TaskRabbit

90 results back to index


pages: 349 words: 98,309

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

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

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

He played the recording for me, and I could hear his female friend’s voice as she prompted him to clarify whether the TaskRabbit employee stated the task needed to be completed, no matter what. In a slight understatement, Jamal described the situation as “problematic.” He explains, “[TaskRabbit is] saying that I should break the law for this person; but at the same time, if I were to get caught, get arrested, it’d be like—who am I working for? And TaskRabbit—here is the problem, because I’m not officially an employee under TaskRabbit’s contract. I mean, if contracts are getting worked via TaskRabbit. So if stuff was to hit the fan, I’m not protected.” In the end, Jamal decided that he wouldn’t mail the medications.

Although the company was not explicit in the reasoning, several TaskRabbits I interviewed mentioned that they thought someone had used a stolen credit card or had otherwise disputed a charge after the fact, leaving TaskRabbit responsible for both the purchase and the cost of the Tasker’s time. Although many TaskRabbits now know not to accept a task that will involve spending more than three hundred dollars out of pocket, these tasks still occur. The TaskRabbit app allows anonymized communication between the Tasker and client and provides TaskRabbit with a written record in case of a dispute. The messaging tool can be used to provide a specific address to the Tasker, to clarify task directions, or even to change the gig after it starts, as Michael, a forty-nine-year-old white male, quickly discovered.


pages: 491 words: 77,650

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

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

On occasion, more exotic transport modes, including boats and helicopters, are also offered: Justia Trademarks, ‘Everyone’s private driver: trademark details’, https://trademarks.justia.com/858/16/everyone-s-private-85816634.html, archived at https://perma.cc/9AEQ-SHNV 9. TaskRabbit Support, ‘Is TaskRabbit in my city?’, https://support.taskrabbit. com/hc/en-us/articles/204411090-Is-TaskRabbit-in-my-city-, archived at https://perma.cc/8RC8-GV5H 10. TaskRabbit Support, ‘The TaskRabbit trust & support fee’, https://support.task- rabbit.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204943200-The-TaskRabbit-Trust-Safety-Fee, archived at https://perma.cc/2EDG-7MHT * * * 144 Notes 11. TaskRabbit Support, ‘Ratings and reviews on the TaskRabbit platform’, https:// support.taskrabbit.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204668060-Ratings-and-Reviews- on-the-TaskRabbit-Platform-, archived at https://perma.cc/FEE8-UN7W 12.

com/business/2017/apr/05/deliveroo-couriers-employees-managers, archived at https://perma.cc/XW66-CAE5; Sarah O’Connor, ‘Deliveroo pedals the new language of the gig economy’, Financial Times (5 April 2017), http://www. ft.com/content/9ad4f936-1a26-11e7-bcac-6d03d067f81f, archived at https:// perma.cc/KY7L-YZ6F * * * 156 Notes 48. TaskRabbit, ‘Featured tasks’, http://www.taskrabbit.com/m/featured, archived at https://perma.cc/RZY2-BGCP (emphasis added). 49. TaskRabbit, ‘Terms of service’, http://www.taskrabbit.com/terms, archived at https://perma.cc/S6ZM-VXUS. The UK equivalent (http://www.taskrabbit. co.uk/terms, archived at https://perma.cc/XTH7-Q8V4) attempts to set up functionally equivalent legal structures. We return to a legal analysis of these terms in Chapter 5. 50.

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


pages: 296 words: 83,254

After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back by Juliet Schor, William Attwood-Charles, Mehmet Cansoy

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, future of work, George Gilder, gig economy, global supply chain, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, mass incarceration, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Post-Keynesian economics, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, wage slave, walking around money, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

That’s an interesting question.” The appeal of personalized exchange came up repeatedly in our data, most often in relation to Airbnb but also on TaskRabbit and even Turo, where personal contact was fairly minimal. Margaret, a TaskRabbit earner, took great satisfaction in the social aspects of the work: “I like to serve but I love people. I don’t just want to do a good job at the end of the day. . . . I like the connection I have with people. . . . It’s very relational for me.” Barb, who was also on TaskRabbit, summed up her view: “Yes, you’re getting paid for it, but it’s also people helping other people where they have a need.”

Gideon, a recent college graduate, and actor and dancer whose career was going relatively well, relied on platform work to supplement his theatrical earnings. He worked about twenty hours a week on Lyft and TaskRabbit and has also put in time on Instacart, which he liked less because the work was “isolated and lonely.” Earlier, he’d worked in food service and at Starbucks, which he also didn’t like: “It was really taking over my life so, I was living to work versus working to live. TaskRabbit feels like I’m working to live.” For Gideon, scheduling flexibility was paramount and app-based work allowed him to go on auditions and to rehearsals. “These other jobs [TaskRabbit, Lyft] are keeping me out of a slave trade service, and it’s giving me that control to really make the work that I want to work and it’s twenty hours at jobs that pay more than most part-time jobs do.”

Ernest started on Uber, but as he saw the wear and tear on his car, he realized that the twenty-five dollars an hour he was grossing was more like fourteen or fifteen after expenses and depreciation. So he joined TaskRabbit, where he said he was “averaging around close to thirty dollars an hour. Easy. At least thirty.” He also figured that the lowest possible wage on TaskRabbit was twenty dollars to twenty-five dollars. “I feel like TaskRabbit is the next level. . . . I think Uber is the easiest one to get into.” The most disadvantaged workers sometimes articulated how bad it is at the bottom, as courier Abigail did near the end of her interview: “That’s in every job where you’re in the bottom of the pyramid of capitalism, a wage slaved worker.”


pages: 265 words: 69,310

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 394 words: 57,287

Unleashed by Anne Morriss, Frances Frei

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

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

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

Robin has been an important collaborator and inspiration to us personally and professionally. She makes us better. 2. David Gelles, “Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit on Being a Black Woman in Silicon Valley,” New York Times, July 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/business/stacy-brown-philpot-taskrabbit-corner-office.html. 3. Dave Lee, “On the Record: TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” BBC News, September 15, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49684677. 4. Reid Hoffman, “Keep Humans in the Equation—with TaskRabbit’s Stacy Brown-Philpot,” Masters of Scale (podcast), October 9, 2019, https://mastersofscale.com/stacy-brown-philpot-keep-humans-in-the-equation-masters-of-scale-podcast/. 5.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

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

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

Communities set up co-ops with a virtual currency: each participant is issued a set of “tokens”; one earns tokens by babysitting, and one spends tokens on getting sitters. By contrast, labor markets like TaskRabbit and Handy have few, if any, gift economy dimensions. On TaskRabbit, prospective providers (called “taskers”) are hired by clients at hourly rates chosen by the taskers, and can choose filters to ensure that they are only matched with jobs that meet their preferences, such as their minimum hourly rate or the times when they are available. TaskRabbit is thus a matching market for labor services. You might make friends with your tasker, but in the same way you’d make friends with your local grocery checkout clerk.

You may be comfortable using Craigslist to hire someone to move a few boxes of books from your home to your office or to paint your kitchen, but as new peer-to-peer services appear, finding services on Craigslist seems increasingly perilous. After all, why hire a cleaner or repairperson on Craigslist when you can hire one who has been background-screened on TaskRabbit or Handy?2 True, the cleaner or repairperson you hire on TaskRabbit may end up having pretty much the same skills as one you could have found on Craigslist. You may be happy or unhappy with either person. But on Craigslist, there are no checks and balances. You could be letting anyone into your home. If you don’t like the job these providers do, you can choose not to hire them again, but there’s nowhere to launch a complaint if something is damaged or stolen.

After all, while they may lose a potential repeat client, they won’t lose future customers. In contrast, if you hire a cleaner or mover on TaskRabbit or Handy, you not only get someone who has been vetted by the platform but, more importantly, if that person does a bad job, you can give him or her a bad rating. Bad performance has consequences—it becomes part of the person’s profile on the platform—and, as I discuss in chapter 8, spawns a new form of Darwinist evolution that is data driven. Similarly, if you’re a provider through TaskRabbit or Handy, you never have to worry about doing a job and not getting paid, since the platform facilitates the transaction.


pages: 309 words: 96,168

Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths From the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs by Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, call centre, chief data officer, clean water, collaborative consumption, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Elon Musk, financial independence, gender pay gap, hockey-stick growth, Internet of things, knowledge economy, late fees, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, polynesian navigation, race to the bottom, remote working, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, two and twenty, Y Combinator, zero day, Zipcar

But there are also plenty of examples of social good as an add-on feature. Tasks for Good, from TaskRabbit, is an example of add-on goodness done right. After improving the company’s relationship with taskers, Stacy Brown-Philpot wanted to bring more of an element of community service into TaskRabbit. When Stacy joined TaskRabbit as CEO, its mission around revolutionizing everyday work really spoke to her. But Stacy gradually saw the possibility for a second purpose: How do we use technology to enable many more middle-class jobs? She began looking closer at how TaskRabbit could be made more accessible to people who don’t have high school degrees or access to expensive technology.

This not only offered the taskers an easy way to get involved in causes they cared about, it also allowed these organizations to access volunteers without having to pay for coordination and administration—the TaskRabbit platform does all of that for them. “We send people to these disaster-relief situations,” says Stacy, “because the extension of what TaskRabbit is about is, yes, we’re helping people to make a meaningful income, but we also aim to impact the community, and that might mean helping people in the community who can’t afford the service at all.” TaskRabbit for Good was a natural progression for TaskRabbit—it took advantage of the company’s existing resources and expertise and then applied that to a related area of need.

In 2016, Stacy became a fellow in the Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellowship program. All fellows were asked to launch a venture designed to increase their impact on society. Stacy’s idea, TaskRabbit for Good, opened up the TaskRabbit platform for people and nonprofits that might not otherwise be able to access it. Along with partnering with community-based organizations to help people in need earn a meaningful income as taskers, TaskRabbit for Good invited their current taskers to volunteer to be matched with regional nonprofits focused on homelessness, job creation, and disaster relief operations who need some extra hours on the weekend or upcoming weeks.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

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

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

Uber, for instance, takes about 20 percent of each fare from UberX, its popular, low-budget offering, along with a $1 safety fee. As with online labor markets, the app serves as the ultimate mediator. No one ever has to meet, which is by design. As one TaskRabbit worker remarked: “That’s part of the strategy of TaskRabbit—to keep us apart from one another. We can’t message each other on the Web site. The only way you get to meet another TaskRabbit is if you post a task, and I think they do this to keep us apart because they don’t want us fixing the process. They don’t want us unionizing.” Nor are sharing economy workers ever truly employed in the sense that most people are used to.

Her most fruitful work has come from people who have allowed her to take their relationship off of TaskRabbit, thereby saving her the 20 percent fee that the platform skims from each transaction. And with TaskRabbit’s rejiggered system shifting the balance of power even more toward employers, it makes sense that Nandini and her fellow workers would try to use the platform only to set up initial introductions. On the platform, she must wait for employers to contact her; off of it, she retains more of her wages and can pitch employers directly. Nandini now spends a lot of her time working for a twenty-nine-year-old man whom she met through TaskRabbit. This man—let’s call him Joe—works in finance, so he has a lot of disposable income but not much free time.

April 9, 2014. mattstoller.tumblr.com/post/82233202309/ubers-algorithmic-monopoly-we-are-not-setting. 242 TaskRabbit worker almost fired: Shontell. “My Nightmare Experience as a TaskRabbit Drone.” 243 Airbnb taxes: Nitasha Tiku. “Airbnb Is Suddenly Begging New York City to Tax Its Hosts $21 Million.” Valleywag, a blog on Gawker. March 28, 2014. valleywag.gawker.com/airbnb-is-suddenly-begging-newyork-city-to-tax-its-hos-1553889167. 244 “we literally stand on the brink”: Tom Slee. “Why the Sharing Economy Isn’t.” 245 Nandini Balial background and TaskRabbit experience: Author interviews with Nandini Balial. July and August 2014. 249 “a human right”: Queena Kim.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

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

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

In the wake of a $10 million funding deal in May 2012 Doshi told VentureBeat, “Mixpanel has been cashflow positive for a while, so we weren’t in a hurry to raise funding.” TaskRabbit The online and mobile marketplace TaskRabbit was launched in 2008 in Boston as “RunMyErrand.” It became TaskRabbit in 2010 to avoid perceived limitations in the word “errand” and to go with a name that was more memorable and fun. At the same time, the base of operations was changed to San Francisco. TaskRabbit is a venue for outsourcing small neighborhood jobs to pre-approved “TaskRabbits” who compete for job listings that describe the required task and give an offered price or ask for bids.

This kind of peer-to-peer sharing involves crafting a perception of trust so users are willing to do business with strangers. Each potential TaskRabbit is given a criminal background check and interviewed via video before they are approved. The site design emphasizes this guarantee, “Find safe, reliable help in your neighborhood” from “20,000+ Background Checked TaskRabbits.” Sign-up is free and requires only an email address and a zip code, a dead simple method taken from the playbook of highly successful buy low-key sites like DropBox. TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque advocates staying in constant update mode to make sure that users are always having the best possible experience with the product.

While users might hire someone to run to the grocery store for them, the job might also be assembling a shelving unit or organizing a closet. The more all-encompassing word “task” was chosen to open up user’s imagination about why and how they might utilize the service. In May 2011, TaskRabbit secured $5 million in financing with 2,000 TaskRabbits proving the concept was workable. Over the course of a year, the service expanded into four more markets: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County and also launched a mobile app. A second round of funding to the tune of $17.8 million in December 2011 allowed the company to focus on their product development, including incorporating a gamified approach.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

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

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

., “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. “Employment Situation News Release,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 3, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.htm. Chapter 15 TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE 1. Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999); Interim Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout (New York Independent System Operator, January 8, 2004), http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hepg/Papers/NYISO.blackout.report.8.Jan.04.pdf. 2.

Peer economy companies satisfy their customers’ requests by crowdsourcing them. Some of the graphs you see in this book, for example, were generated or improved by people we’d never met before. We found them by posting a request for help with the task to TaskRabbit, a company founded by software engineer Leah Busque in 2008. Busque got the idea for TaskRabbit after she ran out of dog food one night and realized that there was no quick and easy way for her to use the Internet to find (and pay) someone willing to pick some up for her.28 That same year, Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk also launched a website that used the Internet and the crowd to better match supply and demand.


pages: 302 words: 73,581

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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

Because that’s indeed what is happening to the Bay Area economy, with some Oakland residents even crowdfunding their own private police force64 and Facebook (of course) being the first US private company to pay for a full-time, privately paid “community safety police officer” on its campus.65 Pishevar probably believes that unions should be Uberized and TaskRabbited, too. But, of course, with freelance Web service platforms like TaskRabbit—which provide such short-term “jobs” as waiting in line to buy a new iPhone on behalf of one of San Francisco’s lazy “meritocrats”—there is no role for unions, no place for anything protecting the rights of the laborer, no collective sense of identity, no dignity of work. TaskRabbit has even managed to offend traditional freelancers, with the executive director of the FreelanceUnion arguing that “the trend of stripping work down to discrete, short-term projects without benefits for workers is troubling.”66 TaskRabbit calls its iPhone service #SkipTheLine.

No matter that much of the business generated at networks like Airbnb is under investigation by US authorities, with many of the fifteen thousand “hosts” in New York not paying tax on their rental income.15 Nor that TaskRabbit’s so-called distributed-workforce model—whose simple goal, according to its CEO, Leah Busque, is to “revolutionize the world’s labor force”16—profits from what Brad Stone calls the “backbreaking” and “soul-draining” nature of low-paying menial labor.17 “This revolutionary work built out of Silicon Valley convenience is not really about technological innovation,” warns the podcaster and writer Sarah Jaffe about the role of labor brokers like TaskRabbit in our increasingly unequal economy. “It’s just the next step in a decades-old trend of fragmenting jobs, isolating workers and driving down wages.”18 And with 7.5 million Americans working in part-time jobs in July 2014 because they didn’t have full-time jobs, Leah Busque’s “revolutionizing” of the world’s workforce is, in truth, a reflection of a new poorly paid class of peer-to-peer project workers, dubbed the “precariat” by the labor economist Guy Standing.19 “With piecemeal gigs easier to obtain than long-term employment,” warns the New York Times’ Natasha Singer, this highly insecure labor model, the dark underbelly of DIY capitalism, is becoming an increasingly important piece of the new networked economy.20 But that’s all beside the point for these self-styled disrupters who, without our permission, are building the distributed capitalist architecture of the early twenty-first century.

If the government shuts down, nothing happens and we all move on, because it just doesn’t matter.” The Battery member and Uber investor Shervin Pishevar expressed this same techno-libertarian fantasy in under 140 characters. “Let’s just TaskRabbit and Uberize the Government,” Pishevar tweeted to his 57,000 followers.63 He might as well have said: Let’s just TaskRabbit and Uberize the economy. Let’s just turn everything into the so-called sharing economy, a hyperefficient and frictionless platform for networked buyers and sellers. Let’s outsource labor so that everyone is paid by the day, by the hour, by the minute.


pages: 237 words: 67,154

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

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

I suggest taking a look if you haven’t recently—partly because it’s hard not to laugh at the fake emotions, but mainly because a similar caricature shows up in how on-demand service platforms market themselves. TaskRabbit, for example, portrays images of smiling helpers cleaning kitchens while women hold babies. Unlike stock photos, however, we meet TaskRabbit in real life. Their marketing may be full of clichés, but on-demand service platforms are also full of opportunities for us to become emotionally invested. Platforms like TaskRabbit leverage our emotional investment to grow their user base. Their user experience is designed to delight us, especially at key moments around transactions.

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

It’s as if the New Deal had never existed. RACE TO THE BOTTOM IN THE FREELANCE SOCIETY Now a new and alarming mash-up of Silicon Valley technology and Wall Street greed is thrusting upon us the latest economic trend: the so-called sharing (or gig) economy. Companies like Uber, Instacart, Upwork, and TaskRabbit allegedly are “liberating workers” to become “independent entrepreneurs” and the “CEOs of their own businesses.” In reality, these workers also are contractors, with little choice but to hire themselves out for ever-smaller jobs (“gigs”) at low wages and with no safety net, while the companies profit.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

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

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

The platforms insist that taskers are not employees but independent contractors, so are not covered by labour laws, entitling them to certain benefits and safeguards, including, in the USA and elsewhere, the right to unionise. Uber goes to great lengths to justify the independent contractor label, describing drivers as part-time ‘driver-partners’ who choose to provide rides using the Uber platform. TaskRabbit’s support centre poses the rhetorical question ‘Do Taskers work for TaskRabbit?’ and gives its answer: ‘No, they do not. Taskers are local entrepreneurs and independent contractors who work for themselves. TaskRabbit simply provides the platform for Clients and Taskers to meet. We vet and background-check all Taskers before allowing them onto the platform to ensure they are professional and reliable individuals.’

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

They also rely mainly on money wages, which are often inadequate, volatile and unpredictable.38 They lack access to rights-based state benefits and are losing civil, cultural, social, economic and political rights, making them supplicants if they need help to survive. The precariat is growing all over the world, accelerated by the likes of Uber, TaskRabbit and Amazon Mechanical Turk discussed in Chapter 6. It is in turmoil, reflected in the confusion over perceived class membership. For instance, more Americans today see themselves as in the lower classes. In 2000, according to Gallup polls, 63 per cent saw themselves as middle-class and 33 per cent as lower-class.


pages: 246 words: 68,392

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

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

Eventually the true independence of the micro-entrepreneurs these businesses relied upon would be challenged in court; workers who felt exploited rather than emancipated by on-demand labor would complicate an otherwise utopian narrative; and what became known as the “gig economy” would attract attention to the ways in which the rest of the economy was unprepared for the future of work. But at the height of “Uber for X,” few people in the startup world batted an eye. As the then-CEO of the odd job–marketplace TaskRabbit put it, the gig economy was on track to “revolutionize the world’s labor force.”12 CHAPTER 2 NO SHIFTS. NO BOSS. NO LIMITS. By the end of 2014, Uber had launched in Paris, Sydney, and London, and its momentum was so strong that Fast Company ran a story headlined “How Uber Conquered the World.”1 The five-year-old startup was launching in a new city nearly every other day.

A Forbes cover story in 2013 explained that the sharing economy and gig economy had created “an economic revolution that is quietly turning millions of people into part-time entrepreneurs.”13 Tech journalists and bloggers, perhaps having spent too much time immersed in the optimism of entrepreneurs, typically went for full-out hype. “Will You Leave Your Job to Join the Sharing Economy?” prompted the tech blog VentureBeat in a 2013 headline.14 The article’s author had met a Lyft driver who also worked for TaskRabbit, a website on which neighbors could hire each other to complete odd jobs. She had also posted her apartment on the peer-to-peer lodging website Airbnb. “The combination of these three things is making her more money than she made working full time,” the article’s author gushed. “Plus, she feels like she’s working for herself without the risk of starting her own company.”

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


pages: 343 words: 91,080

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 472 words: 117,093

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

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

., “Soylent: A Word Processor with a Crowd Inside,” 2010, http://courses.cse.tamu.edu/caverlee/csce438/readings/soylent.pdf. 260 people who identify as designers: Topcoder, “Topcoder Is Different,” accessed February 8, 2017, https://www.topcoder.com/member-onboarding/topcoder-is-different. 261 Kaggle: Kaggle, accessed March 10, 2017, https://www.kaggle.com. 261 officiating at a wedding: JamieV2014, “Task of the Week: Perform My Marriage,” TaskRabbit (blog), March 26, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/03/26/task-of-the-week-perform-my-marriage. 261 delivering ice cream cake: LauraTaskRabbit, “Task of the Week: Deliver Ice Cream Cake to My Grandpa,” TaskRabbit (blog), November 18, 2014, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2014/11/18/task-of-the-week-deliver-ice-cream-cake-to-my-grandpa. 261 waiting in line at the Apple Store: JamieV2014, “We’re First in Line at the Apple Store,” TaskRabbit (blog), September 17, 2012, https://blog.taskrabbit.com/2012/09/17/were-first-in-line-at-the-apple-store. 261 The TV show Veronica Mars: IMDb, s. v.

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

The chances of finding a good fit increase with the number of people who see the request, which explains why platforms for task matching have become so popular. These include 99designs and Behance for graphic design and other creative work, Upwork for information technology and customer service tasks, Care.com for personal services, and TaskRabbit for a wide variety of odd jobs, like officiating at a wedding, delivering ice cream cake to someone’s grandfather, or waiting in line at the Apple Store ahead of a new iPhone release. The insight common to these businesses is that the web and the smartphone brought unprecedented opportunities to better match supply and demand for business services, as we highlighted in this book’s section on bringing together products and platforms (Part 2), and that one way to do this was to put a request in front of as many eyeballs as possible.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

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

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

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

In this highly connected world, “things and entities that accelerate connections are going to be more valuable,” Maples believes.15 This idea is self-evident when you think of core Internet technologies and social networking tools that speed up our personal connections; it is also true of middleman businesses Maples has backed, such as Chegg, Lyft, and TaskRabbit, that speed up connections between buyers and sellers. Perhaps more surprisingly, it is also true of many human middlemen, including venture capitalists like Maples himself: great at spotting high-potential entrepreneurial ideas, effective venture capitalists (VCs) command the space between entrepreneurs and the limited partners (LPs) who entrust VCs with their capital.

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


pages: 324 words: 89,875

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, disintermediation, future of work, gig economy, hockey-stick growth, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, source of truth, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the medium is the message, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

For noncommoditized services platforms, that’s the right way to go. Matching a platform’s design to its type is essential to its success. Platforms that don’t get this right tend to get left behind by the competition. Within services marketplaces, TaskRabbit is a good example. TaskRabbit was one of the first big services marketplaces in the United States. It allows you to hire a “tasker” to do odd jobs, such as cleaning or home repair. However, TaskRabbit acts like a noncommoditized services platform in a commoditized industry. It initially built itself around an auction model, in which users would post tasks to the platform and contractors would seek out and bid on tasks they wanted to complete.

In the new model, a consumer is offered a choice of three different producers with a listing of their hourly prices and experience levels and is able to order services on demand, rather than having to wait for bids to come in. This change was a step in the right direction for TaskRabbit. But the update didn’t get everything right, as it still lacked control over pricing. Commoditized services marketplaces should be responsible for setting prices to ensure its users receive the optimal price. If you look at other commoditized services platforms, such as Handy, Lyft, and Glamsquad (an Applico client), consistent and transparent pricing is a core part of their ability to deliver seamless matching. Because TaskRabbit did a poor job at facilitating its core transaction, the platform has been surpassed by upstart competitors, such as Handy.

Because TaskRabbit did a poor job at facilitating its core transaction, the platform has been surpassed by upstart competitors, such as Handy. Not surprisingly, Handy puts much more structure around pricing and requesting services than TaskRabbit has. The result is a better user experience and a more seamless transaction model that has helped propel the platform to its position as the leading marketplace for in-home services in the United States. To be clear, that a platform’s core transaction is more commoditized doesn’t mean that its business is at a disadvantage. (What we’re talking about is different from the business becoming commoditized, which would be a concern.) Instead, understanding a platform’s commoditization level shapes how its business model should be designed in order to optimize its core transaction.


pages: 229 words: 61,482

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

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

But there are many more people willing to be Uber drivers than taxi drivers, in part because they can control when and how much they work. Similarly, the economic plight of an on-demand worker for a company like TaskRabbit or Postmates is not materially different from that of a low-wage hourly worker in a fast food restaurant or retail store. They both have low wages and no benefits, but workers who wouldn’t dream of applying for a job in a fast food restaurant are willing to work on platforms like TaskRabbit or Postmates partly because they can do so when and how much they wish. The Gig Economy gives low-skill workers the chance to move from bad jobs to better work.

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

TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES: Somehow, when we encounter part-time workers with no benefits at the local fast food drive-through or contract workers in our local taxi, it’s less newsworthy than when we can beckon those same part-time workers and contractors on our phones and ask them to deliver stuff to us or drive us somewhere. Technology platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit that are built on contract labor models and achieve stratospheric valuations are much more compelling clickbait than a story about a regular taxi driver or someone’s personal assistant. It seems like now that it’s a tech story, labor is suddenly interesting. The labor issues raised by the Gig Economy are not at all new.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

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

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

While they are small-bore now, these new app-reliant online co-ops also employ middle-class workers and may put more to work that they have control over in the future. For instance, Stocksy is a successful stock-photo collective that ensures that photographers are paid for their work, and Loconomics, a San Francisco co-op, hopes to compete with the “freelance labor” company TaskRabbit. (When TaskRabbit was purchased by IKEA, I had to wonder whether the ultimate aim was to provide anxious and cheap human workers to help customers assemble their Swedish plywood desks, in a batteries-included scenario.) Stocksy and Loconomics help us imagine new arrangements that could begin to address the many binds in which gig economy workers currently find themselves.

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

But Uber’s publicists are neither Jonathan Swift nor Juvenal. In the symbolic realm where a tech company like Uber dwells, the teacher, like the nurse or the firefighter, is instead traded, with the tap of an app, for “well-meaning” capital. The gig economy’s workers often seem to exist in the abstract, as if TaskRabbit’s workers really were the cartoon bunny on its logo, or Uber drivers were simply a human-shaped extension of the company’s letter U. Today the larger problem of undervalued—and underpaid—teachers is that their years of advanced degrees and hard work are more cherished by companies trying to project legitimacy than by the politicians who have long paid teachers mere lip service.


pages: 240 words: 78,436

Open for Business Harnessing the Power of Platform Ecosystems by Lauren Turner Claire, Laure Claire Reillier, Benoit Reillier

Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, blockchain, carbon footprint, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, distributed ledger, future of work, George Akerlof, independent contractor, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, multi-sided market, Network effects, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, price discrimination, profit motive, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator

Table 1.2 Examples of digital platforms Digital platforms connecting communities of users and producers and enabling them to transact Users Producers eBay, Alibaba Airbnb, Onefinestay Uber, Lyft Turo, Drivy BlaBlaCar, Waze Carpool YouTube, Facebook Buyers of goods Guests Passengers Car renters Passengers Viewers Amex, Visa, Mastercard Upwork, Hired Tinder, Match.com, Happn UberEATS, Deliveroo AngelList, Seedrs TaskRabbit, Stootie Kickstarter, Indiegogo Card owners Businesses Single guys dating Buyers of meals at home Investors in start-ups Buyers of services Buyers of new products Sellers of goods Hosts Taxis Car owners Car drivers Content producers and advertisers Merchants Freelancers Single girls dating Restaurants Start-ups seeking capital Providers of services Providers of new products 6 Introduction to platform businesses Since many platform businesses are digital in nature, we use the term digital platform for businesses digitally connecting members of communities to enable them to transact.

6 Concentrating on getting 108 Platform scaling: reaching critical mass that magical moment right has had a profound impact on both user retention and engagement. The on-boarding process should be designed to enable these ‘magical moments’. On-boarding can often be more complex on the producer side for two reasons. First, the platform may try to apply quality filters on the producers it accepts. For example, TaskRabbit helpers go through a screening process, including interviews, before being able to offer their services on the platform. There is a trade-off between the selectivity level of the platform towards producers and achieving critical mass as soon as possible. The dynamics between the level of openness for producers joining the platform and the joining customer experience can, however, be flexed over time as the platform scales.

This makes it difficult for the platform to capture and share the 148 Platform pricing value created by these interactions. Many platforms suffer from some level of leakage,4 so it needs to be managed carefully, especially if the value capture is done at the transaction stage. This is why some platforms have tried different pricing for first and subsequent transactions between participants. TaskRabbit, a service platform, takes 30% on the first transaction with a producer, and 15% subsequently. Other service platforms, such as Thumbtack, simply monetize the lead/introduction to avoid leakage when participants connect. The more direct the connection between participants, the greater the risk of disintermediation.


pages: 207 words: 59,298

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

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

There are also emerging stories of resistance on other kinds of platforms, many of which face significant barriers to organizing. For example, Juliet Schor6 points out that on TaskRabbit, workers taking customers off-platform ‘is very prevalent’. TaskRabbit allows customers to request location-specific tasks from workers, while charging a 20 per cent fee. Rather than continuing to have their pay docked by TaskRabbit, Schor notes that ‘once the relationship with the client is established, they don’t feel like TaskRabbit should take such a high fee.’ The reliance on independent contractor or self-employed status makes the issue of worker retention difficult for platforms.

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


pages: 116 words: 31,356

Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

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

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

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

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


pages: 506 words: 133,134

The Lonely Century: How Isolation Imperils Our Future by Noreena Hertz

"side hustle", Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Cass Sunstein, centre right, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, independent contractor, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Pepto Bismol, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, rent control, RFID, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Second Machine Age, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Great Good Place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, Wall-E, WeWork, working poor

Yet having been unable to secure a job in environmental science (the subject she had majored in at university), and anxious about her levels of student debt, she explains her decision to rent out her company as a pragmatic one, her emotional labour as just another monetisable string to her bow. When she’s not renting herself out – on average she does so a few times a week – she helps start-ups with their social media postings and offers executive assistant services via TaskRabbit. Before we met up I was pretty nervous, not sure if ‘friend’ was covert speak for sexual partner or even if I’d recognise her from her profile picture. But within minutes I feel reassured that this is friends-without-benefits territory. And over the next few hours, as we wander around downtown Manhattan chatting about #MeToo and her heroine Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and at McNallys about our favourite books, at times I even forget I am paying for Brittany’s company.

Some workers fear that they will result in them having to stay even longer in the office; others that they would feel more anxious trying to keep up with emails during their workday, and some consider this degree of micromanagement disempowering.90 And, of course, the privilege of ‘disconnection’ is yet another benefit unavailable to the growing swathe of gig economy workers – by which I mean those whose employ with companies as various as TaskRabbit or Uber is facilitated via apps or online platforms, and for whom every hour disconnected means an hour with no chance to earn.91 Just as screen-free schools and phone-free nannies epitomise the new digital divide between wealthy and poor children, guaranteeing the ‘right to disconnect’ for employees with stable, high-paying jobs does nothing for the self-employed who are often the ones whose very livelihood is dependent on constant connection.

And just as with the ‘algorithmic pre-hiring assessments’, the opacity of these rating systems means that bias is neither spotted nor challenged. This is especially concerning given the extent to which racial and gender biases impact ratings; for example, black and Asian workers receive lower ratings than Caucasians on freelancer platform Fiverr, whilst on TaskRabbit clients regularly assign black ‘Taskers’ (particularly men) lower scores than non-black workers with similar levels of experience.54 Moreover, ratings’ mechanisms don’t just occlude bias; they risk amplifying it. For it is a known fact that people are prone to anchoring someone’s rating on the published rating already attributed to them.55 What this means is that if you see that someone has a low rating, rather than interrogating why this may be so and committing to make your decision on the actual facts, you’re more likely to simply rate them low yourself.


pages: 285 words: 58,517

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

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

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

Network platforms can help facilitate the creation and exchange of any of the four types: Physical capital: access to physical assets that are related to your products, value proposition, or industry. Examples: Airbnb, Uber Human capital: expertise related to your products, processes, or industry. Examples: TaskRabbit, Apple Developer Network Intellectual capital: feedback on products or services, input on product design, data about themselves, or product usage. Examples: Yelp, TripAdvisor Network capital: word-of-mouth advertising, access to friends and family. Examples: Facebook, LinkedIn The best place to begin is with those networks that already have high affinity for your firm; these members are the most likely to participate in a new network initiative.

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


pages: 323 words: 90,868

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

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

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

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

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: 524 words: 130,909

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, anti-communist, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, borderless world, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, David Graeber, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Extropian, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hockey-stick growth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, QAnon, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technology bubble, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K, yellow journalism

Thiel was concerned: Thiel’s 2009 Cato essay refers to the 1920s as the “last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics,” singling out the “vast increase in welfare beneficiaries,” in addition to women’s suffrage. back up the shift: Danielle Sacks, “How Silicon Valley’s Obsession with Narrative Changed TaskRabbit,” Fast Company, July 17, 2013, https://www.fastcompany.com/3012593/taskrabbit-leah-busque. “America’s leading public intellectual”: Roger Parloff, “Peter Thiel Disagrees with You,” Fortune, September 4, 2014, https://fortune.com/2014/09/04/peter-thiels-contrarian-strategy/. Thiel laughed this off: Jennifer Schuessler, “Still No Flying Cars?

There was Lyft, a ride-hailing app that replaced taxi drivers with regular people driving their own cars. (Lyft developed this idea; Uber would copy it and make it famous.) The Founders Fund portfolio also included Airbnb, a lodging service to let people rent out spare bedrooms or vacation homes; TaskRabbit, where “gig workers” offered to do odd jobs, like laundry and dogwalking; and Postmates, a similar service, except the gig workers delivered you gourmet food instead of putting together your IKEA furniture. Though the apps had a few detractors, the press focused almost exclusively on their promise.

But, of course, Airbnb and Lyft also had implications beyond neighborliness. They were projects designed to reshape labor markets, removing the protections that workers had enjoyed since the New Deal, which was among the worst developments in American political history, as far as Thiel was concerned. Uber and Lyft drivers, TaskRabbit and Postmates workers, and the part-time hoteliers of Airbnb were not employees and couldn’t be by definition. That meant the app companies they worked for—Thiel’s portfolio companies—were under no obligation to provide for their health insurance or retirement or to negotiate with unions that represented them.


Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood by Trixie Mattel, Katya

Lyft, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, trickle-down economics, uber lyft

Having mental illness is like having a short torso or a big forehead—there are ways around it. Here’s my foolproof plan to decluttering: HIRE SOMEONE I grew up extremely poor. I learned how to be very self-sufficient and handle everything on my own. Then in my midtwenties, I became rich and famous and my entire sense of self-sufficiency shifted. TaskRabbit or an out-of-work-actor friend became my personal staffing solution. The advantage here of having a second pair of hands is the blindness. I will fight you to the death for a five-year-old pair of wrongly sized shoes from Primark that I never wear. But if my assistant throws them away and doesn’t tell me, I never realize they’re gone or ever even think of them again.

But if my assistant throws them away and doesn’t tell me, I never realize they’re gone or ever even think of them again. If my husband ever dies prematurely, just remove the body and his belongings from my home—I bet I’d completely forget I was ever married. YELL FROM ANOTHER ROOM If you’re only lightly involved in your own problems, like me, you can let your TaskRabbit or teenage child worker describe items to you vaguely via Skype while you lounge in another part of the house. I pull out my earbuds only long enough to scream, “Keep” or “Toss.” KEEP GOING Sure you’ve eliminated all of your unworn clothes and excess tchotchkes, but why stop there? Pick up every single item in your house with your hands, close your eyes, and think, “Is this something I need to survive?”


pages: 499 words: 144,278

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

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

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

By the mid-2010s, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs started flooding the market with apps designed to optimize nearly every fiddly task of everyday life—offering to do work so you didn’t. There was Washio (a service that dispatched laundry “ninjas” to pick up your dirty clothes), Handy (on-demand apartment neatening), Instacart (to pick up items from the local grocery store), and the endless phalanxes of TaskRabbits (to do basically anything else for you). In terms of pure demography, there’s a deep narcissism at work here. The blizzard of “do stuff for me” apps is what you get when you populate a tech hub—San Francisco—with a plurality of young men just out of college, and give them the tools of optimization and geysers of money for start-ups.

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


pages: 290 words: 72,046

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

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

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

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


pages: 119 words: 36,128

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

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

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


pages: 121 words: 36,908

Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase

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

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

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


pages: 421 words: 110,406

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 316 words: 87,486

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 304 words: 80,143

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

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

Tripping.com competes with Flip-Key, Roomorama, VacayHero, and Wimdu.52 ShareDesk lets you find on-demand workspace in more than four hundred cities.53 A sharing economy service or equivalent exists for just about anything you can think of. That includes sharing people as well. If you want to hire freelance labor for everyday work, TaskRabbit is operating in approximately thirty cities. If you are interested in food delivery, Postmates might be a better alternative. Sundararajan’s book on the sharing economy carries a subtitle, The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism. The implication is that, as more work migrates to the sharing economy, it will be less valuable.

The implication is that, as more work migrates to the sharing economy, it will be less valuable. Part-time workers now perform jobs that once came with salaries, health care, and other benefits. A part-time Uber worker displaces the fleet taxi driver. A skilled union electrician suddenly finds himself doing part-time work via TaskRabbit. A lot more people are going to be working in the gig economy. But perhaps the most significant phenomenon of all is what we would call the hub-and-spoke business model, in which a small, highly compensated core group works for a company that organizes the work of hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of subcontractors.

Loyal, skilled, and committed employees are a great asset. No business can succeed without them. But they are also an expensive burden. Companies have to provide them with health insurance, retirement benefits, vacations, time off for emergencies, and pay them when they come to work, even if there is no work to do. So, in a sense, the Uber and TaskRabbit business models are ideal for employers. The beauty of it is that the free market sets the value of the work done by the non-core employees. Since the company takes a cut of what the contractors make, its fixed costs are very low. WHEN SUCCESS MEANS SMALLER In 1997, Clayton Christensen published one of the most influential business books of all time, The Innovator’s Dilemma.


pages: 322 words: 84,580

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

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

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

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

See also economics of belonging Social Democratic Party (Germany), 231 social market economy: challenges to contemporary, 12–13; failures of, 9–10; in Germany, 60; policies and actions leading to creation of, 11–13; postwar accomplishments of, 8–9; principles of, 5; promise of, 8, 9; restoration of, 10; significance of, for political health of the nation, 7–8, 10, 12–16 soft skills, 33–34 Solow, Robert, 55–56 Soros, George, 89 Soviet Union, 6 Spain, 59, 150, 172, 175, 270n6 Springsteen, Bruce, 35 Starbucks, 181 structural change, mismanagement of, 55–62, 67 Subramanian, Arvind, 79–80 subsidies, 196–97 sudden stop, in money flows, 218 Summers, Lawrence, 66, 145 Sweden: economic change as trigger for populism in, 42–44, 47; egalitarianism and prosperity in, 99–100; job mobility in, 107–8; job training programmes in, 109; manufacturing technology in, 79 Sweden Democrat party, 43–45, 47 swing voters, 16 Switzerland: negative interest rates in, 164; net wealth taxes in, 172, 175, 177, 261n6, 263n12 “Take Back Control,” 8, 111, 221 TaskRabbit, 124, 128 tax avoidance, 179–81, 218–19 taxe GAFA (French tax), 180 tax policy, 168–87; carbon tax, 183–87; corporate taxes, 178–83, 218–19; harms inflicted on the vulnerable by, 168–69; income inequality arising from, 56–57, 169, 171; loopholes in, 175; net wealth taxes, 172–78; progressive taxes, 171; Trump’s, 179, 264n18.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

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

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

As we’ll discuss in Chapter 5, they have some fundamental differences from the twentieth-century organizations with which they compete. Might networks and technology platforms provide a new form of organization that trumps old corporate forms, replacing them with something even more powerful? On Demand. It’s easy to put a platform like TaskRabbit, whose app allows consumers to hire occasional labor such as movers, house cleaners, or gardeners at the touch of a button, into the same map as Uber and Lyft. Even Upwork, which lets you tap into a global marketplace of professional programmers, designers, and other skilled workers for short-term “gigs,” is a clear fit.

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

Once you realize this, you understand the potentially damaging effect of current labor regulations not just for new Silicon Valley companies but also for their workers. Turn on-demand workers from 1099 contractors into W2 employees, and the most likely outcome is that the workers go from having the opportunity to work as much as they like for a platform like Uber or TaskRabbit to one in which they are kept from working more than 29 hours a week. This was in fact exactly what happened when Instacart converted some of its on-demand workers to employees. They became part-time employees. (Even before the advent of computerized shift-scheduling software, companies played shell games with employee pay and benefits.


pages: 614 words: 168,545

Rentier Capitalism: Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It? by Brett Christophers

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collective bargaining, congestion charging, corporate governance, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Etonian, European colonialism, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, G4S, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, haute couture, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, light touch regulation, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, Piper Alpha, precariat, price discrimination, price mechanism, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, risk free rate, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, software patent, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, wage slave, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, yield curve, you are the product

Arguably the most meaningful and useful way to categorize these rentiers is according to the nature of the trade that their particular platforms serve to intermediate: What is it that is bought and sold through the platform? The answer typically takes one of four generic forms (see Table 4.1). Table 4.1 Platform rentiers by type Category of Platform rentier Examples of rentiers active in the UK Labour platforms •Deliveroo (food delivery) •TaskRabbit (household services) •Uber (private car transportation) •Upwork (professional freelancing) Capital platforms •Airbnb (short-term rental accommodation) •Turo (rental of private vehicles) Commodity platforms •ebay (online marketplace) •Intu Properties (shopping centres) •London Stock Exchange Group (financial exchanges) •Flutter Entertainment (peer-to-peer betting) Attention platforms •Facebook (social media) •Google (search engine) •Moneysupermarket.com (price comparison) •Rightmove (real estate portal) Source: Author First, there are platforms through which what is bought and sold is primarily human labour-power.

Crystallizing what is often referred to as the ‘gig economy’, these labour platforms enable people or companies to connect to, and secure the paid services of, workers. The main difference between the various platforms operating in this subsector concerns the nature of the work being procured, which ranges from household service work (offered through TaskRabbit) to food delivery (Deliveroo), and from professional freelancing (Upwork) to, perhaps most famously, private car transportation (Uber). Notably, this trade in human labour-power often coexists with trade in the use of capital assets. Uber is a prime example: when an Uber rider procures the services of a driver through the Uber platform, she also thereby procures the use of that driver’s vehicle.

These distinctions can be clarified by considering how the platform owner makes money in each case. What is the revenue model? For the first three of these platform categories, the revenue usually consists of some form of transaction fee – a ‘tax’, if you like, on the value of the trade that occurs through the platform. Uber, for instance, charges a percentage commission on the ride fare; TaskRabbit takes a percentage commission on the value of performed tasks; Airbnb charges a percentage service fee based on the rental amount; Betfair Exchange charges a percentage commission on winning bets – and so on. Sometimes, this variable fee based on transaction value is supplemented by a fixed charge: Deliveroo, for instance, charges a flat fee per delivery in addition to a percentage commission on the value of the food order.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

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

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

No one wants to rebuild a loyal following they have worked hard to acquire and nurture. Reputation Reputation is a form of stored value users can literally take to the bank. On online marketplaces such as eBay, TaskRabbit, Yelp, and Airbnb, people with negative scores are treated very differently from those with good reputations. It can often be the deciding factor in what price a seller gets for an item on eBay, who is selected for a TaskRabbit job, which restaurants appear at the top of Yelp search results, and the price of a room rental on Airbnb. On eBay both buyers and sellers take their reputations very seriously.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

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

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

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

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

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


pages: 332 words: 97,325

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

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

We cook and clean for each other, treat each other like playful siblings, work as hard as you’d expect from a group of Asian immigrants.”9 Shortly after YC concluded, inDinero raised $1.2 million. • “Where is the female Mark Zuckerberg?” asked San Francisco magazine in a cover story that ran in late 2011. “For the first time in startup history,” the article asserted, “girl wonders actually have an edge over the boys.” Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, was featured, and shorter profiles were provided of more than two dozen others, including Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting, and Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus of One Kings Lane. Jessica Mah was included, too. The caption accompanying her picture said, “The stereotype: Only boys launch companies when they’re still in college.

The reality: Girls have dorms, too.”10 The tone of the article, which begins by emphasizing the supposed “edge” that women founders in the Valley enjoy over men, changes markedly near the end, when it suggests women remain as behind men as ever. The author, E. B. Boyd, expresses her dismay as she watches Busque, the founder she’s featured most prominently, step out of the chief executive role at TaskRabbit to make way for a male outsider that the board has hired to take her place. And Busque stepped down cheerfully. The female founders of Gilt Groupe, One Kings Lane, and Silver Tail had all done something similar. Boyd was told that it makes sense to have inexperienced founders step to the side and learn from a more experienced executive.

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


pages: 173 words: 53,564

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

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

Now, it’s a roller coaster,” the journalist Rick Wartzman writes. When unemployed people in urban areas find themselves without jobs or marketable skills today, they do what my grandfather did. Instead of reaching for a pair of barber shears, they reach for their smartphones and register to become Lyft drivers and Postmates delivery people. TaskRabbiters pitch in to assemble furniture, rake leaves, or even stand in line to buy theater tickets or a newly released iPhone. In some cases, these contract jobs are a godsend because they help workers who only get part-time hours elsewhere to supplement their income, as laborers have done since the beginning of time.

We often think of millennials in these jobs, the masters of the art of the “side hustle,” but the numbers show it isn’t just millennials doing contingent work. A quarter of the working-age population in the United States and Europe engage in some type of independently paid gig, some by choice, but many out of necessity. People who find work through apps like Lyft and TaskRabbit get a lot of attention, but they are the tip of the iceberg. The instability that characterizes their work has spread throughout the economy as the class of low-quality jobs has grown. If you include not only independent gigs, but part-time workers, temps, and on-call workers, the number of people working in contingent jobs balloons to over 40 percent of all American workers.


pages: 215 words: 55,212

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

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

http://www.ideasculture.com Spudaroo: Helps you solicit expert advice on your project. http://www.spudaroo.com Squidoo: Passionate experts share advice and direct seekers to best resources. www.squidoo.com Swapaskill: Swap something you can do for what you need. http://www.swapaskill.com TaskRabbit: Service networking. Users network to get their errands done. http://taskrabbit.com SOCIAL NETWORKING The newest wave of information technology enables Mesh businesses to unite people with common interests through social networks. Members of these online platforms can engage in conversation, exchange information, share photos, and form special-interest groups.


pages: 408 words: 108,985

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

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

So too, working conditions have, in many places, deteriorated. Workers are contracted without any certainty about the hours they will work, the income they will receive, or whether they will be pushed to work overtime without additional compensation. Moreover, online platforms for workers to sell their services, such as Uber or TaskRabbit, fragment the labor force and mute their voices. Chapter 9 discusses the key issue of the weakening of worker bargaining power. In this chapter, we focus on the market power of firms over their customers. We see it everywhere in the limited choices individuals have. One example is the vital information technology sector.

In some cases, firms like Uber have tried to take advantage of legalistic arguments by claiming that their workers are independent contractors—even as the company controls many details of what they do. In some countries, courts have ruled against these obvious ruses. Box 9.1: The Gig Economy in Europe, Its Problems, and Possible Solutions Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit are examples of internet-based companies that connect clients with service providers (mini-cab drivers, owners of accommodation, and domestic work, respectively) through easy-to-use mobile apps. They often operate in a legal vacuum. While owners and shareholders reap large profits from low labor costs, workers–contractors pay for fuel, maintenance, insurance, and other direct costs.

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


pages: 363 words: 109,077

The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People - and the Fight for Our Future by Alec Ross

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, clean water, collective bargaining, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, dumpster diving, employer provided health coverage, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mortgage tax deduction, natural language processing, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, open economy, Parag Khanna, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steven Levy, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor

Contract workers can be found everywhere. They include nearly all the baggage handlers and skycaps at airports, about one in three construction workers, and more than half the employees at Google. Others work in the platform economy, earning money through digital platforms like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, TaskRabbit, and Instacart. We will call these various forms of independent employment gig work. Gig work comes in many different forms, which makes it difficult to measure the exact number of gig workers. The US Department of Labor reports that approximately 10 percent of American workers rely on an “alternative work arrangement” as their primary job, while the Federal Reserve estimates 30 percent of US workers participate in some form of gig work.

The US Department of Labor reports that approximately 10 percent of American workers rely on an “alternative work arrangement” as their primary job, while the Federal Reserve estimates 30 percent of US workers participate in some form of gig work. When people talk about independent employment, they usually jump straight to the on-demand labor force enabled by companies like Uber, Lyft, Postmates, TaskRabbit, and Instacart. While this is the most visible form of gig work, less than 2 percent of the US labor force make their living through this “electronically mediated work,” though the number is higher if you count people who use the platforms as a side hustle. Still, this piece of the job market epitomizes the decentralized workforce.

See governmental power Stiglitz, Joseph stock buybacks Stoller, Matt Stone, Oliver strikebreaking strikes Stripe Summers, Larry surveillance China and democracy and regulation of sustainable practices Sweden Swift, Jonathan Switzerland Syria, civil war in T-12 Taibbi, Matt Tang dynasty Tao, Shawna Target TaskRabbit tax avoidance. See also tax evasion; tax havens Angola and cost of developing nations and. See also specific countries fixing the problem United States and Tax Cuts and Jobs Act taxes corporate socialism and formulary apportionment tax avoidance tax evasion tax giveaways tax havens tax laws unitary taxation tax evasion tax giveaways tax havens developing nations and history of the race to the bottom how it works organized crime and Tax Inspectors Without Borders Tax Justice Network tax laws taxpayers, corporate socialism and Teach for America Teamsters technology.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

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

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

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

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


pages: 477 words: 75,408

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

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

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

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


pages: 276 words: 78,094

Design for Hackers: Reverse Engineering Beauty by David Kadavy

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

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


pages: 337 words: 86,320

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

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

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

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


pages: 294 words: 82,438

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

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

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.

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


pages: 282 words: 81,873

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

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

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

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


pages: 252 words: 78,780

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

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

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

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


pages: 309 words: 81,975

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

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

The platforms behind the gig economy like to talk about their movement as the savior of the American worker, empowering otherwise underemployed individuals to be their own bosses and live the entrepreneurial dream. After all, the drivers and laborers who make Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Fiverr, and TaskRabbit work can choose when and where they work with unprecedented control. Realistically, though, many of the workers in the gig economy need money. That’s why they’re side hustling. They’re underemployed or unemployed, and the minimal extra income they earn from these services—85 percent make less than $500 a month—is helping them make ends meet.

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


pages: 292 words: 85,151

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

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

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

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


pages: 328 words: 84,682

The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power by Michael A. Cusumano, Annabelle Gawer, David B. Yoffie

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gig economy, Google Chrome, independent contractor, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Network effects, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, zero-sum game

In the world of lean start-ups, the amount of capital required to develop, produce, and distribute a new product or service, or even a new platform, is a fraction of what it cost ten or twenty years ago. In the gig economy, it has been especially easy to start new transaction platforms like handyman services (e.g., Handy or TaskRabbit). In Chapter 4, we discuss how twenty-nine companies entered on-demand services, even though few survived. Similarly, dozens of companies have entered the market for online communities, web portals, and B2B marketplaces, mostly because the entry costs were relatively low. In markets where barriers to entry are high, we see a different pattern: much more industry concentration, with a higher probability of the market tipping toward one or a small number of firms.

There were 57 million freelancers in the U.S. in 2017; for one-third of these people, freelance activity was their main source of income.33 Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, claimed that this class of workers is growing three times faster than the traditional workforce. One estimate suggests that, if the current trend were to continue, freelancers could represent 50 percent of all U.S. laborers by 2027.34 Platforms such as Uber, Grubhub, TaskRabbit, Upwork, Handy, and Deliveroo classify much of their workforce as independent contractors. The companies justify this practice because the workers tend to perform their jobs as a side activity, with significant flexibility in their hours. In reality, this classification is mostly about saving costs: Industry executives have estimated that classifying workers as employees tends to cost 20 to 30 percent more than classifying them as contractors.35 The classification is therefore critical because many transaction platform start-ups rely on it to avoid high labor costs.


pages: 251 words: 80,831

Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups by Ali Tamaseb

"side hustle", 23andMe, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, business intelligence, buy and hold, Chris Wanstrath, clean water, cloud computing, coronavirus, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, game design, gig economy, high net worth, hiring and firing, index fund, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, late fees, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, QR code, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, robotic process automation, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, web application, WeWork, Y Combinator

At other times, it’s the reverse: the timing is right when prices are inflated. “Expensive cable subscriptions and record albums in part fueled the rise of streaming companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu,” Flint wrote. “High, inflexible costs for contract labor and stagnant wage growth in parts of the economy gave birth to the gig economy and startups like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and DoorDash. And some macroeconomic forces—like the recession—created the sharing economy. It’s no coincidence that Airbnb and Lyft popped up in the years following the financial crisis.”2 For one more example, look to Plaid, a financial technology company that was last valued at over $5 billion.

“Worst-case scenario, I have a Harvard MBA, and that’s not bad either.”1 In its first six months of operation, Stitch Fix hustled its way to $132,000 in revenue. It had no website—the styling business ran on Google Docs, SurveyMonkey, and Excel, since Lake didn’t know how to code. Still, Stitch Fix grew a customer base. The startup used seed funding from Steve Anderson at Baseline Ventures to buy a small amount of inventory. It hired TaskRabbits and interns to manually enter people’s credit card info and process orders. Lake had developed a number of work-arounds to grow the business. She created an Excel model to determine a customer’s personal style, a survey to collect their personal information, and a PayPal link—manually sent to each customer—to receive payment.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

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

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

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


pages: 285 words: 86,853

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

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Conference 1984, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Ian Bogost, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

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

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


pages: 290 words: 87,549

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

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

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

In the more recent crisis around the widespread discriminatory behavior on the Airbnb platform—even bigger in some ways than the EJ crisis—he pulled in outside sources like former attorney general Eric Holder and ACLU veteran Laura Murphy, but he also went to Andreessen Horowitz cofounder Ben Horowitz and his wife, Felicia, as well as to TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot. Those closest to him praise Chesky for his vision. “You take a picture of Brian’s mind, [and] he’s in 2030 or 2040 already,” says Lisa Dubost, one of the company’s first employees, who worked on culture and then moved to the business-travel team before leaving the company in 2016 to move to Europe to be with her family.


pages: 400 words: 88,647

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

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

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

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


pages: 327 words: 90,542

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

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, bond market vigilante , Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, salary depends on his not understanding it, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

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

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


pages: 362 words: 87,462

Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, demand response, Donald Trump, financial independence, Firefox, gig economy, Google Chrome, helicopter parent, impulse control, Jean Tirole, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, meta-analysis, Minecraft, New Journalism, pattern recognition, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Saturday Night Live, selection bias, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, uber lyft, working poor

When taking Upwork’s fees and time spent finding new clients into account, Alex’s transcription job pays much less than minimum wage. But it’s better than nothing, he says, and it allows him to squeeze a few more hours of earning potential out of his day. A lot of us have turned to sites like Upwork, TaskRabbit, Uber, Lyft, Fiverr, or Grubhub in order to make supplementary income. After all, full-time jobs with benefits are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.32 The harder it gets to make a conventional, nine-to-five living, the more people have to fill their weekends, evenings, and other spare moments with moneymaking side hustles like these.

So many of us have been pushed over the edge. Our economy is structured around the hatred of laziness, and it has us working longer and longer hours with each passing year. Many of us don’t know how to walk away from our jobs, whether for a vacation, a sick day, or simply to relax at home at the end of a shift. Apps like Foxtrot, Upwork, TaskRabbit, and Uber beckon us to work even in our spare time and tempt us to set even more strenuous and unsustainable goals. All this intense overcommitment and overwork is ultimately self-defeating and harmful. In truth, a person can only work so much. You Can Work Only So Much Human beings are not robots; we can’t keep churning out consistent results for hours and hours.


pages: 297 words: 88,890

Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, collective bargaining, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, financial independence, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, helicopter parent, Inbox Zero, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, precariat, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Vanguard fund, working poor

This work was framed as particularly suitable for supposedly self-centered, picky, self-righteous millennials; as the gig economy grew in visibility, Forbes declared, “The 9 to 5 job may soon be a relic of the past, if millennials have their way.”21 But that’s not how it worked out. Not for Handy cleaners, or TaskRabbits, or laborers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, who bid to complete menial online tasks (clicking on every photo with a picture of a bird, for example, in order to assist with AI recognition) for pennies. Not for Door Dashers, who until a massive online backlash was using tips to cover their independent contractors’ base pay—meaning that if a Dasher was guaranteed $6.85 per delivery and received a $3 tip, they still received just $6.85; users were essentially tipping DoorDash itself.

It liberated our minds to pursue other endeavors, like work.”4 One result of this drive for productivity is a new hierarchy of labor: On the top end, there are salaried, hyperproductive knowledge workers. Below, there are the people who perform the “mundane” tasks that make that productivity possible: nannies, TaskRabbits, Uber Eats drivers, house cleaners, personal organizers, Trunk Club stylists, Blue Apron packagers, Amazon warehouse workers and drivers, FreshDirect shoppers. Rich people have always had servants. The difference, then, is that those servants made it so that they didn’t have to work—not so that they could work more.


pages: 404 words: 95,163

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

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

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

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


pages: 416 words: 100,130

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

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

Indeed, what is emerging—most visibly among people under thirty (now more than half the world’s population)—is a new expectation: an inalienable right to participate. The YouTube creator with her own robust set of followers approaches the world expecting to be a creator more than a consumer. A person who stitches together a living as a “producer” for TaskRabbit, Lyft, or other on-demand services may become less reliant on, and more skeptical of, traditional economic intermediaries. An employee who gets the thrill of unlimited creativity and immediate validation from her online community can find her mundane daily workplace projects, which her boss rarely comments on, especially unfulfilling.

If you’re a company with a large share of contingent workers (or your business model is dependent on them), the tropes of traditional HR can seem rather quaint. The standard reviews and performance development plans that worked in the old power world don’t make sense for a large, distributed, and contingent workforce. Consider a platform like TaskRabbit, for which the vast majority of workers are contingent. Such businesses rely on an initial layer of what we can think of as algorithmic management; the very design of their platforms allows them to enforce rules and create incentives for desired behavior. Customer rating systems stand in for performance reviews.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

One of them told us that as a Grab car driver, he earned on average four times the monthly salary of his factory days. This experience isn't unique to the Asian archipelago or merely anecdotal. Around the world, designers, drivers, handymen, and many other professionals have found new work opportunities and higher pay thanks to platform companies ranging from Upwork to TaskRabbit and Fiverr and from Didi to Grab or Lyft. In countries such as Serbia, Pakistan, or Ukraine, having the ability to enter a freelance contract with the aid of an online platform has proven a popular alternative to finding work in the traditional employment market. But in many other cases, the emergence of the gig economy has been less kind to workers.

See also specific country Subsidiarity principle, 181–183 Suez Canal, 103, 200 Sustainable Development Goals (UN), 189, 206, 207, 250 Swabia (Germany), 4, 8, 19, 251 Sweden COVID-19 pandemic response by, 220 stakeholder concept adopted in, 174 vote for right-wing populist parties (2000, 2017–2019), 84fig Swiss Federation, 181 Switzerland continued trust in public institutions in, 196 history of direct democracy in, 195 precious stones/metals imported to China through, 64 T Tabula rasa, 237 Taiwan, 59, 98 See also Asian Tigers Tanzania, 70 TaskRabbit (US), 237 Tata Consulting Services (TCS) [India], 68 Tata Steel (India), 141 Taxation French Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) protests over, 86–87 high Danish rate of, 119 OECD's efforts to create fair global tax rules for Internet, 212 San Francisco's Proposition C proposing tax to help the homeless, 212–213 Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics prosperity pillar on, 214, 249 Teacher Corps, 135 Tech Mahindra [India], 68 Technological disruption changing business landscape, 126–129 Dansk Metal's industrial robots, 115, 117 labor market and challenge of automation, 115–126 Singapore job displacement due to, 125–126 steam engine as, 102, 116, 130–131 See also Digital economy Technological revolutions First Industrial Revolution (19th century), 56, 71, 108, 116, 119, 130–134, 135, 161 First Technological Revolution, 45fig–46 Second Industrial Revolution (1945–early 1970s), 8, 18, 45fig, 105–106, 116, 119, 134–136, 204 Third Industrial Revolution, 15, 45, 116, 137–142 Fourth Industrial Revolution, 18, 45, 68, 71, 116, 122, 125, 142–145, 161–162, 177, 186, 201, 208, 212, 213, 237, 239 Technologies artificial intelligence (AI), 143–144, 145, 161 automation, 115–126 China's “maker movement” of tech start-ups, 55 climate change and technological process, 161–162 connective, 177, 225, 227–228 cryptocurrencies, 161 Dansk Metal's industrial robots working with employees, 115 general-purpose technologies (GPTs), 143 Internet and digital connectivity, 225, 227–228, 232 Internet of Things, 18, 72, 161 Kuznets Wave on income inequality fluctuation and, 45fig–46 shaping positive vs. negative applications of, 144–145 Shenzhen (China) known for homegrown tech companies, 55, 57–61 tech unicorns of ASEAN nations, 66, 67fig workers who oppose automation, 115–116 The Technology Trap (Frey), 116, 135 Tech unicorns (ASEAN nations), 66, 67fig Tencent (US), 55, 60, 143 Tesla (US), 201 Tett, Gillian, 216 Thailand economic recession (1997) in, 97–98 predicted economic growth (2020–2021) in, 65–66 rubber exports to China, 64 Thaker, Jagadish, 223 Thatcher, Margaret, 122 Theodul Glacier, 51 Thiel, Peter, 208–209 Third Industrial Revolution, 15, 45, 116, 137–142 Thompson, Nicholas, 128 3D printing, 107, 108, 116 Thunberg, Greta, 52–53, 86, 147–150, 168, 250 ThyssenKrupp, 141 Tik Tok, 61 TIME Magazine, 172 Tindall, Stephen, 221 Tokopedia (Indonesia), 97 Total (France), 95 “Trade in the Digital Era” report (2019) [OECD], 107 Traveloka (Indonesia), 97 Treaty of Versailles (1919), 5–6 Trente Glorieuses, 110 Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity (Rushkoff), 210 Trust loss of trust in public institutions, 196 rebuilding of public trust in business sector, 210–212 Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, 225–226 Tuberculosis sanatorium treatments, 11 Twain, Mark, 133 21st century stakeholder capitalism.


pages: 460 words: 107,454

Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy That Works for Progress, People and Planet by Klaus Schwab, Peter Vanham

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Apple II, Asian financial crisis, Asperger Syndrome, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, cyber-physical system, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google bus, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, precariat, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

One of them told us that as a Grab car driver, he earned on average four times the monthly salary of his factory days. This experience isn't unique to the Asian archipelago or merely anecdotal. Around the world, designers, drivers, handymen, and many other professionals have found new work opportunities and higher pay thanks to platform companies ranging from Upwork to TaskRabbit and Fiverr and from Didi to Grab or Lyft. In countries such as Serbia, Pakistan, or Ukraine, having the ability to enter a freelance contract with the aid of an online platform has proven a popular alternative to finding work in the traditional employment market. But in many other cases, the emergence of the gig economy has been less kind to workers.

See also specific country Subsidiarity principle, 181–183 Suez Canal, 103, 200 Sustainable Development Goals (UN), 189, 206, 207, 250 Swabia (Germany), 4, 8, 19, 251 Sweden COVID-19 pandemic response by, 220 stakeholder concept adopted in, 174 vote for right-wing populist parties (2000, 2017–2019), 84fig Swiss Federation, 181 Switzerland continued trust in public institutions in, 196 history of direct democracy in, 195 precious stones/metals imported to China through, 64 T Tabula rasa, 237 Taiwan, 59, 98 See also Asian Tigers Tanzania, 70 TaskRabbit (US), 237 Tata Consulting Services (TCS) [India], 68 Tata Steel (India), 141 Taxation French Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) protests over, 86–87 high Danish rate of, 119 OECD's efforts to create fair global tax rules for Internet, 212 San Francisco's Proposition C proposing tax to help the homeless, 212–213 Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics prosperity pillar on, 214, 249 Teacher Corps, 135 Tech Mahindra [India], 68 Technological disruption changing business landscape, 126–129 Dansk Metal's industrial robots, 115, 117 labor market and challenge of automation, 115–126 Singapore job displacement due to, 125–126 steam engine as, 102, 116, 130–131 See also Digital economy Technological revolutions First Industrial Revolution (19th century), 56, 71, 108, 116, 119, 130–134, 135, 161 First Technological Revolution, 45fig–46 Second Industrial Revolution (1945–early 1970s), 8, 18, 45fig, 105–106, 116, 119, 134–136, 204 Third Industrial Revolution, 15, 45, 116, 137–142 Fourth Industrial Revolution, 18, 45, 68, 71, 116, 122, 125, 142–145, 161–162, 177, 186, 201, 208, 212, 213, 237, 239 Technologies artificial intelligence (AI), 143–144, 145, 161 automation, 115–126 China's “maker movement” of tech start-ups, 55 climate change and technological process, 161–162 connective, 177, 225, 227–228 cryptocurrencies, 161 Dansk Metal's industrial robots working with employees, 115 general-purpose technologies (GPTs), 143 Internet and digital connectivity, 225, 227–228, 232 Internet of Things, 18, 72, 161 Kuznets Wave on income inequality fluctuation and, 45fig–46 shaping positive vs. negative applications of, 144–145 Shenzhen (China) known for homegrown tech companies, 55, 57–61 tech unicorns of ASEAN nations, 66, 67fig workers who oppose automation, 115–116 The Technology Trap (Frey), 116, 135 Tech unicorns (ASEAN nations), 66, 67fig Tencent (US), 55, 60, 143 Tesla (US), 201 Tett, Gillian, 216 Thailand economic recession (1997) in, 97–98 predicted economic growth (2020–2021) in, 65–66 rubber exports to China, 64 Thaker, Jagadish, 223 Thatcher, Margaret, 122 Theodul Glacier, 51 Thiel, Peter, 208–209 Third Industrial Revolution, 15, 45, 116, 137–142 Thompson, Nicholas, 128 3D printing, 107, 108, 116 Thunberg, Greta, 52–53, 86, 147–150, 168, 250 ThyssenKrupp, 141 Tik Tok, 61 TIME Magazine, 172 Tindall, Stephen, 221 Tokopedia (Indonesia), 97 Total (France), 95 “Trade in the Digital Era” report (2019) [OECD], 107 Traveloka (Indonesia), 97 Treaty of Versailles (1919), 5–6 Trente Glorieuses, 110 Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity (Rushkoff), 210 Trust loss of trust in public institutions, 196 rebuilding of public trust in business sector, 210–212 Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, 225–226 Tuberculosis sanatorium treatments, 11 Twain, Mark, 133 21st century stakeholder capitalism.


pages: 425 words: 112,220

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

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

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

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


pages: 354 words: 118,970

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

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

LinkedIn’s official idea of the economic future was that conventional long-term full-time employment would become less and less common, but that would be okay. People would start their own ventures, or move rapidly from job to job, or piece together “portfolio lives” stitched out of pieces of part-time employment they had found through such online networks as Uber and TaskRabbit. Hoffman’s Greylock partner Simon Rothman had coined a term for such people: “uncollared workers.” It was clear that the portion of the workforce whose lives were built this way was growing, but it was too early to tell whether such arrangements would continue to increase until they became the dominant form of work.

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


pages: 484 words: 114,613

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier

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

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

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


pages: 1,172 words: 114,305

New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI by Frank Pasquale

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, decarbonisation, deskilling, digital twin, disinformation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, finite state, Flash crash, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, high net worth, hiring and firing, Ian Bogost, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, Modern Monetary Theory, Money creation, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart cities, smart contracts, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telepresence, telerobotics, The Future of Employment, Therac-25, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing test, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, wage slave, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero day

Based on the success of Khan Academy, enthusiasts breathlessly project that a college education can be had for a fraction of the current tuition costs; just record all the lectures, automate evaluation of students, and invite the world to attend, with grades recorded on a blockchain transcript. Get stuck on a lesson? Just keep interfacing with a keyboard, camera, and perhaps haptic sensors. Or perhaps instant message some reserve army of tutors via digital labor platforms like Mechanical Turk or TaskRabbit.79 Want to prove that you aren’t faking exams? Just let cameras record your every move and keystroke—perhaps your eye movements and facial expressions, too. Beyond the creepiness of such surveillance, there are some obvious incoherencies in this vision. It is far from clear how to replicate the experience of seminars, extracurricular activities, or internships online.

See racism; sexism Stevens, Wallace, 220 Steyerl, Hito, 219 Stiglitz, Joseph, 160 Strategic Defensive Initiative (SDI), 9 student debt, 87, 134–135, 279n58 subsidiarity, 176 substitutive AI / robotics, 6, 31, 52, 55, 123, 172, 200, 202, 206, 211, 221 Sudan, 149 surveillance, 6, 8, 58, 121–123, 135, 159, 166–167; in China, 61, 160, 167; and arms races, 31, 136, 167; in education, 62, 72, 73–77, 83–85; and encryption / decryption, 10; in Europe, 5; and facial recognition, 125, 129; in finance, 135–136; and the military (including drones), 151–154, 164–166, 168; mobile, 15; public health, 11; in the workplace, 131 The Syllabus, 100 Syria, 167 Taiwan, 55, 159, 160, 163–164 Taliban, 160 Tamagotchi, 80 TaskRabbit, 84 tax(es), 10, 27, 53, 193; carbon, 185; and deflation, 26, 188–189; for education, 25, 62, 188; inversions, 228; and military technology, 158; and modern monetary theory, 193–194; policy, revitalizing, 172, 179–183; and the uninsured, 43; and universal basic income, 184 Tay (Microsoft chatbot), 12, 219 Taylor, Charles, 224, 308nn83–84 Taylor, Frederick, 83; and Taylorism, 67, 83, 139 Tcherneva, Pavlina, 186 teaching.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

And if the internet got the trend started, the smartphone helped it take off. The phone became omnipresent. In-built GPS meant that phones always knew where they were – and allowing crowdsourcing platforms to offer up local, highly convenient services. Soon we could order taxis, takeaway food and massages from the comfort of our couches. TaskRabbit, now owned by furniture giant Ikea, will today dispatch someone to help you assemble your new bookcase. Talkspace will help you find a therapist. Wag! will find a walker for your dog. In time, the term ‘crowdsourcing’ – which often referred to unpaid, non-commercial work – gave way to a new term: the ‘gig economy’.

.), 73 linear value chains, 101 LinkedIn, 26, 110, 121, 237, 238 Linkos Group, 197 Linux OS, 242 Lipsey, Richard, 45 lithium-ion batteries, 40, 51 lithium, 170 localism, 11, 166–90, 252, 255 log files, 227 logarithmic scales, 20 logic gates, 18 logistic curve, 25, 30, 51, 52, 69–70 London, England, 180, 181, 183 London Underground, 133–4 looms, 157 Lordstown Strike (1972), 125 Lotus Development Corporation, 99 Luddites, 125, 253 Lufa Farms, 171–2 Luminate, 240 lump of labour fallacy, 139 Lusaka, Zambia, 15 Lyft, 146, 148 machine learning, 31–4, 54, 58, 88, 127, 129, 143 MacKinnon, Rebecca, 223 Maersk, 197, 199, 211 malaria, 253 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown (2014), 199 Malta, 114 Malthus, Thomas, 72–3 malware, 197 Man with the Golden Gun, The (1974 film), 37 manufacturing, 10, 39, 42–4, 46, 166–7, 175–9 additive, 43–4, 46, 48, 88, 166, 169, 175–9 automation and, 130 re-localisation, 175–9 subtractive, 42–3 market saturation, 25–8, 51, 52 market share, 93–6, 111 Marshall, Alfred, 97 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 18, 147, 202, 238 Mastercard, 98 May, Theresa, 183 Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, 189 McCarthy, John, 31 McKinsey, 76, 94 McMaster University, 178 measles, 246 Mechanical Turk, 142–3, 144, 145 media literacy, 211–12 meningitis, 246 Mexico, 202 microorganisms, 42, 46, 69 Microsoft, 16–17, 65, 84–5, 88, 98–9, 100, 105, 108, 122, 221 Bing, 107 cloud computing, 85 data collection, 228 Excel, 99 internet and, 84–5, 100 network effect and, 99 Office software, 98–9, 110, 152 Windows, 85, 98–9 Workplace Productivity scores, 152 Mill, John Stuart, 193 miniaturisation, 34–5 minimum wage, 147, 161 misinformation, 11, 191, 192, 200–204, 209, 212, 217, 225, 247–8 mobile phones, 76, 121 see also smartphones; telecom companies Moderna, 245, 247 Moixa, 174 Mondelez, 197, 211 Mongol Empire (1206–1368), 44 monopolies, 10, 71, 94, 95, 114–24, 218, 255 Monopoly (board game), 82 Montreal, Quebec, 171 mood detection systems, 152 Moore, Gordon, 19, 48 Moore’s Law, 19–22, 26, 28–9, 31, 34, 63, 64, 74 artificial intelligence and, 32, 33–4 Kodak and, 83 price and, 41–2, 51, 68–9 as social fact, 29, 49 superstar companies and, 95 time, relationship with, 48–9 Moravec, Hans, 131 Moravec’s paradox, 131–2 Motorola, 76 Mount Mercy College, Cork, 57 Mozilla Firefox, 242 Mumbai, India, 181 mumps, 246 muskets, 54–5 MySpace, 26–7 Nadella, Satya, 85 Nagorno-Karabakh War (2020), 206–7 napalm, 216 NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), 56 Natanz nuclear site, Iran, 196 National Health Service (NHS), 87 nationalism, 168, 186 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), 191, 213 Netflix, 104, 107, 109, 136, 137, 138, 139, 151, 248 Netherlands, 103 Netscape Communicator, 6 networks, 58–62 network effects, 96–101, 106, 110, 121, 223 neural networks, 32–4 neutral, technology as, 5, 220–21, 254 new wars, 194 New York City, New York, 180, 183 New York Times, 3, 125, 190, 228 New Zealand, 188, 236 Newton, Isaac, 20 Nigeria, 103, 145, 182, 254 Niinistö, Sauli, 212 Nike, 102 nitrogen fertilizers, 35 Nixon, Richard, 25, 114 Nobel Prize, 64, 74, 241 Nokia, 120 non-state actors, 194, 213 North Korea, 198 North Macedonia, 200–201 Norway, 173, 216 NotPetya malware, 197, 199–200, 211, 213 Novell, 98 Noyce, Robert, 19 NSO Group, 214 nuclear weapons, 193, 195–6, 212, 237 Nuremberg Trials (1945–6), 208 O’Reilly, Tim, 107 O’Sullivan, Laura, 57–8, 60 Obama, Barack, 205, 214, 225 Ocado, 137 Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria, 239 Oculus, 117 oDesk, 144 Ofcom, 8 Ofoto, 84 Ogburn, William, 85 oil industry, 172, 250 Houthi drone attacks (2019), 206 OAPEC crisis (1973–4), 37, 258 Shamoon attack (2012), 198 Standard Oil breakup (1911), 93–4 Olduvai, Tanzania, 42 online shopping, 48, 61, 62, 75, 94, 102, 135 open-source software, 242 Openreach, 123 Operation Opera (1981), 195–6, 209 opium, 38 Orange, 121 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 119, 167 Osborne Computer Corporation, 16 Osborne, Michael, 129 Osirak nuclear reactor, Iraq, 195–6, 209 Ostrom, Elinor, 241 Oxford University, 129, 134, 203, 226 pace of change, 3 pagers, 87 Pakistan, 145, 205 palladium, 170 PalmPilot, 173 panopticon, 152 Paris, France, 181, 183 path dependence, 86 PayPal, 98, 110 PC clones, 17 PeerIndex, 8, 201, 237 Pegasus, 214 PeoplePerHour, 144 PepsiCo, 93 Perez, Carlota, 46–7 pernicious polarization, 232 perpetual motion, 95, 106, 107, 182 Petersen, Michael Bang, 75 Phan Thi Kim Phuc, 216–17, 224, 225 pharmaceutical industry, 6, 93, 250 phase transitions, 4 Philippines, 186, 203 Phillips Exeter Academy, 150 phishing scams, 211 Phoenix, Arizona, 134 photolithography, 19 Pigou, Arthur Cecil, 97 Piketty, Thomas, 160 Ping An Good Doctor, 103, 250 Pix Moving, 166, 169, 175 PKK (Partîya Karkerên Kurdistanê), 206 Planet Labs, 69 platforms, 101–3, 219 PlayStation, 86 plough, 157 Polanyi, Michael, 133 polarisation, 231–4 polio, 246 population, 72–3 Portify, 162 Postel, Jon, 55 Postings, Robert, 233 Predator drones, 205, 206 preprints, 59–60 price gouging, 93 price of technology, 22, 68–9 computing, 68–9, 191, 249 cyber-weapons, 191–2 drones, 192 genome sequencing, 41–2, 252 renewable energy, 39–40, 250 printing press, 45 public sphere, 218, 221, 223 Pulitzer Prize, 216 punctuated equilibrium, 87–8 al-Qaeda, 205, 210–11 Qatar, 198 quantum computing, 35 quantum physics, 29 quarantines, 12, 152, 176, 183, 246 R&D (research and development), 67–8, 113, 118 racial bias, 231 racism, 225, 231, 234 radicalisation pathways, 233 radiologists, 126 Raford, Noah, 43 Raz, Ze’ev, 195, 209 RB, 197 re-localisation, 11, 166–90, 253, 255 conflict and, 189, 193, 194, 209 Reagan, Ronald, 64, 163 religion, 6, 82, 83 resilience, 257 reskilling, 159–60 responsibility gap, 209 Restrepo, Pascual, 139 Reuters, 8, 56, 132 revolutions, 87 Ricardo, David, 169–70, 177 rights, 240–41 Rise of the Robots, The (Ford), 125 Rittenhouse, Kyle, 224 Roche, 67 Rockefeller, John, 93 Rohingyas, 224 Rome, ancient, 180 Rose, Carol, 243 Rotterdam, Netherlands, 56 Rule of Law, 82 running shoes, 102, 175–6 Russell, Stuart, 31, 118 Russian Federation, 122 disinformation campaigns, 203 Estonia cyberattacks (2007), 190–91, 200 Finland, relations with, 212 Nagorno-Karabakh War (2020), 206 nuclear weapons, 237 Ukraine cyberattacks (2017), 197, 199–200 US election interference (2016), 217 Yandex, 122 S-curve, 25, 30, 51, 52, 69–70 al-Sahhaf, Muhammad Saeed, 201 Salesforce, 108–9 Saliba, Samer, 184 salt, 114 Samsung, 93, 228 San Francisco, California, 181 Sandel, Michael, 218 Sanders, Bernard, 163 Sandworm, 197, 199–200, 211 Santander, 95 Sasson, Steve, 83 satellites, 56–7, 69 Saturday Night Fever (1977 soundtrack), 72 Saudi Arabia, 108, 178, 198, 203, 206 Schmidt, Eric, 5 Schwarz Gruppe, 67 Second Machine Age, The (Brynjolfsson and McAfee), 129 self-driving vehicles, 78, 134–5, 141 semiconductors, 18–22, 28–9, 48–9, 52, 113, 251 September 11 attacks (2001), 205, 210–11 Shamoon virus, 198 Shanghai, China, 56 Shannon, Claude, 18 Sharp, 16 Shenzhen, Guangdong, 182 shipping containers, 61–2, 63 shopping, 48, 61, 62, 75, 94, 102, 135 Siemens, 196 silicon chips, see chips Silicon Valley, 5, 7, 15, 24, 65, 110, 129, 223 Sinai Peninsula, 195 Sinclair ZX81, 15, 17, 21, 36 Singapore, 56 Singles’ Day, 48 Singularity University, 5 SixDegrees, 26 Skydio R1 drone, 208 smartphones, 22, 26, 46, 47–8, 65, 86, 88, 105, 111, 222 Smith, Adam, 169–70 sneakers, 102, 175–6 Snow, Charles Percy, 7 social credit systems, 230 social media, 26–8 censorship on, 216–17, 224–6, 236 collective bargaining and, 164 data collection on, 228 interoperability, 121, 237–8 market saturation, 25–8 misinformation on, 192, 201–4, 217, 247–8 network effect, 98, 223 polarisation and, 231–4 software as a service, 109 solar power, 37–8, 53, 65, 77, 82, 90, 171, 172, 173, 249, 250, 251 SolarWinds, 200 Solberg, Erna, 216 South Africa, 170 South Korea, 188, 198, 202 Southey, Robert, 80 sovereignty, 185, 199, 214 Soviet Union (1922–91), 185, 190, 194, 212 Spain, 170, 188 Spanish flu pandemic (1918–20), 75 Speedfactory, Ansbach, 176 Spire, 69 Spotify, 69 Sputnik 1 orbit (1957), 64, 83 stagflation, 63 Standard and Poor, 104 Standard Oil, 93–4 standardisation, 54–7, 61, 62 Stanford University, 32, 58 Star Wars franchise, 99 state-sized companies, 11, 67 see also superstar companies states, 82 stirrups, 44 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 208 Stockton, California, 160 strategic snowflakes, 211 stress tests, 237 Stuxnet, 196, 214 Sudan, 183 superstar companies, 10, 11, 67, 94–124, 218–26, 252, 255 blitzscaling, 110 collective bargaining and, 163 horizontal expansion, 111–12, 218 increasing returns to scale, 108–10 innovation and, 117–18 intangible economy, 104–7, 118, 156 interoperability and, 120–22, 237–9 monopolies, 114–24, 218 network effect, 96–101, 121 platform model, 101–3, 219 taxation of, 118–19 vertical expansion, 112–13 workplace cultures, 151 supply chains, 61–2, 166–7, 169, 175, 187, 252 surveillance, 152–3, 158 Surviving AI (Chace), 129 Sutskever, Ilya, 32 synthetic biology, 42, 46, 69, 174, 245, 250 Syria, 186 Taiwan, 181, 212 Talkspace, 144 Tallinn, Estonia, 190 Tang, Audrey, 212 Tanzania, 42, 183 TaskRabbit, 144 Tasmania, Australia, 197 taxation, 10, 63, 96, 118–19 gig economy and, 146 superstar companies and, 118–19 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 150, 152, 153, 154 Tel Aviv, Israel, 181 telecom companies, 122–3 Tencent, 65, 104, 108, 122 territorial sovereignty, 185, 199, 214 Tesco, 67, 93 Tesla, 69, 78, 113 Thailand, 176, 203 Thatcher, Margaret, 64, 163 Thelen, Kathleen, 87 Thiel, Peter, 110–11 3D printing, see additive manufacturing TikTok, 28, 69, 159–60, 219 Tisné, Martin, 240 Tomahawk missiles, 207 Toyota, 95 trade networks, 61–2, 166–7, 169, 175 trade unions, see collective bargaining Trading Places (1983 film), 132 Tragedy of the Commons, The (Hardin), 241 transistors, 18–22, 28–9, 48–9, 52, 113, 251 transparency, 236 Treaty of Westphalia (1648), 199 TRS-80, 16 Trump, Donald, 79, 119, 166, 201, 225, 237 Tufekci, Zeynep, 233 Turing, Alan, 18, 22 Turkey, 102, 176, 186, 198, 202, 206, 231 Tversky, Amos, 74 23andMe, 229–30 Twilio, 151 Twitch, 225 Twitter, 65, 201, 202, 219, 223, 225, 237 two cultures, 7, 8 Uber, 69, 94, 102, 103, 106, 142, 144, 145 Assembly Bill 5 (California, 2019), 148 engineering jobs, 156 London ban (2019), 183, 188 London protest (2016), 153 pay at, 147, 156 satisfaction levels at, 146 Uber BV v Aslam (2021), 148 UiPath, 130 Ukraine, 197, 199 Unilever, 153 Union of Concerned Scientists, 56 unions, see collective bargaining United Arab Emirates, 43, 198, 250 United Autoworkers Union, 162 United Kingdom BBC, 87 Biobank, 242 Brexit (2016–20), 6, 168 collective bargaining in, 163 Covid-19 epidemic (2020–21), 79, 203 DDT in, 253 digital minilateralism, 188 drone technology in, 207 flashing of headlights in, 83 Golden Triangle, 170 Google and, 116 Industrial Revolution (1760–1840), 79–81 Luddite rebellion (1811–16), 125, 253 misinformation in, 203, 204 National Cyber Force, 200 NHS, 87 self-employment in, 148 telecom companies in, 123 Thatcher government (1979–90), 64, 163 United Nations, 87, 88, 188 United States antitrust law in, 114 automation in, 127 Battle of the Overpass (1937), 162 Capitol building storming (2021), 225 China, relations with, 166 Cold War (1947–91), 194, 212, 213 collective bargaining in, 163 Covid-19 epidemic (2020–21), 79, 202–4 Cyber Command, 200, 210 DDT in, 253 drone technology in, 205, 214 economists in, 63 HIPA Act (1996), 230 Kenosha unrest shooting (2020), 224 Lordstown Strike (1972), 125 manufacturing in, 130 misinformation in, 202–4 mobile phones in, 76 nuclear weapons, 237 Obama administration (2009–17), 205, 214 polarisation in, 232 presidential election (2016), 199, 201, 217 presidential election (2020), 202–3 Reagan administration (1981–9), 64, 163 self-employment in, 148 September 11 attacks (2001), 205, 210–11 shipping containers in, 61 shopping in, 48 solar energy research, 37 Standard Oil breakup (1911), 93–4 taxation in, 63, 119 Trump administration (2017–21), 79, 119, 166, 168, 201, 225, 237 Vietnam War (1955–75), 216 War on Terror (2001–), 205 universal basic income (UBI), 160, 189 universal service obligation, 122 University of Cambridge, 127, 188 University of Chicago, 63 University of Colorado, 73 University of Delaware, 55 University of Oxford, 129, 134, 203, 226 University of Southern California, 55 unwritten rules, 82 Uppsala Conflict Data Program, 194 UpWork, 145–6 USB (Universal Serial Bus), 51 Ut, Nick, 216 utility providers, 122–3 vaccines, 12, 202, 211, 245–7 Vail, Theodore, 100 value-free, technology as, 5, 220–21, 254 Veles, North Macedonia, 200–201 Véliz, Carissa, 226 Venezuela, 75 venture capitalists, 117 vertical expansion, 112–13, 116 vertical farms, 171–2, 251 video games, 86 Vietnam, 61, 175, 216 Virological, 245 Visa, 98 VisiCalc, 99 Vodafone, 121 Vogels, Werner, 68 Wag!


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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

As Arun Sundararajan, professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University (NYU), put it in a New York Times column by journalist Farhad Manjoo: “We may end up with a future in which a fraction of the workforce will do a portfolio of things to generate an income – you could be an Uber driver, an Instacart shopper, an Airbnb host and a Taskrabbit”.27 The advantages for companies and particularly fast-growing start-ups in the digital economy are clear. As human cloud platforms classify workers as self-employed, they are – for the moment – free of the requirement to pay minimum wages, employer taxes and social benefits. As explained by Daniel Callaghan, chief executive of MBA & Company in the UK, in a Financial Times article: “You can now get whoever you want, whenever you want, exactly how you want it.


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

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

If you need a ride in a major city, you can pull up the smartphone app for Uber or Lyft and have a car arrive in minutes. It’s amazing to users because they get their first taste of what consumer service in taxis really feels like. It’s luxury at a reasonable price. If your sink is leaking, you can click TaskRabbit. If you need a place to stay, you can count on Airbnb. In Manhattan, you can depend on WunWun to deliver just about anything to your door, from toothpaste to a new desktop computer. If you have a skill and need a job, or need to hire someone, you can go to oDesk or Elance and post a job you can do or a job you need done.


pages: 149 words: 44,375

Slow by Brooke McAlary

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, Lyft, off grid, Parkinson's law, Rana Plaza, sharing economy, TaskRabbit, uber lyft

In her 2012 TED talk, Rachel Botsman spoke of the sharing economy as a way to minimise buying things that have a limited use. Talking of handheld drills, which, on average, are used for a total of 12–13 minutes throughout their entire life, she exclaimed, ‘You need the hole, not the drill!’ Turo, Lyft, TaskRabbit and Airbnb are symbolic of the emergence of mainstream sharing, but there is a much more personal way to share that also taps into one of our most important resources—community. Is there a way you and your family, friends or neighbours could share common resources? Things you don’t use very often, but would probably go out and buy if the need arose?


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

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

The divide between tech’s most talented, and the class who waited tables and served them coffee only grew starker by the day. Fast-rising rents pushed wage earners out of San Francisco, while landlords flipped those former apartments to new, wealthier tenants. The “gig economy” unleashed by companies like Uber, Instacart, TaskRabbit, and DoorDash spurred an entirely new class of workers—the blue-collar techno-laborer. With the rise of Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Snapchat, venture capitalists looked everywhere to fund the next Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, or Evan Spiegel—the newest brilliant mind who sought, in the words of Steve Jobs, to “make a dent in the universe.”

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


pages: 504 words: 129,087

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

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

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

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


pages: 170 words: 49,193

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

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

* For now at least – plenty of robotics companies are working to overcome Moravec’s Paradox, especially as computing power increases. * Uber and Deliveroo are part of an increasingly important sort of industry: the gig economy encompasses companies that monetise everything from borrowing cars (RelayRides), helping with daily tasks (TaskRabbit), lending bikes (Liquid) or money (Lending Club) and selling home Wi-Fi (Fon) or clothes (NeighborGoods). According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, approximately 1.3 million people are already working in the gig economy in the UK this number is predicted to grow substantially in the next few years


pages: 903 words: 235,753

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

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Biosphere 2, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional programming, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kim Stanley Robinson, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

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

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

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


pages: 206 words: 60,587

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

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

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


pages: 209 words: 63,649

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

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

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


pages: 190 words: 62,941

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

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

It is a leader of the so-called gig economy, cleverly marrying its technology with other people’s assets (their cars) as well as their labor, paying them independent-contractor fees but not costlier employee benefits. Such “platform” companies became all the rage as Uber rose to prominence. Airbnb didn’t need to own homes to make a profit renting them. Thumbtack and TaskRabbit are just two companies that matched people looking for project-based work with customers—without having to make any hires themselves. By late 2016 Uber stood at a crossroads. It had raised $17 billion from private investors, reaching a valuation of $69 billion, an unheard-of level for a still-fledgling private company.


pages: 196 words: 61,981

Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside by Xiaowei Wang

4chan, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, cloud computing, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, global pandemic, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, land reform, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer lending, precision agriculture, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, Tragedy of the Commons, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator

Refusing to take an order after it is assigned in the system results in an RMB 100 fine, and being too early for a delivery is a whopping RMB 500 fine. Although the base salary initially seems appealing, the long list of fines creates a precarious existence for the workers. It parallels gig work in the United States—DoorDash drivers and TaskRabbits. In both cases, the larger system, the platform, off-loaded any operating risk to the workers, allowing the platform to shirk responsibility to customers. Through fee structures of bonuses, fines, and competition to be courier of the month, work is gamified, just like in the United States. When I ask the two women how long the structure has been like this, one of them shrugs.


pages: 228 words: 68,315

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

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

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


pages: 317 words: 71,776

Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling

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

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


pages: 579 words: 183,063

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

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

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

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


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

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

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


pages: 301 words: 89,076

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

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

You click on a a button labelled “End Contract”. I am mostly definitely not the only one doing this. In 2017, Upwork had fourteen million users from over 100 nations. It processed more than one billion dollars in freelancer earnings. And Upwork has plenty of competition. There are dozens of start-up competitors like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, Craigslist, Guru, Mechanical Turk, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer.com. This “space,” as they say in the online world, has attracted the attention of the professional network giant LinkedIn. It has 450 million business professionals registered and it is using that base to move into freelance matchmaking with its “ProFinder” services.


pages: 444 words: 84,486

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

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

The residents of Fort Doom were about done with the end of the world and ready to go back to massages, steaks, cocktail bars, squash games, hard work, big profits, arguing on social media, ill-advised sex with interesting strangers, all the comforts of modernity. When they’d left Phoenix, it had been a thriving city, filled with TaskRabbits and 7-Elevens, Ubers and exclusive bespoke suitmakers and couture fashion boutiques. Surely some remnant of all that remained. So he green-lit the mission, and they tuned into the DJs all around the clock, like it was a radio play about a much more interesting apocalypse than the one they were living through.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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

* The internet, it’s often noted, has opened opportunities for people to make money through their own personal initiative, with little investment of capital. They can sell used goods through eBay or crafts through Etsy. They can rent out a spare room through Airbnb or turn their car into a ghost cab with Lyft. They can find odd jobs through TaskRabbit. But while it’s easy to pick up spare change through such modest enterprise, few people are going to be able to earn a middle-class income from the work. The real money goes to the software companies running the online clearinghouses that connect buyer and seller or lessor and lessee—clearinghouses that, being highly automated themselves, need few employees.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

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

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


pages: 302 words: 87,776

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

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

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


pages: 353 words: 91,520

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

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

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


pages: 389 words: 87,758

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

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

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


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

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

The group was a who’s who of Silicon Valley women, from MJ to Ellen Levy at LinkedIn; venture capital partners Kate Mitchell, Maha Ibrahim, Emily Melton, Robin Richards Donohoe, Jesse Draper, Claudia Fan Munce, and Karen Boezi; serial entrepreneurs Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Kim Polese; Laurie Yoler, the tech veteran who had helped start Tesla; Amy Banse of Comcast Ventures; Katie Rodan of Rodan + Fields; Katherine August de-Wilde of First Republic Bank; and Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, among others. The women had MBAs, PhDs, and stellar track records. They were entrepreneurs, investors, and moms. At one of the first meetings, Sonja laughed when a male founder walked into the room, saw all the women, and said, “Whoa!” At another meeting, Sonja refrained from rolling her eyes when a male founder insisted on explaining technical details to his female co-founder.


pages: 336 words: 95,773

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

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

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


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

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

If Castells’s city can be understood as an offline interface that produces urban publics, our digital interfaces have taken over some of the functions of the city. Whether it is finding a date through Tinder, a ride through Uber, a power drill to borrow through Peerby, funders through Kickstarter, or a plumber through Taskrabbit, the network society has been turning into a platform society. To come back to Batty’s insight: computers are now not just tools that automate and optimize existing urban functions such as traffic flows, they have partially taken over essential characteristics of the cityness we find in cities: their functioning as a ‘market place’ and a ‘theatre’.


pages: 332 words: 100,245

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives by Michael A. Heller, James Salzman

23andMe, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, endowment effect, estate planning, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, land tenure, Mason jar, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil rush, planetary scale, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, you are the product, Zipcar

People actually don’t want to spend money, time, and hassle for a one-day rental when they can pick up a thirty-dollar drill at the local hardware store or get same-day delivery from Amazon. And more often than not, people don’t want either the drill or the hole. They want the curtains hung and the IKEA dresser assembled. TaskRabbit figured out it could provide that useful combination, sending you both the drill and the person who would finish the project. There’s no shortage of names for these new markets—“collaborative consumption,” the “gig economy,” the “peer economy.” There has been no end of breathless predictions for where it will lead: “A startling number of young people, it turns out, have begun to question one of the central tenets of American culture: ownership.”


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

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