 142 MindCET 165 miniaturisation 52, 53–4 Mint.com 125 MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 44–5, 107, 130, 134, 202 mobile health see m-health mobile phones 24, 32, 61, 129–30, 130, 168, 174 emerging market use 198 infrastructure 56, 198 see also smartphones mobile production units 66–7 mobile technologies 16, 17, 103, 133, 174, 200–1, 207 Mocana 151 Mochon, Daniel 132 modular design 67, 90 modular production units 66–7 Modularer Querbaukasten see MQB “mompreneurs” 145 Mondelez 158–9 Money Dashboard 125 Moneythink 162 monitoring 65–6, 106, 131 Monopoly 144 MOOCs (massive open online courses) 60, 61, 112, 113, 114, 164 Morieux, Yves 64 Morocco 207 Morris, Robert 199–200 motivation, employees 178, 180, 186, 192, 205–8 motivational approaches to shaping consumer behaviour 105–6 Motorola 56 MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) 44, 45–6 Mulally, Alan 70, 166 Mulcahy, Simon 157 Mulliez family 126–7 Mulliez, Vianney 13, 126 multi-nodal innovation 202–3 Munari, Bruno 93 Murray, Mike 48–9 Musk, Elon 172 N Nano car 119, 156 National Geographic 102 natural capital, loss of 158–9 Natural Capital Leaders Platform 158–9 natural resources 45, 86 depletion 7, 72, 105, 153, 158–9 see also resources NCR 55–6 near-shoring 55 Nelson, Simon 113 Nemo, Sophie-Noëlle 93 Nest Labs 98–100, 103 Nestlé 31, 44, 68, 78, 94, 158–9, 194, 195 NetPositive plan 86, 208 networking 152–3, 153 new materials 47, 92 New Matter 132 new technologies 21, 27 Newtopia 32 next-generation customers 121–2 next-generation manufacturing techniques 44–6, 46–7 see also frugal manufacturing Nigeria 152, 197–8 Nike 84 NineSigma 151 Nissan 4, 4–5, 44, 199 see also Renault-Nissan non-governmental organisations 167 non-profit organisations 161, 162, 202 Nooyi, Indra 217 Norman, Donald 120 Norris, Greg 196 North American companies 216–17 North American market 22 Northrup Grumman 68 Norton, Michael 132 Norway 103 Novartis 44–5, 215 Novotel 173, 174 nudging 100, 108, 111, 117, 162 Nussbaum, Bruce 140 O O2 147 Obama, President Barack 6, 8, 13, 134, 138, 208 obsolescence, planned 24, 121 offshoring 55 Oh, Amy 145 Ohayon, Elie 71–2 Oliver Wyman 22 Olocco, Gregory 206 O’Marah, Kevin 58 on-demand services 39, 124 online communities 31, 50, 61, 134 online marketing 143 online retailing 60, 132 onshoring 55 Opel 4 open innovation 104, 151, 152, 153, 154 open-source approach 48, 129, 134, 135, 172 open-source hardware 51, 52, 89, 130, 135, 139 open-source software 48, 130, 132, 144–5, 167 OpenIDEO 142 operating costs 45, 215 Opower 103, 109, 119 Orange 157 Orbitz 173 organisational change 36–7, 90–1, 176, 177–90, 203–8, 213–14, 216 business models 190–3 mental models 193–203 organisational culture 36–7, 170, 176, 177–9, 213–14, 217 efficacy focus 181–3 entrepreneurial 76, 173 see also organisational change organisational structure 63–5, 69 outsourcing 59, 143, 146 over-engineering 27, 42, 170 Overby, Christine 25 ownership 9 Oxylane Group 127 P P&G (Procter & Gamble) 19, 31, 58, 94, 117, 123, 145, 195 packaging 57, 96, 195 Page, Larry 63 “pain points” 29, 30, 31 Palmer, Michael 212 Palo Alto Junior League 20 ParkatmyHouse 17, 63, 85 Parker, Philip 61 participation, customers 128–9 partner ecosystems 153, 154, 200 partners 65, 72, 148, 153, 156–8 sharing data with 59–60 see also distributors; hyper-collaboration; suppliers Partners in Care Foundation 202 partnerships 41, 42, 152–3, 156–7, 171–2, 174, 191 with SMBs 173, 174, 175 with start-ups 20, 164–5, 175 with suppliers 192–3 see also hyper-collaboration patents 171–2 Payne, Alex 124 PE International 196 Pearson 164–5, 167, 181–3, 186, 215 Pebble 137–8 peer-to-peer economic model 10 peer-to-peer lending 10 peer-to-peer sales 60 peer-to-peer sharing 136–7 Pélisson, Gérard 172–3 PepsiCo 38, 40, 179, 190, 194, 215 performance 47, 73, 77, 80, 95 of employees 69 Pernod Ricard 157 personalisation 9, 45, 46, 48, 62, 129–30, 132, 149 Peters, Tom 21 pharmaceutical industry 13, 22, 23, 33, 58, 171, 181 continuous manufacturing 44–6 see also GSK Philippines 191 Philips 56, 84, 100, 123 Philips Lighting 32 Picaud, Philippe 122 Piggy Mojo 119 piggybacking 57 Piketty, Thomas 6 Plan A (M&S) 90, 156, 179–81, 183–4, 186–7, 214 Planet 21 (Accor) 174–5 planned obsolescence 24, 121 Plastyc 17 Plumridge, Rupert 18 point-of-sale data 58 Poland 103 pollution 74, 78, 87, 116, 187, 200 Polman, Paul 11, 72, 77, 94, 203–5, 217 portfolio management tools 27, 33 Portugal 55, 103 postponement 57–8 Potočnik, Janez 8, 79 Prabhu, Arun 25 Prahalad, C.K. 12 predictive analytics 32–3 predictive maintenance 66, 67–8 Priceline 173 pricing 81, 117 processes digitising 65–6 entrenched 14–16 re-engineering 74 simplifying 169, 173 Procter & Gamble see P&G procurement priorities 67–8 product life cycle 21, 75, 92, 186 costs 12, 24, 196 sustainability 73–5 product-sharing initiatives 87 production costs 9, 83 productivity 49, 59, 65, 79–80, 153 staff 14 profit 14, 105 Progressive 100, 116 Project Ara 130 promotion 61–3 Propeller Health 111 prosumers xix–xx, 17–18, 125, 126–33, 136–7, 148, 154 empowering and engaging 139–46 see also horizontal economy Protomax 159 prototypes 31–2, 50, 144, 152 prototyping 42, 52, 65, 152, 167, 192, 206 public 50–1, 215 public sector, working with 161–2 publishers 17, 61 Pullman 173 Puma 194 purchasing power 5–6, 216 pyramidal model of production 51 pyramidal organisations 69 Q Qarnot Computing 89 Qualcomm 84 Qualcomm Life 112 quality 3, 11–12, 15, 24, 45, 49, 82, 206, 216 high 1, 9, 93, 198, 216 measure of 105 versus quantity 8, 23 quality of life 8, 204 Quicken 19–21 Quirky 50–1, 126, 150–1, 152 R R&D 35, 67, 92, 151 big-ticket programmes 35–6 and business development 37–8 China 40, 188, 206 customer focus 27, 39, 43 frugal approach 12, 26–33, 82 global networks 39–40 incentives 38–9 industrial model 2, 21–6, 33, 36, 42 market-focused, agile model 26–33 and marketing 34, 37, 37–8 recommendations for managers 34–41 speed 23, 27, 34, 149 spending 15, 22, 23, 28, 141, 149, 152, 171, 187 technology culture 14–15, 38–9 see also Air Liquide; Ford; GSK; IBM; immersion; Renault; SNCF; Tarkett; Unilever R&D labs 9, 21–6, 70, 149, 218 in emerging markets 40, 188, 200 R&D teams 26, 34, 38–9, 65, 127, 150, 194–5 hackers as 142 innovation brokering 168 shaping customer behaviour 120–2 Raspberry Pi 135–6, 164 Ratti, Carlo 107 raw materials see materials real-time demand signals 58, 59 Rebours, Christophe 157–8 recession 5–6, 6, 46, 131, 180 Reckitt Benckiser 102 recommendations for managers flexing assets 65–71 R&D 34–41 shaping consumer behaviour 116–24 sustainability 90–3 recruiting 70–1 recyclable materials 74, 81, 196 recyclable products 3, 73, 159, 195–6 recycled materials 77, 81–2, 83, 86, 89, 183, 193 recycling 8, 9, 87, 93, 142, 159 e-waste 87–8 electronic and electrical goods (EU) 8, 79 by Tarkett 73–7 water 83, 175 see also C2C; circular economy Recy’Go 92–3 regional champions 182 regulation 7–8, 13, 78–9, 103, 216 Reich, Joshua 124 RelayRides 17 Renault 1–5, 12, 117, 156–7, 179 Renault-Nissan 4–5, 40, 198–9, 215 renewable energy 8, 53, 74, 86, 91, 136, 142, 196 renewable materials 77, 86 Replicator 132 repurposing 93 Requardt, Hermann 189 reshoring 55–6 resource constraints 4–5, 217 resource efficiency 7–8, 46, 47–9, 79, 190 Resource Revolution (Heck, Rogers and Carroll, 2014) 87–8 resources 40, 42, 73, 86, 197, 199 consumption 9, 26, 73–7, 101–2 costs 78, 203 depletion 7, 72, 105, 153, 158–9 reducing use 45, 52, 65, 73–7, 104, 199, 203 saving 72, 77, 200 scarcity 22, 46, 72, 73, 77–8, 80, 158–9, 190, 203 sharing 56–7, 159–61, 167 substitution 92 wasting 169–70 retailers 56, 129, 214 “big-box” 9, 18, 137 Rethink Robotics 49 return on investment 22, 197 reuse 9, 73, 76–7, 81, 84–5, 92–3, 200 see also C2C revenues, generating 77, 167, 180 reverse innovation 202–3 rewards 37, 178, 208 Riboud, Franck 66, 184, 217 Rifkin, Jeremy 9–10 robots 47, 49–50, 70, 144–5, 150 Rock Health 151 Rogers, Jay 129 Rogers, Matt 87–8 Romania 2–3, 103 rookie mindset 164, 168 Rose, Stuart 179–80, 180 Roulin, Anne 195 Ryan, Eric 81–2 Ryanair 60 S S-Oil 106 SaaS (software as a service) 60 Saatchi & Saatchi 70–1 Saatchi & Saatchi + Duke 71–2, 143 sales function 15, 21, 25–6, 36, 116–18, 146 Salesforce.com 157 Santi, Paolo 108 SAP 59, 186 Saunders, Charles 211 savings 115 Sawa Orchards 29–31 Scandinavian countries 6–7 see also Norway Schmidt, Eric 136 Schneider Electric 150 Schulman, Dan 161–2 Schumacher, E.F. 104–5, 105 Schweitzer, Louis 1, 2, 3, 4, 179 SCM (supply chain management) systems 59 SCOR (supply chain operations reference) model 67 Seattle 107 SEB 157 self-sufficiency 8 selling less 123–4 senior managers 122–4, 199 see also CEOs; organisational change sensors 65–6, 106, 118, 135, 201 services 9, 41–3, 67–8, 124, 149 frugal 60–3, 216 value-added 62–3, 76, 150, 206, 209 Shapeways 51, 132 shareholders 14, 15, 76, 123–4, 180, 204–5 sharing 9–10, 193 assets 159–61, 167 customers 156–8 ideas 63–4 intellectual assets 171–2 knowledge 153 peer-to-peer 136–9 resources 56–7, 159–61, 167 sharing economy 9–10, 17, 57, 77, 80, 84–7, 108, 124 peer-to-peer sharing 136–9 sharing between companies 159–60 shipping costs 55, 59 shopping experience 121–2 SIEH hotel group 172–3 Siemens 117–18, 150, 187–9, 215, 216 Sigismondi, Pier Luigi 100 Silicon Valley 42, 98, 109, 150, 151, 162, 175 silos, breaking out of 36–7 Simple Bank 124–5 simplicity 8, 41, 64–5, 170, 194 Singapore 175 Six Sigma 11 Skillshare 85 SkyPlus 62 Small is Beautiful (Schumacher, 1973) 104–5 “small is beautiful” values 8 small and medium-sized businesses see SMBs Smart + Connected Communities 29 SMART car 119–20 SMART strategy (Siemens) 188–9 smartphones 17, 100, 106, 118, 130, 131, 135, 198 in health care 110, 111 see also apps SmartScan 29 SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) 173, 174, 175, 176 SMS-based systems 42–3 SnapShot 116 SNCF 41–3, 156–7, 167 SoapBox 28–9 social business model 206–7 social comparison 109 social development 14 social goals 94 social learning 113 social manufacturing 47, 50–1 social media 16, 71, 85, 106, 108, 168, 174 for marketing 61, 62, 143 mining 29, 58 social pressure of 119 tools 109, 141 and transaction costs 133 see also Facebook; social networks; Twitter social networks 29, 71, 72, 132–3, 145, 146 see also Facebook; Twitter social pressure 119 social problems 82, 101–2, 141, 142, 153, 161–2, 204 social responsibility 7, 10, 14, 141, 142, 197, 204 corporate 77, 82, 94, 161 social sector, working with 161–2 “social tinkerers” 134–5 socialising education 112–14 Sofitel 173 software 72 software as a service (SaaS) 60 solar power 136, 201 sourcing, local 51–2, 56 Southwest Airlines 60 Spain 5, 6, 103 Spark 48 speed dating 175, 176 spending, on R&D 15, 22, 23, 28, 141, 149, 152, 171, 187 spiral economy 77, 87–90 SRI International 49, 52 staff see employees Stampanato, Gary 55 standards 78, 196 Starbucks 7, 140 start-ups 16–17, 40–1, 61, 89, 110, 145, 148, 150, 169, 216 investing in 137–8, 157 as partners 42, 72, 153, 175, 191, 206 see also Nest Labs; Silicon Valley Statoil 160 Steelcase 142 Stem 151 Stepner, Diana 165 Stewart, Emma 196–7 Stewart, Osamuyimen 201–2 Sto Corp 84 Stora Enso 195 storytelling 112, 113 Strategy& see Booz & Company Subramanian, Prabhu 114 substitution of resources 92 subtractive manufacturing 48 Sun Tzu 158 suppliers 67–8, 83, 148, 153, 167, 176, 192–3 collaboration with 76, 155–6 sharing with 59–60, 91 visibility 59–60 supply chain management see SCM supply chain operations reference (SCOR) model 67 supply chains 34, 36, 54, 65, 107, 137, 192–3 carbon footprint 156 costs 58, 84 decentralisation 66–7 frugal 54–60 integrating 161 small-circuit 137 sustainability 137 visibility 34, 59–60 support 135, 152 sustainability xix, 9, 12, 72, 77–80, 82, 97, 186 certification 84 as competitive advantage 80 consumers and 95, 97, 101–4 core design principle 82–4, 93, 195–6 and growth 76, 80, 104–5 perceptions of 15–16, 80, 91 recommendations for managers 90–3 regulatory demand for 78–9, 216 standard bearers of 80, 97, 215 see also Accor; circular economy; Kingfisher; Marks & Spencer; Tarkett; Unilever sustainable design 82–4 see also C2C sustainable distribution 57, 161 sustainable growth 72, 76–7 sustainable lifestyles 107–8 Sustainable Living Plan (Unilever) 94–7, 179, 203–4 sustainable manufacturing 9, 52 T “T-shaped” employees 70–1 take-back programmes 9, 75, 77, 78 Tally 196–7 Tarkett 73–7, 80, 84 TaskRabbit 85 Tata Motors 16, 119 Taylor, Frederick 71 technical design 37–8 technical support, by customers 146 technology 2, 14–15, 21–2, 26, 27 TechShop 9, 70, 134–5, 152, 166–7 telecoms sector 53, 56 Telefónica 147 telematic monitoring 116 Ternois, Laurence 42 Tesco 102 Tesla Motors 92, 172 testing 28, 42, 141, 170, 192 Texas Industries 159 Textoris, Vincent 127 TGV Lab 42–3 thermostats 98–100 thinking, entrenched 14–16 Thompson, Gav 147 Timberland 90 time 4, 7, 11, 41, 72, 129, 170, 200 constraints 36, 42 see also development cycle tinkerers 17–18, 133–5, 144, 150, 152, 153, 165–7, 168 TiVo 62 Tohamy, Noha 59–60 top-down change 177–8 top-down management 69 Total 157 total quality management (TQM) 11 total volatile organic compounds see TVOC Toyota 44, 100 Toyota Sweden 106–7 TQM (total quality management) 11 traffic 108, 116, 201 training 76, 93, 152, 167, 170, 189 transaction costs 133 transparency 178, 185 transport 46, 57, 96, 156–7 Transport for London 195 TrashTrack 107 Travelocity 174 trial and error 173, 179 Trout, Bernhardt 45 trust 7, 37, 143 TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) 74, 77 Twitter 29, 62, 135, 143, 147 U Uber 136, 163 Ubuntu 202 Uchiyama, Shunichi 50 UCLA Health 202–3 Udacity 61, 112 UK 194 budget cuts 6 consumer empowerment 103 industrial symbiosis 160 savings 115 sharing 85, 138 “un-management” 63–4, 64 Unboundary 154 Unilever 11, 31, 57, 97, 100, 142, 203–5, 215 and sustainability 94–7, 104, 179, 203–4 University of Cambridge Engineering Design Centre (EDC) 194–5 Inclusive Design team 31 Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) 158–9 upcycling 77, 88–9, 93, 159 upselling 189 Upton, Eben 135–6 US 8, 38, 44, 87, 115, 133, 188 access to financial services 13, 17, 161–2 ageing population 194 ageing workforce 13 commuting 131 consumer spending 5, 6, 103 crowdfunding 137–8, 138 economic pressures 5, 6 energy use 103, 119, 196 environmental awareness 7, 102 frugal innovation in 215–16, 218 health care 13, 110, 208–13, 213 intellectual property 171 onshoring 55 regulation 8, 78, 216 sharing 85, 138–9 shifting production from China to 55, 56 tinkering culture 18, 133–4 user communities 62, 89 user interfaces 98, 99 user-friendliness 194 Utopies 91 V validators 144 value 11, 132, 177, 186, 189–90 aspirational 88–9 to customers 6–7, 21, 77, 87, 131, 203 from employees 217 shareholder value 14 value chains 9, 80, 128–9, 143, 159–60, 190, 215 value engineering 192 “value gap” 54–5 value-added services 62–3, 76, 150, 206, 209 values 6–7, 14, 178, 205 Vandebroek, Sophie 169 Vasanthakumar, Vaithegi 182–3 Vats, Tanmaya 190, 192 vehicle fleets, sharing 57, 161 Verbaken, Joop 118 vertical integration 133, 154 virtual prototyping 65 virtuous cycle 212–13 visibility 34, 59–60 visible learning 112–13 visioning sessions 193–4 visualisation 106–8 Vitality 111 Volac 158–9 Volkswagen 4, 44, 45–6, 129, 144 Volvo 62 W wage costs 48 wages, in emerging markets 55 Waitrose, local suppliers 56 Walker, James 87 walking the walk 122–3 Waller, Sam 195 Walmart 9, 18, 56, 162, 216 Walton, Sam 9 Wan Jia 144 Washington DC 123 waste 24, 87–9, 107, 159–60, 175, 192, 196 beautifying 88–9, 93 e-waste 24, 79, 87–8, 121 of energy 119 post-consumer 9, 75, 77, 78, 83 reducing 47, 74, 85, 96, 180, 209 of resources 169–70 in US health-care system 209 see also C2C; recycling; reuse water 78, 83, 104, 106, 158, 175, 188, 206 water consumption 79, 82–3, 100, 196 reducing 74, 75, 79, 104, 122–3, 174, 183 wealth 105, 218 Wear It Share It (Wishi) 85 Weijmarshausen, Peter 51 well-being 104–5 Wham-O 56 Whirlpool 36 “wicked” problems 153 wireless technologies 65–6 Wiseman, Liz 164 Wishi (Wear It Share It) 85 Witty, Andrew 35, 35–6, 37, 39, 217 W.L.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

The sharing economy (also known as the peer economy, collaborative economy, and gig economy) is based on the ubiquitous Internet, improved broadband connectivity, smartphones, and apps. Individuals with spare time, houses, rooms, cars, and the like can use them as sources of work and income. The economy that benefits everyone focuses on transport (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, GetTaxi, Hailo), short-term accommodation (Airbnb, HomeAway), small tasks (TaskRabbit, Fiverr), grocery-shopping services (Instacart), home-cooked meals (Feastly), on-demand delivery services (Postmates, Favor), pet transport (DogVacay, Rover), car rental (RelayRides, Getaround), boat rental (Boatbound), and tool rental (Zilok). Its cheerleaders frame the sharing economy in lofty utopian terms: it's not business, but a social movement, transforming relationships between people in a new form of Internet intimacy.

Airbnb has a higher value than all but the biggest hotel chains. Given the high stakes, competition is fierce, unethical, and unsavory. Uber has admitted trying to disrupt Lyft's fundraising efforts. It does not welcome criticism, allegedly considering spending a million dollars to hire researchers to uncover information on the personal lives of reporters critical of its service in order to discredit them. TaskRabbit makes it difficult for the bunnies to communicate with each other, preventing them from organizing or unionizing. In the latest technology gold rush, venture capital investors are speculating on businesses that effectively broker arrangements between customers and workers, betting that low prices will create mass markets for services once reserved for the wealthy. Central to the model is that new firms pay providers less and avoid expensive regulations.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Y Combinator, yield management

(Even in the listings that are run by professionals, there is still the semblance of this one-to-one intimacy.) That is of course precisely what makes it polarizing and objectionable to so many people who can never imagine using it. But it’s also what makes it unique. This kind of “sharing”—this hyperpersonal opening up of the most intimate and safest aspect of one’s life to a stranger—is not present when you hire a person to fix a leak on TaskRabbit, or when you get into someone’s air-conditioned black car for a silent ride to the airport with your head in your phone. More than anything else, it is this aspect of Airbnb that distinguishes it from Uber, Lyft, and any other of its sharing-economy peers. Elisa Schreiber, marketing partner at Greylock Partners, an investor in the company, summarized this distinction concisely after we got to talking about it one day.

It helped Chesky make the decision to build Airbnb’s own European business in order to compete with the Samwers. In the more recent crisis around the widespread discriminatory behavior on the Airbnb platform—even bigger in some ways than the EJ crisis—he pulled in outside sources like former attorney general Eric Holder and ACLU veteran Laura Murphy, but he also went to Andreessen Horowitz cofounder Ben Horowitz and his wife, Felicia, as well as to TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot. Those closest to him praise Chesky for his vision. “You take a picture of Brian’s mind, [and] he’s in 2030 or 2040 already,” says Lisa Dubost, one of the company’s first employees, who worked on culture and then moved to the business-travel team before leaving the company in 2016 to move to Europe to be with her family. “Brian is this amazing visionary that looks not one, not two, not three, but ten steps ahead,” says Belinda Johnson, his number-two executive and the person who, besides or perhaps more than the founders, spends more time with him than anyone else.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

One such experiment, La’Zooz, is a blockchain-managed ridesharing app, where the currency (Zooz) is mined through “proof of movement.”97 So instead of supplying and driving cars as underpaid freelancers for Uber or Lyft, drivers are co-owners of a transportation collective organized through distributed protocols. Could such platform cooperatives catch on? The basic behavior of downloading an app in order to work or rent property has already been anchored in users by Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit, Mechanical Turk, and countless others. Using a blockchain is just a small step further, compared to the original leap into digital labor and exchange. It is the disintermediation that all these supposedly disruptive platforms were promising in the first place. Of course, just because we have the capability to employ protocol-based technologies does not mean we have to. We don’t need to resort to blockchains in order to work together fairly.

See investors/investing sharing economy, 44–54, 218 crowdsharing apps and, 45–49 crowdsourcing platforms and, 49–50 employment opportunities, technology as replacing and obsolescing, 51–54 getting paid for our data and, 44–45 great decoupling and, 53 jobs assisting with transition to computerized society and, 51–52 learning to code and, 51 Shift Happens (Hagel), 76–77 Shirky, Clay, 27 Sidecar, 93–94 Silk Road, 145 singularity, 91 Slay, Julia, 58 Smith, Adam, 212–13 Snapchat, 32 social branding, 35–37 social graphs, 40 social media, and “likes” economy, 31–37 Somerhalder, Ian, 36 South by Southwest, 19 specialists, 178–79 Spotify, 218 Square, 141 Stallman, Richard, 216 stamp scrip, 158–59 startups, 184–205 angel investors and, 187, 188 burn rate and, 190 crowdfunding and, 198–201 direct public offerings (DPOs) and, 205–6 Google’s IPO, 194–95 hypergrowth expected of, 187–91 microfinancing platforms and, 202–4 model for building real and sustainable businesses, 196–98 playbook for establishing, 187 reverse engineering of, 184–86 Series A round of investment and, 188–89 venture capital and, 189–95 steady-state enterprises, 98–123 alternative corporate structures and, 118–23 appropriate size for business, finding, 104–5 benefit corporations and, 119 contracting with small and medium-sized enterprises and, 112 dividends as means of rewarding shareholders and, 113–14 dual transformation and, 108–9 ecosystem as model for assembling, 105 employee ownership of company and, 116–18 extractive bias of traditional corporate model, eschewing, 104 family business model and, 103–4, 231–32 flexible purpose corporations and, 119–20 growth, shifting away from, 103–6 hybrid approaches to attaining, 106–12 inclusive capitalism and, 111–12 low-profit limited liability company (L3C) and, 120–21 not-for-profits (NFPs) and, 121–23 open sharing and collaborative corporate strategies and, 106–7 privatization and, 114–16 shareholder mentality, changing, 112–18 technological revolutions, phases of, 98–102 stimulative economic policies, 136, 137 stock market crash of 1929, 99 storytelling, 236 Strickler, Yancey, 198 student debt, 153 subsidiarity, 231–32 supermarket chains, hybrid strategies for, 109–10 Supplier Connection, 112 surge pricing, 86 synergy, 99 Talmud, 208 Tapscott, Don, 49n Target, 142 TaskRabbit, 222 tax anticipation scrip, 159 taxi industry, 85–86 TD Waterhouse, 176 Tea Party, 99–100 technological revolutions, 98–102 creative destruction and, 83–87 destructive destruction and, 100 frenzy phase of, 98–99 government intervention and, 99–100 irruption phase of, 98 maturity phase of, 98–99 synergy phase of, 99 turning point phase of, 99 Thatcher, Margaret, 64 theAudience, 36 Thiel, Peter, 120, 191–92 This Changes Everything (Klein), 135 3-d printing, 62–63 360 deals, 34 time dollar systems, 161–63 toy industry, 85 Toyoda, Akio, 105–6 Toyota Motor Corporation, 105–6 tragedy of the commons, 215–16 Treehouse, 59 Tumblr, 32 turning point, 99 Twitter, 7, 8–9, 195 tyranny of choice, 30 Uber, 4, 93, 94, 98–99, 188, 213, 219, 222, 229 peer-to-peer commerce enabled by, 45, 46 as platform monopoly, 85–87 pricing power of, 47–48 unemployment insurance, 99 unemployment solution, 54–67 guaranteed minimum income programs and, 62–65 guaranteed minimum wage public jobs and, 65–66 hourly-wage employment, history of, 56 joblessness as feature of new digital economy and, 55–56 questioning need for work and, 56–58 real needs, getting paid to address, 65–67 reducing 40-hour workweek and, 58–60 sharing productivity gains with employees and, 60–62 Unilever, 112, 205 United Steel Workers, 220 Upwork, 51, 200 USA Today,173 velocity of money, 140–41 venture capital, 189–95 Vicarious, 119–20 Victorian exhibition, 20 Volkswagen, 106 Wall Street Journal,7, 8, 37–38 Walmart, 47, 73–75, 110–11 Watson, 90–91 wealth inequality.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms

"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks

The more we engage with new power models, the more these norms are shifting. Indeed, what is emerging—most visibly among people under thirty (now more than half the world’s population)—is a new expectation: an inalienable right to participate. The YouTube creator with her own robust set of followers approaches the world expecting to be a creator more than a consumer. A person who stitches together a living as a “producer” for TaskRabbit, Lyft, or other on-demand services may become less reliant on, and more skeptical of, traditional economic intermediaries. An employee who gets the thrill of unlimited creativity and immediate validation from her online community can find her mundane daily workplace projects, which her boss rarely comments on, especially unfulfilling. A citizen who becomes deeply involved in a crowd-funded project she has backed in her neighborhood may become disillusioned or disengaged when her interactions with her local government are mainly in the form of summonses and paperwork.

The challenges of managing contingent and gig economy workers may be a glimpse into the future of management generally. If you’re a company with a large share of contingent workers (or your business model is dependent on them), the tropes of traditional HR can seem rather quaint. The standard reviews and performance development plans that worked in the old power world don’t make sense for a large, distributed, and contingent workforce. Consider a platform like TaskRabbit, for which the vast majority of workers are contingent. Such businesses rely on an initial layer of what we can think of as algorithmic management; the very design of their platforms allows them to enforce rules and create incentives for desired behavior. Customer rating systems stand in for performance reviews. Allowing workers to rate customers can maintain morale by weeding out the bad apples; workers in traditional service roles rarely get to impose real consequences on a mean or haranguing customer.


pages: 404 words: 95,163

Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce by Natalie Berg, Miya Knights

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business intelligence, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, computer vision, connected car, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Elon Musk, gig economy, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, market fragmentation, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, QR code, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, remote working, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Skype, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, trade route, underbanked, urban planning, white picket fence

According to a study from the shopping centre group, nearly half of 25–34-year-olds are interested in renting fashion and around one-fifth would be willing to spend £200 or more per month on unlimited clothing rental subscriptions.28 Outside of fashion, electricals retailer Dixons Carphone has talked of a membership scheme where shoppers would pay for access to a washing machine, for example, including installation and repairs – but without actually owning it. In the future, it will be essential to create deeper relationships with customers as the focus shifts from product to service. This explains why a retailer like Ikea acquired TaskRabbit in 2018. The online marketplace connects 60,000 freelance ‘taskers’ with consumers looking to hire someone to do chores such as furniture assembly. Now you can buy a Stuva wardrobe without the anxiety of putting it together. Similarly, Walmart has joined forces with Handy for installation and assembly services for televisions and furniture. This is how retailers can survive in the age of Amazon – removing friction and establishing a meaningful customer relationship that transcends the physical store.

(and) 242–45 basic principles for retailers’ co-existence with Amazon 244 regulation and legislation 243 Connected Home 46 Connell, B (CEO, Target) 226 Co-op 209 see also Italy and Deliveroo delivery service 102 Costco 46, 181, 217 Cummins, M (CEO, Pointy) 172 Darvall, M (director of marketing and communications,Whistl) 215–16 Debenhams 81, 193, 194 definition(s) of showrooming 174 webrooming 168 Dhaliwal, T (MD, Iceland) 116 Diewald, G (head of Ikea US food operations) 189 digital automation and customer experience 165–85 see also ROBO and ZMOT the digital customer experience 176–83 see also subject entry location as a proxy for relevance 170–73, 173 research online, buy offline 167–70 the store as a showroom 174–76 see also definition(s) the digital customer experience (and) 176–83 see also robots digital points of purchase 179–80 the human touch, importance of 180–81 intelligent space 177–79 from self-checkout to no checkout 182–83 Dixons Carphone (Currys PC World) 188 membership scheme for use of washing machines, etc 201 drones 238 see also JD.com Prime Air 151 Dunn, A (CEO, Bonobos, 2016) 75 East, M (former M&S executive) 116 eBay 36, 216–17 and Shutl 217 e-commerce, growth of 48 Edison, T: quoted on failure 11 end of pure-play e-commerce: Amazon’s transition to bricks and mortar retailing 62–86 Amazon makes it move 77, 80–82, 78–79, 80 clicks chasing bricks – the end of online shopping 71–77 O2O: incentives for getting physical 72–75 cost of customer acquisition 74–75 shipping costs 73–74 O2O: who and how 75–77 key drivers of convergence of physical and digital retail (and) 66–71 click, collect and return 69–70 pervasive computing: shopping without stores or screens 70–71 role of mobile: frictionless, personalized experience 67–69 role of mobile: knowledge is power 66–67 next-generation retail: quest for omnichannel 63–66 electronic shelf labels (ESLs) 177–79 The Everything Store 6, 29 see also Stone, B Facebook 45, 76 Marketplace 213 Messenger purchasing bot 179 Payments 213 Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) 55 FedEx 224–25, 229 figures Amazon operating margin by segment 19 Amazon opened first checkout-free store, Amazon Go (2018) 109 Amazon’s first-ever bricks and mortar retail concept, Amazon Books, 2015 80 the flywheel: the key to Amazon’s success 7 growing complexity of fulfilling e-commerce customer orders 211 growing importance of services: Amazon net sales by business segment 18 Market Capitalization: Select US Retailers (7 June 2018) 6 new fulfilment options driving heightened complexity in retail supply chains 210 online-only is no longer enough: Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market (2017) 108 playing the long games: Amazon sales vs profits 12 top reasons why US consumers begin their product searches on Amazon 173 France (and) 2, 113 see also Auchan and Carrefour Amazon and Fauchon and Monoprix 103 ‘click and drive’ 208 Monoprix 236 frugality 9, 122 at Amazon, Mercadona and Walmart 9 Furphy, T 94 Galloway, S (NYU professor) 14 Generation Z 54 Germany (and) 2, 35, 209, 232 Amazon and Feneberg 103 H&M ‘Take Care’ service 49 Metro 191 retailer HIT Sütterlin 180 Rossman drugstore chain 236 unions call for strikes over Amazon workers’ pay rates (2013) 229 Gilboa, D (co-founder Warby Parker) 75 Gimeno, D (Chairman, El Corte Ingles) 52 Glass, D (CEO, Walmart) 50 global shipping market, worth of 230 Goldman Sachs 13 and independent factors correlating to online grocery adoption & profitability 88 Google 1, 14, 19, 45, 66, 76, 115, 154, 179 Assistant 157, 160 Checkout 213 DeepMind 159 Express 157, 160, 217 Home 153, 157 Knowledge Panel 171, 172 Maps 172, 177 Nest heating thermostat controller 155 Play 213 Search 157 See What’s In Store (SWIS) 171–72 Shopping Actions 157 What Amazon Can’t Do (WACD) 171 and ‘zero moment of truth’ (ZMOT) 171, 172 Great Recession 48, 122 Gurr, D (Amazon UK Country Manager UK, (2018) 21, 29, 44, 64 Ham, P 94 Hamleys: Moscow store mini-theme park 196 Han, L (General Manager of International Supply Chain, JD Logistics) 235 Harkaway, N 222 Herbrich, R (Amazon, director of machine learning) 150 Herrington, D 94 Home Depot 2, 157, 172 online returns instore 70 Huang, C (founder and CEO of Boxed, 2018) 71 Ikea (and) 71 acquires TaskRabbit (2018) 202 mobile AR 175 Place app 175 India 31, 116 see also Prime Video and Walmart Amazon Stella Flex service tested in 232 Instacart 89, 112–13, 119, 157, 216, 219, 224, 236 Sprouts teamed with 103 Intel and RealSense technology for ESLs (2018) 178 intelligence software: trialled by The Hershey Company, Pepsi and Walmart 178 Internet of Things (IoT) 70, 96 Italy 16, 209 see also Carrefour Co-op’s ‘store of the future’ in 191 James, S (Boots CEO) 55 Japan (and) 2, 35 Prime Video 31 Tokyo 102 Uniqlo 175–76 JD.com (and) 182–83, 230 7fresh 112, 183 BingoBox 182 Europe–China freight train (2018) 235 Logistics 235 online retail: opening 1000 stores a day in China 63 use of drones 238 John Lewis (and) see also Nickolds, P co-working space 193 customers staying overnight 187 ‘discovery room’ 200 Jones, G (CEO, Borders) 47 Kaness, M (CEO, Modcloth) 76 Kenney, M 190 Khan, L 242, 243 Kiva Systems 94, 151, 223 see also robots Kohl’s 2, 70, 81, 193, 233 Kopalle, Professor P 151 Kroger 2, 19, 46, 114–15, 208 see also case studies HomeChef 116 ‘Scan, Bag, Go’ 214–15 smart shelf solution 178 Kwon, E (former executive Amazon fashion) 127 Ladd, B 13, 115, 219 see also case studies Landry, S (VP, Amazon Prime Now) 218 the last-mile infrastructure 222–41 see also Amazon Amazon as a carrier 231–32 fulfilment by Amazon 232–33 growing IT infrastructure 226–29 last-mile labour 223–26 race for the last mile 233–36 real estate demand 229–31 remote innovation 236–38 Leahy, Sir T 62 Lebow, V 54, 122 see also articles/papers legislation (US) and calls for legislation to be rewritten and regulation of tech giants 243 Tax Act (2017) 16 Lego 195 allows building in-store 196–97 AR kiosks in stores (2010) and X app 175 Leung, L (Prime Director) 29 Levy, H P 147 Lidl 33, 51, 122, 209 Limp, D (Amazon Digital Devices SVP) 153 Liu, R (JD.com founder/chief executive) 182 lockers/collection lockers 74, 90, 112, 209–10, 233 emmasbox (Germany) 209 Lore, M (co-founder of Quidsi; CEO Walmart domestic e-commerce operations) 76–77, 97, 224, 235, 236 loyalty schemes 32–33 Ma, J (founder, Alibaba) 63 McAllister, I (Director of Alexa International) 10, 19 McBride, B (ASOS Chairman, former Amazon UK boss) 9 Mackey, J (Whole Foods Market CEO and Co-Founder) 107, 110 McDonalds McDelivery 218 in Walmart stores 189 McMillon, D (CEO, Walmart, 2017) 87, 89, 107 Macy’s 52, 69, 71, 172, 177, 193 New York store as ‘World’s Largest Store’ 50 Mahaney, M (RBC Capital Managing Director/analyst) 14, 111 Mansell, K (Chairman, President and CEO of Kohl) 233 Marks & Spencer (M&S) 49, 81, 193, 196 delivery service partnership with Gophr 102 Marseglia, M (Director, Amazon Prime) 101 Mastandrea, M 94 Mathrani, S (CEO of GGP) 49 Mehta, A (CEO, Instacart) 113 MercadoLibre as Latin America’s answer to eBay 36 Metrick, M (president, Saks Fifth Avenue) 190 Microsoft 19, 115 Bing 173 checkout-less store concept 182 Millennials 122, 144, 157 Miller, B (Miller Value Partners) 13 Millerberg, S (managing partner, One Click Retail) 158 Misener, P (Amazon VP for Global Innovation) 10 Mochet, J P (CEO of convenience banners, Casino Group, 2018) 192 Morrisons 102, 209, 217, 236 Mothercare 195, 196 Motley Fool 15 see also Bowman, J Mountz, M 94 Mulligan, J (chief operating officer, Target) 225–26 Musk, E 194 near-field communications (NFC) technology 178–79 Newemann, A (CEO WeWork) 192 Next 188 and pizza and prosecco bars instore 190 Nickolds, P (MD, John Lewis, 2017) 64 Nike 103 selling on Amazon 127 Nordstrom, E (Co-President, Nordstrom, 2017) 45 Nordstrom 135, 193 Local (launched 2017) 199 Ocado 19, 112–15, 135 see also Clarke, P and Steiner, T and Alexa 157 deal with Casino Groupe (2017) 113 Smart Platform 113 Olsavsky, B (Amazon CFO, 2018) 124 One Click Retail 90, 123, 129, 155, 158 online to offline (O2O) 63 capabilities 216 incentives for getting physical 72–75 who and how 75–77 Ovide, S (Bloomberg) 47, 119, 154 Park, D (co-founder, Tuft & Needle) 81 PayPal 45, 137, 213–14 Peapod 87 see also Bienkowski, C and ‘Ask Peapod’ skill for Alexa 156–58 Penner, G (Walmart Chairman, 2017) 77 Perrine, A (Amazon General Manager, 2018) 29 polls see reports Price, Lord M (former Waitrose MD) 51 Prime (and) 11, 14, 20, 92, 112, 121, 137, 153, 174, 210, 215, 217, 218, 222, 227 see also Prime 2.0; Prime Air; Prime ecosystem and Prime Now AmazonFresh 34 AmazonFresh Pickup 37 Day 32, 136, 147 Fresh Add-on 237 members 2 Pantry 34, 100–101, 226, 227 Video 30–31 Wardrobe 128, 226 Prime 2.0 (and) 38–40 ‘Invent and Simplify’ Leadership Principle 143 looking to new demographics for growth 39 more bells and whistles 38 more fee hikes 40 Prime Wardrobe (2017) 38–39 Prime Air 151 development centres U~S, Austria, France, Israel 238 first autonomous drone delivery 238 Prime ecosystem: redefining loyalty for today’s modern shopper (and) 28–40 advantages for Amazon 33–35 going global 35–36, 35–36 integrating Prime at point of sale 38 Prime 2.0 38–40 see also subject entry Prime as loyalty programme?


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The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture by Scott Belsky

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, DevOps, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, hiring and firing, Inbox Zero, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, young professional

Unlike eHarmony or Match.com, Tinder doesn’t suggest potential matches, which means that regardless of your objective attractiveness, education, or wit, you can evaluate the same suitors as everyone else. Or so we think. Unbeknownst to most, anyone who’s used Tinder is assigned an internal rating: a score calculated by the company that ranks the most (and least) desirable people using the service. These “desirability ratings” are secret, Austin Carr reports in Fast Company. Unlike on Uber, Airbnb, or TaskRabbit, no user can know their “Elo Score,” as Tinder calls it, or how the algorithm determining this rating functions. Former Tinder CEO Sean Rad confirmed the rating system to Carr, who was granted exclusive access to his own Elo Score. While Rad wouldn’t reveal the algorithm’s details, he said it’s not solely determined by your profile picture: “It’s not just how many people swipe right on you,” Rad told Carr.

., 199–202 perseverance, persistence, 62, 79, 85 perspective, 40–42, 66, 74, 326 quitting and, 62–64 Photoshop, 10, 144, 159, 162, 185, 206–7, 238–39, 270, 347 Pine Street, 125 Pinterest, 10, 64, 86–87, 94, 112, 158–59, 165, 174, 204, 233, 248, 319 Pixar, 141 placebo, 59–61 planning, 93, 280–81 polarizing people, 114–15 PolitiFact, 303 positive feedback, and hard truths, 28–31 Post-it notes, 325 pragmatists, 295, 296 Prefer, 28, 298, 299 preparedness, 16 presenting ideas, vs. promoting, 164–65 press, 265–66, 336 Pretty Young Professionals (PYP), 72–73 Principles (Dalio), 306, 307 problem solving, 209 big vs. small problems, 180–82, 322 explicitness and, 173–74 process, 153–57 Proctor & Gamble, 143 product(s), 8, 29 brand fit and, 256, 257 complexity in, 209–10, 217 explicitness in, 174–75, 271 founder fit and, 256 life cycle of, 209–10, 217 market fit and, 256 minimum viable (MVP), 86, 186, 195, 252 paradox of success of, 216 power users of, 217 products used to create, 143–45 simplicity in, 209, 210–11, 216–18, 271 product, optimizing, 17, 209–75 anchoring to your customers, 247–75 being first, 264–66 disproportionate impact and, 267–68 empathy and humility before passion, 248–50 engaging the right customers at the right time, 251–54 and measuring each feature by its own measure, 269–70 mystery and engagement in, 271–73 narrative in, 255–57 and playing to the middle, 274–75 and role of leaders in communities, 258–61 sales and, 262–63 simplifying and iterating, 213–46 and believing in the product, 223–25 creativity and familiarity in, 226–27 and design as invisible, 230–31 doing, showing, and explaining, 238–39 “first mile” and, 232–34 identifying what you’re willing to be bad at, 214–15 inbred innovations and, 245–46 incrementalism and assumptions in, 242–44 killing your darlings, 219–22 for laziness, vanity, and selfishness, 235–37 making one subtraction for every addition, 216–18 novelty and utility in, 240–41 scrutiny and flaws in, 228–29 productivity, 179, 180–82, 187, 322, 324, 325 measures of, 78–79 performance and, 214 promoting ideas, vs. presenting, 164–65 promotions, 130 progress, 24–25, 31, 40, 47, 64, 75, 83, 85, 160, 179, 181, 349 conflict avoidance and, 185–86 process and, 154 progress bars, 181 prototypes and mock-ups, 161–63 Psychological Bulletin, 272 psychological safety, 122 Psychological Science, 272–73 psychology, 316, 317 Quartz, 37–38, 108, 301 questions, 69–71, 183–84, 321 Quiller-Couch, Arthur, 220 Quinn, Megan, 303–4 quitting, perspective and, 62–64 Quora, 138, 167 Rad, Sean, 259 Radcliffe, Jack, 197 Rams, Dieter, 230 reactionary workflow, 327, 328 Ready, The, 179 reality-distortion field, 41 Reboot, 327 Reddit, 261, 300, 302 rejection, 58 relatability, 57 relationships: commitments and, 283–84 and how others perceive you, 316–17 negotiation and, 286–87 REMIX, 165 resets, 63–64, 72–75 resistance, fighting, 35–36 resourcefulness, and resources, 100–102 reward system, short-circuiting, 24–27 Rhode Island School of Design, 186, 354 rhythm of making, 16 Ries, Eric, 194 risk, 122, 316, 337 ritual, 328 rock gardens, 67–68 routines, 323 ruckus, making, 337–38 Saatchi Online, 89 Sabbath Manifesto, 327–28 safety, psychological, 122 Sakurada, Isuzu, 361–62 salaries, 141–42 sales, salespeople, 262–63 Salesforce, 159, 204 Sandberg, Sheryl, 39 Santa Fe, USS, 167 satisficers, 229, 284–85 scalability, 242 Schouwenburg, Kegan, 50–51 Schwartz, Barry, 284–85 science vs. art of business, 310–13 Seinfeld, Jerry, 250 self, optimizing, 8, 17, 277–338 crafting business instincts, 293–313 auditing measures instead of blindly optimizing, 297–99 data vs. intuition in, 300–304 mining contradictory advice and developing intuition, 294–96 naivety and openness in, 308–9 science vs. art of business, 310–13 stress-testing opinions with truthfulness, 305–7 planning and making decisions, 279–92 focus and choice, 282–85 making a plan vs. sticking to it, 280–81 negotiation in, 286–87 sunk costs and, 291–92 timing and, 288–90 sharpening your edge, 315–28 building a network and increasing signal, 320–21 commitments and, 318–19 disconnecting, 326–28 and how you appear to others, 316–17 leaving margins for the unexpected, 324–25 values and time use, 322–23 staying permeable and relatable, 329–38 attention and, 335–36 credit-seeking and, 330–32 and making a ruckus, 337–38 removing yourself to allow for others’ ideas, 333–34 self-awareness, 54–56, 305–7 selfishness, laziness, and vanity, 235–37 setbacks, 41 70/20/10 model for leadership development, 125 Shapeways, 50 Shiva, 374 shortcuts, 85 signal and noise, 320–21 Silberman, Ben, 86–87, 94, 112, 165, 319 Silicon Valley, 86 Simon, Herbert, 229, 284 SimpleGeo, 267 Sinclair, Jake, 334 skills, and choosing commitments, 283–84 Skybox, 101 sky decks, 117 Slack, 139, 210, 241 Slashdot, 295 Smarter Faster Better (Duhigg), 180 Smith, Brad, 373 Snapchat, 70, 189, 210, 227, 249 Snowden, Eric, 48, 162 Social Capital, 107 social media, 70, 139, 195, 210, 235–36, 243 solar eclipse, 300–302 SOLS, 50–51 Song Exploder, 333 Sonnad, Nikhil, 301–2 Sonos, 275 Southwest Airlines, 214–15 Soyer, Emre, 32–33 SpaceX, 168 Spark, 303 speed, 194–98 Spiegel, Evan, 249 Spot, 256, 257 Square, 303–4 Squarespace, 312 Stafford, Tom, 291 stand-ins, 297–98 start, 1, 6–8, 13, 209, 331 Statue of Liberty, 200 Stein, Dave, 280 Steinberg, Jon, 44–45, 313 Stitch Fix, 79 story, see narrative and storytelling Stratechery, 135 strategy, patience and, 80–85 strengths, 29, 54, 95, 214 stretch assignments, 130 structure, rules for, 150–52 StumbleUpon, 112, 256 Stumbling on Happiness (Gilbert), 196 suffering, 35–36, 131 Summers, Larry, 108 sunk costs, 64, 71, 185, 291–92 Super Bowl, 273 superiority, sense of, 331–32 suspension of disbelief, 60–61 Suster, Mark, 204–5 Swarthmore College, 229 sweetgreen, 10, 151, 217, 221, 233, 245–46, 310 Systemized Intelligence Lab, 306 Systems Thinking, 283 Systrom, Kevin, 36 Taflinger, Richard, 38 talent, 119–25, 127, 187 Talk of the Nation, 196 TaskRabbit, 259 team, 39, 331, 332 energy and, 43–45 perspective and, 40–42 team, optimizing, 8, 17, 97–207, 211 building, hiring, and firing, 99–131 discussions and, 112–13 diversity in, 106–9 firing people to keep good people, 126–28 grafting and recruiting talent, 119–25 hiring people who have endured adversity, 110–11 immune system in, 116–18 initiative and experience in, 103–5 keeping people moving, 129–31 polarizing people and, 114–15 resourcefulness and resources in, 100–102 clearing the path to solutions, 177–207 big and small problems, 180–82 bureaucracy, 183–84 competitive energy, 187–91 conflict avoidance, 185–86 conviction vs. consensus, 203–5 creative block, 192–93 forgiveness vs. permission, 199–202 organization debt, 178–79 and resistance to change, 206–7 speed in, 194–98 culture, tools, and space, 133–48 attribution of credit, 146–48 free radicals and, 137–39 frugality and, 140–42 stories and, 134–36 tools, 143–45 structure and communication, 149–76 communication, 170–76 delegation, 166–69 merchandising, internal, 158–60 mock-ups for sharing vision, 161–63 presenting vs. promoting ideas, 164–65 process in, 153–57 rules in, 150–52 technology, 328, 371 TED, 62, 116, 305 teleportation, 70, 264 Temps, 201 10 Principles of Good Design (Rams), 230 Teran, Dan, 221 Tesla, 273 think blend, 33 Thomas, Frank, 222 Thompson, Ben, 135 Threadless, 267 time, use of, 210, 283, 299 leaving margins, 324–25 money and, 370–72 values and, 322–23 time-outs, 74 timing, 288–90, 332 decision making and, 289–90 investment and, 290 leader and, 288–89 Tinder, 259–60 Tiny, 294 Todd, Charlie, 113 Todoist, 229 tools, 143–45 Topick, 249 transparency, 259–60, 287 triggers, 55 Trump, Donald, 273, 302–3 truth(s), 71, 174, 193, 331, 338 creative block and, 192–93 hard, 28–31 stress-testing opinions with, 305–7 about time use, 323 Turn the Ship Around!


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No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, blockchain, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Zipcar

If they started a new company and ran out of money working on it, he’d be back to the visa process, or back to Brazil. Before throwing it all away, Krieger argued, perhaps they should try to improve it. So they did, building an iPhone app version. The cofounders graduated out of their meetings at local coffee shops and into a rickety coworking space called Dogpatch Labs, on a pier near San Francisco’s ballpark, where the other small startups included Threadsy, TaskRabbit, and Automattic, the maker of WordPress. It was a strange, drafty place, producing a cacophony of distracting sounds: screeching seagulls and barking sea lions, but mostly the sound of other young people being creative and sometimes unproductive, emboldened by Red Bull and alcohol. On the ceiling, an enormous ship wheel hovered in a display of nautical kitsch but also danger, as it could fall in an earthquake.

., 227 Snoop Dogg, 4, 71, 98, 138 early IG account of, 35–36 Socialcam, 109 social media as amplifier of issues, 278 as both reflection and modifier of user behavior, 233, 234–35 bullying on, 40, 41, 135, 161, 163, 218–19, 248 FB’s dominance of, 88, 121, 124, 151, 209 user passivity on, 234 see also news media social media companies, xvii, 109–10, 203, 232 see also specific companies Social Network, The (film), 15, 67, 107 social networks, 88 follower-based vs. friend-based, 20, 80 interest-based, 20, 21, 210 virality and, see virality Sony, 167 South by Southwest technology conference, 55 #sp, 236 Spacey, Kevin, 152 Spain, IG in, 226 spam, 80, 226, 260 Spectra photo filter, 23 Spiegel, Evan, 112–14, 115–16, 123, 179, 191, 194, 195, 199–200 Zuckerberg and, 116–17, 200, 201–2 see also Snapchat; Snapchat Stories Spotify, 45 Square, 15, 46, 65 Squires, Jim, 120 Stanford Mayfield Fellows Program, 5, 12, 46 Stanford University, 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 20, 24, 47, 173 Starbucks, IG account of, 35 startups, xx, 14 see also specific startups State of the Union address (2012), 47 status updates, 1, 12, 15 Stein, Robby, 194, 201 storytelling, xviii @strawburry17, 171 Streep, Meryl, 152 Stretch, Colin, 225 Stuart Weitzman, xix Styles, Harry, 130, 133 suicide, suicidal content, 40, 41, 42, 270, 277–78 Sun, Fei Fei, 156 Sutro photo filter, 23 Swain, David, 154 Swank, Hilary, 192 Sweeney, Shayne, 32, 37, 53, 71, 75–76, 79 Swift, Taylor, 47, 131, 204, 217, 218–19, 231 Syracuse University, 232 Systrom, Diane, 3 Systrom, Doug, 3–4 Systrom, Kate, 3, 192 Systrom, Kevin, xxii, 31, 69–70, 94–95, 123–25, 146, 153, 159–60, 180, 193, 225, 245, 260, 261, 277 at Academy Awards, 191–92, 204 analytics and, 226–27 art history and Renaissance as interests of, 3, 106 celebrities’ relationships with, 46, 133–34 childhood of, 3–4 Clinton and, 207–8 competitiveness of, 107–8 Cox and, 257, 267–68, 272 cycling by, 185, 186, 205–6 deejaying by, 4, 10 disillusioned with FB’s grow-at-all-costs culture, xvii Dorsey and, 6–7, 15–16, 19, 60, 84 early mobile websites built by, 9–10; see also Burbn early prediction of IG success by, 29 in effort to preserve IG’s brand, 159–60, 176, 177–78, 184–85, 209, 217–20 in Florence, 3, 4–5, 19, 21 and FTC investigation of IG sale to FB, 75, 76 at Google, 8–9, 23, 37, 58, 62, 194 IG founded by, see Instagram IG posts by, 31 IG sold to Facebook by Krieger and, see Facebook, Instagram acquired by IGTV and, 257, 264, 265–66, 267 in increasing conflict with FB, 214, 249, 252–53, 262–63, 268–69 Krieger’s relationship with, 11–12, 13, 16–17, 22–23, 33, 107, 254 Kutcher’s friendship with, 46, 133 leadership philosophy of, 18 at Middlesex boarding school, 134 Monday leadership meetings of, 107 at Nextstop, 9–10, 11 at Odeo, 5–6, 7, 12 1 million followers of, 187 perjury allegations against, 86, 98–99 photography passion of, 2, 4–5 Pope Francis’s meeting with, 195–96 Porch and, 130–31, 132–33, 135, 147–48, 166, 195, 245 post-IG, 277 as pressured by Zuckerberg to build IG’s business model, 163–65, 167 problem solving by, 18, 32 as public face of IG, 33 re-sharing disallowed by, 140 in resignation from IG, xxii, 272–75 similar background of Zuckerberg and, 106–7 simplicity valued by, 18, 20, 21, 24, 27, 45, 54, 102, 119, 160, 180, 189, 191, 199, 205 Snapchat and, 188, 190, 192, 202–3, 217 at Stanford University, 7, 8, 24 Stories opposed by, 190, 191 study abroad of, 3–5 on Tim Ferriss Show, 87 #trashcangate and, 181–82 well-being initiative of, 249 Zuckerberg’s 2005 meeting with, 1–3 Zuckerberg’s relationship with, 7, 38, 95, 104–5, 107–8, 163–64, 216–17, 251, 252–53, 256, 262, 264, 266–68, 269–70 tagging friends, 7, 90 tagging photos, 95 TaskRabbit, 17 tastemaking, tastemakers, xviii, xxi, 144, 237 see also influencers Tatum, Channing, 149–50 Tatum, Everly, 149 #taylorswiftisasnake, 218 #tbt, 155 TechCrunch, 34, 35, 36 technology industry, 28 teens, 243 on FB, 117, 184 finsta accounts of, 182–83, 184 on IG, 118, 170 IG’s analytic tools used by, 275–76 IG Stories and, 203 as key to the future of IG, 154, 171, 184 and pressure to post the best, 114, 170, 172, 188–90, 248 Snapchat and, 115 technology use by, 114 unspoken social rules among, 182, 184 Zuckerberg’s resolve to better understand, 116 Teigen, Chrissy, 243 Telegram, 246 terrorism, terrorists, 249, 261 Tesla, 22 That ‘70s Show, 44 TheFacebook.com, 1, 7 growth of, 2 see also Facebook @thefatjewish, xx @theskinnyconfidential, 237 Thiel, Peter, 191, 193 #thinspiration, 41 This American Life (NPR show), 188 Threadsy, 17 Thrive Capital, 66, 70 Throwback Thursday, 155 TikTok, 277 Timberlake, Justin, 203, 204 Time, 38–39 Tim Ferris Show, 87 Tinder, 19 TMZ, 136 Toffey, Dan, 52, 53, 73, 141, 143 Totti Candy Factory, 242 Toy Story (film), 180 Transocean Ltd., 113 #trashcangate, 181–82, 204 travel, IG’s influence on, 169, 241, 242 Trigger, Kaitlyn, 79 trolls, internet, 41, 219, 251 Trump, Donald, 207, 208, 210, 211, 224, 258 FB leveraged by, 212–13 Trump, Ivanka, 70 Trump International Hotel, 70 Tumblr, 19, 103, 170 Tuna (dog), 141–42, 153 Tuna Melts My Heart (Dasher), 142 24 Hour Photo, 117 Twitter, xviii, xxi, 9, 17, 19, 31, 39, 130, 137, 151, 160, 170, 192, 225, 232, 239, 248 Academy Awards and, 151, 204 in attempt to buy IG, 25, 46, 48–49, 55–56, 86, 109 Benchmark Capital investment in, 36 chronological order of posts on, 19, 117 content policing and, 43 Dorsey at, 14, 25–26, 46–47 early investors in, 23 fake news on, 225 as follower-based network, 20 founders’ discord at, 14 free speech ethos at, 37, 156–57 growth rate of, 216 IG blocked from access to, 84, 99 IG photo sharing to, 37 IPO of, 98, 148, 149, 150–51 Niche acquired by, 165 Obama’s account on, 126 140–character limit of, 110, 128 Periscope acquired by, 64 retweet button of, 20, 44, 152, 157, 234 status updates at, 15 #tweetups and, 34 as unwilling to edit content, 220 user anonymity on, 41 verification on, 132 Vine acquired by, 64, 109, 157 Williams at, 14, 46 Zuckerberg’s attempted purchase of, 57 Twttr, 7 Tycho (Scott Hansen), 34 Tyga, 238 U2, 126 Uber, 36, 45, 222 UberCab, 23 Underwood, Teddy, 120–21 “unicorns,” 61 Van Damme, Tim, 51–54, 73 Vanity Fair, 158, 192 #vanlife, 229 venture capitalists, 2–3, 11, 15, 24, 36–37, 55, 56, 109, 116, 191 Vergara, Sofia, 236 Verge, 216 verification, 231–32, 279 as status symbol, 132–33 Verrilli, Jessica, 46 VidCon, 219 Viddy, 109 Vine, 64, 109–10, 111–12, 122, 124, 157, 165, 171, 265 violence, violent content, 40, 41–42, 97, 223, 249, 261 virality: of fake news, 225 on FB, 162, 209, 211, 215, 251, 260 re-sharing and, 20, 43–44, 140, 152, 210 risky behavior and, 240, 243–45 sharing and, 140, 152 social networking and, 44 on Twitter, 151, 239 Vogue, 118, 195, 231 IG-related cover of, 156, 157 VPN (virtual private network), 122 Wall Street, 74, 102, 150, 151, 164, 266, 267 Wall Street Journal, 102, 118, 122 Warner Bros.


pages: 354 words: 118,970

Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black-Scholes formula, buy and hold, capital controls, computerized trading, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

That would be the solution to the problem of rising inequality. LinkedIn’s official idea of the economic future was that conventional long-term full-time employment would become less and less common, but that would be okay. People would start their own ventures, or move rapidly from job to job, or piece together “portfolio lives” stitched out of pieces of part-time employment they had found through such online networks as Uber and TaskRabbit. Hoffman’s Greylock partner Simon Rothman had coined a term for such people: “uncollared workers.” It was clear that the portion of the workforce whose lives were built this way was growing, but it was too early to tell whether such arrangements would continue to increase until they became the dominant form of work. Would most people who no longer had conventional salaried jobs feel liberated or terrified?

.; classes of in Silicon Valley; executives compensated in; new instruments outpacing; online sales of; on margin; see also stock market Story of a Lover, The (Hapgood) “Strength of Weak Ties, The” (Granovetter) Strickland, Ted strikes Strober, Sue Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The (Kuhn) Stuart, Harold subprime auto loans subprime mortgages, see mortgages Subud suburbs suffragists Summers, Lawrence Supreme Court; Brandeis on Sutton, Betty swaps, financial syndicate system; decline of Taft, William Howard Taft-Hartley bill Talman Federal Savings Tamayo Financial Services Tarbell, Ida TaskRabbit Teaching in the Home (Berle) Team Auto Tea Party technology, see computers; Internet; networks; Silicon Valley TED (conference) Temporary National Economic Committee Ten Step Sales Procedure (Spitzer) Tesla Thaler, Richard “Theory of the Firm” (Jensen and Meckling) Thiel, Peter; as provocateur Think and Grow Rich (Hill) Time-Life Tokyo Stock Exchange “too big to fail” doctrine totalitarianism Toyota trading: largest loss in; rise of; see also investment banking; Morgan Stanley Transaction Man; institutional model replaced by; loss of faith in; paradigm applied to social issues; pluralism and; see also financial economics; investment banking; Morgan Stanley Treasury Department; under Paulson; under Rubin passim; under Woodin Treaty of Detroit “Treaty of Detroit, The” (Bell) Troubled Asset Relief Program trucking Truman, David Truman, Harry Trump, Donald trustbusting; GM’s strategy against; of Morgan Stanley; obsolescence of; of tech firms Turner, Frederick Jackson Tversky, Amos 2008 financial crisis; automotive industry during; in Chicago Lawn; credit markets frozen during; government bailouts during; lead-up to, see deregulation; derivatives; mortgages Uber underwriting; by banks; decline of unions; criticism of; government support for; as interest groups; pensions from; Treaty of Detroit by United Auto Workers United Nations United States: core institutions of; corporations unforeseen by founders of; global influence of; national character in United States of America v.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

This is the new on-demand economy, where providers of labour are no longer employees in the traditional sense but rather independent workers who perform specific tasks. As Arun Sundararajan, professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU), put it in a New York Times column by journalist Farhad Manjoo: “We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the workforce will do a portfolio of things to generate an income – you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit”.27 The advantages for companies and particularly fast-growing start-ups in the digital economy are clear. As human cloud platforms classify workers as self-employed, they are – for the moment – free of the requirement to pay minimum wages, employer taxes and social benefits. As explained by Daniel Callaghan, chief executive of MBA & Company in the UK, in a Financial Times article: “You can now get whoever you want, whenever you want, exactly how you want it.


Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World by Jeffrey Tucker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, altcoin, bank run, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, informal economy, invisible hand, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, obamacare, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, TaskRabbit, the payments system, uber lyft

Right now, we can experience a form of commercial relationship that was unknown just a decade ago. If you need a ride in a major city, you can pull up the smartphone app for Uber or Lyft and have a car arrive in minutes. It’s amazing to users because they get their first taste of what consumer service in taxis really feels like. It’s luxury at a reasonable price. If your sink is leaking, you can click TaskRabbit. If you need a place to stay, you can count on Airbnb. In Manhattan, you can depend on WunWun to deliver just about anything to your door, from toothpaste to a new desktop computer. If you have a skill and need a job, or need to hire someone, you can go to oDesk or Elance and post a job you can do or a job you need done. If you grow food or make great local dishes, you can post at a place like credibles.co and find a prepaid customer base.


pages: 504 words: 129,087

The Ones We've Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America by Charlotte Alter

"side hustle", 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Hangouts, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job-hopping, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, passive income, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, white picket fence, working poor, Works Progress Administration

When big purchases such as homes and cars were out of the question, many millennials figured they might as well spend their money on things like specialty cronuts and fancy coffees. They tended to prefer experiences over possessions. And a generation steeped in social networks became increasingly comfortable renting things instead of owning them: millennials rented rides (with Uber and Lyft), rented clothes (through Rent The Runway), and rented labor (through TaskRabbit). They also began to look to the gig economy for side hustles to supplement their meager incomes. By 2018, more than 40 percent of eighteen- to thirty-four-year-olds worked as freelancers. For almost half of the largest generation of workers, the traditional work structure that had defined twentieth-century professional life just wasn’t available anymore. A freelance life meant being constantly on, all the time.

., 131 Shapiro, Ben, 249–50, 254 Sherrill, Mikie, 270 Sherry, Jonathan, 22, 81–82 Silent Generation, xviii Singer, Paul, 154–55 60 Minutes, 222 Skocpol, Theda, 205 Slotkin, Elissa, 270 Smith, Al, 217–18 Smith, Lis, 283–84 socialism/democratic socialism, 213–24 boomers view of, 213, 216 DSA candidates in 2018 elections, 238–39 history of, in the United States, 216–20 millennials view of, 214–16, 220–24 Roosevelt New Deal policies and, 217–19 social justice, 61 social media, 55, 60–61 Ocasio-Cortez’s use of, 183–87, 266–67, 273, 288–89 Occupy Wall Street and, 114, 117–18 racial justice movement and, 120–21 self-definition, building of online communities around, 60–61 Social Security, 31, 99–100, 217 Social Security Trust Fund, 31, 99–100 South Bend Tribune, 145–46 Spanberger, Abigail, 270 Sperling, Gene, 104 Squad, 270, 279–81 Standing Rock Indian Reservation Dakota Access Pipeline protests, 181–82 Ocasio-Cortez live streams trip to, and experiences at, 183–89 Starr, Ken, 51 Stefanik, Elise, xxi, 11–13, 153–57 acceptance to Harvard, 12–13 at Albany Academy for Girls, 11–12 bipartisanship of, 161 climate change and, 157–58 elected and serves in Congress representing twenty-first district New York, 154–56 at Harvard, 153 on lack of women Republican candidates, 244–45 9/11 terrorist attacks and, 11 personality of, 11–12 reelected to Congress, 2016, 176 reelected to Congress, 2018, 257–59 on Trump and Trump’s policies, 257–59 2012 presidential election and, 168–70 works for Romney 2012 campaign, 148–49 Steinem, Gloria, 29–30, 200 Steinhauser, Brendan, 251, 255 Sterling, Alton, 121 Stevens, Haley, xvii, xxi, 8–11, 230, 268 at American University, 8–9 on Auto Task Force, 101–5 campaign for and elected to House of Representatives, 233–37, 242–43 childhood of, 9–11 as Clinton 2016 campaign volunteer, 167–68 as Clinton 2008 campaign intern, 84–85, 89 digital revolution and, 54–55, 56 elected copresident of freshman Congress people, 269 first days in Congress, 269–70 first year in Congress, accomplishments during, 277 Great Recession and, 92–93, 100 Green New Deal not cosponsored by, 279 9/11 terrorist attacks and, 8–9 2012 presidential election and, 167–68, 175, 178 works for Biden’s 2008 campaign, 89, 90 Stevens, Maria, 9–10, 232, 233, 235–36, 237 stock market, 93 Strauss, Rose, 273–74 Strauss, William, xiv stress, 36 Strykers, 70–71 student loan debt, 44–52 average debt of Gen Xers versus millennials, 46 cost of college education, increase in, 50–51 for-profit colleges and, 52 Great Recession and, 96 hollowing out of rural and suburban areas and, 141 increase in college attendance and, 47–48 of Ocasio-Cortez, 44–45, 166, 167 of white millennials versus black millennials, 51–52 Summers, Larry, 106, 178 Sunrise Movement, 189–90, 191, 273–74 Superstorm Sandy, 129 Swisher, Maria, 165, 167, 183, 187, 199, 200–201 The S Word: A Short History of an American Tradition (Nichols), 219 Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It (Brill), 29 Tanden, Neera, 84, 101 TaskRabbit, 99 Tax March, 204 Tea Party, 124, 131, 205 technological shift. See digital revolution telephone, 55 television, 55 Third Way, 30 Thompson, Kenneth, 238 Three Men and a Baby (film), 33 Thunberg, Greta, 190, 191, 294 Tillerson, Rex, 196 TIME, 29, 39 Tlaib, Rashida, 237–38, 265, 270, 280 Tobias, Andrew, 7 Tocqueville, Alexis, xiii–xiv Today (tv show), 4 Townsend, Gayraud, 132 Trent, Corbin, 209, 281 trigger warnings, 37 Trott, Dave, 233, 234 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 106 Trump, Donald, xiv, xvi, 58, 149–50, 158, 294 Access Hollywood tape and, 169 age at time of presidency, xiii, 194 appointments of, 194–95 attacks the Squad, 280–81 climate change views of, 195–96 elected president, 2012, 169 environmental policies of, 195–96 generational schism in Republican Party caused by, 249–50 lack of millennial support for, 249 Muslim travel ban executive order of, 202, 203 resistance to, 198–201 on socialism, 222 Tubbs, Michael, 131–32, 138–41 Advance Peace program and, 140 basic income pilot program and, 140 cradle-to-grave services for poor children initiative, 139–40 elected mayor of Stockton, 139 elected to Stockton City Council, 139 as intern in Obama White House, 138–39 as mayor of Stockton, 139–41 policing and, 140 South Stockton Promise Zone initiative and, 139–40 Stockton Scholars program and, 140 youth of, 138 Tucker, Clyde, 151 Tumblr, 114, 204 Turning Point USA, 253 Twenge, Jean, 34 Twitter, 57, 58, 60, 61, 204 2012 presidential election, reaction to.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

The press gave significantly less ink to the latent misogyny bubbling up inside of tech companies, and the libertarian view that enabled tech figureheads to unwittingly enable these same biases. The divide between tech’s most talented, and the class who waited tables and served them coffee only grew starker by the day. Fast-rising rents pushed wage earners out of San Francisco, while landlords flipped those former apartments to new, wealthier tenants. The “gig economy” unleashed by companies like Uber, Instacart, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash spurred an entirely new class of workers—the blue-collar techno-laborer. With the rise of Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Snapchat, venture capitalists looked everywhere to fund the next Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, or Evan Spiegel—the newest brilliant mind who sought, in the words of Steve Jobs, to “make a dent in the universe.” And as more money flowed into the Valley from outside investors—from hedge funds and private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and Hollywood celebrities—the balance of power shifted from those who held the purse strings to the founders who brought the bright ideas and willingness to execute them.

Louis, Missouri, 117–18 Strategic Services Group (SSG), 202, 257–58, 259 Stripe, 92n, 196 StumbleUpon, 41, 42–43 StyleSeat, 49 Substance, 26 Sugar, Ronald, 332 Sullivan, Joe, 165, 167–75, 178, 187, 226n, 247, 258, 258–59, 311, 329, 335–37 Sun Tzu, 189 Sweeney, Matt, 59, 184 Swisher, Kara, 177 Sydney, Australia, 84–85 Syria, 205 Sze, David, 74 Tahoe, California, 8 Taiwan, 139 Target, 189–90 TaskRabbit, 9 Tavel, Sarah, 283, 294 Taxi Magic, 78 TechCrunch, 55, 58, 59, 63 Techmeme, 55 TED Conference, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 98 Tellme Networks, 92, 92n, 93, 94 Tencent, 147–48 Terranea Resort, 176, 179 Tesla, 4, 199, 233 Texas, 115 Texas Pacific Group (TPG), 277–78, 313, 321–22, 323 TextNow, 146 Thailand, 195 Thain, John, 327 Thrun, Sebastian, 183 Time, 121 Todd, Michael, 28, 31 TPG Capital, 99–101, 157 Transport Workers Union, 204 Treasury Department, 34 Trebek, Alex, 275n Trism, 39 T.


pages: 170 words: 49,193

The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. * For now at least – plenty of robotics companies are working to overcome Moravec’s Paradox, especially as computing power increases. * Uber and Deliveroo are part of an increasingly important sort of industry: the gig economy encompasses companies that monetise everything from borrowing cars (RelayRides), helping with daily tasks (TaskRabbit), lending bikes (Liquid) or money (Lending Club) and selling home Wi-Fi (Fon) or clothes (NeighborGoods). According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, approximately 1.3 million people are already working in the gig economy in the UK this number is predicted to grow substantially in the next few years. * Some of them are no doubt thinking of Karl Marx’s vision of a communist paradise, where people could ‘hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner’


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

If we follow the thread of Alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer (2008), a film in which California's agriculture is served by drone pilot/robot fruit pickers working remotely from behind the sovereign wall separating the United States and Mexico, it is not unreasonable to imagine a further logistic dehumanization of Fresno's on-site population.21 Perhaps the costs of piloting agricultural labor will be held down by global wage arbitrage, pickers in Tijuana competing with pickers in Jakarta and Juneau to provide fast and cheap results. That is, formal national jurisdiction may have far less to do with the economics of Cloud feudalism than with whichever Cloud Polis, enclave platform, or urban camp happens to counts a given worker as one of its Users. The elevation of labor systems like Amazon's Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit, and Uber to infrastructural scale suggests several paradoxical and even contradictory outcomes, both positive and negative. One of these is well summarized as: “I'm really looking forward to a future in which service employees are leased Google Glass so they can complete courses in for-profit trade schools while simultaneously earning health care vouchers instead of actual currency and Soylent instead of actual food.”22 We should add, however, that the lease terms on that Glass set are conditional on whether the User actually won the bid to pilot-pick avocados.

Hansen, Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009). 77.  Peter Watts, Beyond the Rift (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2013), 9. 78.  James Bridle, “Do You Know This Person?” Render Search, http://render-search.com/. 79.  Sarah Jaffe, “Silicon Valley's Gig Economy Is Not the Future of Work—It's Driving Down Wages,” Guardian, July 23, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/23/gig-economy-silicon-valley-taskrabbit-workers. 80.  When I was a youngster, my dislike for the Canadian rock band Rush was confirmed by the song “Red Barchetta,” about a guy who drives around in his muscle car in defiance of climate and pollution laws. Today, Johnny Dronehunter protects normatively masculine white guys from the emasculating influence of “drones” (and “technology” in general we assume) by zooming around inside his big metal box and shooting at things in the sky.

See also Amazon surfaces, interface design, 230–231 surveillance address, 215–216 apparatuses of, 121, 138, 215 culture of, 363 geolocative Apps enforcing, 243 jurisdiction over, 28, 121 metadata for, 287 NSA/Patriot Act, 35, 120, 287 satellite technology, 90–92 surveillance-sousveillance contravention, 454n75 surveillance state, 8, 106, 138, 192, 327 surveilled, spectacle of transparence for, 452n70 Survival Research Laboratories, 57 swarms, 281–282, 334 swerve, 77 synthetic algorithmic intelligence, 81 synthetic catallaxy, 330–331, 375 synthetic computation, 198, 352 synthetic intelligence, 362 systems theory, 54 tactile technology, 148, 177, 224, 226 tactility of the virtual, 129–130, 148 Tafuri, Manfredo, 304 Tangible Media Group, MIT, 226 tangible user interfaces (TUI), 168, 226 Tarde, Gabriel, 125, 266, 334, 340 Tarde-Durkheim debate, 266 TaskRabbit, 308 Tati, Jacques, 147 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 254, 285, 297 TCP/IP network model, 61–63, 319 technical-institutional systems, 329–330 technolibertarianism, 312–314, 316–317, 329 technological innovation, 45, 62, 79, 92, 129, 163, 330 technologicization of intelligence, 278 technology accidents of new, 273, 356 borders of, 29 computational, limits of, 78–79 embodying human mastery, 344–345 future of, 303–304, 341 governance and, 7–8 qualities associated with the divine, 172 of social organization, 336 for the Stack-to-come, availability of, 303–305 tactile, 148, 224, 226 for violence, 17, 325 technopolitics, 115 technoradicalism, placebo, 303–304 Tektology, 328 telematic stigmergy, 428n58 telephone line service, 29 telescopic logics, global/local, 16, 101, 178, 197, 220, 229, 235, 266 Ten Books of Architecture (Vitruvius), 254 terraforming, 85–86, 115–116, 181, 187, 404n11 territory addresses defining, 193–195, 296 Cloud layer, 154 elements of, 335 exceptional, 114 geometry of, 25 Google's Grossraum delaminating, 295 intelligent, 198 lines of demarcation, 32 megastructural, 154–155, 176–183 networks producing, 29 as political technology/political technology as, 335 and sovereignty, 97, 114, 119–120, 312, 316 urban interfacial, 155–160 territory of territories, 246–247 terrorism counterterrorism discourse, 324, 355 Mumbai attacks (2008), 17, 242, 247–248, 322, 428n58, 431n70 September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 321, 363 War on Terror, 320–321 textuality as addressability, 199–200 theo-interfaciality, 239–243 theological imperative of augmented reality, 429n61 theological memory, 240, 297 theology, 125, 149.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, means of production, Mitch Kapor, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

We can find services provided by people in our own neighborhood, read blogs by neighbors in our own community, and borrow money from like-minded people rather than big banks. The technology that created a scale so large as to drown us has now enabled a scale anchored in people’s need for purpose and meaning in their work and lives. It is right-sizing, to steal the term back from big business. From TaskRabbit to Elance, technology is changing the way we can earn a living, but also changing the way employers think about labor. More than 17 percent of the fourteen million self-employed workers in the United States consider themselves independent contractors or freelancers.1 Fractional Labor, as it sometimes called, is concentrated heavily in sales, IT, creative services, marketing, and operations. As Generation X and Millennials have entered the workforce, more professionals of their generations (and even older) have been seeking alternative ways to do work that is meaningful, powered by Internet 3.0.


pages: 206 words: 60,587

Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Airbnb, buy low sell high, inventory management, Lyft, passive income, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, Uber for X, uber lyft

Sometimes you’ll have to experiment a little to discover the best possible price for your offers. IF YOU’RE JUST “BREAKING EVEN,” YOU’RE ACTUALLY LOSING MONEY A side hustle should be fun, but as you know by now, it also needs to be profitable. Consider the platform Fiverr.com, which we’ll look at further in a couple of upcoming stories. This online marketplace for services and others like it (TaskRabbit, for example) are great for experimenting in the way of the side hustle: you can create a profile and start completing tasks for people almost right away. What’s not to love? Well, the site is called Fiverr for a reason—the price for all the services offered needs to begin at just $5. It’s possible to use the platform as a launchpad for working up to something bigger, and it’s also totally fine to play around at a low price structure while getting used to hustling, but in the long run you’ll probably want to make a lot more than $5 at a time.


pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

Uber expanded globally almost from its beginning, far earlier than would have been possible in an era when packaged software and clunky computers were the norm. It is a leader of the so-called gig economy, cleverly marrying its technology with other people’s assets (their cars) as well as their labor, paying them independent-contractor fees but not costlier employee benefits. Such “platform” companies became all the rage as Uber rose to prominence. Airbnb didn’t need to own homes to make a profit renting them. Thumbtack and TaskRabbit are just two companies that matched people looking for project-based work with customers—without having to make any hires themselves. By late 2016 Uber stood at a crossroads. It had raised $17 billion from private investors, reaching a valuation of $69 billion, an unheard-of level for a still-fledgling private company. Within weeks of Kalanick’s wild ride through the streets of Beijing, Uber would shock its critics and admirers alike by quitting in China, the country into which Kalanick personally had poured so much energy and credibility, to say nothing of his investors’ capital.


pages: 228 words: 68,315

The Complete Guide to Property Investment: How to Survive & Thrive in the New World of Buy-To-Let by Rob Dix

buy and hold, diversification, diversified portfolio, Firefox, risk tolerance, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, young professional

If you don’t already have the right person on hand when disaster strikes, I recommend using a site like mybuilder.com or checkatrade.com. You place your job, contractors bid, and you can see their reviews from previous clients to assure yourself that they’re up to the task. Bits and bobs. For those random tasks that require an in-person visit, there’s normally a way to find someone else to do it. In London there’s taskrabbit.co.uk, nationwide there’s gumtree.com, or you could try posting a request on a local message board like streetlife.com. You could even decide to outsource periodic inspections in this way, by sending in someone armed with a simple checklist and ask them to snap photos on their phone of anything that looks important. Rent collection Rent collection isn’t something to take a laid-back attitude about.


pages: 317 words: 71,776

Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, David Graeber, delayed gratification, Dominic Cummings, double helix, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, family office, financial deregulation, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, land value tax, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, lump of labour, mega-rich, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, TaskRabbit, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor

Task rabbits are people who bid for very short-term jobs on the internet. To win the bid, the task rabbit must be willing to bid below what they think others will put in as their lowest bid. The job might be to clean a garage, paint an apartment or buy groceries. The firm that matches up these temporary servants and their not-too-fussy masters, and carries out criminal record checks on them, is called Taskrabbit.com. Rabbits receive star ratings based on what previous masters thought of them.88 Task rabbits are frontrunners in a race to the bottom. If task rabbits are an extreme case, ‘temps’ are the new normal. Temps range from casual day labourers to university teaching assistants hired for ten months, or ten days. Many of the 1 per cent revel in a world in which the increasingly fragmented 99 per cent have ever-decreasing bargaining power.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

She has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. The child of a rocket scientist at NASA, Ann is a Palo Alto native and has been steeped in technology startups since she was a teenager. Prior to co-founding Floodgate, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company. Some of Ann’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, Chloe and Isabel, Maker Media, Wanelo, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? As a 12-year-old, I stood on a stage next to my brother, who confidently pointed to me and announced, “This is Ann Miura. She will be playing a Chopin Nocturne in C sharp minor.” I stood next to him, mute, and then strode over to the piano and started to play.

., 91 Schaffhausen, Brian, 108–9 Schmidt, Eric, 221 Scholly, 79 School, adopting a, 449–50 School of Visual Arts, New York City, 24 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 69 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 14 Schweitzer, Albert, 206 Scudder, Vida Dutton, 112 Seattle Seahawks, 412 Seneca, 39, 112, 206, 253, 513 Shabalov, Alexander, 369 Shake Shack, 371 Shapiro, Dani, 28 Sharapova, Maria, 182–84 Shavit, Michal, 556 Shaw, George Bernard, 235 Shea, Ryan, 492–94 Shopping.com, 31 Shungite stone, 269 Siegel, Dan, 62 Silbermann, Ben, 495–500 Simmons, Louie, 309 Simmons, Marshall, 358, 359 Simon and Garfunkel, 161 Skype, 250 Slater, Kelly, 419–20 Sleep, 3–4, 232 as investing in yourself, 212–13 naps, 319 for stress relief, 529–30 Sleepio, 243 SleepPhones, 36 Slide, 92 Sling Shot, 309, 311 Slovic, Paul, 190 Smelling salts, 387 Socrates, 224 Sohn Conference Foundation, 56 Sonen Capital, 324 Sony, 281 Sorkin, Andrew Ross, 145–46 Soros Fund Management, 428 SoundTracking, 101 Sowell, Thomas, 205 “So what” exercise, 90 SpaceX, 42, 293 Special Olympics, 509 Spiceworks, 64 Spiralizer, 306 Spotify, 286, 288 Square, 250 Stanton, Brandon, 254–55, 565 Starrett, Kelly, 316, 317 StartUp Health, 243 Stay Covered Big Wave SUP leash, 196 Stephenson, Neal, 470–71 Stewart, Zeph, 224 Stiller, Ben, 135–39 Strauss, Neil, 96–99 Strayed, Cheryl, xviii SubPac M2 Wearable Physical Sound System, 57 Suffering, 16, 32, 33, 83, 122, 237, 344, 381, 558–60 Sun Tzu, 436 Super Training Gym, Sacramento, 309 Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 509 Swope, Herbert Bayard, 69 Szabo, Nick, 382–84 T Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 289 Taleb, Nassim, 60 Talk therapy, 550 Task and distractions list, 542–43 TaskRabbit, 200 Tata Harper Fierce lip balm, 233 Taubes, Gary, 480 Technology, 213 disruptive, 222–23, 346 Moore’s Law for, 294–95 TED Conference, 407–8 Tesla, 42, 293 Therapy, 26–27, 81, 550 Theroux, Paul, 210 Thich Nhat Hanh, 235, 450 Thiel, Peter, 153 Thoreau, Henry David, 39, 140, 205, 463 Þórisdóttir, Anníe Mist, 305–7, 421 Thrive Global, 211 Thrive Global phone bed, 213–15 Thucydides, 6–7 Thumbtack, 31 Tile Mate key finder, 97 Tippett, Krista, 308 Tivoli Systems, 64 Tolstoy, Leo, 335 Tony Hawk Foundation, 298 Tony Hawk Signature Series, 298 Topic.com, 141 Top Ramen, 391 Torres, Dara, 390–91 Total Immersion, 440, 442, 443 Tradedoubler, 286 Transcendental Meditation, 80, 241, 242, 322, 380, 381, 489 Trickstutorials.com, 385 Truman, Harry, 206 Tumblr, 215 23andMe, 243 Twitch.tv, 64 Twitter, 31, 64, 215, 250, 401 Tyler, Aisha, 431–35 U Uber, 31, 37, 211, 215, 250, 347–48, 459, 461 Ulmer, Kristen, 546–53 Under Armour, 447 Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), 371 Union Square Ventures, 492 Urban, Tim, 40–49, 495 USCF Memory and Aging Center, 296–97 V Valkee, 243 Van de Snepscheut, Jan L.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Private-equity partners and venture capitalists have shunted billions and billions of dollars to start-ups seeking to disrupt brick-and-mortar businesses, vault over workplace protections, pay peanuts, employ close to no one, and offer no benefits or job security. Uber is just the biggest and most visible of these players. Others include the freelance-services marketplace Fiverr, Uber’s ridesharing rival Lyft, the grocery delivery company Instacart, and the do-anything handyman service TaskRabbit, now part of Ikea. Nobody quite knows the size of the diverse and chaotic and fast-changing pool of workers serving these businesses, but estimates drift as high as 45 million. For all these start-ups, the basic business model is the same. The company offers a Web- or mobile-based platform, light and endlessly scalable to new consumers. That platform connects individuals offering a product or service to folks in search of that product or service, whether it be a ride, a sandwich, or a hand to change hard-to-reach lightbulbs.


pages: 444 words: 84,486

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, call centre, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, Flash crash, G4S, high net worth, information asymmetry, license plate recognition, obamacare, old-boy network, six sigma, TaskRabbit

And there was Phoenix, and the radio broadcasts, and the news from their old neighborhoods, and there was James and Ray, who were simultaneously their best scouts and the biggest troublemakers, demanding to be allowed to go check things out, see how they were going. Giorgia decided to go with them. The residents of Fort Doom were about done with the end of the world and ready to go back to massages, steaks, cocktail bars, squash games, hard work, big profits, arguing on social media, ill-advised sex with interesting strangers, all the comforts of modernity. When they’d left Phoenix, it had been a thriving city, filled with TaskRabbits and 7-Elevens, Ubers and exclusive bespoke suitmakers and couture fashion boutiques. Surely some remnant of all that remained. So he green-lit the mission, and they tuned into the DJs all around the clock, like it was a radio play about a much more interesting apocalypse than the one they were living through. Warren had a joke, “Armageddon tired of waiting around,” and he would bust it out all day.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income

If something did go wrong, the work dried up, or I decided to switch to another freelancer, firing a freelancer is simplicity itself. You click on a a button labelled “End Contract”. I am mostly definitely not the only one doing this. In 2017, Upwork had fourteen million users from over 100 nations. It processed more than one billion dollars in freelancer earnings. And Upwork has plenty of competition. There are dozens of start-up competitors like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, Craigslist, Guru, Mechanical Turk, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer.com. This “space,” as they say in the online world, has attracted the attention of the professional network giant LinkedIn. It has 450 million business professionals registered and it is using that base to move into freelance matchmaking with its “ProFinder” services. And then there is the Chinese entrant. As you might expect given how digital the Chinese economy has become, online freelancing is booming in China.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

And, like those antiaircraft gunners during World War II, we’ll be compelled to adapt our own work, behavior, and skills to the capabilities and routines of the machines we depend on. * The internet, it’s often noted, has opened opportunities for people to make money through their own personal initiative, with little investment of capital. They can sell used goods through eBay or crafts through Etsy. They can rent out a spare room through Airbnb or turn their car into a ghost cab with Lyft. They can find odd jobs through TaskRabbit. But while it’s easy to pick up spare change through such modest enterprise, few people are going to be able to earn a middle-class income from the work. The real money goes to the software companies running the online clearinghouses that connect buyer and seller or lessor and lessee—clearinghouses that, being highly automated themselves, need few employees. CHAPTER THREE ON AUTOPILOT ON THE EVENING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2009, a Continental Connection commuter flight made its way through blustery weather between Newark, New Jersey, and Buffalo, New York.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

And new technologies have only been as successful as they have been by positioning themselves as magical solutions. Not just to individual dilemmas, but to the bigger crises and dysfunctions of late capitalism. If mass media is a one-way information monopoly, turn to the feed, the blog, the podcast. If the news fails, turn to citizen journalism for ‘unfiltered’ news. If you’re underemployed, bid for jobs on TaskRabbit. If you’ve got little money but own a car, use it to make some spare money on the side. If you’re undervalued in life, bid for a share in microcelebrity. If politicians let you down, hold them to account on Twitter. If you suffer from a nameless hunger, keep scrolling. The business model of the platforms presupposes not just the average share of individual misery but a society reliably in crisis.


pages: 353 words: 91,520

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner, Ted Dintersmith

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, immigration reform, income inequality, index card, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, school choice, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

* * * For a good example of how the innovation economy is upending traditional models, check out Elance, a rapidly growing online service that enables entrepreneurial freelancers to earn income in hundreds of ways, including as editors, graphic designers, creative writers, software developers, and researchers. Need your logo designed? Go to Elance. Need careful research about an article? Go to Elance. Elance is hardly unique. Millions of people are generating income through the online microeconomies of sites like Care.com, Freelance.com, eBay, oDesk, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, Teachers Pay Teachers, iTunes, Kickstarter, and on and on. These marketplaces represent the wave of the future, where anyone can: • reach lots of customers readily. • build an online reputation through customer feedback and examples of work. • succeed in a world where customers don’t care about education credentials or standardized test scores. • thrive in an economy that values skills (liberal arts as well as STEM) that matter


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Lyft, a rival to Uber, allows people to transform themselves into professional drivers at their own convenience using their own vehicles. Airbnb, the wildly popular service that matches travelers with people who have spare rooms for rent in their homes, has allowed tens of thousands of people to work part-time as very small-scale innkeepers and hoteliers—on top of an existing job, or instead of it. Startups like oDesk, TaskRabbit, and Elance have established online marketplaces for a range of services from software development to basic cleaning and running errands. Increasingly, work is not a place people go to at the same time and place every day; it is something they do under an expanding array of new arrangements. SHIFTING GOALPOSTS AND SKILL GAPS EVERYWHERE The story of skill gaps is no longer a new one, but over the next decade, it will become a familiar one.


pages: 302 words: 87,776

Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dr. Dan Ariely, Jeff Kreisler

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bitcoin, Burning Man, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, experimental economics, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, mobile money, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

They imply that a skilled person made a product by hand, and by definition, anything made by hand takes extra effort. Thus, extra money shall be paid. Think about all the terms hinting at the complexity of the process—the effort heuristics—the waiter used to describe the exact same items Cheryl had cheaply consumed at her desk, description-free. SHARING IS FAIRING What about the phrase “the sharing economy”? Companies like Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit belong to “the sharing economy,” a phrase that frames these services in a positive way. Who doesn’t like to share and who doesn’t appreciate those who do? Who above the age of preschool doesn’t think of sharing as a wonderful human quality? No one, that’s who. The phrase “the sharing economy” conjures an image of the good side of humanity, and that causes most of us to value a service more. Certainly the language doesn’t draw attention to the negatives of the sharing economy.


Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie

Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

The group was a who’s who of Silicon Valley women, from MJ to Ellen Levy at LinkedIn; venture capital partners Kate Mitchell, Maha Ibrahim, Emily Melton, Robin Richards Donohoe, Jesse Draper, Claudia Fan Munce, and Karen Boezi; serial entrepreneurs Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Kim Polese; Laurie Yoler, the tech veteran who had helped start Tesla; Amy Banse of Comcast Ventures; Katie Rodan of Rodan + Fields; Katherine August de-Wilde of First Republic Bank; and Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, among others. The women had MBAs, PhDs, and stellar track records. They were entrepreneurs, investors, and moms. At one of the first meetings, Sonja laughed when a male founder walked into the room, saw all the women, and said, “Whoa!” At another meeting, Sonja refrained from rolling her eyes when a male founder insisted on explaining technical details to his female co-founder. The Broadway Angels’ early investments included Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription service founded by Meaghan Rose, a mother, math whiz, and scrappy entrepreneur; Debbie Sterling, an engineer who founded the toy brand GoldieBlox to introduce girls to science and engineering; and UrbanSitter, co-founded by Lynn Perkins, a mother who wanted a better way than word of mouth to find a babysitter.


pages: 336 words: 95,773

The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials' Economic Future by Joseph C. Sternberg

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, centre right, corporate raider, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, job satisfaction, job-hopping, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, unpaid internship, women in the workforce

Gigs Bite And of course we ended up with the biggest Millennial labor-market distortion of them all: the gig economy. What exactly is the “gig economy”? One thing it isn’t is new. Freelancers and part-timers have always been important parts of the economy. What also isn’t as special about the gig economy as many people think is the thing that always catches everyone’s attention about it—the technology. Smartphone apps like Uber or Lyft or TaskRabbit make it a lot easier for workers to offer themselves as temporary employees without going through an agency, and the lower cost thresholds associated with hiring individuals to do jobs via an app mean that “temporary” can become as short as a single car ride. But the technology is an important part of the story of the gig economy less because it has created revolutionary new gig work than because it proves the bigger point of this chapter: enormous quantities of investment capital have flowed into companies creating these apps because making an app that will take the middleman out of temporary hiring is currently a lot cheaper than investing in almost any business activity that would create a full-time job.


Data and the City by Rob Kitchin,Tracey P. Lauriault,Gavin McArdle

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, bike sharing scheme, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, floating exchange rates, global value chain, Google Earth, hive mind, Internet of things, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lifelogging, linked data, loose coupling, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, open economy, openstreetmap, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, place-making, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, semantic web, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart contracts, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, statistical model, TaskRabbit, text mining, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, urban planning, urban sprawl, web application

Even more so: these interfaces have started to function as the market places and theatre spaces through which citizens perform part of their lives and forge connections with others. If Castells’s city can be understood as an offline interface that produces urban publics, our digital interfaces have taken over some of the functions of the city. Whether it is finding a date through Tinder, a ride through Uber, a power drill to borrow through Peerby, funders through Kickstarter, or a plumber through Taskrabbit, the network society has been turning into a platform society. To come back to Batty’s insight: computers are now not just tools that automate and optimize existing urban functions such as traffic flows, they have partially taken over essential characteristics of the cityness we find in cities: their functioning as a ‘market place’ and a ‘theatre’. Research in cultural geography or urban sociology has just started to give us some first insights into what this may mean for the way our urban societies come into being.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Millennials will be the first modern generation to work in multiple “micro-careers” at the same time, leaving the traditional full-time job or working week behind. “Work” is more likely to behave like a marketplace in the cloud than behind a desk at a traditional corporation. While a central skill set or career anchor will be entirely probable, most will be entrepreneurs, and many will have their side gigs. For instance, Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are platforms that give people a way to leverage their cars and time to make money. TaskRabbit is a market for odd jobs. Airbnb lets you rent out any extra rooms in your home. Etsy is a market for the handmade knick-knacks or 3D print designs that you make at home. DesignCrowd, 99designs and CrowdSPRING all offer freelance design resources that bid logos and other designs for your dollars. Before long, technology will allow instant marketing of your skill set, the auctioning of gigs and expertise, and the ability to be paid for your work in near real time or as deliverables are finished.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

As Kalanick once put it to me, rather open-endedly, “If something is moving from one place to another in a city—that’s our jam.” But Uber is disrupting more than just transportation; it’s rewriting the contract between employees and labor. Over the past several years, it has cemented its role as the most prolific and pugnacious among companies shaping the “gig economy,” including Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and dozens more. They are all emblematic of accelerating shifts in the way we work: 24/7, directed by technology, and without many of the traditional protections and benefits enjoyed by the middle class. On the one hand, there is something magical about the way these companies allow people to monetize resources they already possess—a home, a car, their free time. On the other, this model is a slippery slope that, some argue, ends with workers being taken advantage of.


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

You are to be the neutral facilitator, the connector, the hub, but never an agent who could be blamed for a decision.”80 Think Airbnb or Amazon or Facebook or Google or Groupon or even Walmart. Think of the management software that Starbucks uses to decide who should work when in thousands of stores. Think of the ever-expanding category of hubs that connect people who want something done with people who are willing to do that job for them. These are task brokers like Fiverr and Taskrabbit, or driver-on-demand apps like Uber and Lyft—low-wage, task-based labor hubs that take a cut of every transaction but don’t take much, if any, responsibility for the estimated seventeen million or so Americans who work at least part time as “independent contributors.”81 These workers who race around walking dogs, hanging pictures, and giving rides to the airport don’t know what work at what wage they’ll have next day or next week.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

In 2007 we created our Advanced Leadership Lab, a three-day program for senior leaders where we deliberately assembled a diverse group, spanning a range of geographies, professional functions, genders, social and ethnic backgrounds, and tenures. Stacy Brown-Philpot, at the time a director in our sales organization, who went on to be an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Ventures before becoming chief operating officer of TaskRabbit, was in the first session. Years later, she and I compared notes on what a special experience it was to build that program from scratch. “I loved the people I met. I didn’t realize that we had so many amazing people doing so many different things,” she told me. “Who do you stay in touch with?” I asked. “No one.” “But…” “It’s weird. I’ve never had a need to reach out to them. But I feel better just knowing they’re there.”


pages: 621 words: 123,678

Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier

"side hustle", 8-hour work day, Airbnb, anti-work, asset allocation, bitcoin, buy and hold, cryptocurrency, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, follow your passion, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, loss aversion, Lyft, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Skype, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, TaskRabbit, the rule of 72, time value of money, uber lyft, Vanguard fund

In order to maximize your side-hustle earning potential, find a side hustle: Where you actually work for yourself That pays you well for your time That you enjoy doing That teaches you new skills (skills are future currency) That has growth potential (you can grow it into a larger business if you want) That has passive income potential (where you can hire others to do the work or set up recurring revenue streams) My favorite (and most profitable) side hustles are buying and selling website domain names, flipping mopeds and VW campers, building websites, blogging, and running digital ad campaigns. One of the benefits of side hustles is that they give you the opportunity to explore a bunch of different ideas without needing to commit to any one of them. If you love dogs but find that you hate dog walking, no sweat. Do as much as you want or switch to another hustle entirely. (Cat sitting, I can assure you, is a lot less work.) You can also go to websites like TaskRabbit, Postmates, or Craigslist to see if there are any odd jobs you can do. These require a little more effort, since you constantly have to look for new opportunities, but more money is more money. Remember, money is infinite. The more you side-hustle, the better at it you’ll become. For instance, over time, you’ll get a better sense of how much you can charge for a service. Plus you’ll probably build a stable base of clients who come to you over and over again, and they will also start recommending you to others, so you don’t have to spend extra time drumming up leads.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Perhaps even a world where we own our data and can protect our privacy and personal security. An open world where everyone can contribute to our technology infrastructure, rather than a world of walled gardens where big companies offer proprietary apps. A world where billions of excluded people can now participate in the global economy and share in its largesse. Here’s a preview. Creating a True Peer-to-Peer Sharing Economy Pundits often refer to Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and others as platforms for the “sharing economy.” It’s a nice notion—that peers create and share in value. But these businesses have little to do with sharing. In fact, they are successful precisely because they do not share—they aggregate. It is an aggregating economy. Uber is a $65 billion corporation that aggregates driving services. Airbnb, the $25 billion Silicon Valley darling, aggregates vacant rooms.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, Ross Ulbricht, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Similarly, no longer would you have to rely on centralized storefronts to accumulate and resell collectibles; eBay connected buyers and sellers directly. It was the same with music promotion and distribution, airline tickets, and—in some cases—advertising. The old gatekeepers’ business models relied on inefficiencies of technology, and the Internet changed that dynamic. It’s even more true today. AirBnB allows individuals to compete with traditional hotel chains. TaskRabbit makes it easier to connect people who want to do odd jobs with people who need odd jobs done. Etsy, CafePress, and eBay all bypass traditional flea markets. Zillow and Redfin bypass real estate brokers, eTrade bypasses investment advisors, and YouTube bypasses television networks. Craigslist bypasses newspaper classifieds. Hotwire and Travelocity bypass travel agents. These new companies might have broken the traditional power blocs of antique stores, newspapers, and taxi companies, but by controlling the information flow between buyers and sellers they have become powerful middlemen themselves.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

.*10 As many large companies either downsize or shift toward part-time models to assemble their teams on an as-needed basis, postindustrial society becomes a collection of digital temps not employed directly by their client but mediated through portals such as Wonolo, which acts as a task-brokering agency for Coca-Cola and other firms but provides employment for only hours at a time at short notice. The fastest-growth category of jobs in America is “perma-temps” who live off assignments garnered from sites such as TaskRabbit or Fiverr (where each gig earns $5). When we speak about countries moving up the value chain, we have to specify whether we are referring to their companies or their people. While America’s tech companies are the world’s most innovative, the most common job in thirty out of the fifty U.S. states is truck driver: non-tradable, but perhaps soon automatable. Technological automation is making millions of even white-collar workers redundant through the growing analytic capacity of algorithms.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Some workers may like the freedom that a gig job brings, but surveys suggest that most would prefer full-time employment.41 Still, there are many people who do want to work part-time, and there are many people who are looking for services, whether it is an odd job or a car ride. In the past, it has been difficult for the two groups to find each other. The internet makes the process quick and cheap. However, the anonymity of the internet creates a potential problem: how can the client trust the supplier to perform the service to a requisite standard, and how can the supplier trust the client to pay? Platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit can perform this service too, acting as trusted middlemen for payment. They can also help customers and suppliers to choose each other, via the system of ratings. A bad supplier, or a bad customer, will eventually be shunned by the network. Pandora’s Xbox New technologies have often had the ability to cause as much harm as good. When people learned to forge metals, they made weapons as well as tools.


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

* Technically, the title of first Boomer PM was held by Kim Campbell, but she lasted less than 5 months. Harper lasted nine years. * For most purposes, people in prisons don’t count toward the unemployment rate, though they are basically unemployed, and were US incarceration rates at developed world norms, unemployment would be about half a point higher. * Another disclosure: I have invested in several gig companies, like TaskRabbit and Lyft, because a few years ago I began to suspect that gigs were the future of work. * One of which apparently went to the most recent Madame Trump, a skilled… model. A special class of H-1B visas exists for just these exceptional people. * Judge (sic) Kimba Wood’s nanny appears to have been properly hired under prior applicable laws; her sin was failing to respond forthrightly to the White House’s specific questions about nannies


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

“I can hire a thousand graders in a week from around the world,” said Thrun, “try them out, find the two hundred best, and let the other eight hundred go.” It is a fast way to get high quality. There are Udacity freelance graders who make several thousand dollars a month grading computing projects—like how to build a map from Google’s GPS—sent in from students around the world. “We had one project grader who made twenty-eight thousand dollars one month,” said Thrun. “The gig economy is moving up. It’s not just about TaskRabbit errands anymore.” And Udacity is not just providing intelligent assistance for companies such as AT&T. Its platform is creating intelligent assistance for “the start-up of you”—whoever and wherever you are. In the fall of 2015, I found myself in a small conference room at Udacity’s Palo Alto headquarters interviewing—via Skype—Ghada Sleiman, a thirty-year-old Lebanese woman, who was taking Udacity’s online course to advance her skills in Web-page design.