sharing economy

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pages: 375 words: 88,306

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

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, 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, 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, universal basic income, Zipcar

It is also reminiscent of the sentiment expressed by the public intellectual Diana Fillipova in her 2014 essay, “The Mock Trial of the Collaborative Economy,” in which she noted: “Of course, as with technology, the problem is not the collaborative economy itself but, at least partly, the way we have been thinking about it and the unlimited hopes we were putting into it.”9 This discussion within OuiShare as well as at their Fest, mirrors both the evolving use of the term “sharing economy” and the nature of the exchange it is used to describe. Looking at the sharing economy as I write this book in 2015, I see commercial activity resembling that of a fairly standard market economy. Yet I also see exchange that might best be described as part of a “gift economy” that serves not only an economic purpose but also has other social and cultural function. Most exchange, however, seems like an interesting meld of market and gift. As I will argue later in this chapter, it is quite natural that the sharing economy spans the continuum between market economies and gift economies. But to get there, I first need to better bound the scope of what is meant by the “sharing economy,” and discuss the evolution of recent thinking about it. What Is the Sharing Economy? In the introduction, I provided a number of examples that fall under the umbrella of what I call the “sharing economy” or “crowd-based capitalism,” terms I use more precisely (and interchangeably) to describe an economic system with the following five characteristics: Largely market-based: the sharing economy creates markets that enable the exchange of goods and the emergence of new services, resulting in potentially higher levels of economic activity.

He is explicit, however, in his interest in the “business” of sharing, and, realizing the inherent potential contradiction, explains his use of the term “sharing economy”: Why am I using the term “sharing economy” time and time again in this book? In part, I do so because this term has come to dominate discourse on the subject. The genie is out of the bottle. It would be near-impossible to dislodge the term without the risk of fracturing a growing movement of people who largely have no problem with the term, and who are building something that—for the most part, as we will see—is a social and economic good.17 How Key Early Thinking on the Sharing Economy Evolved What I defined as the sharing economy (or as crowd-based capitalism) emerged at scale around 2010. Different conceptions of a “sharing economy,” however, predate the point at which the conditions were finally in place for it to expand beyond niche markets.

“As Yochai Benkler puts it, in commercial economies ‘prices are the primary source of information about, and incentive for, resource allocation’”; in sharing economies “non-price-based social relations play these roles.”26 However, he argues, this “is not because people are against money (obviously)” but rather because “people live within overlapping spheres of social understanding. What is obviously appropriate in some spheres is obviously inappropriate in others.”27 In other words, Lessig contends that there is more circulating in sharing economies than services and goods. To put it simply, “good feelings” are what circulate in Lessig’s version of a sharing economy. So, as Lessig asserts, “not only is money not helpful, in many cases, adding money into the mix is downright destructive.”28 Lessig further contends that not all sharing economies are built alike. On the one hand there are “thin sharing economies” or “those economies where the motivation is primarily me-regarding” or meant to serve the individual (and not necessarily on a monetary level, for example, as with joining a local softball league).


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

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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, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, 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, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

There has been a lot of debate about whether “sharing economy” is the right name to use to describe this new wave of businesses, and a raft of other names have been tried out—collaborative consumption, the mesh economy, peer-to-peer platforms, the gig economy, concierge services, or, increasingly, the “on-demand economy.” There is no doubt that the word “sharing” has been stretched beyond reasonable limits as the “sharing economy” has grown and changed, but we still need a name when we talk about the phenomenon. While it may not last more than another year or so, “sharing economy” is the name used right now in 2015. I will use the name, but to avoid repeated use of the word “alleged” or annoyingly frequent scare quotes I will capitalize it as the Sharing Economy.2 Definitions don’t take us very far when talking about something as fluid and rapidly changing as the Sharing Economy, but we still need to draw some boundaries around the topic to talk about it coherently. Chapter 2 surveys the Sharing Economy landscape: it explores what kind of organizations are included, where they come from, what they do, and how they are funded.

New businesses may be built around sharing and openness, but commercial instincts will tend to drive out altruistic behavior, and the generous impulses that inspired the Sharing Economy will be crushed by monetary incentives. The Sharing Economy is young and it is changing rapidly. It will be shaped by our behavior as consumers, but also by our behavior as citizens and our behavior as workers. Sharing Economy companies claim we should trust them and their technologies to take over functions provided by governments: guaranteeing a safe consumer experience, ensuring that employment is fair and dignified, and shaping cities to be livable and sustainable. We should not do so. I wrote this book because the Sharing Economy agenda appeals to ideals with which I and many others identify; ideals such as equality, sustainability, and community. The Sharing Economy continues to have the support and allegiance of many progressive-minded people—particularly young people who identify strongly with the technologies they use—who are having their best instincts manipulated and who will be betrayed.

I do not doubt that new technologies can play an important part in building a better future, but they do not provide a shortcut to solving complex social problems or to resolving longstanding sources of social conflict. If the Sharing Economy proponents who do believe in equality and sustainability want to build something useful, they need to drop the hubris of Internet culture and learn some lessons from those in other fields who have been engaged in sharing for years. Just as there are no shortcuts to solving complex social problems, so there is no simple Big Idea to countering the worst of the Sharing Economy. A starting point is that we recognize it for what it is. 2. The Sharing Economy Landscape One way to explore the makeup of the Sharing Economy is to look at an organization called Peers. Formed in 2013, Peers described itself as “a grassroots, member-driven organization that supports the Sharing Economy movement.” When Airbnb ran into business permit problems in Grand Rapids, Michigan or when a neighborhood council threatened to ban Airbnb in Silver Lake, California, it was Peers that rallied Airbnb hosts to lobby councilors on the company’s behalf.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig

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Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

For despite the intuitions that names give to the contrary, a thin sharing economy is often easier to support than a thick sharing economy. This is because inspiring or sustaining thee motivations is not costless. Or at least, all things being equal, a me motivation (for us, now) comes more easily to most. Thus, distinguishing cases where a thee motivation is necessary from cases where it isn’t will be helpful in predicting whether a certain sharing economy will survive. 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 154 8/12/08 1:55:26 AM T W O EC O NO MIE S: C O MMERC I A L A ND SH A RING 155 Internet Sharing Economies The Internet has exploded the range and thickness of sharing economies too. As with commercial economies, the plasticity of the Internet’s design, and the scale of its reach, offer a vast range of new opportunities for sharing economies everywhere. As with commercial economies, these sharing economies flourish in part because of their design.

Then I thought, but didn’t say: Anyway, if you were going to pay me for this hassle, it’s going to be a lot more than $5. As with any economy, the sharing economy is built upon exchange. And as with any exchange that survives over time, it must, on balance, benefit those who remain within that economy. When it doesn’t, people leave. Or at least they should (think about the battered spouse). But of all the ways in which the exchange within a sharing economy can be defined—or put differently, of all the possible terms of the exchange within a sharing economy—the one way in which it cannot be defined is in terms of money. As Yochai Benkler puts it, in commercial economies “prices are the primary source of information about, and incentive for, resource allocation”; in sharing economies “non-price-based social relations play those roles.”34 Indeed, not only is money not helpful.

They are thin sharing economies. By contrast, in a thick sharing economy, motivations are more complex. A father might spend Sunday mornings teaching a Bible class at his church. Part of that motivation is about him. But certainly, part is also about improving the community of his church— a thee motivation. What the proportion is we need not specify. The only important point is that there are both, and that the more we think that there is a thee motivation, the thicker the community is. This distinction between thick and thin will be important when considering differences among sharing economies. It will also be important in understanding the likelihood that any particular economy will survive over time. For despite the intuitions that names give to the contrary, a thin sharing economy is often easier to support than a thick sharing economy.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

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

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, 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, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, 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 web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Aug. 6, 2013. sfbg.com/2013/08/06/thin-air. 238 “grassroots organization”: “About Peers.” Peers. peers.org/about. 238 “sharing economy startups”: Andrew Leonard. “Who Owns the Sharing Economy?” Salon. Aug. 2, 2013. salon.com/2013/08/02/who_owns_the_sharing_economy. 239 “It’s like the United Nations”: Jones and Yesko. “Into Thin Air.” 239 “a shared identity”: Tom Slee. “Why the Sharing Economy Isn’t.” Whimsley. Aug. 30, 2013. tomslee.net/2013/08/why-the-sharing-economy-isnt.html. 239 “unreasonable obstacles”: ibid. 239 Atkin’s connection to Peers: Nitasha Tiku. “Airbnb’s Industry Mouthpiece Astroturfs for Donations.” Valleywag, a blog on Gawker. Dec. 11, 2013. valleywag.gawker.com/airbnbs-industry-mouthpiece-astroturfs-for-donations-1481305550. 239 Pierre Omidyar and Peers: Ryan Chittum. “Fortune Flacks for the ‘Sharing Economy.’” Columbia Journalism Review. Dec. 10, 2013. cjr.org/the_audit/fortune_flacks_for_the_sharing.php. 239 “We’ll provide everything”: Peers.

Welcome to the sharing economy. BAIT AND SWITCH The sharing economy combines all the elements of online labor, reputation, and social media’s marketing-of-the-self to help make one’s entire life purely transactional. Playing off the notion that a gig-based economy, filled with mobile freelancers, is inherently liberating, partisans of the sharing economy preach flexibility and personal empowerment. The sharing economy offers services that let you turn the core elements of your life—housing, transportation, physical labor, expensively earned skills—into rentable commodities. As with online labor, the emphasis is on reducing perceived market inefficiencies—regulation, middlemen, storefronts, the petty mundanities of paying fixed prices for goods and services. In the sharing economy, everybody is an entrepreneur and everything is negotiable.

Among the most pernicious aspects of the sharing economy is the way it presents itself as a populist operation, a loose community coming together to engage in mutually beneficial, informal economic exchanges. In reality, it is anything but these things. What is shared most among participants in the sharing economy is risk—risk that the platform owners displace onto workers and customers. But the industry’s self-mythologizing masks this reality. Peers, an industry lobbying group that calls itself a “grassroots organization to support the sharing economy movement,” acknowledged after its launch that its “mission-aligned independent donors” included “investors and executives of sharing economy start-ups.” That’s not much of a surprise, considering that its work directly benefits the companies comprising the sharing economy, as well as their billionaire backers.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

Airbnb has succeeded in bringing eBay’s trust-through-algorithms-and-ratings model to lodging and built a business around it. Nobody is really sharing anything in the sharing economy. You can call it the sharing economy, but don’t forget your credit card. At last measure, the estimated size of the global sharing economy was $26 billion, and it’s growing fast, with some estimates projecting it will be more than 20 times larger in size by 2025. Part of why Chesky’s story is cloying is that Airbnb is now a destination for castles in addition to couches. When I last checked, there were more than 600 castles available, with prices often approaching $10,000 a night. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but the techno-utopianism behind its origins and narrative has long been passed by economic reality. In some cases, the sharing economy has turned what might have once been a casual favor into a financial transaction.

For millennials, the appification of lodging, labor, and travel is more native and gives credence to the idea that the sharing economy is only in its earliest stages. Uber and Airbnb have inspired a host of imitators, and the sharing economy is growing far beyond lodging and transport. Companies have been established to sell (not share) latent goods and services ranging from home-cooked meals and day care for pets to tutoring in math. Imagining what is next, I think it is nearly inevitable that the sharing economy will come to include more specialized forms of labor. In the early years of its existence when eBay made anyone a retailer, the platform was dominated by low-cost trinkets and gadgets. It was basically an online garage sale. Today you can buy any make or model of Ferrari, the most precious item you might find in anyone’s garage. The sharing economy started with sleeping on couches and car rides.

She won’t buy anything from low-rated sellers, and she always rushes to the post office within a day of making a sale so that her merchant rating stays high. She has done business with people all over America, none of whom she has met but all of whom she trusts because of algorithm-generated trust. The next leap forward in the code-ification of trust and markets is in the so-called sharing economy. I think of the sharing economy as a way of making a market out of anything and a microentrepreneur out of anybody. The sharing economy uses a combination of technology platforms packaged as apps on mobile phones, behavioral science, and mobile phone location data to create peer-to-peer marketplaces. These marketplaces take underused assets (e.g., an empty apartment, empty seats in a car, or skill as a math tutor) and connect them with people looking for a specific service.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

Ibid. 94. “National Study Quantifies the ‘Sharing Economy’ Movement,” PRNewswire, February 8, 2012, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-study-quantifies-the-sharing-econo my-movement-138949069.html (accessed March 19, 2013). 95. Neal Gorenflo, “The New Sharing Economy,” Shareable, December 24, 2010, http://www.share able.net/blog/the-new-sharing-economy (accessed March 19, 2013). 96. Bryan Walsh, “10 Ideas that Will Change the World: Today’s Smart Choice: Don’t Own. Share,” Time, March 17, 2011, http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,20 59521_2059717,00.html (accessed March 19, 2013). 97. Danielle Sacks, “The Sharing Economy,” Fast Company, April 18, 2011, http://www.fast company.com/1747551/sharing-economy (accessed March 19, 2013). 98.

., 100, 104 Science, 155 Scientific American, 81–82, 199 “The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain” (Boyle), 181–182 sensors, use of, 11–13, 73–74, 143, 219, 230 Shareable, 238 SharedEarth, 239 sharing economy/good(s). see social capital and the sharing economy Siemens, 14–15 Simmel, Georg, 259 Skoll Foundation, 265–266 smart cities, 12 smart grid(s), 142–144, 149, 205–206, 294 Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS), 295 “smart” and “sustainable” society. see The Internet of Things (IoT) Smith, Adam, 3, 11, 33, 40–41, 61, 107, 159, 306–307 Smith, Alan, 123 Smith, Zach “Hoken,” 94 social Commons. see Collaborative Commons entrepreneurs, 19, 21, 99, 101, 103, 119, 144–147, 238, 262–269, 298, 309 trust, 234 web, four phases of, 234 social capital and the sharing economy, 223–269 and advertising, the end of traditional, 247–252 and automobile sharing, 225–231 and bike sharing, 227 and a biosphere lifestyle, 297–303 and clothing/accessories sharing, 236 crowdfunding capital, 19, 146, 256–257, 269 democratizing currency, 259–262 and garden sharing, 239–240 and healthcare, 240–247 humanizing entrepreneurship, 263–266 and letting go of ownership, 231–234 and lodging sharing, 234–235 and music sharing, 232 rethinking work, 266–269 shift from exchange value to sharable value, 20 and the sustainable cornucopia, 273–296 and toy sharing, 235 and the transformation from ownership to access, 225–254 Social Darwinism, 63–64 social entrepreneurship, 262–266 Social Psychological and Personality Science, 282 solar power, 81–86, 90, 95, 98, 139–140, 145–148, 215, 227, 253, 256–257, 294–295 Solow, Robert, 71 Spencer, Herbert, 63–64 Spotify, 145 Stallman, Richard M., 174–176, 179, 182, 185 Standard Oil Company, 48–49, 51 The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn), 9 suburbanization, caused by auto/rail industry, 53–54, 210 Summers, Lawrence, 7–9 surplus value, 41, 62 survival of the fittest, 63–64, 286 sustainability, 147, 213, 217, 236–237, 249, 274–275, 282, 309 swadeshi, Ghandhi’s idea of, 105–106 Swanson, Richard, 82, 145 Tawney, R.

A powerful new economic movement took off overnight, in large part because a younger generation had a tool at its disposal that enabled it to scale quickly and effectively and share its personal bounty on a global Commons. The distributed, collaborative nature of the Internet allowed millions of people to find the right match-ups to share whatever they could spare with what others could use. The sharing economy was born. This is a different kind of economy—one far more dependent on social capital than market capital. And it’s an economy that lives more on social trust rather than on anonymous market forces. Rachel Botsman, an Oxford- and Harvard-educated former consultant to GE and IBM who abandoned her career to join the new sharing economy, describes the path that led up to collaborative consumption. She notes that the social Web has passed through three phases—the first enabled programmers to freely share code; Facebook and Twitter allowed people to share their lives; and YouTube and Flickr allowed people to share their creative content.

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

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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, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, 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, ride hailing / ride sharing, 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, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

By reusing materials again and again, through multiple production cycles, and by adopting the resource-efficient design principles of biomimicry, companies are able to significantly reduce their supply chain costs and pass these savings on to customers. Widening the sharing economy In a circular economy, a product undergoes multiple incarnations – with its materials being recycled and reused again and again – thus sustaining its value over multiple lifetimes. During any particular lifetime, however, the product is most likely to be owned and used by just one customer. But what if, during even a single lifetime or incarnation, the same product could be consumed by many users? Then the same inputs could be made to create greater value for more and more users. 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).

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. The sharing economy also reduces waste by making excess capacity and unused resources available to those who need them most. By enabling products and assets to be fully utilised, the sharing economy increases their value. Although sharing in the UK accounts for only 1.3% of GDP, and an even smaller proportion of the US economy, it is expected to grow exponentially in coming years, especially given the preference of young consumers to share everything from flats to cars to books.

Similarly, Uber, a taxi service that connects users with drivers at the tap of a smartphone, has recently launched an extension called uberPOP in several European capitals. uberPOP is a peer-to-peer service that enables non-professional drivers to register their cars to transport individuals, thus earning extra income in their free time. The initial value of the sharing economy – powered by providers like Airbnb and Uber – was in saving customers money; now it is being used to earn money by turning customers into prosumers. In 2013, the sharing economy generated revenues of around $3.5 billion, that went straight into prosumers’ wallets. This is just the start. Growing at an annual rate of 25%, the sharing economy is expected to become a $110 billion market within a decade, without requiring any major investments. The European Commission predicts:8 At this rate, peer-to-peer sharing is transforming from an income boost through a stagnant wage market, into a disruptive economic force.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

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

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, 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, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, 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 software, 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, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

The Metering Economy Perhaps blockchain technology can take us beyond the sharing economy into a metering economy where we can rent out and meter the use of our excess capacity. One problem with the actual sharing economy, where, for example, home owners agree to share power tools or small farming equipment, fishing gear, a woodworking shop, garage or parking, and more, was that it was just too much of a hassle. “There are 80 million power drills in America that are used an average of 13 minutes,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky wrote in The New York Times. “Does everyone really need their own drill?”32 The trouble is, most people found it easier and more cost-effective to make one trip to Home Depot and buy a drill for $14.95 than rent it for $10 from someone a mile away, making two trips. Wrote Sarah Kessler in Fast Company magazine: “The Sharing Economy is dead and we killed it.”33 But with blockchains we can rent our excess capacity for certain commodities that are pretty much zero hassle—Wi-Fi hot spots, computing power or storage capacity, the heat generated by our computers, our extra mobile minutes, even our expertise—without lifting a finger, let alone schlepping to and from some stranger’s house across the city.

_r=0. 26. http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/09/monegraph/. 27. www.verisart.com/. 28. http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/07/verisart-plans-to-use-the-blockchain-to-verify-the-authencity-of-artworks/. 29. Interview with Yochai Benkler, August 26, 2015. 30. Interview with David Ticoll, August 7, 2015. 31. Interview with Yochai Benkler, August 26, 2015. 32. www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/opinion/sunday/friedman-welcome-to-the-sharing-economy.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss&. 33. Sarah Kessler, “The Sharing Economy Is Dead and We Killed It,” Fast Company, September 14, 2015; www.fastcompany.com/3050775/the-sharing-economy-is-dead-and-we-killed-it#1. 34. “Prosumers” is a term invented by Alvin Toffler in Future Shock (1980). In The Digital Economy (1994) Don Tapscott developed the concept and notion of “prosumption.” 35. Interview with Robin Chase, September 2, 2015. 36. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?

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.


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Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee

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Airbnb, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Deng Xiaoping, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

With Airbnb, runners will have more choices for more convenient places to stay than ever before, and many people in Boston will have some extra income. Airbnb is one of the leaders in what’s known as the “sharing economy.” That’s one of the most popular business buzzwords of 2015. A Google search of that phrase yields more than 30 million hits. According to Google trends, there weren’t any news headlines with “sharing economy” in them before February 2010. There were a hundred in November 2015, more than twice as many as in September 2014. What’s novel and what isn’t here though? Airbnb and other companies that are part of the “sharing economy” are multisided platforms. What they have in common is that they are matching up people who have spare capacity—an extra room, a car, or a lawnmower, for example—with people who would benefit from that spare capacity.

In these final pages, we will try to give you some perspective on the excitement surrounding new matchmakers. Our five messages might sound contradictory, but they aren’t. Trust us. 1. Matchmakers have been around for millennia. Some of them were even part of the sharing economy of years past. 2. A lot of what the new market darlings do is old stuff. They just use technology to improve on things that other matchmakers have done for many years. 3. What is pioneering is that modern information and communications technologies have turbocharged the multisided platform business model. 4. The history of matchmakers suggests that today’s sharing-economy matchmakers won’t be the last to make waves. 5. Turbocharged matchmakers will transform industries. That will happen gradually over the space of decades, but in fast spurts, as innovative new matchmakers rapidly emerge and displace incumbents.

That’s why turbocharged matchmakers are behind the gales of creative destruction that are transforming industries worldwide. The End of History (?) Could this, then, be the golden age of matchmakers? It is remarkable that in the space of only about five years, companies like Airbnb and Uber have become global players in lodging and transportation. Similar sharing-economy matchmakers are popping up all over. With the turbocharged sharing economy, have matchmakers achieved their final destiny? Several millennia of experience strongly suggest otherwise. We expect that better, or at least different, matchmakers will come along and have their turn at disruption. With all due respect to the brilliant entrepreneurs behind today’s unicorns and yesterday’s huge IPOs, the telegraph was a far more important multisided platform in terms of its impact on the global economy than anything the Internet has yet spawned.


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

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, 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 process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, 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, 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, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

In a two-sided market, network effects created by the impact of users from one side of the market on other users from the same side of the market—for example, the effects that consumers have on other consumers and the effects that producers have on other producers. Same-side effects can be positive or negative, depending on the design of the system and the rules put in place. Sharing economy. The growing sector of the economy in which products, services, and resources are shared among people and organizations rather than having their availability limited to one proprietor. Often facilitated by platform businesses, sharing economy systems have the potential to unlock hidden or untapped sources of value and to reduce waste. Side switching. The phenomenon of platform users from one side of the platform joining the opposite side—for example, when those who consume goods or services produced on the platform begin to produce goods and services for others to consume.

Phil Simon, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business (Henderson, NV: Motion Publishing, 2011). 8. Feng Zhu and Marco Iansiti, “Entry into Platform-Based Markets,” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 1 (2012): 88–106. 9. Jason Tanz, “How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other,” Wired, April 23, 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy/. 10. Arun Sundararajan, “From Zipcar to the Sharing Economy,” Harvard Business Review, January 3, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/01/from-zipcar-to-the-sharing-eco/. 11. Dan Charles, “In Search of a Drought Strategy, California Looks Down Under,” The Salt, NPR, August 19, 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/08/19/432885101/in-search-of-salvation-from-drought-california-looks-down-under. 12. Simon, The Age of the Platform. 13.

CHAPTER 11: POLICY 1. Kevin Boudreau and Andrei Hagiu, Platform Rules: Multi-Sided Platforms as Regulators (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2009), 163–89. 2. Malhotra and Van Alstyne, “The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy.” 3. Felix Gillette and Sheelah Kolhatkar, “Airbnb’s Battle for New York,” Businessweek, June 19, 2014, http://www.bloomberg .com/bw/articles/2014-06-19/airbnb-in-new-york-sharing-startup-fights-for-largest-market. 4. Ron Lieber, “A Liability Risk for Airbnb Hosts,” New York Times, December 6, 2014. 5. Georgios Zervas, Davide Proserpio, and John W. Byers, “The Rise of the Sharing Economy: Estimating the Impact of Airbnb on the Hotel Industry,” Boston University School of Management Research Paper 2013-16, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2366898. 6. Brad N. Greenwood and Sunil Wattal, “Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Motor Vehicle Homicide,” Platform Strategy Research Symposium, Boston, MA, July 9, 2015, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2557612. 7.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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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, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, 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, 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, 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, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

These have reduced the transaction costs and friction in the system to a point where it is an economic gain for all involved, divided in much finer increments. Well-known examples of the sharing economy exist in the transportation sector. Zipcar provides one method for people to share use of a vehicle for shorter periods of time and more reasonably than traditional rental car companies. RelayRides provides a platform to locate and borrow someone’s personal vehicle for a period of time. Uber and Lyft provide much more efficient “taxi-like” services from individuals, but aggregated through a service, enabled by location services and accessed through mobile apps. In addition, they are available at a moment’s notice. The sharing economy has any number of ingredients, characteristics or descriptors: technology enabled, preference for access over ownership, peer to peer, sharing of personal assets (versus corporate assets), ease of access, increased social interaction, collaborative consumption and openly shared user feedback (resulting in increased trust).

Vision as the New Interface 4. Wearable Internet 5. Ubiquitous Computing 6. A Supercomputer in Your Pocket 7. Storage for All 8. The Internet of and for Things 9. The Connected Home 10. Smart Cities 11. Big Data for Decisions 12. Driverless Cars 13. Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making 14. AI and White-Collar Jobs 15. Robotics and Services 16. Bitcoin and the Blockchain 17. The Sharing Economy 18. Governments and the Blockchain 19. 3D Printing and Manufacturing 20. 3D Printing and Human Health 21. 3D Printing and Consumer Products 22. Designer Beings 23. Neurotechnologies Notes Introduction Of the many diverse and fascinating challenges we face today, the most intense and important is how to understand and shape the new technology revolution, which entails nothing less than a transformation of humankind.

If, at the moment, blockchain technology records financial transactions made with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, it will in the future serve as a registrar for things as different as birth and death certificates, titles of ownership, marriage licenses, educational degrees, insurance claims, medical procedures and votes – essentially any kind of transaction that can be expressed in code. Some countries or institutions are already investigating the blockchain’s potential. The government of Honduras, for example, is using the technology to handle land titles while the Isle of Man is testing its use in company registration. On a broader scale, technology-enabled platforms make possible what is now called the on-demand economy (referred to by some as the sharing economy). These platforms, which are easy to use on a smart phone, convene people, assets and data, creating entirely new ways of consuming goods and services. They lower barriers for businesses and individuals to create wealth, altering personal and professional environments. The Uber model epitomizes the disruptive power of these technology platforms. These platform businesses are rapidly multiplying to offer new services ranging from laundry to shopping, from chores to parking, from home-stays to sharing long-distance rides.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, 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, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, 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 medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

As with the Web, Andreessen says, the more people who use the new currency, “the more valuable Bitcoin is for the people who use it.”107 “A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers,” writes Andreessen, predicting the historical significance of this networked currency. “What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and—I believe—Bitcoin in 2014.”108 What Silicon Valley euphemistically calls the “sharing economy” is a preview of this distributed capitalism system powered by the network effect of positive feedback loops. Investors like Andreessen see the Internet—a supposedly hyperefficient, “frictionless” platform for buyers and sellers—as an upgrade to the structural inefficiencies of the top-down twentieth-century economy. Along with peer-to-peer currencies like Bitcoin, the new distributed model offers crowdfunding networks like the John Doerr investment Indiegogo, which enable anyone to raise money for an idea.

Fanning and Parker took Chris Anderson’s advice about the radical value of “free” to its most ridiculous conclusion. Not merely content to give their own stuff away for nothing, Napster gave away everybody else’s as well. Along with other peer-to-peer networks like Travis Kalanick’s Scour and later pirate businesses such as Megaupload, Rapidshare, and Pirate Bay, Napster created a networked kleptocracy, masquerading as the “sharing economy,” in which the only real abundance was the ubiquitous availability of online stolen content, particularly recorded music. Over the last fifteen years, online piracy has become an epidemic. In a 2011 report sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it was estimated that piracy sites attracted 53 billion visits each year.6 In January 2013 alone, the analyst firm NetNames estimated that 432 million unique Web users actively searched for content that infringes copyright.7 A 2010 Nielsen report estimated that 25% of all European Internet users visit pirate sites each month,8 while a 2012 study funded by the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office found that 1 in 6 of all British Web users regularly accessed illegally streamed or downloaded content.9 Such “abundance” has had a particularly catastrophic economic impact on the music industry.

As Robert Levine, Billboard’s former executive editor and author of the meticulously researched 2011 book Free Ride, argues, “The real conflict online is between the media companies that fund much of the entertainment we read, see and hear and the technology firms that want to distribute their content—legally or otherwise.”21 And it’s this struggle between an entertainment industry that, to survive, needs to be paid for its expensive content and an Internet built around the utopian idea that “information wants to be free,” Levine argues, that is “breaking” the Internet.22 Many of today’s multibillion-dollar Internet companies are complicit in the piracy epidemic. “Free” social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, for example, have spurred the growth of the distribution of unlicensed content. What is left of the photography industry is particularly vulnerable to this kind of “sharing” economy. Because much of the content on these social networks isn’t accessible to the general public and instead is shared only between individuals, photographers find it nearly impossible to stop this form of unlicensed content use or even to accurately measure the extent of the illegal activity. As the American Society of Media Photographers notes, this problem has been compounded because networks like Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook make very little effort to warn their members against the illegal sharing of images.23 Then there’s the Google problem.


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The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

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3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, women in the workforce, young professional

We expect that corporations will become more willing and adept at spotting talented independent producers, and creating a personalized relationship with them that could range from full-time employment, to part-time work, right up to buying their IP or the business itself. Travelling light The major investment of the explorer and independent producer stage is in intangible assets – particularly transformational assets. So during these periods, financing is always going to be tricky. That is why developments in the technologies of the sharing economy are so interesting.19 The sharing economy is a great way of enabling people to remain asset-light or to bring income in to finance their asset accumulation. Sharing platforms such as Airbnb, Simplest, Lyft or even Dogvacay are all examples of an emerging economy where people share capacity of assets that they may have purchased or created. So not only is it possible to put off making big financial decisions, it is also possible to reduce the exposure to these financial decisions.

As our discussion about leisure and the working week showed, governments will need to allow for a significant range of lifestyle and work-style choices, and simple characterizations of full-time and part-time will make little sense. This is already apparent in what has been called the ‘sharing economy’. The growth of sharing businesses, such as Uber and Airbnb, has already brought to the fore complex questions such as ‘What is an employee?’ and ‘Who is responsible for benefits such as healthcare and pensions?’ In the past, trade unions have spoken for the collective rights of their members. The profiles of these unions are only just emerging in the sharing economy and we can expect more battles as the rights of these flexible workers are contested in the courts. Our discussion of transitions and partnerships is also challenging for governments. Currently, the unit of analysis for legislation is the typical familial household.

In thinking of possible lives for Jane’s 100 years, the flexibility that the ecosystem model offers makes the prospect of self-employment at certain stages a viable option. The technology that connects an individual to companies who want to buy their skills is becoming more global, cheaper and more sophisticated. These connecting platforms are already proliferating, leading to growing commentary about the ‘gig economy’ and the ‘sharing economy’. Technological change reduces information costs and so enables buyers and sellers to find each other more easily as well as determine the reliability and quality of each other from independent sources. The gig economy refers to the idea that there will be a rising number of people earning their income not through full- or part-time employment, but rather through providing a series of specific tasks and commissions to multiple sequential buyers.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review

In fact, some futurists have called this economic aspect of the new socialism the “sharing economy” because the primary currency in this realm is sharing. • • • In the late 1990s, activist, provocateur, and aging hippy John Perry Barlow began calling this drift, somewhat tongue in cheek, “dot-communism.” He defined dot-communism as a “workforce composed entirely of free agents,” a decentralized gift or barter economy without money where there is no ownership of property and where technological architecture defines the political space. He was right about the virtual money since the content that Twitter and Facebook distribute is created by unpaid contributors—that is, users like you. And Barlow was right about the lack of ownership, as explained in the previous chapter. We see sharing economy services such as Netflix and Spotify move audiences away from owning anything.

Today we are not surprised by a microcommunity sharing an unlikely passion; we are surprised if there is not one. We can head out in the wilds of Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, or Google with pretty good confidence that we will uncover someone who has anticipated our most remote interests with a finished work or forum. Each niche is just one step away from a bestselling niche. Today the audience is king. But what about the creators? Who will pay them in this sharing economy? How will their creative acts be financed if the middle is gone? The surprising answer is: another new sharing technology. No method has been as beneficial to creators as crowdfunding. In crowdfunding the audience funds the work. The fans collectively finance their favorites. The technology of sharing enables the power of one fan who is willing to prepay an artist or author to be aggregated (with little effort) together with hundreds of other fans into a significant pool of money.

An open peer-to-peer scheme that enabled anyone to offer to the public ownership shares in their company (with some regulation) would revolutionize business. Just as we have seen tens of thousands of new products that would not have existed except by crowdfunding techniques, the new methods of equity sharing would unleash tens of thousands of innovative businesses that could not be born otherwise. The sharing economy would now include ownership sharing. The advantages are obvious. If you have an idea, you can seek investment from anyone else who sees the same potential as you do. You don’t need the permission of bankers, or the rich. If you work hard and succeed, your backers will prosper with you. An artist might use fans’ investments to build a company that sold her works over the long term. Or two guys in a garage with an amazing gizmo might be able to leverage that into an ongoing enterprise process that makes more gizmos instead of having to Kickstart each one.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, 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, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, 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, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, 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, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

In response to these challenges, FLOK proposes the development of peer-production licenses under which only commoners, cooperatives, and nonprofits would enjoy free usage of intellectual property bounded by the commons; corporations would have to pay.83, 84, 85 At first glance, the so-called “sharing economy” appears to be based in these commons principles. At least in some superficial way, this is true. We have gone from buying music on records or CDs to downloading MP3 files to simply subscribing to Pandora or Spotify. Owning music—or a car, for that matter—is becoming less important than having access to it. This is certainly a step on the path from hoarding to sharing. Except the many sharing platforms and services are not sharing at all but renting. We don’t collectively own the vehicles of Zipcar any more than we collectively own Spotify’s catalogue of music. And as private companies induce us to become sharers, we contribute our own cars, creativity, and couches to a sharing economy that is more extractive than it is circulatory.

For the providers, on the other hand, these services create a new watermark for how many of one’s hours and assets should be grist for the ledger and ultimately in service of some corporation’s growth. It’s as if startups are out there writing algorithms to combat inefficiency and idleness by making sure that everything everyone owns is in use all the time. The platform collects its fee for putting user and provider, rider and driver, or guest and host together and enabling a new transaction where once there was none. Our assets are their new territory. Welcome to the sharing economy. Just as Lanier would have us share our data, these new companies would have us share our homes, cars, and anything else. Only it’s not really sharing; it’s selling. In fact, just as there used to be an Internet that ran entirely on “shareware,” there were originally free versions of these new asset-renting platforms. Couchsurfing.com created a global community of people who both give and receive space in their homes.

Under the guise of restoring a human, social, sharing element to these businesses, the crowdsharing apps actually replace skills, relationships, and local businesses with automated solutions—while a central server and the investors behind it can extract the lion’s share of the revenue. That’s why the final indignity will be on the Uber drivers themselves, when they are replaced with the automatic cars currently in development by Uber investor Google. The app will orchestrate the movements of robot vehicles even more seamlessly than those driven by humans, and Uber’s shareholders should do just as well—even better—in this more automated future. To them, the sharing economy is less a cultural ethos than part of a strategic transition toward more fully automated solutions. Peer-to-peer is not a means of including more people as value creators but a prelude to getting rid of them—first the skilled, fairly paid ones, and then the unskilled ones who took their places. It’s a pivot we’ve seen before. The Netflix DVD rental Web site offered more choice and more convenience than the brick-and-mortar video rental stores it replaced while employing far fewer people.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Basecamp, a multi-million dollar project management software company, was started by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, while living in different countries and while also running a web development consultancy. But it’s not just tech companies. Rent to Own: The Sharing Economy Over the last decade, a more publicly available internet has enabled the “Sharing Economy,” which has democratized the tools of production. Technology and the internet have brought trust and transparency to markets, which lets people share existing resources and repurpose them into higher and better uses to take them from a lower to a higher area of productivity. The sharing economy has made manufacturing more efficient—you can create increased inventory without immediately needing more supply. We saw the implications of this with CD Baby: it’s gotten dramatically cheaper—as much as one hundred times cheaper—to invest in entrepreneurship than it was a decade ago.

We saw the implications of this with CD Baby: it’s gotten dramatically cheaper—as much as one hundred times cheaper—to invest in entrepreneurship than it was a decade ago. Let’s use the hotel industry as an example. In the past, if there weren’t enough rooms in a city for visitors, Hilton went and built a new hotel. They would pay millions of dollars for a piece of land downtown, millions of dollars to construct a hotel, and then millions of dollars to hire staff to run it. The sharing economy version of that is a company called AirBnB, which allows homeowners to post their rooms online so people coming to visit can stay in them. It’s often less expensive than a hotel and many people like getting to know a city as a resident instead of as a tourist. Let’s say Julian has a house that he owns in Dallas, Texas. He usually has one spare bedroom, so he lists it on AirBnB as available.

Broadly this has had the same effect for entrepreneurs that CD Baby had for musicians. The cost of the tools needed to invest in entrepreneurship has dropped dramatically because the infrastructure has gotten so much more efficient. Let’s look at a few of the primary tools and how entrepreneurs are using them. Software as a Service (SaaS): Plug and Play Tools and Systems Software as a service has arisen primarily in the last decade and facilitates a large part of the sharing economy. Instead of having to buy expensive equipment or sign long-term contracts, entrepreneurs can buy month-to-month access to different services that they need. Previously, a new company would have had to buy accounting software that would cost hundreds of dollars. Now, instead of buying expensive accounting software, you can use a month-to-month service like Xero, which starts at $9 a month. Dan Norris of WP Curve runs his entire business using around $1,200 in subscriptions to software services each month.


pages: 294 words: 82,438

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

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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, 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

They soon launched Air Mattress Bed & Breakfast, later Airbnb. 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.

When they combine these and other learning processes like experiments and trial and error, people and organizations gain a particularly potent way to improve their rules. MULTITASKING WAYS TO LEARN You’ve probably heard of Airbnb. You may have used the site to rent a vacation house or an apartment in another city. Maybe you even know that its founders are the first billionaires of the so-called shared economy. You may not, however, have given much thought to the learning processes that helped propel Air­bnb’s founders to fortune and fame. Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky met while they were industrial-design students at Rhode Island School of Design. Although they talked about starting a company together, they went their separate ways after graduation. Brian moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a product designer (toilets were one of his products) with Simon Cowell’s reality television show American Inventor, and Joe landed in San Francisco.

This is reflected in teaching—our students learn best when they learn in multiple ways like reading articles, watching videos, having an in-class discussion, and hearing a lecture. It is also reflected on how Airbnb’s founders improved when they went to New York City and participated in the Y Combinator dinners. By pursuing various ways to learn, the Airbnb founders accelerated the improvement of their initial simple rules. Airbnb has become one of the leading shared-economy companies in the world, operating in almost two hundred countries and about thirty-four thousand cities, and is used by an estimated fifty to sixty thousand people per night. People improve their simple rules in a predictable pattern, and learning processes and combinations of processes can accelerate improvement. But occasionally a situation is so novel or demanding that just improving the current rules is not enough.


pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan

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Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

Edelman and Michael Luca, “Digital Discrimination: The Case of Airbnb.com,” Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper 14-054 (2014). Discrimination may feed into users’ feedback, which would, perhaps less directly, lead to discrimination. Although we know of no research on the topic, the concern has seen much attention in the media. See, for example, “The Sharing Economy Is Not as Open as You Might Think,” The Guardian, November 12, 2014. A post titled “Can the Sharing Economy End Discrimination?” on the website of tech magazine Wired took the opposite view, albeit without providing any evidence in support of the argument. For a broader critique of the sharing economy, see Tom Slee, What’s Yours Is Mine (London: OR Books, 2015). 12. Peter Thiel, “Competition Is for Losers,” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2014, http://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiel-competition-is-for-losers-1410535536. Chapter 9. How Markets Shape Us 1.

Amazon and eBay serve this market-making role for buyers and sellers of just about everything; Angie’s List does it for plumbers, electricians, and other contractors on one side and those looking to fix or renovate their homes on the other. There need not be only two sides: Google’s Android is a meeting point for makers of smart phones like LG and Samsung, app designers, and consumers. The business networking service LinkedIn similarly brings together corporate recruiters, job hunters or employees, and advertisers. The list goes on, including some of the recent “sharing economy” companies that have gotten so much attention: Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates, and many other online marketplaces. The market maker faces a delicate balancing act in satisfying the needs and wants of each side. And indeed a platform isn’t much good unless all sides agree to participate. Just as no one would visit a supermarket that stocked only a limited supply of cornflakes, eBay wouldn’t get many visitors if the only items for bid were a couple of old Pez dispensers.

Sharing Economists aren’t the only ones trying to recast the world in our model’s image. If friction—informational, transactional, contractual—is all that stands between textbook economic models and the functioning of our real economy, then there is a vocal contingent out there (“there” being mostly Silicon Valley) that sees technology as the solution. When viewed through the lens of market frictions, the much-hyped notion of the sharing economy can be seen as an effort to bring free-market salvation to bricks, mortars, and automobiles. If you’ve ever tried to hail a taxi in San Francisco or rent a room in Washington, DC, you know the frictions of which we speak. The Bay Area’s sprawl, combined with strict regulations on the cab and livery businesses, used to leave you at the mercy of the two thousand or so taxi medallion holders that covered San Francisco’s 230 square miles.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, 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 lending, 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 Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Stephen Crocker, “How the Internet Got Its Rules,” New York Times, April 6, 2009. 9. Andrew Leonard, “You’re Not Fooling Us, Uber! 8 Reasons Why the ‘Sharing Economy’ Is All About Corporate Greed,” Salon.com, February 17, 2014. 10. Lisa Fleisher, “Thousands of European Cab Drivers Protest Uber, Taxi Apps,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2014. 11. Megan McArdle, “Why You Can’t Get a Taxi,” The Atlantic, May 2012. 12. “Taxicab,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicab. 13. “Taxicabs of the United Kingdom,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicabs_of_the_United_Kingdom#cite_note-The_Knowledge-3. 14. Jeff Bercovici, “Uber’s Ratings Terrorize Drivers and Trick Riders. Why Not Fix Them?” Forbes.com, August 14, 2014. 15. Andy Kessler, “Brian Chesky: The ‘Sharing Economy’ and Its Enemies,” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2014. 16. “Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce,” 2014, independent study commissioned by the Freelancers Union and ElanceoDesk, http://chaoscc.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/freelancinginamerica_report-1.pdf. 17.

I understood clearly that we were on a path that was going to break a hundred-year-old industry. What I failed to appreciate back then was the much larger movement made possible by the Internet. Zipcar was a trailblazer. When you can connect and share assets, people, and ideas, everything changes, not just how you rent a car. Google, eBay, Facebook, OKCupid, YouTube, Waze, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Duolingo—all are part of this transformation of capitalism. Web 2.0, the sharing economy, crowdsourcing, collaborative production, collaborative consumption, and network effects are simply terms we’ve created along the way in an effort to capture what is going on. Attributing all this to “the Internet” misses the building blocks and therefore the ability to replicate this type of activity in a more controlled way. There is one structure that underlies all these—excess capacity + a platform for participation + diverse peers—and it is fundamentally changing the way we work, build businesses, and shape economies.

Well, Elinor Ostrom is not just my hero, but one for others as well, since she won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009 for her analysis of economic governance especially for commons. Lots of us have heard about the tragedy of the commons: When people share a resource but don’t own it, everything goes to hell because they don’t care. As you know, this was not my experience with Zipcar, which proved to be a shock to investors and business pundits. And it was this reality that led to the founding of dozens of other successful sharing-economy companies. Ostrom identifies “common pool resources,” which have two characteristics: they produce a steady stream of benefits accruing from the resource, and it is very difficult to exclude individuals. You can see how this maps very closely to what is happening within the Peers Inc model. The platform for participation absolutely produces a steady stream of benefits, and the peers are free agents who opt in.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor

At the bottom of the pyramid are the stressedout, struggling “unfree” freelancers, followed by the slightly better off, but probably still surviving on ramen (or the trust fund), “hustling” freelancers. Moving up past the “empowered” and the “influential” freelancers we reach the top: the “360 degrees Freelancer.” But the pinnacle isn’t about money, status, or applause. “It’s about giving back.”35 The Freelancers Union is part of an emerging social movement called “new mutualism” that’s grounded in the concept of a sharing economy. Jeremy Rifkin sees the sharing economy as the next big thing. He argues that hundreds of millions of people are already on board, sharing “information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D printed products at near-zero marginal cost.” People are also sharing more personal things like clothes, homes, and household items.36 “Flexible,” “diversified” freelancers are the archetypal sharers: They mentor. They give without asking what they get.

Maybe they’re part of a small cooperative of graphic designers who band together to help market each other and keep costs down. Or they make sure they buy from and work with other local freelancers to keep the ecosystem healthy. They buy their groceries at the local food co-op. They attend classes. They teach classes. They go to networking events not just to hand out business cards, but to find other freelancers that share their passions.37 In the new sharing economy we’ll all be freelancers. We’ll rent out our spare rooms on Airbnb and drive our cars for Lyft. We’ll have a “portfolio of jobs” and live our lives by “essentialist” principles: We will live with “intention and choice” and celebrate the joy of “fulfilling a purpose” and making “small choices that lead to big change.”38 It’s all about adapting ourselves and acquiring the necessary skills and connections to make it in the world.

Silva, “Constructing Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty,” American Sociological Review 77: 4, 2012, 508; see also Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, New York: Polity Press, 1991. 26Gary Vaynerchuk, TED Talk, Web. 2.0 Expo, September 2008. 27Dan Schwabel, “Marie Forleo: How She Grew Her Brand to Oprah Status,” Forbes, May 16, 2013. 28See www.marieforleo.com/. 29Oprah Winfrey, Harvard commencement speech. 30O, The Oprah Magazine, March 2014. 31Madeleine Schwartz, “Opportunity Costs: The True Price of Internships,” Dissent, Winter 2013. 32Mark Babbitt, “25 Jobs in a 50-Year Career: Is Gen Y Ready?” Savvy Intern, October 9, 2013. 33See www.freelancersunion.org. 34Ibid.; Freelancers Union, Instagram, February 18, 2014. 35Freelancersunion.org. 36Jeremy Rifkin, “The Rise of the Sharing Economy,” Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2014. 37Freelancersunion.org. 38Ibid.; see also Atossa Araxia Abrahamian’s piece on the Freelancers Union in Dissent, Winter 2012. 39C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000 [1959], p. 6. 40Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital,” in J. Richardson, ed., Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, New York: Greenwood, 1986, pp. 241–58. 41Miles Corak, “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility,” Discussion Paper No. 7520, Bonn: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit, July 2013. 42Thomas Picketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014. 43Jennifer Silva, “Becoming a Neoliberal Subject: Working-Class Selfhood in an Age of Uncertainty,” 2011, blogs.sciences-po.fr; Silva, “Constructing Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty.” 44Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce, and Penny Lewis, “Changing the Subject: A Bottom-up Account of Occupy Wall Street,” Murphy Institute, City University of New York, 2013. 45Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture,” Social Text 1 (Winter 1979), 130–48.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

the widest wealth gap since the Great Depression: Scott Neuman, “Study Says America’s Income Gap Widest Since Great Depression,” NPR, September 10, 2013, http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/10/221124533/study-says-americas-income-gap-widest-since-great-depression. As former U.S. vice president Al Gore put it: Al Gore, “The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate,” Rolling Stone, June 18, 2014, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-turning-point-new-hope-for-the-climate-20140618. People have figured out that if they have idle assets: “The Rise of the Sharing Economy,” Economist, March 9, 2013, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21573104-internet-everything-hire-rise-sharing-economy. A phrase from Mastercoin’s David Johnston: David Johnston, “Johnston’s Law,” http://www.johnstonslaw.org/. among a host of overhyped Super Bowl XXXIV ads: Dashiell Bennett, “8 Dot-Coms That Spent Million on Super Bowl Ads and No Longer Exist,” Business Insider, February 2, 2011, http://www.businessinsider.com/8-dot-com-super-bowl-advertisers-that-no-longer-exist-2011-2?

It’s a big story, one that spans the globe, from the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley to the streets of Beijing. It includes visits to the mountains of Utah, the beaches of Barbados, schools in Afghanistan, and start-ups in Kenya. The world of cryptocurrencies comprises venture-capital royalty, high school dropouts, businessmen, utopians, anarchists, students, humanitarians, hackers, and Papa John’s pizza. It’s got parallels with the financial crisis, and the new sharing economy, and the California gold rush, and before it’s all over, we may have to endure an epic battle between a new high-tech world and the old low-tech world that could throw millions out of work, while creating an entirely new breed of millionaires. Are you ready to jump down the bitcoin rabbit hole? One FROM BABYLON TO BITCOIN The eye has never seen, nor the hand touched a dollar. —Alfred Mitchell Innes For any currency to be viable, be it a decentralized cryptocurrency issued by a computer program or a traditional “fiat” currency issued by a government, it must win the trust of the community using it.

Techies have a soft spot for killer apps, the ultimate disruptive technologies, and when taken to their extreme, the ideas driving each of these companies are about as disruptive as one can imagine. David Johnston is a senior board member at the Mastercoin Foundation, the body that coordinates the funding for the Mastercoin project, which offers a special software platform for developers to design special decentralized applications that can run on top of the bitcoin blockchain. He says blockchain technology “will supercharge the sharing economy,” that emerging trend in which apartment owners use Airbnb.com to rent out quasi hotel rooms and car owners sign up as self-employed taxidrivers for smartphone-based Uber and Lyft. The idea is that if we can decentralize the economy and foster multiple forms of peer-to-peer exchanges, people will figure out profitable ways to turn much of what they own or control into a marketable service. Johnston is known for having coined the term DApp, for “decentralized autonomous application,” to describe the kind of specialized software programs that could thrive in blockchain-based settings.


pages: 309 words: 78,361

Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet B. Schor

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Asian financial crisis, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Gini coefficient, global village, income inequality, income per capita, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, life extension, McMansion, new economy, peak oil, pink-collar, post-industrial society, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, smart grid, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Zipcar

The developer of one green project in Seattle that involves condos atop a Hyatt hotel is betting that the eight-hundred-square-foot size he’s offering will be a winner, as others in the field write the obituary of the “big house.” The Share Solution When I published The Overspent American in 1998, one sentence generated a reaction akin to outrage—my suggestion that neighbors could share expensive items that are only used periodically, such as riding mowers. Ten years later, it’s not only mowers that are being jointly owned, but tractors and even vehicles. The sharing economy is taking off. The best-known example is car sharing, pioneered in the United States by Zipcar, which makes vehicles available to urban members on a short-term basis. Its founder, Robin Chase, has moved on to create GoLoco, a ride-sharing service. Freecycle.org members are committed to the reciprocity of both giving and getting. IShareStuff.com allows individuals to post items they are willing to share and to contact others who have done the same.

On the other side of the ledger, shared ownership increases what economists call transactions costs—the time and effort of creating rules, setting up scheduling, and policing problems (although the Internet has dramatically reduced these costs). When money is cheap, nature isn’t counted, and time is expensive, as in the BAU economy, where incentives favor private ownership. A shift toward plenitude, which economizes on materials and is rich in time, enhances the value of sharing. Recapitalizing the Social: Economies of Reciprocity For the vanguard that is passionate about the sharing economy, it is a matter of more than ecological appeal. Sharing is a route to rebuilding social ties in a society that has experienced a rise in disconnection, loneliness, and individualism. Bioneers understand that reconstructing community, or recapitalizing the social, is a necessary adaptation for an economically and ecologically perilous world. There is now a large body of research on the state of social ties among Americans.

Ackerman, Frank Adobe Alliance advertising AeroGarden affluence, sustainability and Afghanistan, fab lab in Agarwal, Anil aggregate growth agriculture climate change and diversification and greenhouse gas emissions and information sharing and productivity in self-provisioning and subsidies for water stress and Alaska Permanent Fund Alperovitz, Gar alternative energy Amazon River Apache appliances alternative energy and energy efficiency and imports of material flow and prices of Arctic Ocean Arrow, Kenneth asset inequality atmospheric commons Auroville, India Australia health care in automobiles electric hybrid import volume of material flow and multifunctionality and New Work movement and prices of rebound effect and sharing of subsidies of aviation rebound effect in banking industry bubble in Barnes, Peter barter Baudrillard, Jean Becker, Gary Beckerman, Wilfred Beddington Zero ecovillage beef, greenhouse gases and Benkler, Yochai Benyus, Janine Bergmann, Frithjof BerkShares bicycles, sharing of Bija Vidyapeeth (Earth Citizenship) biocapacity biodiesel biodigesters biodiversity biomimicry birth rates Bixi Blair, Tony Blanc, Patrick Boston University Bourdieu, Pierre Bové, José Bowling Alone (Putnam) Boyce, James branding Braungart, Michael Brazil, ecological footprint in brewing British Columbia, University of Brookes, Leonard Brown, Kirk bulk buying Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bush, George W. Business Alliance for Local Living Economies business-as-usual (BAU) economy decline of environmental impact of extra-market diversification and origin of term for systems dynamics and unemployment and California Closets Canada: health care system in hours worked in materials use in sharing economy in canning and preserving capitalism carbon dioxide atmospheric concentration of carbon footprint carbon pricing cashmere cell phones environmental impact of storage and disposal of Census of Manufactures Center for Alternative Technologies Center for Economic and Policy Research ceramics, imported, weight of chain stores, market power of Chase, Robin child care China commodities use by ecological footprint in greenhouse gas emissions and historical carbon emissions of Kuznets model and population and Chrysler Corp.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

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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, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, 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, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, 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, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, 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, payday loans, 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

Brabham, “Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving An Introduction and Cases,” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14, no. 1 (2008): 75–90, doi:10.1177/1354856507084420. 28. 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.

The great irony of this information age is that, in many ways, we actually know less about the sources of value in the economy than we did fifty years ago. In fact, much of the change has been invisible for a long time simply because we did not know what to look for. There’s a huge layer of the economy unseen in the official data and, for that matter, unaccounted for on the income statements and balance sheets of most companies. Free digital goods, the sharing economy, intangibles and changes in our relationships have already had big effects on our well-being. They also call for new organizational structures, new skills, new institutions, and perhaps even a reassessment of some of our values. Music to Your Ears The story of music’s move from physical media to computer files has been told often and well, but one of that transition’s most interesting aspects is less discussed.

No longer can the seller expect to be insulated from competitors in other locations who can deliver a better service for less. Research by Michael Luca of Harvard Business School has found that the increased transparency has helped smaller independent restaurants compete with bigger chains because customers can more quickly find quality food via rating services like Yelp, reducing their reliance on brand names’ expensive marketing campaigns.17 The intangible benefits delivered by the growing sharing economy—better matches, timeliness, customer service, and increased convenience—are exactly the types of benefits identified by the 1996 Boskin Commission as being poorly measured in our official price and GDP statistics.18 This is another way in which our true growth is greater than the standard data suggest. Intangible Assets Just as free goods rather than physical products are an increasingly important share of consumption, intangibles also make up a growing share of the economy’s capital assets.


pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

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3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

To solve that, Puma created a bag that, rather than add to the clutter in your home when you stash it away, or the guilt you feel when you throw it out, would simply disappear. Put the brand’s Clever Little Shopper bag in hot water for three minutes and it harmlessly dissolves, so you can pour it safely down the plug. The social accommodation brand Airbnb, the car-sharing service Zipcar and music-streaming site Spotify are all examples of what is variously known, from slightly different angles, as the new trend for dis-ownership, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption. Now, thanks to these trends and the technologies that make them possible, you can enjoy the experience of a room, a house, a car, a CD, a handbag, a lawnmower, a musical instrument or even a dog – without all the hassle that comes with owning them. The success of Zipcar, for instance, reflects the space and cost that comes with keeping a car in a city, and the fact that, if you live in a city, you just do not need a car so much anymore.

As well as giving people the chance to borrow other people’s goods, it also lets them share a good they already own: their own home. Beyond the obvious financial reward, there is also a participatory, social good that comes with Airbnb. It provides the people who let their rooms and their homes, and the people who stay there, with real connections. As a result, they tend to feel part of the new, innovative sharing economy, they feel more connected to other people, and they have more stories to share. Apple has become the world’s leading brand because of its ruthless focus on experience. Think, for a moment, how easy it is to operate an Apple device, and how slim the operating manual is. How different is that to the manual that came with, say, your VHS recorder in the 1980s? Do you remember how complicated it was to record a TV show back then?

., Resource Revolution: Meeting the World’s Energy, Materials, Food, and Water Needs, a report from McKinsey & Company (November, 2011). Also, “Hitting our Limits?”, The Economist, 14 October 2011. “A technologist…” For examples of technology facilitating the shift from owning material things to experience, consider the success of Spotify, Zipcar, and the Kindle. Various sources, including: “All Eyes on the Sharing Economy”, The Economist, 9 Mar 2013. The Perfect Storm Applied more than 5,000 times Source: Everett M Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (New York: Free Press, 1962, fifth edition, 2003) Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Krispy Kremes This story draws on a number of reports, including: Peter Laing, “Cops Tackle Krispy Kreme Traffic Chaos – and Pick up a Box of Doughnuts”, Deadline News, 15 February 2013; Shiv Malik, “Krispy Kremes Cause Chaos in Edinburgh Streets”, The Guardian, 15 February 2013; and Harriet Arkell, “Jam Doughnuts: Hundreds of Motorists Bring Traffic Chaos to M8 as They Queue for Opening of New Krispy Kreme”, Mail Online, 15 February 2013.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

Beyond these situations in which a public interest must transcend governmental power structures, other industry sectors and classes can be freed from skewed regulatory and licensing schemes subject to the hierarchical power structures and influence of strongly backed special interest groups on governments, enabling new disintermediated business models. Even though regulation spurred by the institutional lobby has effectively crippled consumer genome services,3 newer sharing economy models like Airbnb and Uber have been standing up strongly in legal attacks from incumbents.4 In addition to economic and political benefits, the coordination, record keeping, and irrevocability of transactions using blockchain technology are features that could be as fundamental for forward progress in society as the Magna Carta or the Rosetta Stone. In this case, the blockchain can serve as the public records repository for whole societies, including the registry of all documents, events, identities, and assets.

The same templated altcoin issuance could extend to groups within these communities, like DeltaChiCoin or NeuroscienceConferenceCoin, to support any specific group’s activities. The Campuscoin issuance template could have specific prepackaged modules. First, there could be a module for buying and selling assets within the local community, an OpenBazaar- or Craigslist-like asset exchange module. Second, there could be a sharing economy module, a decentralized model of Airbnb for dorm rooms, Getaround for transportation including cars and bikes, and LaZooz peer-based ride sharing. Third, there could be a consulting or “advisory services” module for all manner of advice, mentoring, coaching, and tutoring related to classes, departments, majors, and careers. Recent graduates could earn Campuscoin by consulting to job-seeking seniors with specific services like advice and mock interviews; freshmen could provide counsel to high school seniors; and former students in a class could provide advice to current students.

The license would encompass anyone doing anything with anyone else’s Bitcoins, including basic wallet software (like the QT wallet).192 However, on the other hand, regulated consumer protections for Bitcoin industry participants, like KYC (know your customer) requirements for money service businesses (MSBs), could hasten the mainstream development of the industry and eradicate consumer worry of the hacking raids that seem to plague the industry. The deliberations and early rulings of worldwide governments on Bitcoin raise some interesting questions. One issue is the potential practical impossibility of carrying out taxation with current methods. A decentralized peer-to-peer sharing economy of Airbnb 2.0 and Uber 2.0 run on local implementations of OpenBazaar with individuals paying with cryptocurrencies renders traditional taxation structures impossible. The usual tracking and chokehold points to trace the consumption of goods and services might be gone. This has implications both for taxation and for the overall measurement of economic performance such as GDP calculations, which could have the beneficial impact of drawing populaces away from being overly and possibly incorrectly focused on consumption as a wellness metric.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

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

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Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, 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

Although facing stiff competition from Groupon, LivingSocial is still very much in the game and well positioned for even greater growth. Sidecar Defining the prevailing zeitgeist at any moment in time can be a powerful but difficult growth hack, but San Francisco-based Sidecar, a major competitor with Uber in the sector of peer-to-peer ride sharing seems to be a good market fit for the rapidly emerging Sharing Economy. In the months following its January 2012 launch in San Francisco, the company experienced 60% month-over-month growth and secured impressive funding starting with $20 million in seed money. Like Uber, SideCar opted for a “proof is in the pudding” approach to demonstrating its value at the influential SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas from March 8-17, 2013. All rides during the conference were free, and drivers were paid as brand ambassadors.

The traditional idea has been that car ownership equates with freedom. For this age group, however, real freedom is simply having ready access to transportation that meets their needs. The fact that Sidecar is smartphone based further caters to this ethos since the basic assumption is that the smartphone is the central hub of activity and means of organization and connection for the current crop of twenty-somethings. Within this age bracket, the sharing economy has gained considerable traction as evidence by the success of other startups with a similar philosophical bent like AirBnB. With services like Sidecar, all parties benefit — riders and drivers. The latest iteration of the Sidecar app lets user tailor their rides by type of vehicle type, driver, and price as well as proximity to their current location. As proof of the traction of the sharing concept, during its first summer in operation, Sidecar snapped up an addition $10 million in funding.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 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, complexity theory, 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, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, 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 robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, 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, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Germany introduced a Kurzarbeit scheme to keep workers in their jobs part-time while using their remaining time to up-skill in programs jointly funded by industry, unions, and government. Is the sharing economy another path to economic salvation? Platforms that enable the rental of assets owned by others such as automobiles or housing have created economic activity that is expected to reach over $300 billion by 2020. Uber and Airbnb enjoy skyrocketing valuations because they provide the marketplace for billions of connected individuals to transact among themselves. Sharing economy is in fact a misnomer: It is rather the full flourishing of self-regulated peer-to-peer capitalism, one in which people get paid for work in micro-increments, but as they do, connectivity becomes the foundation of whatever stability they have.

In 2014, Ericsson managed to block a popular Xiaomi model from sale in India due to a patent infringement. That same year, Huawei sued fellow Shenzhen-based ZTE in a German court for the same reason! PRINTING, SHARING—AND TRADING The biggest threat to current patterns of global trade comes from the combination of 3-D printing (which allows more products to be manufactured locally at “home”) and the sharing economy (by which fewer goods are purchased but existing goods are consumed as services). Local prototyping and mass production together could bring about a severe long-term contraction in global shipping, inventories, and warehousing. If DHL’s largest clients—the U.S. military and hardware companies such as HP—suddenly printed all their components on-site at bases or client facilities, the courier business could go bust.

Connectivity allows us to get more usage and mileage, circulation and sharing, out of each tool and product. A new stage has even entered the supply circle before recycling—up-cycling—by which materials are repurposed in higher-value ways: Plastic becomes furniture, tires become boots, shipping containers become two-bedroom homes for dense cities or refugee camps. A supply chain world could be more sustainable if it follows a principle that animates the sharing economy: Unused value is wasted value. COMING HOME—BUT ONLY TO SELL AT HOME A half century ago, GE manufactured consumer goods at Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky, an SEZ-like town with its own power plant, fire department, and zip code. Rising costs, labor disputes, and outsourcing pushed down its employment from a peak of twenty thousand workers in the 1970s to only eighteen hundred by 2008.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

We can seek things out with a low personal cost of time and money. We can access these items with very little friction. This reduced friction creates opportunity for temporary connections with goods and services, which, in a physical world, would be too costly and cumbersome. This means where we used to have to buy items, we can now instead pay to use them when we need them. The sharing economy In a sharing economy we can enjoy the benefit of usage and status on a temporary basis. It’s an obvious solution when you consider that we only use much of what we own for a fraction of the time that it’s available to us, excluding such things as furniture and the fridge. Quite often, we now share or purchase collectively whatever we need, paying only for the time we use it. Instead of purchasing and owning idle assets, we can now access assets on demand.

The interest graph in action The anti-demographic recommendation engine Chapter 7: The truth about pricing: technology and omnipresent deflation Technology deflation Real-world technology deflation The free super computer The crux is human It’s getting quicker Technology curve jumping Technology stacking Omnipresent deflation Consumer price index trickery Connections and the impact on prices Economic border hopping The new minimum wage Notes Chapter 8: A zero-barrier world: how access to knowledge is breaking down barriers So what’s changed? Why do we even own stuff? The sharing economy Personal access Physical access Ownership is a mental state Commercial access Access to everything A personal global factory The clothing company The two-way street The laptop corporation Chapter 9: The infinite store: rebooting retail The physical and virtual challenges Retail was easy The retail revolution What retail forgot The discount death spiral Price and range equalise Same brand, different plan The questions that matter Selling online If you make, you retail (big and small) Border hopping and digital reinvention Experience > item Clues in coffee culture Chapter 10: Bigger than the internet: 3D printing A virtual physical reality The history of technology repeats The home factory Piracy on steroids Dad vs daughter Notes Chapter 11: Screen play: post–mass media Television is no more Device convergence Digital demarcation Mass-media platform fragmentation The legacy media challenge Blogs vs The New York Times Who do you trust?


pages: 318 words: 77,223

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

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Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve

These include wide-scale urbanization and the emergence of megacities, which render even more important the effective devolution of some power to cities and municipalities. Meanwhile, and perhaps more important, rapid technological innovations have enabled and empowered individuals like never before (something that we will return to later in the book). Today, so many more people in so many more places are enabled to connect and participate, and, soon, they will also be able to make a lot more things. It is the “sharing economy” in which so many more citizens can be productive entrepreneurs and collaborators, including by deploying existing (underutilized) assets. But it is a world that displaces existing workers and makes the political center weaker. More concerning, it is a world that makes cyberterrorism and nonstate terrorism more meaningful threats.3 Governments that look to the technological revolution to materially improve the welfare of both current and future generations while also countering its dark side need to understand the dual nature of these transformative innovations.

Banque de France, “Macroprudential Policies: Implementation and Interactions,” Financial Stability Review, April 2014. 6. Mohamed A. El-Erian, “3 Steps to Remove Financial System Risk,” Harvard Business School, August 15, 2007, http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5745.html. 7. Mohamed A. El-Erian, “Creative Self-Disruption,” Project Syndicate, April 7, 2015, https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/consumer-sharing-economy-adaptation-by-mohamed-a--el-erian-2015-04. 8. Steve Lohr, “Banking Start-ups Adopt New Tools for Lending,” New York Times, January 19, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/19/technology/banking-start-ups-adopt-new-tools-for-lending.html. 9. For full disclosure, I have been recently involved in one of these efforts—“Payoff”—as an investor and board member of a start-up seeking to improve the financial services offered to households and small businesses.

See, for example, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). CHAPTER 28: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER 1. Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (New York: PublicAffairs, 2015). 2. Mohamed A. El-Erian, “Creative Self-Disruption,” Project Syndicate, April 7, 2015, http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/consumer-sharing-economy-adaptation-by-mohamed-a--el-erian-2015-04. CHAPTER 29: WHAT HISTORY TELLS US 1. Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (New York: PublicAffairs, 2015). 2. Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011). 3. Lea Wineman, “A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions,” Monitor on Psychology 43, no. 2 (February 2012). 4.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, 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, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, 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, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, 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, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, 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? Probably not, for at least two reasons. First, it is precarious, and secondly, the machines will eventually come for all the tasks.

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? Whichever side of this debate you come down on, the gig economy is a significant development: a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that as many as 7% of US adults were involved in it.[cclxv] But our concern here is not whether the gig economy is a fair one. It is whether it can prevent the automation of jobs by machine intelligence leading to widespread unemployment.

mt=2&i=361020299 [cclx] http://uk.businessinsider.com/high-salary-jobs-will-be-automated-2016-3 [cclxi] http://www.fiercefinanceit.com/story/will-regulatory-compliance-drive-artificial-intelligence-adoption/2016-01-05 [cclxii] http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/liverpool-fc-sponsor-standard-chartered-11104215 [cclxiii] http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/30/artificial-intelligence-making-some-bosses-nervous-study.html [cclxiv] Assuming the work is happening on Earth. Wikipedia offers a more general but less euphonious definition: “Work is the product of the force applied and the displacement of the point where the force is applied in the direction of the force.” [cclxv] http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-the-sharing-economy-provide-good-jobs-1431288393 [cclxvi] https://www.edge.org/conversation/kevin_kelly-the-technium [cclxvii] https://www.singularityweblog.com/techemergence-surveys-experts-on-ai-risks/ [cclxviii] http://uk.businessinsider.com/social-skills-becoming-more-important-as-robots-enter-workforce-2015-12 [cclxix] http://www.history.com/topics/inventions/automated-teller-machines [cclxx] http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/a-brief-history-of-the-atm/388547/ [cclxxi] http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704463504575301051844937276 [cclxxii] http://kalw.org/post/robotic-seals-comfort-dementia-patients-raise-ethical-concerns#stream/0 [cclxxiii] http://viterbi.usc.edu/news/news/2013/a-virtual-therapist.htm [cclxxiv] http://observer.com/2014/08/study-people-are-more-likely-to-open-up-to-a-talking-computer-than-a-human-therapist/ [cclxxv] http://mindthehorizon.com/2015/09/21/avatar-virtual-reality-mental-health-tech/ [cclxxvi] http://www.handmadecake.co.uk/ [cclxxvii] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15551818 [cclxxviii] http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/19322 [cclxxix] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/c5cf07c4-bf8e-11e5-846f-79b0e3d20eaf.html#axzz3yLGlrr1J [cclxxx] http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm [cclxxxi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Man%27s_Sky [cclxxxii] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/c5cf07c4-bf8e-11e5-846f-79b0e3d20eaf.html#axzz3yLGlrr1J [cclxxxiii] http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/22-inspiring-quotes-from-famous-entrepreneurs.html [cclxxxiv] http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi265.htm [cclxxxv] http://googleresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html [cclxxxvi] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35977315 [cclxxxvii] http://fee.org/freeman/the-economic-fantasy-of-star-trek/ [cclxxxviii] https://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-11/16/iain-m-banks-the-hydrogen-sonata-review [cclxxxix] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dfe218d6-9038-11e3-a776-00144feab7de.html#axzz3yUOe9Hkp [ccxc] http://www.brautigan.net/machines.html [ccxci] As noted in chapter 3.4, Anders Sandberg is James Martin Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University.


pages: 317 words: 87,566

The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies

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1960s counterculture, Airbnb, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, corporate governance, dematerialisation, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, market bubble, mental accounting, nudge unit, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, theory of mind, urban planning

Managers hope that their employees will also act as ‘brand ambassadors’ in their everyday social lives and seek advice on how to influence them to do this. Meanwhile, neuromarketers have begun studying how successfully images and advertisements trigger common neural responses in groups, rather than in isolated individuals. This, it seems, is a far better indication of how larger populations will respond.7 The rise of the ‘sharing economy’, exemplified by Airbnb and Uber, and studies such as the pay-it-forward experiment, offer a simple lesson to big business. People will take more pleasure in buying things if the experience can be blended with something that feels like friendship and gift exchange. The role of money must be airbrushed out of the picture wherever possible. As marketers see it, payment is one of the unfortunate ‘pain points’ in any relationship with a customer, which requires anaesthetizing with some form of more ‘social’ experience.

See Chicago School of economics divorce of from psychology, 61, 69 evolution of discipline of, 54 exceptional status attributed to, 26 function of, according to Coase, 156 happiness economics, 5, 74, 229, 252 as mathematical problem, 51 neo-classical economists/economics, 113, 123, 181 as phenomenon of the mind, 59 pop-economics, 152 reunion of with psychology, 64, 182 subjective sensation and, 55 as winner take all, 160 economies classical political economy, 49–50, 57 knowledge-based economy, 136 political economy, 50, 56 sharing economy, 188 social economy, 190 Edgeworth, Francis, 60, 84 Eisenhower, Dwight David, 255 Ello, 213 emotion definition, 75 as market research industry’s preferred version of happiness/pleasure, 74 emotional contagion, 225 empiricism, 27, 30, 152, 269 employee engagement, 106–9, 113, 126 employee fitness-tracking programmes, 240 employee-owned businesses, advantages of, 272 end of theory, 237 Enlightenment, 7, 19, 23, 27, 47, 85, 251 ennui, costs of, 108 enthusiasm, 251 entropy, law of, 115 ergonomics, 50, 116, 137 Essay on Government (Priestley), 13 European Commission, 255 European Management Forum, 1 evidence-based policy-making, 17 existentialism, 38 experience medicine, 126 experienced utility, measurement of, 64 experimental psychology, 81 Exxon Valdez oil spill, 62–3 eye tracking, 72, 97 eyes, focus on by Wundt, 79–81 Facebook, 10, 74, 100, 189, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 213, 220, 221, 224, 225, 238, 239, 257, 269 face-reading software, 222 facial coding, 76, 97 facial scanning/face-scanning technology, 72, 222, 276 farm experiences, benefits of, 246 fatigue, businesses’ concern about, 50, 116, 120 Fatigue Laboratory (Harvard Business School), 120, 122 FearFighter, 222 Fechner, Gustav as coining pleasure principle, 29 distrust of language, 32 dualism of, 28, 30, 265 on energy, 29, 115 as influenced by Hegel, 30 as monist, 33 as new age thinker, 28 parallels in English psychology to, 48 psychophysical methods of, 60 psychophysical parallelism, 259 as representing relationships between mind and world as numerical ratio, 35 on solving mind–body problem using mathematics, 27, 28 on theory of psychology, 29 weight-lifting experiments of, 30–1, 38, 49, 50, 59, 78 Federal Drug, Food and Cosmetic Act (US) (1938), 170 feedback loops/feedback mechanisms, 95, 103, 230, 276 feelings, adjustment of, 31–2 Ferriss, Tim, 112 fit notes, 112 Fitbit, 240 fitness-tracking ticket machine, 240 fMRI, 32, 231, 237, 241, 261, 262 focus groups, 102, 125 Foucault, Michel, 280n22 FP7 research (European Commission), 255 Freakonomics (Levitt and Dubner), 152 free markets, 19, 49, 57, 69, 140, 154, 181, 185, 274 Free: The Future of a Radical Price (Anderson), 185 Freud, Sigmund, 29, 164, 169, 198, 200, 203 Friedman, Milton, 149, 150, 154, 156–7, 159, 160, 161 friendship, 186, 187, 188, 191, 197, 201, 205, 208, 211, 212, 222, 225, 243, 258 friendvertising, 189 Gale, Harlow, 83, 85 Gallup (poll), 9, 106, 146, 219, 272 Gallup, George, 101 gaming, 205–6 The Genealogy of Morals (Nietzsche), 84 General Adaptation Syndrome, 129 General Medical Council (Britain), 110 General Motors (GM), 215–16 General Phonograph Manufacturing Company, 200 General Sentiment, 223 generosity, 185, 196 Georgetown University, 142 German Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, 217 Germany, influx of Americans taking university degrees and research training in, 83 Gershon, Michael, 231 Gilbert, Jeremy, 213 Gladwell, Malcolm, 72 global economic management, 3 Google, 37, 193 Graham, Richard, 205, 206 gratitude, 33, 131, 186, 187, 194, 196, 210, 276 group identity, 123 group psychology, 124, 125 Growing Well, 246, 247, 248, 250 Guze, Samuel, 169 Hague, William, 139–40, 141, 142, 144 Haidt, Jonathan, 73 Hall, G.

See positive psychology promise of practical utility of, 91 reunion of with economics, 64, 182 social psychology, 125, 189, 266 theory of, as balancing act, 67 The Psychology of Advertising (Scott), 86 psychopharmacology, 162 psychophysical parallelism, 259 psychophysics, 29, 30, 31 psychosomatic interventions/management/programmes/theories, 122, 124, 128, 135 psychotherapy, 124, 127 pulse rate, 25, 26, 27, 37, 79 punishment, 16, 19, 22, 23, 179, 183, 239 PwC, 119 Qualia, 36 quality of life measures, 126 quantitative sociological research, 98 quantified community, 233, 234 quantified self apps, 221 quantified self movement, 221, 228 quants, 237 questionnaires, 165, 175, 176 random acts of managerial generosity, 184 randomized sampling methods, 97 Rapley, Mark, 250 Rayner, Rosalie, 93 Reagan, Ronald, 144, 149, 159 Realeyes, 72 real-time health data, 137 real-time social trends, 224 recessions, 67–8, 252 Recognizing the Depressed Patient (Ayd), 164 reductionism, 27, 264 research ethics, 91–2, 225 resilience training, 35, 273 Resor, Stanley, 93–4, 95, 96 retail culture, 58 Ricard, Matthieu, 2, 4 Robbins, Lionel, 154 Robins, Eli, 169 Rockefeller Foundation, 97, 99, 121 Rogers, Carl, 146 Roosevelt, Franklin, 101, 146 Rowntree, Joseph, 99 RunKeeper, 240 Ryanair, 185 Salter, Tim, 110 sampling methods, 97–8 Santa Monica, California, 4 São Paolo, Brazil, Clean City Law, 275 scales, 146, 165, 175, 176 scanning technology, 75–6 scent logos, 73 Schrader, Harald, 44 scientific advertising, 215 scientific management, 118–19, 120, 136–7, 235 scientific optimism, 242 scientific politics, 77, 88, 145 scientists, as source of authority, 147–8 Scott, Walter Dill, 83, 85 screen time, 207 second brain, 231 secular religions, 260 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), 163, 166 self-anchored striving, 147, 166, 175 self-anchoring striving scale, 146 self-forming groups, 200 self-help gurus, 210 self-help literature, 247 self-improvement, 212 self-monitoring, 258 self-optimization, 213 self-reflection, 211 self-surveillance, 221, 230 Seligman, Martin, 165, 277n5 Selye, Hans, 128–31, 133, 264 The Senses and the Intellect (Bain), 48 sentiment analysis/tracking, 6, 221, 223, 261 sexual orientation disturbance, 172 sharing economy, 188 shopping, 58, 74, 93, 188, 239 sick notes, 112 Sing Sing prison, 201 Smail, David, 250 smart cities, 220, 224, 239 smart homes, 239 smart watches, 37 smartphones, 10, 207, 222, 230 smiles/smiling, 36–7, 38 Smith, Adam, 49, 50, 52, 55 social, 1, 36, 184, 186, 187, 188, 190, 191, 203, 204, 205, 207, 208, 211–12 social analytics, 188, 191, 193, 196 social capitalism, 212 social contagion, science of, 257 social economy, 190 social epidemiology, 9, 250, 254 social media, 188, 189, 199, 203, 207, 208–9, 213, 224, 261, 274 social media addiction, 206, 207 social network analysis, 204, 208 social networks, 193, 194, 195, 196, 213, 225 social neuroscience, 193, 195, 213, 214 social obligation, 184 social optimization, 181–214 social prescribing, 194, 212, 246, 271 social psychology, 125, 189, 266 social research, 98, 202, 226 social science, as converging with physiology into new discipline, 195 sociology, 254 sociometric analysis, 199 sociometric maps, 202 Sociometric Solutions, 239 sociometry, 199, 201, 202, 203 Spengler, Oswald, 121 Spitzer, Robert, 171–3, 176, 271 sponsored conversations, 189 sport, as virtue for political leaders, 140 sporting metaphors, 141 SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), 163, 166 St Louis school of psychiatry, 169, 170, 171, 173, 174, 176, 179 Stanton, Frank, 99 Stigler, George, 150, 152, 153, 156–7, 158, 160 stress, 37, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 175, 250, 262, 272, 273 Stuckler, David, 252 subjective affect, science of, 6, 7 subjective feelings, relationship with external circumstances, 254 subjective sensation, 30, 45, 55, 61 Suicide (Durkheim), 227 Sully, James, 59, 84 surveillance, 231, 237, 238, 240, 242.


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

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, 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, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Soon, every town and neighborhood will have one, meaning that any individual or small team will be able to rent equipment and be as capital-empowered as an established corporation. A comparable transformation is taking place with biotech equipment. BioCurious, another Silicon Valley invention, is an open wetlab where enthusiasts take courses, use centrifuges and test tubes, and synthesize DNA. Genspace offers a similar resource in New York City. This rent-not-own philosophy further extends the current craze of collaborative consumption and the sharing economy. There’s less and less need to own a factory, a laboratory or even a scientific tool. Instead, why not rent those assets, reducing up-front investment and leaving the ownership and maintenance of state-of-the-art facilities to someone else? Further, given that the control mechanisms offered by software and the Internet allow the management of these capabilities at a distance, why build your own?

Community & Crowd Most large organizations are so busy managing their internals that they don’t leverage their communities at all, let alone the much larger crowd. Most have improved a bit in recent years—almost by default, thanks to social media—but even now a company’s online presence is mostly limited to a Facebook page half-heartedly managed by the marketing department. How can companies rise above prosaic participation in the Web 2.0 world and create a truly social business? How can they cooperate with the sharing economy or with peer-to-peer startups to boost innovation internally? How can they build a vibrant community around their products that will enable them to use P2P forums to drive down support costs? Zappos spends a great deal of time and money managing its community, and is an excellent example of a company that has launched a truly social business. The instant you declare yourself a fan of the company on social media, Zappos makes special deals available to you through its fans-only section.

Currently, one hundred twenty business leaders and thirty-four Fortune 500 companies are council members of Crowd Companies and, according to Owyang, over eighty global brands have experimented with these techniques. Owyang isn’t alone in his thinking: Shel Israel, co-author of the book Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy, noted recently that there have been many such labels attached to this new movement: the Sharing Economy, the Mesh Economy, Collaborative Consumption and the Collaborative Economy. We actually think Exponential Organizations works quite well as a label. But whatever the ultimate designation, it is clear that ExO attributes can and are being implemented by large organizations. In fact, as we wrote this book we were surprised to see how fast that implementation is occurring. What was little more than a loose theory when we sat down to outline the book has now taken on the trappings of a global movement.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, 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, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, 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, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, 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 Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Moderate reformers will find themselves losing ground to politicians keen to unpick elements of the era of moderation, from the move towards freer trade and capital flows to the elimination of labour-market protections. Politicians will promise to make markets create good jobs: by mandating higher minimum wages, supporting occupational certification and other job protections, and pushing firms to regularize work in sharing-economy sectors – by requiring payment of benefits and the guarantee of a certain number of regular hours, for instance. The global economy probably won’t reward these efforts either. But they benefit from securing the support of portions of the electorate who receive protections from such measures – whose slice of the pie is cut a bit larger. In a world in which the coalitions of interests that supported globalization are breaking down, the politics of protection could prove newly durable.

What’s more, ageing countries are not uniformly old; even in places with highly top-heavy population pyramids, a large share of the population is still of working age and is bound to be resentful of large numbers of people brought in expressly to fill jobs in one of the few sectors that reliably creates new employment. An openness and cosmopolitanism inspired by demographic change would be an encouraging political development. It might one day materialize. It hasn’t yet. THE SHARING ECONOMIES Could there be a constituency for a more benign set of policy innovations: for generous basic incomes tied to sensible work requirements, designed to encourage public-spirited labour contributions but leaving room for the individual’s freedom to live the way he or she wants to live? That might be a lot to ask. But we might expect generous welfare policy to emerge in places where the solidarity that appear is community-based, rather than class-based.

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: 215 words: 55,212

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

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Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, Google Earth, Internet of things, 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

—PETER SCHWARTZ, futurist; cofounder and chairman, GBN, and partner in the monitor group “In this timely and extremely practical book, Gansky not only gives dozens of examples of sharing companies disrupting the status quo and experiencing exponential growth, but she also talks about why they’re successful—what it means to be a Mesh business and what you have to do to thrive as the world moves to a share economy.” —JOHN LILLY, CEO, Mozilla “Lisa Gansky has uncovered a revolution that even most of its perpetrators didn’t know existed. It’s a brave new marketplace, where consumers rule and business models are turned topsy-turvy. Where innovation and inspiration collide to create greener, cooler products and services that are high in value and values. And where disparate communities form, if only for an instant, to ignite companies and markets.

Many of us were concerned about one or a few companies controlling the channel that has become the Internet. Firefox’s intellectual property is held under a special type of open-source license. The code, developed by community and incorporated into Firefox, continues to be held by those members, who in return grant access to Mozilla to embed and use it. This “communal IP,” as I call it, is a wonderful example of the share economy ethos that was, and hopefully will remain, at the core of the Internet. Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, and Architecture for Humanity remain strong embodiments of that ethos. The result is continuously organic improvement of the Web experience for all. These open communities and platforms are a terrific demonstration of the culture of gifting and generosity that fueled the “Web economy” in the mid-1990s.


pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

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Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, Zipcar

Call them the Access Generation: a growing cohort of mobile, technically savvy young people who value access over assets. They prefer to stay nimble and rent a home rather than own one; listen to a song on Spotify rather than buy it from iTunes; or subscribe to Oysterbooks .com or Scribd rather than buy from a Barnes & Noble store. The Access Generation is behind the explosion of the new “sharing” economy. Sharing stuff has been around since stuff itself, but technology allows sharing to scale: websites like Airbnb match buyer and seller; your GPS-enabled iPhone allows you to find the closest Zipcar; Facebook and LinkedIn enable you to vet anyone you’re thinking of doing business with; and sites like PayPal allow you to safely pay for what you’re renting. Light-Switch Reliability When you walk into a room and turn on the light, you don’t hold your breath hoping the room will illuminate.

Power & Associates, 186–87 Jobs, Steve, 57 Kassensturz, 88 Kava, Jordana, 93–94 Kelly, Patrick, 35–36, 96, 164 Kerber, Tim, 49 Kirkpatrick & Hopes, 168–70 Klein, Bernard, 93 Køge, 24–25 Koum, Jan, 2, 113 K-Tipp, 88 LA Fitness, 180 laptops, 116 Lapwood, Nev, 171 large companies, 188–89, 194 lawn care, 104 Levine, Mark, 81–83, 87 Liechti, Samy, 83 LifeLock, 140 lifetime value (LTV), 128, 130, 138, 139, 142–43, 146, 151, 173 Ancestry.com and, 136 Constant Contact and, 137 HubSpot and, 133–34 Mosquito Squad and, 138 light-switch reliability, 19–20, 22 Lindt, 93, 94 LinkedIn, 19, 63, 140 Lippitt, Robb, 51 logo churn, 191–93 LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, 116 long tail, 21–22 Long Tail, The (Anderson), 16, 21 Lore, Marc, 84–85 Luciani, Patrick, 70 Lynda.com, 59 magazines, 16–17, 193 margin, 131–32 Ancestry.com and, 136 HubSpot and, 133–34 Mosquito Squad and, 138 MarketingSherpa, 52, 53 market research, 34–36 Martella, Roberto, 70 Matrix Partners, 129 McCabe, Kathy, 48–49 McDerment, Mike, 27, 144–48, 163 McGrath, Rob, 68 measuring progress, 125–34 Meeker, Matt, 19, 92 MemberGate, 49 membership website model, 47–55 Mequoda Group, 61, 154, 161, 179 messaging services, 2 WhatsApp, 1–2, 108–9, 113, 157 Microsoft, 22 Office, 24 Project, 146n Windows, 57 millennial generation, 18 MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), 111–12 monthly recurring revenue (MRR), 128, 139, 143, 149, 174 Ancestry.com and, 135, 136 CAC payback period and, 140–43 churn rate and, see churn rate Constant Contact and, 136, 137 HubSpot and, 132, 133–34, 135, 149 Mosquito Squad and, 138 SnowboardAddiction.com and, 171 Wild Apricot and, 189–91 Morningstar, 11, 12 Mosquito Squad, 31–32, 103–4, 138, 153–54, 197 Murdoch, Rupert, 16 music business, 57–58 Myspace, 146n National Dance Council of America, 49–50 Nelson, Perry, 165, 171–72, 178–79 Netflix, 35, 59, 63, 154, 155, 159, 166 NetSuite.com, 189 network model, 107–14 New Masters Academy, 59–62, 155, 166 newspapers, 16–17 New York Times, 17, 48, 82 Nicely Noted, 165, 171–72, 178–79 Nicholas, Don, 61, 154, 161, 179 Nightingale Conant, 66 Nike, 89 Nimsoft, 141–42 O’Brien, Chris, 187 onboarding, 132, 140, 142 90-day clock and, 176–82 One Wipe Charlies, 192 online reputation, 117 Onvia, 17 Osler Bluff, 162 Otis, 40 Outdoor Living Brands, 32 Oyster, 59 Panda, Sonu, 33, 158, 197 PayPal, 19 peace-of-mind model, 115–22 pets, 91–92 BarkBox and, 19, 92, 95, 165, 187 PetShopBowl.com and, 38 Tagg and, 115 PetShopBowl.com, 38 pharmacies, 31 photo printing, 156–57 Piranha Marketing System: The Seven Success Multiplying Factors to Dominate Any Market You Enter (Polish), 66 Pitney Bowes, 178 Plugg, 157 Polish, Joe, 66–67, 155 Portrait Software, 178 prioritizing customers, 75 private club model, 65–72 Private Retreats, 68 Procter & Gamble (P&G), 192 productivity applications, 100 profit-and-loss (P&L) statement, 125–28, 138 publishing, 16–17 QSS Group, 101 Qualcomm, 115 Quickbooks, 146n Quidsi, 15, 86 Radian6, 117 radioactive waste and devices, 36–37 Ravindran, Vijay, 12 razor blade business: Dollar Shave Club, 81–83, 84, 87–89, 157, 175–76, 192–93 Raz*War, 157–58, 193, 194 Raz*War, 157–58, 193, 194 Rdio, 58, 155 recession, 39–41 recurring revenue, 4, 6, 78, 104, 128 see also monthly recurring revenue reliability, 19–20, 22 “Renegotiation of Cash Flow Rights in the Sale of VC-Backed Firms” (Broughman and Fried), 147 RestaurantOwner.com, 49 Revolution Dancewear, 50–52 Rhapsody, 58 risk, 119–20, 121 RoleView, 150, 192 roof business, 118–20 Rosen, Lori, 88 Roth, Marcel, 83 Royal Melbourne Golf Club (RMGC), 65–66, 72 Running Room, 13 social status, 68, 69 SafetyNet, 116 sales approaches, 134–38 Salesforce.com, 18, 19, 74–75, 117, 159, 176 salespeople, 135, 167 Salon Speaker Series (Grano Speaker Series), 70–71, 159 scaling up, 171–94 Schwietzer, Robbie, 13 self-employed individuals, 188–89 Sellability Score.com, 3–4, 28, 31, 132, 149, 176, 182 selling subscriptions, see subscription selling “sharing” economy, 18–19 simplifier model, 99–105, 121 Site24x7.com, 117 skiing, 162 Skok, David, 129–30, 131, 150, 151, 185 Snaptracs, 115 SnowboardAddiction.com, 171 social proof, 67 socks: Blacksocks, 83, 84, 88, 151 Foot Cardigan, 165 software industry, 29–32, 74–75, 125–26 Spagnuolo, Marc, 47 SpicySubscriptions.com, 91 Spotify, 58 Springwise, 157 Standard Cocoa, 22, 93–94, 165 StitchFix, 91 Stone, Brad, 85 Strife, Carly, 92 strivers, 72 Stuart Hunt & Associates, 36–37 subscription economy, 11–25 competing in, 22–24 subscription models: all-you-can-eat library, 57–63 automatic payments in, 36–37 business valuation and, 28–32 challenges of adopting, 41–43 consumables, 81–90 convincing employees and partners about merits of, 168–69 customer loyalty and, 38 demand and, 33–34 front-of-the-line, 73–79 history of, 15–18 lifetime value of customer in, 32–33 market research and, 34–36 measuring progress in, 125–34 membership website, 47–55 need for, 27–43 network, 107–14 peace-of-mind, 115–22 private club, 65–72 recession risk and, 39–41 renaissance of, 18–22 sales approaches for, 134–38 simplifier, 99–105, 121 surprise box, 91–98 up-selling in, 38–39 using in your own business, 122 subscription selling, 153–70 burning platform strategy in, 166–67 freemium option in, 161–62, 164 gift offers in, 164–66 rational buying and, 157–59 subscription fatigue and, 154 10x vs. 10% idea in, 155–57 trial in, 161–64 ultimatum in, 159–60 Subscription Site Insider, 52, 53 surfing, 182–83 surprise box model, 91–98 swimming pools, 104 Tagg, 115 Tarence, Zen, 29–30 Target, 13, 89 Subscriptions, 15 TechCrunch, 157 technology, 99 telephone, 107–8 telephone sales, 135 The Live Event (TLE), 53 37signals, 144, 145–46 Thriveworks, 75–77 TIGER 21, 67–68, 72, 149, 159 Time Warner Cable, 23 TrendHunter.com, 91–92 trial offers, 161–64 Tri-State Elevator Co., 40–41 Trojan Horse, 94–95, 98 Twitter, 61, 63, 108, 117 ultimatums, 159–60 underwriting profit, 117, 118 user marketing, 108–9 vacation industry, 68–70, 73–74 Vagonis, Jim, 102–3, 181 valuation of businesses, 28–32 venture capital, 147–48, 151 viability threshold, 129–30 Volcker, Paul, 70 Wall Street Journal, 17, 48, 188 Walmart, 13, 84, 89 Goodies Co., 20–21, 35 Warrillow & Co., 5–6 website monitoring, 117 Wells Fargo, 126 Werdelin, Henrik, 92 WhatsApp, 1–2, 108–9, 113, 157 WhichTestWon.com, 52–53 Whiteman, Brian, 156 Whiteman, Julie, 156 Wild Apricot, 29, 184–85, 189–91 Wired, 16 Women’s Living, 179 Woodward, Bob, 71 Wood Whisperer Guild, 47 Workday, 135 World of Warcraft, 111–12 WP Engine, 177 Wunderlist, 100 Yoga Journal, 179 Zendesk, 77, 79, 163 Zide, Scott, 32 Zipcar, 19, 109–11, 113, 153 * The “first mover advantage” concept is severely overhyped.


pages: 161 words: 44,488

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology by William Mougayar

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Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, centralized clearinghouse, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, global value chain, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, market clearing, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, prediction markets, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, sharing economy, smart contracts, social web, software as a service, too big to fail, Turing complete, web application

Even though blockchain technologies specifically have not seen mainstream adoption as a result, the underlying spirit of decentralization to a substantial degree has. Applications ranging from Apple's phones to WhatsApp have started building in forms of encryption that are so strong that even the company writing the software and managing the servers cannot break it. For those who prefer corporations to government as their boogeyman of choice, the advent of “sharing economy 1.0” is increasingly showing signs of failure to fulfill what many had originally seen to be its promise. Rather than simply cutting out entrenched and oligopolistic intermediaries, giants like Uber are simply replacing the middleman with themselves, and not always doing a better job of it. Blockchains, and the umbrella of related technologies that I have collectively come to call “crypto 2.0,” provide an attractive fix.

The blockchain is the latest digital value leveler as it impacts and shifts value within the cryptospace and into our physical spaces. The blockchain moves the power of transactions closer to the individuals, and it empowers any user on earth to align themselves with a decentralized application or organization, and start generating or moving their own nucleus of crypto value. Another benefit of this phenomenon is to put the sharing economy on steroids, as it melds (crypto) capital and labor with mobile, location-agnostic marketplace environments. We are in the early stages of understanding the movement, distribution and creation of “value” outside of the traditional norms of currency, commodity and property as the main vehicles for value transfer and appreciation. A new frontier will appear. HOW TECHNOLOGY PERMEATES Time to look into a crystal ball and predict the future of Bitcoin, blockchains, cryptocurrency, decentralized applications and cryptography-based protocols and platforms.


pages: 230 words: 61,702

The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael P. Lynch

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, Internet of things, John von Neumann, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, new economy, patient HM, prediction markets, RFID, sharing economy, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, WikiLeaks

We are instead, Rifkin suggests, seeing the rise of the Collaborative Commons: The IoT [the Internet of Things] enables billions of people to engage in peer-to-peer social networks and cocreate the many new economic opportunities and practices that constitute life on the emerging Collaborative Commons. That platform turns everyone into a prosumer and every activity into a collaboration … allowing social capital to flourish on an unprecedented scale, making a shared economy possible.5 As a result, Rifkin argues, the Internet of Things and the networked nature of our digital form of life are moving us toward “the zero marginal cost society.” In turn, that challenges the central capitalist tenet, that increased human productivity requires increased human labor. “The traditional dream of rags to riches is being supplanted by a new dream of sustainable quality of life”—a life where we can spend more time engaged in pursuits that interest us, such as making music, cooking better food and thinking about philosophy.6 Rifkin thinks the same revolution is happening at the level of knowledge—perhaps especially there, since the wide availability of knowledge is the fuel powering the rest of our economy.

., 173–74 hypothetical loss of, 5 paradox of, 6, 12, 179 pool of data in, 95–100 surveillance and, 89–109 typified and dephysicalized objects in, 69 unequal distribution of, 144–45 see also Internet of Things information theory, 12 infosphere: defined, 10 feedback loop of social constructs in, 72–73 network of, 180 pollution of, 148 vastness of, 128 InnoCentive, 136–37, 141 institutions, cooperative, 60–61 intellectual labor, 139–40 International Telecommunications Union, 135 Internet: author’s experiment in circumventing, 21–24, 25, 35 in challenges to reasonableness, 41–63 changes wrought by, xv–xviii, 6–7, 10–11, 23, 180, 184–88 as a construction, 69 cost and profit debate over, 145 as epistemic resource, 143–45 expectations of, 80–83 as force for cohesion and democracy, 55–63 freedom both limited and enhanced by, 92–93 international rates of access to, 135, 144–45 monopolization and hegemony in, 145–46 as network, 111–13 “third wave” of, 7 see also World Wide Web; specific applications Internet of Everything, 184 Internet of Things: blurring of online and offline in, 71 defined, 7–8 integration of, 10 shared economy in, 140–41 threat from, 107, 153, 184–88 Internet of Us, digital form of life as, 10, 39, 73, 83–86, 106, 179–88 interracial marriage, 54 interrogation techniques, 105 In the Plex (Levy), 5–6 Intrade, 122–23, 136 intuition, 15, 51–53 iPhone, production of, 77–78, 80, 139, 144 IQ, 52 Iraq, 83 Iraq War, 137 ISIS, 128 isolation, polarization and, 42–43 I think, I exist, 127 James, William, 11 Jefferson, Thomas, 143 Jeppesen, Lars Bo, 137 joint commitments, defined, 117–18 journalism, truth and, 84 judgment, 51–55, 57 collective vs. individual, 117, 120–25 justice, 54 “just so” stories, 27–28 Kahneman, Daniel, 29, 51 Kant, Immanuel, 34, 58–60, 62, 85 Kitcher, Philip, 182 knowing-which, as term, 171 knowledge: in big data revolution, 87–190 changing structure of, 125–32 common, 117–19 defined and explained, xvii, 12–17 democratization of, 133–38 digital, see digital knowledge; Google-knowing distribution of, 134–35, 138, 141 diverse forms of, 130 economy of, 138–45 hyperconnectivity of, 184–88 individual vs. aggregate, 120–24 information vs., 14 Internet revolution in, xv–xviii minimal definition of, 14–15 as networked, 111–32 new aspects in old problems of, 1–86, 90 personal observation in, 33–35 political economy of, 133–54 as power, 9, 98–99, 133, 185–86 practical vs. theoretical, 169, 172 procedural, 167–74 recording and storage of, 127–28 reliability of sources of, 14, 27–31, 39–40, 44–45, 114–16 as a resource, 38–39 shared cognitive process in attainment of, 114–25 three forms of, 15–17 three simple points about, 14–17 truth and, 19, 126 understanding vs. other forms of, 6, 16–17, 90, 154, 155–73, 181 value and importance of, 12–13 knowledge-based education, 61 Kodak camera, 89 Koran, 48, 61 Kornblith, Hilary, 194 Krakauer, John, 169 Kuhn, Thomas, 159–60 Lakhani, Karim, 137 Larissa, Greece, 13, 15, 182 Leonhardt, David, 122–23 Levy, Steven, 5–6 liberals, 43 libraries, 22, 134, 153–54 of Alexandria, 8 digital form of life compared to, xvi, 17, 20, 44–45, 56, 63, 128 as epistemic resource, 145 Google treated as, 24 “Library of Babel” (Borges), 17 “Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Fact-Checking’: The Liberal Media’s Latest Attempt to Control the Discourse” (Hemingway), 46 Lifespan of a Fact, The (D’Agata), 79 literacy, 35, 134 literal artifacts: defined, 69 social artifacts and, 71, 72 lobectomy, 168 Locke, John, 33–36, 39, 60, 67–70, 85, 127, 143 “Locke’s command,” 33–34 London Underground, mapping of, 112–13 machines, control by, 116 “mainstream” media, 32 censorship of, 66 majority rule, 120 manipulation: data mining and, 97, 104–6 of expectations, 80–82 persuasion and, 55, 57–58, 81–83, 86 manuals, 22 manufacturing, 138–39 maps, 21–22 marine chronometer, 137 marketing: bots in, 82 Glauconian, 58 targeted, 9, 90, 91, 105 marriage: changing attitudes toward, 53–54 civil vs. religious, 58–59 as social construct, 72 martial arts, 170 mass, as primary quality, 68 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 150–53 mathematics, in data analysis, 160, 161 Matrix, The, 18–19, 75 Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor, 8, 158–59 measles vaccine, 7, 124 Mechanical Turk, 136, 141 media, 134 diversity in, 42 opinion affected by, 53 sensationalist, 77 memory: accessing of, 114, 115 in educational models, 152 loss of, 168–69 superceded by information technology, xv–xvi, 3, 4, 6, 94, 149 trust in, 28, 33 Meno, 13 merchandising, online vs. brick and mortar, 70 Mercier, Hugo, 54 metrics, 112 Milner, Brenda, 168–69 mirror drawing experiment, 169 misinformation, 6–7, 31–32 in support of moral truth, 78–80, 82 mob mentality, 32–33 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), 150–53 moral dumbfounding, 52 morality, moral values, xvii, 6, 44, 53–54, 195 “Moses Illusion,” 29–30 motor acuity, mastery of, 170–71, 173 motor skills, 167–74 Murray, Charles J., 147 music, as dephysicalized object, 69–70 Nagel, Thomas, 84 naming, identification by, 94 narrative license, truth and falsehood in, 78–79 National Endowment for the Humanities, 61 National Science Foundation, 61 Nature, 158, 161 Netflix, 69, 145 Net neutrality, defined, 145 netography, 112–13 of knowledge, 125–32 networked age, 111 networks, 111–32 collective knowledge of, 116–25, 180 knowledge reshaped and altered by, 125–32, 133, 140 in problem solving, 136 use of term, 111–12 neural system, 26 neural transplants, 3, 5 Neurath, Otto, 128–29 neuromedia, 3–5, 12, 17–19, 113–14, 132, 149, 168, 180–82, 184 limitations of, 174 as threat to education, 153–54 Newton, Isaac, 175 New Yorker, 25, 26 New York Times, 122, 174 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 111 Nobel laureates, 149 noble lie, 83, 86 nonfiction, 79–80 NPR, 78, 80 NSA: alleged privacy abuses by, 98–100, 138 data mining by, 9, 91, 95–96, 108, 167 proposed limitations on, 109 Ntrepid, 81 nuclear weapons technology, xvii nullius in verba (take nobody’s word for it), 34 Obama, Barack, 7, 100 administration, 109 objectivity, objective truth, 45, 74 as anchor for belief, 131 in constructed world, 83–86 as foundation for knowledge, 127 observation, 49, 60 affected by expectations, 159–60 behavior affected by, 91, 97 “oceanic feeling,” 184 “offlife,” 70 OkCupid, 157 “onlife,” 70 online identity creation, 73–74 online ranking, 119–21, 136 open access research sharing sites, 135–36 open society: closed politics vs., 144–45 values of, 41–43, 62 open source software, 135 Operation Earnest Voice, 81 Operation Ivy, ix opinion: knowledge vs., 13, 14, 126 in online ranking, 119–20 persuasion and, 50–51 truth as constructed by, 85–86 optical illusions, 67 Oracle of Delphi, 16–17, 171 Outcome-Based Education (OBE), 61–62 ownership, changing concept of, 73 ox, experiment on weight of, 120 Oxford, 168 Page, Larry, 5–6 Panopticon, 91, 92, 97 perception: acuity of, 173 distinguishing truth in, 67–74 expectations and, 159–60 misleading, 29–30, 67 as relative, 67–68 perceptual incongruity, 159–60 personal freedom, 101 persuasion, 50–51, 54–55, 56–58 by bots, 82 phone books, 22 phone data collection, 95, 108 photography: privacy and, 89, 93 sexually-explicit, 99 photo-sharing, manipulation in, 82–83 Plato, 13–14, 16–17, 54, 59, 83, 126, 165–67 polarization, 7 herd mentality in, 66 isolated tribes in, 43–46 politics, 162, 196 accessibility in, 23 activism in, 66, 67 bias in, 43–46 closed, 144–45 elections in, 120–23 of knowledge, 133–54 opposition to critical thinking in, 61–62 persuasion in, 57–58, 82–83 power in, 86, 133 prediction market in, 122–23 Politifact, 46 Popper, Karl, 41–43 Postman, L.


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

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, 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 supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, 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, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

More important, though, they discovered a bigger idea that has since blossomed into a multibillion-dollar company, a whole new way for people to make money and tour the world. The idea was to create a global network through which anyone anywhere could rent a spare room in their home to earn cash. In homage to its roots, they called the company Airbnb, which has grown so large that it is now bigger than all the major hotel chains combined—even though, unlike Hilton and Marriott, it doesn’t own a single bed. And the new trend it set off is the “sharing economy.” When I first heard Chesky describe his company, I confess to being a little dubious: I mean, how many people in Paris really want to rent out their kid’s bedroom down the hall to a perfect stranger—who comes to them via the Internet? And how many strangers want to be down the hall? Answer: a lot! By 2016, there were sixty-eight thousand commercial hotel rooms in Paris and more than eighty thousand Airbnb listings.

You knew the people in your community and everyone else from the outside was a stranger. What we did was give those strangers identities and brands that you could trust. Do you want a stranger staying in your home? No. But would you like Michelle who went to Harvard, works in a bank, and has a five-star rating as a guest on Airbnb? Sure!” Chesky would love to apply what Airbnb has learned about the sharing economy to other realms and experiences, or, as he once put it to me: “There are eighty million power drills in America that are used an average of thirteen minutes. Does everyone really need their own drill?” The distance between imagining something, designing it, manufacturing it, and selling it everywhere has never been shorter, faster, cheaper, and easier—for engineers and non-engineers alike.

He began by distinguishing between the evolution of “physical technologies”—stone tools, horse-drawn plows, microchips—and the evolution of “social technologies”—money, the rule of law, regulations, Henry Ford’s factory, the U.N.: Social technologies are how we organize to capture the benefits of cooperation—non-zero-sum games. Physical technologies and social technologies coevolve. Physical technology innovations make new social technologies possible, like fossil fuel technologies made mass production possible, smartphones make the sharing economy possible. And vice versa, social technologies make new physical technologies possible—Steve Jobs couldn’t have made the smartphone without a global supply chain. But there is one big difference between these two forms of technology, he added: Physical technologies evolve at the pace of science—fast and getting exponentially faster, while social technologies evolve at the pace at which humans can change—much slower.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

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

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Black Swan, buy low sell high, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, Jean Tirole, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, 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, 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.


pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny

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Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

It’s a resource produced in the real economy that, at its inception, not only expanded the range of places where individuals could work but also greatly expanded the markets that entrepreneurs could sell to. Stated otherwise, the capital that is an automobile isn’t just a consumption item. Instead, the dawn of the automobile meant that the business owner in a remote locale wasn’t limited to selling to fellow townsfolk; he could deliver his goods to customers far and wide. More recently, the car has turned consumers of automobiles into capitalists of a different kind. Thanks to Uber and the “sharing economy,” cars that we purchase for personal use are increasingly an economic resource we can charge people for rides in. Speaking of computers, does anyone remember brands such as Kaypro, Commodore, and Tandy Corporation’s TRS-80 Micro Computer? Those of us born in the 1960s and 1970s might recall all three from the 1980s, when visionary entrepreneurs started to mass market these items to consumers.

., 34–37, 108, 111, 129, 162, 164–65, 173 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 142 Snow, John, 118 Solyndra, 59, 60 Soviet Union, 76–78, 80, 94 Splash (film), 22–23 Stanford University, 16–17 stimulus spending, 53, 141 student debt, 173–74 substitution effect and traditional banking alternatives, 105, 106–7 supply-side economics, 48–55, 79–80, 92–94, 141, 144 surge pricing, 12–14, 106–7, 165–66 Swanson, Bret, 143 Swift, Taylor, 9–12, 13, 162–63 Switzer, Barry, 18–19 tariffs, 3 taxes as barrier to economic growth and prosperity, 3 and Laffer curves, 50, 54–55 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 142 and supply-side economics, 49–51, 79–80, 92–93, 141 technology innovation in Austin, Texas, 123–25 robots and job creation, 176–80 Ten Days That Shook the World (Reed), 23 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Texas Instruments, 155 The Theory of Money and Credit (von Mises), 87 Thiel, Peter, 28–29, 59, 150, 168 This Time Is Different (Reinhart and Rogoff), 168 Thwaites, Thomas, 64–65 Timiraos, Nick, 147, 148 toasters, 64–65 Town & Country (film), 23–24, 28 Townsend, Robert, 109 Trammel, Joel, 123–25 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 172–73 Truffaut, François, 24 Trump, Donald, 33–37 The 21st Century Case for Gold (Gilder), 68 The Twilight of Sovereignty (Wriston), 109 2008 financial crisis, 106, 110 Uber and “easy credit,” 115–16 and the “sharing economy,” 57 and surge pricing, 12–14, 106–7, 165–66 Ueberroth, Peter, 34–35 unicorn companies, 28, 148 University of Michigan, 16–17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 79, 103, 127, 148 University of Southern California (USC), 18–20 University of Washington, 20 USAA, 108 U.S. Treasuries market prices and cost of credit, 42 and “money multipliers” myth, 91–92 and mortgage-backed securities, 150–52 venture capital, 28–29, 109 Volcker, Paul, 170 von der Osten, Hans-George, 91 von Mises, Ludwig bank lending practices, 85, 88 dollar devaluation, 117 Human Action, 20 on market forces, 20, 152 on money and capital, 92, 94, 136–37, 161 on price of credit, 9 The Theory of Money and Credit, 9, 85, 87, 135 on why people borrow money, 87, 90, 148 Wachovia, 120 Wall Street bank bailouts, 127–30 Goldman Sachs, 41, 44, 45, 46 housing boom and “easy credit,” 113–14 increased regulation of banks, 119–20 and investment banking, 124–26 involvement with federal government, 129–31 as “price giver,” 126 Wal-Mart checking accounts, 108 Sam’s Club, 105, 106–7 “War on Poverty,” 60, 61 Warren, George, 167 WBH Energy, 73 Wealth and Poverty (Gilder), 118 The Wealth of Nations (Smith), 65, 67, 119, 140 wealth, paper currency, and real economic wealth, 1 Wells Fargo, 120 Wharton School of Business, 38 When Money Dies (Fergusson), 91, 121 White, Harry Dexter, 169 Winkler, Henry, 22 The Wire (television show), 135 Woodson, Charles, 16 Woods, Thomas E., Jr., 113–15 Wriston, Walter B., 109 Yellen, Janet, 149, 154, 156 yuan and Chinese economy, 137, 152–53 Zero to One (Thiel), 29, 97 Zuckerberg, Mark, 29 Zuckerman, Gregory, 66, 71, 72, 120


pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

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Airbnb, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, Y Combinator, éminence grise

Another way to drive down labor costs is to deny people employee status in the first place. Uber, the ride-sharing company, saves money by categorizing drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber insists drivers prefer this because they enjoy more freedom. Uber and others in the “share economy” are creating a new form of serfdom, an underclass of quasi-employees who receive low pay and no benefits. As former secretary of labor Robert Reich put it in a June 2015 Facebook post: “The ‘share economy’ is bunk; it’s becoming a ‘share the scraps’ economy.” Tech companies also are pushing the U.S. government to increase the number of skilled foreign workers who can enter the country on H-1B visas. Reich says that too is a way to drive down labor costs. In a 2015 Facebook post, Reich recalls that during his time in office in the 1990s Valley employers claimed they could not find skilled workers in the United States, “when in reality they just didn’t want to pay higher wages to Americans.”


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

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3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

These days, Gebbia and Chesky are asking a whole new set of questions about whether it’s feasible to create a “sharing economy.” At the core of this idea is the fundamental question Why should we, as a society, continue to buy things that we really don’t need to own? (Consider, for example, that the average power24 drill in the United States is used a total of thirteen minutes in its lifetime.) As Gebbia notes, we’ve spent decades accumulating “stuff” in the modern consumer age. “What if we spent the next hundred years sharing more of that stuff? What if access trumped ownership?” Whether or not Airbnb, joined by others, will be able to successfully lead that ambitious “sharing economy” movement is an open question, and one that—even more than the earlier questions about whether people would be willing to share homes and beds—aggressively challenges assumptions about how our economy works, the extent to which people are willing to change ingrained behavior, and whether sharing even makes sense as a viable business model.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Smart electricity meters in your home could turn the washing machine off and the heating down at peak times when prices are high and also allow you to sell surplus electricity to the grid from solar panels or a wind turbine on your roof. A global pioneer is Italy’s Enel, the state-owned energy utility, which has deployed more than 30 million smart meters to its customers since 2001.552 The internet is also making it easier to connect people who want to rent out rooms, cars and all sorts of other things with those who want to borrow them – a new sharing economy that offers huge potential for growth. Airbnb, a company based in San Francisco, allows people to rent out accommodation for the night; by the end of 2013 ten million people had used its services, many of them in Europe.553 It now has several European rivals: Wimdu and 9flats, both based in Berlin, and London-based onefinestay, which also offers upmarket services. Car-sharing services have mushroomed too.

Reducing our reliance on debt would make the financial system and the economy as a whole less fragile. Ending the tax bias towards debt in general and property speculation in particular would make a big difference. When financial crashes do occur, governments should tackle excessive debts head on and support the economy fiscally rather than exclusively by monetary means. Both labour and capital need to be more versatile to cope with reasonably predictable variability, and the new sharing economy offers huge potential for growth. As workforces shrink and societies age in pretty predictable ways, economies need to adjust by getting more people into work, admitting more newcomers and reforming pension systems. Last but not least, to cope with radically uncertain climate change, Europe needs better incentives for research and a tax on carbon consumption. Adaptability is a key feature of a successful advanced economy; dynamism another.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

But there is hope that a new civic order will arise in smart cities, and pull every last one of us into the effort to make them better places. Cities used to be full of strangers and chance encounters. Today we can mine the social graph in an instant by simply taking a photo. Algorithms churn in the cloud, telling the little things in our pocket where we should eat and whom we should date. It’s a jarring transformation. But even as old norms fade into the past, we’re learning new ways to thrive on mass connectedness. A sharing economy has mushroomed overnight, as people swap everything from spare bedrooms to cars, in a synergistic exploitation of new technology and more earth-friendly consumption. Online social networks are leaking back into the thriving urban habitats where they were born in countless promising ways. These developments are our first baby steps in fashioning a new civics for smart cities. The last chapter of this book lays out the tenets I think can guide us in navigating the decisions we’ll make in the coming decade as we deploy these technologies in our communities.

., 79–80, 111, 260, 265, 269–70 defense industry, 77, 79 de Forest, Lee, 129 de la Peña, Benjamin, 174 Deng Xiaoping, 24 “dependable computing,” 299 de Tocqueville, Alexis, 308 Detroit, Mich., 51, 295 Digital Cellular Radio (Calhoun), 52 digital divide, 189–93 issues of access and agency in, 190–91 digital identity, biometrics in, 310 Digital Media City, 28 digital networks, 7, 53 sharing economies in, 16 to transform cities with, 7–9 digital technology: for democratizing cities, 9–10 in design of smart leisure facility, 22 as solution to urban problems, 8 urbanization intersection with, 4, 6–7 digital video camera, 115 Division of Vital Statistics, U.S., 59 DIYcity.org, 155–59, 164–65, 202 Challenges for, 156–58 DIYtraffic, 157 Dodgeball, 121–26, 134, 146, 233 Dominican Republic, 176–77 Donteat.at, 150 dontflush.me, 139–40 doomsday scenarios, 276–81 Doppler radar, 68 Downtown Alliance (Manhattan), 132–33 Dreadnought, 21 Dr.


pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

As post-war national labour regimes, established after intense political struggles to protect workers and their families from market pressures, are being subverted by international competition, labour markets in leading capitalist countries are changing to precarious employment, zero hours jobs, freelancing and standby work, not just in small local but also and often in large global firms. An extreme case in point is Uber, a giant of the so-called ‘sharing economy’, which with the help of new communication technologies functions almost entirely without a workforce of its own. In the United States alone, more than 160,000 people depend on Uber for their livelihood, only 4,000 of whom are regular employees.37 For the rest, employment risks are being privatized and individualized, and life and work become inseparably fused. At the same time, labour-aristocratic middle-class families, striving to meet ever more demanding career and consumption obligations, depend on an underpaid labour force of domestic servants, in particular childminders, who typically are immigrants, mostly female.

See also indebtedness as apocalyptic horseman of contemporary capitalism, 18 cause of growing level of, 114, 116 as convenient functional equivalent of inflation, 82 devaluation of, 82 explosion of (1980s), 16 increase in, 53 kinds of, 124 plundering of as systemic disorder, 68–9 replacement of with private debt, 84, 85 rise of, 82–3 sales of to sovereign investors, 117 public domain, plundering of, 28, 65, 68, 69 public goods, 107, 140 ‘Public Goods and Private Status’ (Monsen and Downs), 95 public infrastructure, 6, 15, 115 Public Interest (journal), 95f public-sector reforms, 106 public services, 49, 53, 60, 89, 104, 119, 124, 130, 132, 141, 186, 193, 228 public sociology, 237, 241, 245–9, 250, 251 public spending, relation of tax revenue to, 116, 135 public sphere, as marketized, 103–5 Puma, 101 Pumpkapitalismus (capitalism on tick), 149 Q quantitative easing, 19, 51, 57, 72 R Rathenau, Walther, 242 Reagan, Ronald, 79, 81, 83 real estate, expectation of open-ended increase in value of, 84 regional peculiarities, in European currency issues, 172–3 regulatory law/regulation, 58, 62, 70, 138, 183, 186, 189, 193, 196, 207, 232, 233 resilience, use of term, 38, 39–40 resource shortages, 6 Ricardo, David, 3 Riesman, David, 210 robot owners, capitalist class of, 10 Rubin, Robert, 31 Rupert, Murdoch, 104 S Sachzwang, 22 Sachzwänge, 146 Sarrazin, Thilo, 238–9 Sattelzeit, 249 sauve qui peut, 41 Schattschneider, Elmer Eric, 170 Schmitt, Carl, 151–63 Schumpeter, Joseph A., 3, 57, 115, 201, 204, 232, 245 self-destruction, escapes that have hitherto saved capitalism from, 10 Sen, Amartya, 149 Sennett, Richard, 27 sequential displacements, 89–90 sharing economy, 26 shopping, 42, 44–5 Simmel, Georg, 102, 249 single currency system (Europe), 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 180, 181, 182, 183 Single Market, 157, 161 Smelser, Nail, 166 Smith, Adam, 1, 165, 166, 169, 201, 204 social assistance/entitlements, 8, 75, 82, 89, 119, 135, 137, 215 social change, 208 social character, 38 social-conflict management, 83 social-democratic capitalism, 4 social division, 149–50 social entropy, 13, 39, 43 social integration, 14, 15, 38, 41, 45, 46, 58, 91, 102, 168, 212, 218, 242, 246 socialism, 11, 60 social justice, 75–6, 213–14 social life, 14, 35, 40, 41, 45, 46, 77, 100, 103, 202, 205, 208, 209, 216, 218, 221, 229, 235, 237, 248, 249 social market economy, 186, 227 social media, 41, 45, 103 social protection, 190, 207, 215 social regulation, 207, 233 social solidarity, 63, 107 social structure, 28, 38, 77, 102, 188, 208, 245 sociation, by consumption, 100–3 society lite, 13, 38 sociology.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

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3D printing, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Occupy movement, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

In 2007 he started working within the company on mobility solutions and urban transport options beyond cars. “The idea that we are going to create a middle class in BRIC economies doesn’t make sense. Not everyone wants or should have 2.2 cars.” In the future, Berdish imagines a world where cars are more of a shared resource and more functional. “Cars will have to be more stripped down. In a sharing economy or mega-city, you don’t need satellite radio and fancy navigation systems; you just need cars to serve a function.” Berdish helped develop mobility solutions at Ford, which meant showing the company the value of business models built around car sharing and mass urban transport options like rail, metro, buses, and bicycles. He encountered a lot of frustration, as the focus of the company was still on cars and trucks, but his vice president at the time offered support.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, 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, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

“Gross Domestic Product by Selected Industries and State: 2009.” Gross Domestic Product (GDP). N.p., 2009. Web. 6. “The 2011 Statistical Abstract.” Gross Domestic Product (GDP). United States Census Bureau, 2011. Web. 7. “The 2012 Statistical Abstract.” Gross Domestic Product (GDP). United States Census Bureau, 2012. Web. 8. Sutton, Mark. “Social Media Revenue to Reach $16.9bn.” Http://www.itp.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2013. 9. “The Rise of the Sharing Economy.” The Economist. 9 Mar. 2013. N.p. Web. 10. Larsen, Janet. “Plan B Updates.” Earth Policy Institute. N.p., 25 Apr. 2013. Web. 11. Frier, Sarah. “Etsy Tops $1 Billion in 2013 Product Sales on Mobile Lift.” Bloomberg.com. 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 12. “Navigant Research.” Navigant Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 13. “SelectUSA.” The Energy Industry in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2013. Chapter 3: The Ten Drivers of the New Economy 1.


pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day

Warren, Elizabeth and Amelia Warren Tyagi. 2003. The Two-Income Trap. New York: Basic Books. Weeden, Kim A. 2002. “Why Do Some Occupations Pay More Than Others? Social Closure and Earnings Inequality in the United States.” American Journal of Sociology 108: 55–101. Weidenbaum, Murray L. et al. 1980. “On Saving the Kingdom.” Regulation, November-December: 14–35. Weitzman, Martin L. 1984. The Share Economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Weller, Christian. 2012. “Unburdening America’s Middle Class.” Challenge, January-February: 23–52. Western, Bruce. 2006. Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Western, Bruce. 2012. “Crime and Punishment.” Boston Review, March-April: 5–6. Western, Bruce, Dierdre Bloome, Benjamin Sosnaud, and Laura Tach. 2012. “Economic Insecurity and Social Stratification.”


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

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3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, 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, Wave and Pay

Not all interactions are created equal. Some are riskier than others. Participating on Twitter does not involve much risk for either side, but participating on a platform for discovering – and ordering – home-cooked food may have higher associated risks. Depending on the degree of risk involved, the platform may have to invest heavily in offering centralized guarantees and insurance. Most ‘sharing economy’ platforms, like Airbnb and Uber, invest in creating insurance and trust mechanisms to ensure that users are not discouraged from participating. PLATFORM SCALE IMPERATIVE A scaling strategy cannot be restricted simply to acquiring new users and keeping them engaged. A scaling strategy for platforms should involve: 1.Scaling of production 2.Scaling of consumption 3.Strengthening of filters through ongoing data acquisition 4.Scaling social curation 5.Scaling community culture 6.Minimizing interaction risk There are significant management challenges when scaling a network effects platform, which are often underestimated.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Christopher Steiner, $20 per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2009), 141. 38. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129151987 39. Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (New York: HarperBusiness, 2010), xx 40. http://www.fastcompany.com/1747551/sharing-economy 41. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, introduction, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), xvii. 42. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719 9. Big Opportunities 1. Eamon Grennan, “Could This Be It?”, Poetry Magazine, August 1998. 2. Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August (New York: Presidio Press, 1964), 1. 3.


pages: 218 words: 65,422

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A. O. Scott

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barriers to entry, citizen journalism, conceptual framework, death of newspapers, hive mind, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sharing economy, social web, the scientific method

Plenty of excellent movies have languished in semioblivion because of poorly conceived or executed marketing campaigns, and others, good and bad, owe some of their success to the intelligence and intuition of marketing executives. You look skeptical. Q: I’m a little surprised to hear you praising your natural enemies. And isn’t connecting with an audience really the responsibility of the artist? A: That’s the digital-Utopian pipe dream of our time, isn’t it? The sharing economy. “Makers” will peddle their wares in an old-fashioned, artisanal manner, assisted by new technologies. “Just put it out there!”—whatever it is. Your self-published e-book, your Web series, your hand-knit scarves and home-brewed bitters. People will find it. How will they find it, though? How will they know what to do with it? And—this is the most important question—whose interests are being served by this system?


pages: 390 words: 96,624

Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, digital Maoism, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, illegal immigration, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, online collectivism, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks

Since WordPress software is also free, Zola was able to customize it, with help from other members of the global WordPress developer community, adding special technical features that would enable his readers to connect to his site securely, allowing people to leave comments anonymously on his site. WordPress, and the community of bloggers who use it and improve upon it, is just one small part of a much larger phenomenon known as the “sharing economy” or the “digital commons”: an important reason the Internet is so revolutionary and disruptive. A robust digital commons is vital to ensure that the power of citizens on the Internet is not ultimately overcome by the power of corporations and governments. In the early 1800s, when the United States was still a novel political experiment, Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his classic book Democracy in America that the key to functional democracy was a vibrant “civil society.”


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Collective legal, financial, infrastructural, transport and communications services, along with access to a common labour pool and supportive civil administration, can also provide lower costs for all capitalists in a given locale up until the point where congestion costs escalate to offset the benefits. In the early stages of capitalism the rise of the industrial city epitomised such agglomeration economies in action. In more recent times much has been made of the rise of ‘Marshallian’ industrial production districts like Silicon Valley or the ‘Third Italy’ centred around Bologna, where many small firms have come together to share economies of production and marketing. In the financial world today, having legal, accounting, tax advice, information, media and other activities alongside the core financial functions produces the typical profile of the great financial centres such as the City of London and Wall Street. Very early on, capitalist enterprises also drew on a vast network of spatially disparate market connections. Commodities like wool, cotton, exotic dyes, timber and leather often came from far away and, while most wage goods that supported the daily lives of labourers in the past came from close by, salt, spices, sugar, tea, coffee, cacao, wine, resins, dried cod, as well as wheat, rice, rye and barley were often traded over very long distances thanks to the activities of the merchants.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self-managed spaces have proliferated, barely noticed by the economics profession, and often as a direct result of the shattering of old structures after the 2008 crisis. New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past ten years, which the media has dubbed the ‘sharing economy’. Buzzterms such as the ‘commons’ and ‘peer-production’ are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this means for capitalism itself. I believe it offers an escape route – but only if these micro-level projects are nurtured, promoted and protected by a massive change in what governments do. This must in turn be driven by a change in our thinking about technology, ownership and work itself.


pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt

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4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

Napster decision they were plainly on the wrong side of the law, with no hope of buy-in from the media conglomerates. With their venture capital drying up, many operators in the peer-to-peer space began secretly bundling their supposedly “free” applications with gray-market adware, flooding the desktops of the unsuspecting with pitches for low-credit loan consolidations and penis-enlarging pharmaceuticals. Investors predictably rebelled, as did users, and for a time the file-sharing economy faced a return to the days of the pre-Napster IRC underground. But the underlying potential of peer-to-peer technology was still tremendous, and, even as mainstream capitalists abandoned it, the more idiosyncratic programming talent stuck around. And that was how an offbeat 25-year-old code warrior at a short-lived peer-to-peer start-up called MojoNation ended up using his spare time at a doomed job to rewrite the rules of Internet architecture.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

From commercial lighting systems and airplane engines to jeans, carpets and cars, the question has become: why buy when you have the option of ‘renting’ a product that is upgradeable, maintained and available on demand? There is increasing innovation towards making cities more liveable and less polluting, with the revamping of transport systems and the built environment and the promotion of the ‘sharing economy’, in which ICT-enabled communication allows citizens to share goods, either through a centralised, fee-paying service, such as a car club, or using direct peer-to-peer exchange for such items as household tools and garden equipment. And lifestyle aspirations are stimulating industries in the areas of personal health and individual fulfilment—from innovations in local food networks to high-tech ICT and bio-science-driven preventive and personalised medicine, and the championing of the ‘collaborative’ and ‘creative’ economies.

Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional

But none of this helps us grasp the imperatives that issue from the systemic drives of capitalism — the imperative of cheapening labor and expanding markets, the imperative of economic growth, the imperative of constant renovations in production (and now in financial instruments) to generate profit, and so forth. Certainly, neoliberalism ushers in a new order of economic reason, a new governing rationality, new modes and venues of commodification, and of course, new features of capitalism C h a r t in g N eo l ib e r a l P o l i t i c a l R at i o n a l i t y   75 and new kinds of capital — from sharing economies to Bitcoin, from derivatives to human capital — but its systematic imperatives cannot be reduced to any of these things. These imperatives can be radically refashioned and reorganized (as financialization itself makes clear), and they are not matters of instinct or of hydraulics, yet they are fundamental life drives no less fierce than those of a living being. To be very clear, my argument is not that there is only one capitalism, that capitalism exists or operates independently of discourse, or that capitalism has unified and unifying logics.


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

For a discussion of a Linux Foundation report that is one source of this figure, see Tom Slee’s blog post, “Linux Grows Up and Gets a Job,” April 19, 2008, http://whimsley.typepad.com/whimsley/2008/04/linux-grows-up.html. 34. Quotes from p. 3 of the introduction to Tapscott and Williams’s wikinomics. The use of social production for less-than-revolutionary ends is also on display in Lawrence Lessig’s often commendable work. In an essay about the benefits of what he calls the “sharing economy,” he describes the tens of thousands of volunteers who “make Microsoft richer by solving its customers’ problems” through a variety of online newsgroups. The riches accrued to Microsoft, though “great,” shouldn’t be shared with the volunteers, Lessig says, because money would be “harmful” to the community by confusing incentives. Lawrence Lessig, “Do You Floss?,” London Review of Books, vol. 27, no. 16 (August 18, 2005): 24–25. 35.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

Like Flickr (Yahoo’s photo-sharing site), Twitter, or Linux, they are part of what Lawrence Lessig, in his book Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, refers to as hybrids—companies that take the shared efforts of many and build communities that help create commercial value. They are not strictly part of a “commercial economy,” as Google, Amazon, and Netflix are, according to Lessig, nor are they strictly part of the not-for-profit “sharing economy,” as Wikipedia and the open-source Linux operating system are. The hybrids, wrote Lessig, are those that combine making money with sharing—as Red Hat did by offering Linux for free but selling consultant services to corporations; as Craigslist does by offering 99 percent of its listings for free; as YouTube does by allowing users to freely share videos; and as community-building sites like Facebook do.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

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Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

In most cases we are irrevocably identified by our names there. When we say something on a political subject we are exposing our views. Others will not necessarily share them. The “gift,” so to speak, is what we do for others when we put our ideas out there and make ourselves vulnerable to criticism, which can easily on Facebook be directed at us under our real names. In Zuckerberg’s view, you are in essence making a gift into this free-sharing economy of ideas if you comment on Facebook about, for example, President Obama’s health-care reform efforts. Think of it as a gift of opinion into the polity, a gift of ideas that may ultimately strengthen the polity. Joining a protest group on Facebook is unlike standing in a crowd and holding up a sign at a protest. It may be easier to do in terms of convenience, but it is a more public commitment.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

Open-source technology and Internet searches give us a little-understood power of working in collective ways. Besides the positives, there’s the disappearance of privacy and the tracking of humans to better control their movements and desires. We’re willingly submitting to unprecedented social connection—a seeming triviality that may extinguish all ideas of solitude and selfhood. Ideas of economics are changing under the guise of robotics and the sharing economy. We’re building new intelligent beings, but we’re building them within ourselves. It’s only artificial now because it’s new. As it becomes dominant, it will simply become intelligence. The machines of AI Island are also what we fear may be ourselves within a few generations. And we hope those machine-driven people feel kinship with us, even down to our loneliness and distance from the world, which is also our wellspring of human creativity.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor

The dilemma suggests that politicians are paralyzed by a fundamental conflict between the environment and the economy that arises from the deeply held, mistaken belief that freedom and regulation are incompatible. Hardin’s paper was remarkable because it offered such a sound rebuttal to the ideas of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, whose collaborator and mentor was David Hume. In 1776 Smith argued in The Wealth of Nations that in a shared economy, an individual, who “intends only his own gain,” was in effect “led by an invisible hand” to promote the greater public interest, since willing buyers and willing sellers will always arrive at a natural price for things, and the highest value and efficiency will be obtained. “Nor is it always the worse for the society that [the individual’s intention to do social good] was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.”2 The argument of the invisible hand was so well made that it has become an axiom of economics: Just get out of the way and let the market work.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

His focus on the links between debt and economic malaise and his analysis of how finance (which is mostly short term) has broken the link between saving and real economy investment (which are nearly always long term) are particularly persuasive. Mason believes that we are at a tipping point in the process of financialization, which has allowed capitalism to grow, like a virus, beyond its useful life span. He thinks that the technology-driven “sharing economy” in which information is freer and capital is less important will empower workers to fight financial capitalists in a new and more powerful way.62 But I’m less optimistic. In my own reporting experience, I’ve found Silicon Valley titans at the heart of the technology revolution to be just as rapacious and arguably even more tribal than many financiers. And as I discussed in chapter 4, the technology industry itself is becoming increasingly financialized.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

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

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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, 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, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, 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, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, 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, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

We can only anticipate what forms of high weirdness will ensue, as the paired computerization of matter-into-monies (i.e., carbon credits trading, where the value of money is itself measured in carbon) and monies-into-virtuality (i.e., the light pulses of high-speed trading) continues to evolve and accelerate.8 New addressing schemes to locate and coordinate instances of value are multiplying, both as generic currency (bitcoin blockchains) and as platforms for brokering things-with-value (various sharing economy schemes). At stake in all this is also the design of the economy of information itself, from the smallest-scale object or gesture to the largest topological frameworks, and interrelations across scales by drawing and managing an orthodox map in the form of an address table.9 What gets to count and to whom, and who profits from merely counting? If one is unaddressed, then one cannot speak or be spoken to, and so in turn, resistance to official addressable geography and its enforcements characterizes so many histories of resistance to authorities wishing to consolidate their power by consolidating ability to nominate space.10 But deep address is not only a mechanism for the capture of what exists and a formalization of its space of juxtaposition; it is also, as conceived, a medium for the creative composition of those relations, positions, and interrelations.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

As an entrepreneur and investor, I am surrounded by people who try to categorize and generalize the factors that make a company successful. . . . Most people forget that innovation (and investing in innovation) is a business of exceptions. “It’s easy to understand why most investors rely on pattern recognition. It starts with a successful company that surprises everyone with a new model. Perhaps it is Uber and on-demand networks, Airbnb and the sharing economy, or Warby Parker and vertically integrated e-commerce. What follows is endless analysis and the mass adoption of a playbook that has already been played. . . . Sure, [those companies] may create a successful derivative, but they won’t change the world. “I try to learn from the past without being inspired by it. My big question is always, ‘What did they try, and why did it work?’ When I hear stories of success and failure, I look for the little things that made a big difference.


pages: 670 words: 194,502

The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials) by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, hiring and firing, index fund, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, merger arbitrage, new economy, passive investing, price stability, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, the market place, transaction costs, tulip mania, VA Linux, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra

That rate of climb was, of course, much greater than for any similar period before 1950. (But in the last decade the rate of advance was much lower—5¼% for the S & P composite index and only the once familiar 3% for the DJIA.) The record of price movements should be supplemented by corresponding figures for earnings and dividends, in order to provide an overall view of what has happened to our share economy over the ten decades. We present a conspectus of this kind in our Table 3-2 (p. 71). It is a good deal to expect from the reader that he study all these figures with care, but for some we hope they will be interesting and instructive. Let us comment on them as follows: The full decade figures smooth out the year-to-year fluctuations and leave a general picture of persistent growth. Only two of the nine decades after the first show a decrease in earnings and average prices (in 1891–1900 and 1931–1940), and no decade after 1900 shows a decrease in average dividends.