ride hailing / ride sharing

208 results back to index


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, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

Alison Griswold, “Three US States Have Already Blessed Uber’s Independent Contractor Employment Model,” Quartz, December 10, 2015, https://qz.com/571249/three-us-states-have-already-blessed-ubers-independent-contractor-employment-model/; Lisa Nagele-Piazza, “Florida Legislature Approves Ride-Hailing Driver Bill,” Society for Human Management, www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/florida-legislature-approves-ride-hailing-driver-bill.aspx; Dara Kerr, “Uber and Lyft Messed with Texas—and Won,” CNET, June 20, 2017, www.cnet.com/news/uber-lyft-toyed-with-texas-to-get-their-ride-hailing-way/; Kimberly Reeves, “Uber’s Big Win: Texas Ridesharing Rules Bill Passes through Senate,” Austin Business Journal, May 17, 2017, www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2017/05/17/ubers-big-win-texas-ridesharing-rules-bill-passes.html. 42. Lindsey Hadlock, “Upstate New York Ride-Hailing Drives Gig Economy,” Cornell University Media Relations Office, June 29, 2017, http://mediarelations.cornell.edu/2017/06/29/upstate-new-york-ride-hailing-drives-gig-economy/. 43. Safraz Maredia, “Westchester Would Send Anti-business Message by Opting Out from Ride-Hailing: Uber Official,” lohud, June 25, 2017, www.lohud.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/06/26/westchester-ride-hailing-uber-view/427351001/. 44. Edward T. Walker, “The Uberization of Activism,” New York Times, August 6, 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/08/07/opinion/the-uber-ization-of-activism.html?

Mike Maffie (@maffiemd), a PhD student at Cornell, made a similar observation: “Seems like a clever way to gauge interest in #rideshare union. Track who listens and for how long.” Twitter, March 15, 2017, https://twitter.com/maffiemd/status/841999619697573891. 41. Alison Griswold, “Three US States Have Already Blessed Uber’s Independent Contractor Employment Model,” Quartz, December 10, 2015, https://qz.com/571249/three-us-states-have-already-blessed-ubers-independent-contractor-employment-model/; Lisa Nagele-Piazza, “Florida Legislature Approves Ride-Hailing Driver Bill,” Society for Human Management, www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/florida-legislature-approves-ride-hailing-driver-bill.aspx; Dara Kerr, “Uber and Lyft Messed with Texas—and Won,” CNET, June 20, 2017, www.cnet.com/news/uber-lyft-toyed-with-texas-to-get-their-ride-hailing-way/; Kimberly Reeves, “Uber’s Big Win: Texas Ridesharing Rules Bill Passes through Senate,” Austin Business Journal, May 17, 2017, www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2017/05/17/ubers-big-win-texas-ridesharing-rules-bill-passes.html. 42.

Elizabeth Wissinger, “Glamor Labour in the Age of Kardashian,” Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty 7, no. 2 (December 2016): 141–152, www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/intellect/csfb/2016/00000007/00000002/art00002. 68. International Finance Corporation–World Bank, “Driving toward Equality: Women, Ride-Hailing, and the Sharing Economy,” March 1, 2018, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/856531520948298389/Driving-toward-equality-women-ride-hailing-and-the-sharing-economy. 69. Kaleigh Rogers, “Love in the Time of Ridesharing,” Motherboard, May 27, 2016, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/yp33yg/love-in-the-time-of-ridesharing-uber-lyft-romance-technology. 70. Lobel, “The Law of the Platform”; Calo and Rosenblat, “The Taking Economy.” 71. Tressie McMillan Cottom, “Credentials, Jobs and the New Economy,” Inside Higher Ed, March 2, 2017, www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/03/02/impact-new-economy-profit-colleges-and-their-students-essay. 72.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

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

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

“Patent US6356838—System and Method for Determining an Efficient Transportation Route,” March 12, 2002, http://www.google.com/patents/US6356838. 20. There were other ridesharing companies that preceded Sidecar. Starting in 2010, one San Francisco service, called Homobile, offered transvestite performers and members of the gay community rides and solicited donations as payment. Sunil Paul says he tried the service on a trip to the airport in 2011. 21. “Travis Kalanick of Uber,” This Week in Startups, YouTube video, August 16, 2011, https://youtu.be/550X5OZVk7Y. 22. Tomio Geron, “Ride-Sharing Startups Get California Cease and Desist Letters,” Forbes, October 8, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/10/08/ride-sharing-startups-get-california-cease-and-desist-letters/#767d66027e81. 23. Jeff McDonald and Ricky Young, “State Investigator Lays Out Developing Criminal Case Against Former PUC President,” Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2015, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-watchdog-peevey-20151230-story.html. 24.

Sfcda.com/CPUC, January 11, 2013, http://sfcda.com/CPUC/Lyft_CPUC_SED_IntAGR.pdf. 25. Brian X. Chen, “Uber to Roll Out Ride Sharing in California,” Bits Blog, New York Times, January 31, 2013, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/uber-rideshare/. 26. Travis Kalanick, “@johnzimmer You’ve Got a Lot of Catching Up,” Twitter, March 19, 2013, https://twitter.com/travisk/status/314079323478962176. 27. David Pierson, “Uber Fined $7.6 Million by California Utilities Commission,” Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-uber-puc-20160114-story.html. 28. “Order Instituting Rulemaking on Regulations Relating to Passenger Carriers, Ridesharing, and New Online-Enabled Transportation Services,” Cpuc.ca.gov, September 19, 2013, http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M077/K112/77112285.PDF. 29.

In December, Baidu announced it was making an investment in Uber and that Uber would now run on the more dependable Baidu Maps in China.16 The strategy seemed to work, at first. With Didi and Kuaidi consumed with their merger, Uber started gaining ground on the strength of ridesharing and clawed its way to what it estimated was 30 percent of the Chinese market for on-demand transportation apps. As usual, there was drama. Taxi drivers went on strike in half a dozen cities, including Changchun, Nanjing, and Chengdu.17 The police raided Uber offices in Guangzhou and Chongqing.18 In January 2015, the country’s Ministry of Transport ruled that private car owners were not allowed to use ride-hailing apps for profit. But strangely, Uber and its rivals were allowed to continue to operate. The Chinese government showed little appetite for a total crackdown. It wasn’t going to exterminate a service that promised to address the country’s considerable transportation woes.


pages: 472 words: 80,835

Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

They and car manufacturers may yet take some comfort from a McKinsey report that notes: “However, people aren’t willing to ditch their own vehicles just yet. According to data in the report, two thirds of US drivers still prefer driving their own vehicle to using a ride hailing service and 63 per cent wouldn’t replace their own vehicle with a ridesharing service, even if it were free”.[179] From Car-less to Care-less Self-driving cars will push prices for ride-sharing down to levels that are currently unimaginable. Given that today drivers account for approximately 70% of the cost of Uber or Lyft fares, the advent of self-driving cars could reduce the average ride-sharing fare to well below 50% of current rates. One analyst with ARK Investment Management,[180] is expecting ridesharing firms to drastically lower fares. According to her estimates, the cost for an autonomous taxi would be 35 cents per mile, versus the $2.86 per mile a passenger currently pays in San Francisco, assuming an average gas price of $2.36 per gallon.

Rural dwellers, where the population density doesn’t support ride sharing, will likely still opt for ownership of cars, even if they no longer drive them personally. In Chapter 2, I noted how Millennials, now the largest demographic group in the United States, seem to be more on board with ditching the car. As a result, ride-sharing, car clubs and other alternatives to ownership are already growing fast. Young city-dwellers are turning their backs on owning a costly asset that sits largely unused and loses value the moment it is first driven. Carmakers insist that such consumers are merely deferring buying a vehicle, pointing to the fact that people continue to drive at an older age than they used to. The growth of ride hailing/ridesharing (with or without driverless cars) in place of ownership is a grave concern for car manufacturers.

In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla has said it will operate its own fleet. Tesla owners however won’t be permitted to use their self-driving Tesla to pick up people using a competitive ride-hailing app such as Uber. Rather, they Tesla documentation states they can only do so as part of what is now being called the Tesla Network. Uber "If we are not tied for first, then the person who is in first, or the entity that's in first, then rolls out a ride-sharing network that is far cheaper or far higher-quality than Uber's, then Uber is no longer a thing" Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO[116] San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Uber is also a high-profile member of the race for driverless car technology. It signalled its intent in the space launching a test vehicle on the streets of Pittsburgh, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

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

Up until then he hadn’t been willing to cross the line into extreme ride-sharing. But he was wrong to hesitate. After Kalanick took his first Sidecar, it clicked. There was an enormous potential market in peer-to-peer ride-hailing with everyday drivers. Kalanick needed to build the same thing for Uber. From the sidelines, what Gurley saw struck him like a lightning bolt. Uber wasn’t just fighting for a piece of the taxi and limousine market. It was competing against every mode of transportation in existence. “Could Uber reach a point in terms of price and convenience that it becomes a preferable alternative to owning a car?” Gurley later wrote on his blog. Uber decided to go all in. In a policy paper published to the company’s website, Uber announced that it had created a low-cost option, “UberX,” that allowed for ride-sharing. Uber was going head-to-head with Lyft.

As far as Kalanick was concerned, Google’s egg-shaped, self-driving monstrosity was a work of art. Google, long considered an ally and a partner, seemed to be turning on him. Google’s little car would destroy Uber, and would do it smiling. If Google had a ride-sharing service that didn’t need drivers, they could charge almost nothing, steal all of Uber’s customers, and destroy its business. Brin was being interviewed on stage by the journalist Kara Swisher, who ran the Code Conference. She asked him point blank if Google had plans to ever create a ride-hailing service, like Uber. Kalanick might have hoped to hear Brin deny it. He didn’t. “I think some of these kinds of business questions—how will the service be operated, will we operate it ourselves, will we work with partners—are things that we’ll sort out when it’s closer to being widely deployed,” Brin told Swisher, noncommittal.

“Taking advantage of the taxi strike in NYC is a disgusting example of predatory capitalism and collusion with an overtly fascist administration,” another user wrote, tweeting back at @Bro_Pair. Another person added: “Catch a rideshare to hell.” O’Sullivan was dumbstruck. Celebrities were tweeting him screenshots of themselves deleting Uber. The press started calling him for interviews. He had tapped into a rage shared by more people than he had realized. Most immediately, those who retweeted him expressed anger towards the Trump administration and its discriminatory actions. But deleting Uber went beyond that; it became something people could do, an action they could broadcast as part of their protest, a repudiation of tech culture, of fake news, of Silicon Valley—the industry that many believed duped Americans into electing Trump in the first place. To #deleteUber wasn’t just to remove a ride-hailing app from one’s phone. It was also to give a giant middle finger to greed, to “bro culture,” to Big Tech—to everything the app stood for.


pages: 190 words: 62,941

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

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

The young company associated with the pink grill ornament was Lyft, the first of a new breed of so-called ridesharing companies. (Others included Sidecar in the United States and Hailo in the United Kingdom.) “Ridesharing” was a new and nuanced term of art among tech companies. Only professional drivers sat behind the wheels of taxis—and, at the time, limos operating on the Uber platform. Lyft was different. In fact, it positioned itself as the antithesis of its better-known competitor. If Uber was “Everyone’s Private Driver,” charging a hefty premium over cabs, Lyft represented a friendly neighbor who’d invite you into her front seat, fist-bump you once you sat down, and charge you merely the cost of the “shared” ride plus a “donation” for her trouble. What’s more, that price might well be less than a cab ride. Sharing was a misnomer, given that Lyft’s drivers were out to make a buck every bit as much as Uber’s.

Kuaidi, for example, offered Alibaba’s popular Alipay phone-based payment service as a user benefit. Didi similarly utilized Tencent’s WeChat messaging service to its advantage. Yet both companies focused on the taxi market, leaving Uber unencumbered to pursue its own nontaxi ride-hailing strategy. “When you’re the small guy you can do things the big guy can’t,” said Kalanick, nostalgically evoking his entrepreneurial sensibilities and even sounding a bit wistful, given how big Uber had become in other markets. “We’re so small right now that it’s not going to cost much to get into the game [in China]. Right now we’re doing ridesharing and just figuring out how to make it work.” Uber would remain neither small nor cost-effective in China. And its Chinese competitors proved that they were quite capable of reading international headlines describing Uber’s gains around the world.

That said, it’s easy to get carried away with Uber’s promise—and Uber frequently does. Car ownership hasn’t yet declined in the United States as the result of the advent of ridesharing or for any other reason. According to U.S. Census data, the percentage of households with no vehicles declined from 21.5 percent in 1960 to 9.1 percent in 2010, the year Uber started. It was the same four years later, the last data available. There is similar national data for driver’s licenses: The number ticked up by four million from 2014 to 2015, also according to census data. As well, the Pew Research Center reported in 2016 that while 51 percent of Americans had heard of the concept of ridesharing, just 15 percent had used a service like Uber and Lyft, and another 33 percent were unfamiliar with them altogether. Surveys suggest that Uber has had a meaningful impact on the life of young adults in urban areas but hasn’t yet triggered the kind of societal change it frequently trumpets.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

project=innovative-mobility-carsharing-outlook-summer-2015. 187 Totten, Kristy (2015-07-01) "The Quiet Exit of Downtown Car-Sharing Venture Shift." Las Vegas Weekly. http://lasvegasweekly.com/as-we-see-it/2015/jul/01/shift-downtown-car-sharing-venture-exits-zach-ware/#.VaCICA7q0Qc.twitter 188 Some have tried to change the language, since ridesharing implies carpooling, preferring to call them "ride-hailing" or "ride-sourcing" services, we think the misleading term "ridesharing" is here to stay. 189 How does Lyft (or any other Transportation Network Company) work? From the perspective of the user (1 and 2 are one-time) the following is the sequence: 1. Download the App. 2. Enter the required info 3. Open the App and summon a Ride. 4. Get in the Lyft vehicle when it arrives (the driver will usually call to confirm pickup location/time), it has a small mustache in the window. 5.

Figure 8.2 shows trends on carsharing in North America.186 It is not clear where market saturation is, and whether the dip in 2015 is just a data issue or indicative that perhaps ridesharing is stealing some carsharing thunder. Notably carsharing company Shift shuttered in Las Vegas in mid-2015.187  Sharing Rides If carsharing was a warm and fuzzy name for modern car rental services, 'ridesharing' is a warmer and fuzzier name for modern taxi services.188 The terminology for this service is still in flux, sometimes the terms ‘ridehailing' or 'ridesourcing' are used rather than ‘ridesharing' to cool and de-fuzzify it. You might have thought ridesharing was the same as carpooling. And it is, if you think of modern ridesharing drivers as your friends giving you a lift (or in the name of one company a Lyft), not for money, but for a voluntary donation or paying for half the costs, like the carpooling service and app Carma enables.

Re/Code. http://recode.net/2015/07/18/how-didi-kuaidi-plans-to-destroy-uber-in-china/ 193 A longer discussion of our skepticism is here: Levinson (2014-12-01) "It is a Small Market After All" Transportationist blog. http://transportationist.org/2014/12/01/its-a-small-market-after-all-es-gibt-einen-kleinen-markt-uber-alles/ 194 French, Sally (2015-07-01) "An 8-year-old's take on 'Uber for kids'" MarketWatch https://secure.marketwatch.com/story/an-8-year-olds-take-on-uber-for-kids-2015-07-01 195 Zimmerman, Eilene (2016-04-13) "Ride-Hailing Start-Ups Compete in ‘Uber for Children’ Niche” New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/business/smallbusiness/ride-sharing-start-ups-compete-in-uber-for-children-niche.html 196 Hatmaker, Taylor (2014-09-08) "Taxi service by women for women launching in New York." The Daily Dot. http://www.dailydot.com/business/sherides-shetaxis-uber-women-nyc/ 197 Apparently Based on this NPR story (2013-10-24) In Most Every European Country Bikes are Outselling Cars http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/10/24/240493422/in-most-every-european-country-bikes-are-outselling-cars 198 We use the term "bike" to mean the traditional human-powered "bicycle," unless otherwise noted as in e-bike or motor-bike. 199 National Bike Dealers Association (2012) Industry Overview http://nbda.com/articles/industry-overview-2012-pg34.htm 200 ACS numbers are undoubtedly an under-report of bike travel, but the number remains small.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

This is a trend that has earned the label “Chuhai,” which is actually a canned alcoholic drink from Japan but is also a Chinese term being used to describe the phenomenon of Chinese entrepreneurs targeting emerging markets outside of China as the mobile internet market at home reaches saturation.10 China has plowed more than two-thirds of its overseas tech investment in recent years to Asia.11 Led by China’s three leading tech titans, big sums of money are going into in e-commerce, search, and ride-hailing startups in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. These regional deals closely parallel their power base in China and investments in Chinese startups. The potential is huge: Asian startups typically lag China in development by at least five years. The gap creates a good opportunity for Chinese investors to profit from investing in next-generation tech stars in Asia, a topic I wrote about in my forward-looking book Startup Asia.12 China is reaping the bonus of an early start in Southeast Asia and is making American companies seem slow and clumsy. Take what’s happened with Uber. After Uber was overtaken by local Chinese rival Didi in 2016, the American ride-hailing leader then sold out to its chief Asian competitor, Grab, Southeast Asia’s dominant ride-share company.

The privately held startup, funded by Tencent, Alibaba, and even Apple, is perhaps best known to those outside of China as the company that won the competition with Uber in China in a fierce three-year battle that ended in 2016 when Uber sold out to its China rival. By absorbing Uber and its main Chinese rival, Kuaidi, Didi climbed to the top of the ride-hailing heap with a dominant share of China’s large $23 billion ride share market, which is projected to nearly triple by 2020.1 On the downside, Didi has recently undergone layoffs of 15 percent of its workforce in China’s economic slowdown, faced closer government scrutiny over safety issues, and failed to turn a profit since starting in 2012. An IPO that was anticipated a few years ago has been put on hold. A transition to new technologies and rival entries from Tencent and Alibaba require Didi to invest more and more to stay even.

CHAPTER 7 ________________ A SHARED ECONOMY The fad in China’s booming sharing economy for hitching a ride has been very bumpy for bike-sharing startup Ofo, but ride-hailing leader Didi has had a good run in beating Uber. Now shared umbrellas, mobile chargers, and even takeout kitchens are here. An hour’s ride from Beijing’s Forbidden City to the high-tech zone Zhongguancun in the northwest of this sprawling megalopolis is the modern headquarters of Didi Chuxing, China’s ride-hailing service, which ranks among the most valuable venture-backed startups worldwide. You know you’ve arrived by the colorful Didi taxi sculpture parked out front. Didi is positioned in China’s sharing economy sector, the nation’s leader in the world’s largest ride-hailing market, worth $30 billion. The privately held startup, funded by Tencent, Alibaba, and even Apple, is perhaps best known to those outside of China as the company that won the competition with Uber in China in a fierce three-year battle that ended in 2016 when Uber sold out to its China rival.


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, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

On the Move with Uber There is one sector of the Sharing Economy that is bigger than ­accommodation, and that’s transit, and specifically ridesharing. Just as Airbnb dominates the accommodation market, so Uber dominates ridesharing, but Uber did not create its market in the way Airbnb did. The story of ridesharing is of a set of companies learning from and competing with each other until one emerged victorious. But before ridesharing came carsharing. Carsharing is people getting time-limited access to a car, while ridesharing is a person being a passenger in a car driven by someone else. Just as “sharing economy” is no longer a realistic description, so ridesharing is not accurate, to the point that the Associated Press stylebook explicitly says not to use it to describe Uber. Some have taken to calling this model “ridesourcing”;1 the AP stylebook suggests ride-hailing or ride-booking services. Nevertheless, the phrase “ridesharing,” inaccurate as it may be, is still more widely used and I will use it, without the scare quotes.

Time, for example, wrote that “Today, millions of people are driving around in cars with empty seats while millions of others lack affordable auto transportation options. Lyft aims to bridge that gap.” 11 Lyft themselves encouraged the conflation of their business model with non-commercial activities like carpooling: when the service was first launched in 2012 journalist Liz Gannes asked John Zimmer about insurance and regulation, and he replied “our understanding is that when it’s ride-sharing, you can use your personal insurance policy. As for regulation, a lot of state laws are supportive of carpooling and ride-sharing and want to make that work.” 12 But of course most Lyft drivers were not giving a lift to people who happened to be going in the same direction, and they were not saving money, they were driving to make money. Things became quickly clearer: in July 2013 the company sold off the original Zimride business to Enterprise Rent-A-Car to focus on Lyft.13 Every now and then passengers would not make the suggested donation, and bad feelings and bitterness would ensue, so in late 2013 Lyft ditched its voluntary donation system and replaced it with a fare system.

Accessed May 22, 2015. http://allthingsd.com/20131116/competition-brings-lyft-sidecar-and-uber-closer-to-cloning-each-other-and-cabs/. ———. “Lyft Sells Zimride Carpool Service to Rental-Car Giant Enterprise.” AllThingsD, July 12, 2013. http://allthingsd.com/20130712/lyft-sells-zimride-carpool-service-to-rental-car-giant-enterprise/. ———. “Zimride Turns Regular Cars Into Taxis With New Ride-Sharing App, Lyft,” May 22, 2012. http://allthingsd.com/20120522/zimride-turns-regular-cars-into-taxis-with-new-ride-sharing-app-lyft/. Gans, Joshua. “Is Uber Really in a Fight to the Death?” Digitopoly, November 25, 2014. http://www.digitopoly.org/2014/11/25/is-uber-really-in-a-fight-to-the-death/. Gansky, Lisa. The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing. Portfolio / Penguin, 2010. Gardner, Sue. “Wikipedia at 10: A Web Pioneer Worth Defending.” The Guardian.


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, 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

EY, Global Generations: A Global Study on Work Life Challenges across Generations (EY 2015), http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-global-generations- a-global-study-on-work-life-challenges-across-generations/$FILE/EY-global- generations-a-global-study-on-work-life-challenges-across-generations.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/W2NH-2G3T; PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), * * * Notes 157 Workforce of the Future: The Competing Forces Shaping 2030 (PWC 2017), http:// www.pwc.com/gx/en/managing-tomorrows-people/future-of-work/assets/ reshaping-the-workplace.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/9JU3-NXFK 59. Debbie Wosskow, Unlocking the Sharing Economy: An Independent Review (BIS 2014), 5. 60. RStreet, ‘Map of ridesharing laws’, http://www.rstreet.org/tnc-map/, archived at https://perma.cc/4QCU-9SNN 61. Heather Somerville and Dan Levine, ‘Exclusive: US states pass laws backing Uber’s view of drivers as contractors’, Reuters (10 December 2015), http:// www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-statelaws-idUSKBN0TT2MZ20151210, archived at https://perma.cc/PB5L-NM8Y; see also Douglas MacMillan, ‘Uber laws: a primer on ridesharing regulations’, The Wall Street Journal (29 January 2015), http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/01/29/uber-laws-a-primer-on-ride- sharing-regulations/, archived at https://perma.cc/2RUQ-M3QH 62. Ohio 131st General Assembly, Substitute House Bill No. 237, §1, 10–11. 63.

L. 176 Chen, Keith 122 Davies, Paul 174 Cherry 38 Davies, Rob 151 Cherry, Miriam 97, 99, 132, 173, 174, 184 Day, Iris 177 chess robots 1, 6 Deakin, Simon 36, 112, 130, 131, 152, 172, China 12, 38, 153 174, 177, 178, 184, 185 Chowdhry, Amit 181 deductions from pay 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 Christenson, Clayton M. 39 Deep Blue 1 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Deliveroo 2, 11, 12, 13, 115 Clark, Shelby 46 collective action by drivers 113 classificatory schemes 13, 28–9, 147 contractual prohibitions 66–7 misclassification 95, 96–100 employment litigation 99 Clement, Barrie 162 internal guidelines 43–4 Clover, Charles 153 safety and liability 122–3 Coase, Ronald 19, 94, 101, 172 wage rates 65 Coase’s theory 19, 20 delivery apps 2 Codagnone, Cristiano 150 demand fluctuations 78 Cohen, Molly 36, 37, 152, 157 Denmark 36 ‘collaborative consumption’ 42 deregulation 37, 40 (see also regulation) collective action 113–15 Dholakia, Utpal 150 collective bargaining rights 48, 65, 82 Didi 2, 12, 38 commission deductions 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 differential wage rates 109–11 commodification of work 76, 77, 110 digital disruption 49, 50 competition 88 ‘digital feudalism’ 83 consumer demand 17–18 digital innovation see innovation consumer protection 10, 112, 121, 128–9 digital market manipulation 123 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 digital payment systems 5 * * * Index 193 digital work intermediation 5, 11, 13–16 borderline cases 100 disability discrimination 62, 121 identifying the employer 100 discriminatory practices 62, 94, 113, easy cases 102–3 121, 180 functional concept of the disputes 66 employer 101–2, 104 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 50, 95 genuine entrepreneurs 103 dockyards 78, 79–80 harder cases 103–4 ‘doublespeak’ 31–50, 71, 95, 97–8, 133 multiple employers 103 Doug H 160, 163 platforms as employers 102–3 down-time 60, 65, 76, 77 ‘independent worker’ 48 Downs, Julie 180 misclassification 95, 96–100 Drake, Barbara 168 ‘personal scope question’ 93 drink driving 133, 184–5 employment taxes 125–7 Dzieza, Josh 163 Engels, Friedrich 81, 168 ‘entrepreneur-coordinator’ 101 economic crises 145 entrepreneurship 6, 8, 21, 32, 42, 43, economic drivers 7, 18–24 45–6, 50, 52 (see also micro- Edwards, Jim 146 entrepreneurs) efficiency 7 autonomy 53–5 Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia 175 algorithmic control and 55–8 ‘elite worker’ status 61, 67 sanctions and 61–3 ‘emperor’s new clothes’ 71 wages and 58–61 empirical studies 28–9 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, employer responsibility 104 53, 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, employment contracts 94 112, 113 bilateral relationships 100 on-demand trap and 68–70 employment law 4, 9, 10, 38, 84 risk and 86 (see also regulation) genuine entrepreneurs 102, 103 continuing importance 139–40 misclassification 96–7, 98, 101 control/protection trade-off 93–4, 95 ‘personal scope question’ 93 European Union 107, 111, 112, 178 self-determination 63–5 flexibility and environmental impacts 21, 26 innovation and 90 Estlund, Cynthia 137, 185 measuring working time 105–7 Estonia 127 mutuality of obligation 174 Estrada, David 41 new proposals 46–9 euphemisms 44–5 rebalancing the scales 107–8 European Union law 107, 111, 112, 178 collective action 113–15 exploitation 26–7 portable ratings 111–13 Ezrachi, Ariel 150 surge pricing 108–11 ‘risk function’ 131, 132 Facebook 35, 57 workers’ rights 105 FairCrowdWork 114, 179 rights vs flexibility 115–17 Farrell, Sean 164 employment litigation FedEx 97 FedEx 97, 173 feedback 5, 15–16 France 99 Feeney, Matthew 35, 151 Uber 45, 48, 54–5, 98, 99, 106, 115 Field, Frank 26 UK 45, 48, 98–9, 106, 115 financial losses 22–3 US 54–5, 97, 98, 99 ‘financially strapped’ 29 employment status 21, 45, 47 Finkin, Matthew 74, 84, 166, 169 * * * 194 Index Fiverr 12, 13, 24, 78 historical precedents and CEO 17 problems 72, 73–85 Fleischer, Victor 20, 147 rebranding work 4–6, 32 flexibility 8, 10, 12, 107, 108 labour as a technology 5–6 vs rights 115–17 market entrants 88 food-delivery apps 12 matching 13, 14, 18–20 Foodora 2, 12 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Foucault, Michel 55, 159 network effects 23–4 founding myths 34–5 overview 2–3 Fox, Justin 182 perils 6, 26–8, 31 fragmented labour markets 83, 84, 86, platform paradox 5 90, 113 platforms as a service 7–8 France 78 consumer protection 10 employment litigation 99 potential 6, 7, 12, 24–6, 31 Labour Code 114, 176, 179 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) regulatory battles 36 real cost of on-demand services 119, tax liability 126 121–2 (see also structural ‘free agents’ 28–9 imbalances) Freedland, Mark 174, 175 regulation see regulation Freedman, Judith 111, 178 regulatory arbitrage 20–2 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, size of the phenomenon 16–17, 145–6 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, work on demand 11–29 112, 113 gigwork 13 on-demand trap and 68–70 Giliker, Paula 183 risk and 86 global economic crises 145 Frey, Carl 136, 185 Goodley, Simon 173 Fried, Ina 183 GPS 5, 57 Greenhouse, Steven 66, 164 Gardner-Selby, W. 185 Griswold, Alison 164, 181 gender parity 144 (see also Grossman, Nick 46 discriminatory practices) Gumtree 20 Germany Gurley, Bill 161 regulatory battles 36 Guyoncourt, Sally 178 workers’ rights 114 gift vouchers 105 Hacker, Jacob 86, 170 gig economy Hall, Jonathan 60, 162, 165 business models 12–13, 44, 100 Hammond, Philip 126, 182 cash burn 22–3 Hancock, Matthew 46, 166 clash of narratives 8 Handy 18 classification 13, 28–9 Hardy, Tess 176 critics 2, 3, 8 Harman, Greg 163 digital work intermediation 5, 11, Harris, Seth 48, 49, 105, 157, 175 13–16 Hatton, Erin 82, 169 economic drivers 7, 18–24 Heap, Lisa 177 empirical studies 28–9 Helpling 2 employment law and see employment Hemel, Daniel 147, 170 law Hesketh, Scott 181 enthusiasts 3, 4, 8 hiring practices: historical gigwork vs crowdwork 13 perspective 78, 79 growth 17–18 historical perspective 72, 73–85 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 Hitch 38 * * * Index 195 Hitlin, Paul 162 Internet Holtgrewe, Ursula 169 collective action 113 HomeJoy 132 Third Wave 73 Hook, Leslie 153 Irani, Lilly 6, 114, 142, 162, 179 Horan, Hubert 22, 148 Isaac, Mike 170, 171 Horowith, Sara 144 Issa, Darrell 41 hostile takeovers 111–12 Howe, Jeff 7, 11, 142 jargon 42–5 Huet, Ellen 153 Jensen, Vernon 167, 168, 170 Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) 60, 93 Jobs, Steve 35 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 joint and several liability 104 historical precedents and problems 72, Justia Trademarks 143 73–85 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 Kalanick, Travis 43, 86 Hunter, Rachel 106, 176 Kalman, Frank 16, 144 Huws, Ursula 27, 141, 150 Kaminska, Izabella 22–3, 44, 90, 148, 156, 169, 171, 172 ‘idle’ time 60, 65, 76, 77 Kaplow, Louis 184 illegal practices 57 Kasparov, Garry 1 immigrant workers 77 Katz, Lawrence 16 incentive structures 67–8 Katz, Vanessa 116, 179 independent contractors 21 Kaufman, Micha 17, 145, 149 Independent Workers Union of Great Kempelen, Wolfgang von 1 Britain (IWGB) 113, 179 Kennedy, John F. 135, 185 industrialization 75 Kenya 36 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 Kessler, Sarah 151 information asymmetries 32, 54, 87, 131 Keynes, John Maynard 135, 185 innovation 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 32, 42, 45–6, King, Tom, Lord King of Bridgwater 71 110 cheap labour and 89 Kirk, David 133, 184 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 95 Kitchell, Susan 166 historical precedents and problems 72, Klemperer, Paul 165 73–85 Krueger, Alan 16, 48, 49, 60, 105, 106, incentives 86–90 157, 162, 165, 175 myths 72, 83 Krugman, Paul 170 obstacles to 88–90 Kucera, David 186 paradox 72, 87 problematic aspects 85–90 labour law see employment law productivity and 87 Lagarde, Christine 86, 170 shifting risk 85–6 Leimeister, Jan Marco 13 workers’ interests and 89–90 Leonard, Andrew 33, 151 innovation law perspective 36 Lewis, Mervyn 168 ‘Innovation Paradox’ 9 Liepman, Lindsay 184 insecure work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Lloyd-Jones, Roger 168 historical perspective 80, 81 loan facilities 68 insurance 123 lobbying groups 32, 47, 48 intermediaries 83 (see also digital work Lobel, Orly 11, 37–8 intermediation) low-paid work 9, 26–7, 40–2, historical perspective 79–80 59, 61 International Labour Organization low-skilled work 76, 77, 82 (ILO) 4, 83, 97, 169, 173 automation and 138 * * * 196 Index Lukes, Steven 159 Murgia, Madhumita 182 Lyft 2, 12, 13, 38, 41, 42, 76 mutuality of obligation 174 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 network effects 23–4 regulatory battles 35 Newcomer, Eric 148, 165 Uber’s competitive strategies 88 Newton, Casey 164 Nowag, Julian 183 McAfee, Andrew 137, 138, 185 Machiavelli, Niccolo 93, 172 O’Connor, Sarah 43, 155 machine learning 136, 137 ODesk 60 McCurry, Justin 186 O’Donovan, Caroline 144, 164, 181 Malone, Tom 73 Oei, Shu-Yi 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 Mamertino, Mariano 161, 163 Ola 2, 12 market entrants 88 on-demand trap 68–70 market manipulation 123 on-demand work 11– 29 Markowitz, Harry 184 real cost of on-demand services 119, Marsh, Grace 182 121–2 (see also structural Marshall, Aarian 186 imbalances) Martens, Bertin 150 Orwell, George 31, 151 Marvit, Moshe 142 Osborne, Hilary 164 Marx, Patricia 119–20, 180 Osborne, Michael 136, 185 matching 13, 14, 18–20 outsourcing Maugham, Jolyon 182 agencies 40 Mayhew, Henry 77, 78, 79, 167 ‘web services’ 2 Mechanical Turk 1, 2, 6 outwork industry 74–5, 76–7, 79, 80, 89 mental harm 57–8 Owen, Jonathan 178 Meyer, Jared 149 ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ 8, 21, 46, 49, Padget, Marty 186 52–3, 63 Pannick, David, Lord Pannick 110 ‘micro-wages’ 27 Pasquale, Frank 8, 40, 154 middlemen 80 Peck, Jessica Lynn 26 minimum wage levels 3, 9, 21, 26, 27, 59, peer-to-peer collaboration 42, 43 94, 104, 105 Peers.org 32–3 minimum working hour guarantees 108 performance standard probations 61 misidentification 95, 96–100 personal data 112, 178 mobile payment mechanisms 5 ‘personal scope question’ 93 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Pissarides, Christopher 19, 147 Morris, David Z. 171 platform paradox 5 Morris, Gillian 174 platform responsibility 122–3, 128 MTurk 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 24–5, 76, 139, platforms as a service 7–8 161–2, 163 consumer protection 10 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) business model 100, 101, 103, 104 Plouffe, David 154 commission deductions 63 Poe, Edgar Allen 1 digital work intermediation 14, 15 Polanyi’s paradox 138–9 matching 19 political activism 114 payment in gift vouchers 105 portable ratings 111–13 quality control 120 Porter, Eduardo 171 TurkOpticon 114 ‘postindustrial corporations’ 20 wage rates 59, 60, 61 Postmates 57, 63, 121 * * * Index 197 Poyntz, Juliet Stuart 168 structural imbalances 130, 131 Prassl, Jeremias 174, 175, 176, 177, robots 136–7 178, 183 Mechanical Turk 1, 6 precarious work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Rodgers, Joan 177 historical perspective 80, 81 Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald 181 price quotes 121–2 Rönnmar, Mia 175 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 133, 185 Primack, Dan 148 Rosenblat, Alex 54, 56, 65, 123, 131, 159, productivity 87 160, 163, 164, 182, 184 public discourse 69 Rosenblat, Joel 165 public health implications 27 Rubery, Jill 84, 169 punishment 57 (see also sanctions) Ryall, Jenny 181 quality control 5, 80, 120 safe harbours 47, 49 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 rating mechanisms 5, 15–16, 53–4 sanctions 61–3 (see also punishment) algorithms 54, 55, 87–8 Sandbu, Martin 87, 170 discrimination 62, 113 Scheiber, Noam 164 portable ratings 111–13 Schmiechen, James 167, 168, 169 sanctions and 61–3 Schumpeter, Joseph 133 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 self-dealing 123 regulation 9–10 (see also employment law) self-determination 36–7, 47, 63–5 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 (see also autonomy) new proposals 31, 46–9, 50 self-driving cars 89, 137 opponents 31, 33–4 sexual assaults 121, 180–1 Disruptive Davids 34–7 sexual discrimination 62, 144, 180 disruptive innovation theory ‘sham self-employment’ 97 39–40, 49 sharing economy 7, 20, 51 New Goliaths 37–40 critics 32–3 regulatory battles 35–7, 47–9 disruptive innovation 39, 49 safe harbours 47, 49 enthusiasts 61 self-regulation 36–7, 47 Sharing Economy UK 33, 37 shaping 32–3, 45–9 sharing platforms 116 regulatory arbitrage 20 –2, 147 Shavell, Steven 184 regulatory experimentation 36 Shleifer, Andrei 111, 178 Reich, Robert 108, 176 Shontell, Alyson 161 Relay Rides 46 Silberman, Six 61, 114, 162, 163, 179 ‘reluctants’ 29 Silver, James 156, 158 reputation algorithms 54 Singer, Natasha 43, 155, 156 ride-sharing/ridesharing 2, 21, 38, 41 Slee, Tom 32, 53, 142, 151, 155, 158, 159 (see also taxi apps) Smith, Adam 73 algorithmic control mechanisms 55–6 Smith, Jennifer 170 business model 102–3 Smith, Yves 148 discriminatory practices 62, 121 social media 114 maltreatment of passengers 121 social partners 10, 94 ride-sharing laws 47 social security contributions 21, 125–7 Ries, Brian 181 social security provision 3, 48, 131 Ring, Diane 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 sociological critique 27–8 Risak, Martin 102, 175 specialization 75 risk shift 85–6 Spera 51, 158 * * * 198 Index Sports Direct 40–1 taxi regulation 21, 36, 37, 38, 114 Standage, Tom 141 vetting procedures 121 standardized tasks 76 tech:NYC 33 Stark, Luke 54, 56, 65, 159, 160, 163, 164 technological exceptionalism 6, 128 start-up loans 68 technological innovation see innovation Stefano, Valerio De 84, 169 technology 5–6, 27 Stigler, George 32, 151 unemployment and 135, 137, 140 Stone, Katherine 67, 165 terminology 42–5 structural imbalances time pressure 57 business model 130–2 Titova, Jurate 183 digital market manipulation 123 TNC, see transportation network levelling the playing field 127–32 company platform responsibility 122–3, 128 Tolentino, Jia 166 real cost of on-demand services 119, Tomassetti, Julia 20, 147, 156, 171 121–2 Tomlinson, Daniel 163 safety and liability 128–9 trade unions 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 sustainability 132–3 transaction cost 19 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 transport network company (TNC) employment taxes and social regulation 47–8 security contributions 125–7 Truck arrangements 105 VAT 124–5, 129 Tsotsis, Alex 151 Stucke, Maurice 150 TurkOpticon 114, 162, 163, 179 Sullivan, Mike 180 Summers, Lawrence 111, 131, 178, 184 Uber 2, 11, 12, 43 Sundararajan, Arun 36, 37, 41, 73, 74, 75, algorithmic control mechanisms 56, 151, 152, 157, 166, 167 57, 58 Supiot, Alain 130–1, 177, 184 arbitration 165 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 autonomous vehicles and 89 survey responses 120 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Swalwell, Eric 41, 154 commission deductions 63 competitive strategies 88 takeovers 111–12 consumer demand 18 ‘task economies’ 76, 77, 79 control mechanisms 54 Task Rabbit 2, 12, 13, 46, 143–4, 163 creation of new job business model 100, 101, 160 opportunities 77–8 company law 56 digital work intermediation 14, 15 contractual prohibitions 66 disruptive innovation 39 digital work intermediation 14, 15–16 driver income projections 51 financial losses 22 Driver-Partner Stories 25, 149 founding myth 34–5 driver-rating system 158, 160 regulatory arbitrage 20 employment litigation terms of service 44, 53, 122, 158, 181 France 99 wage rates 64 UK 45, 48, 98, 106, 115 working conditions 57 US 54–5, 99 Taylor, Frederick 52–3, 72, 158 financial losses 22, 23 tax laws 84 ‘Greyball’ 88, 170 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 ‘Hell’ 88, 170 employment taxes and social security loss-making tactics and market share 64 contributions 125–7 monopoly power 23 VAT 124–5, 129 positive externality claims 132–3 taxi apps 12, 20 regulatory arbitrage 20 * * * Index 199 regulatory battles 35, 36 Vaidhyanathan, Siva 40, 154 resistance to unionization 65, 178 value creation 18–19, 20 risk shift 86 van de Casteele, Mounia 182 safety and liability 122–3, 180–1 VAT 124–5, 129 sale of Chinese operation 38 Verhage, Julie 147 surge pricing 58, 122 vicarious liability 128 tax liability 125, 126, 127 unexpected benefits 26 wage rates 58–61, 64, 65 wage rates 58, 59, 60–1, 64, 65, 127 Wakabayashi, Daisuke 171 working conditions 113, 178 Warne, Dan 115 UberLUX 14 Warner, Mark 16 UberX 14, 51, 60 Warren, Elizabeth 127, 183 UK Webb, Beatrice and Sidney 80, 168 collective action 113 Weil, David 83, 169 employment litigation 45, 48, 98–9, 106 welfare state 130, 131 tax liability 124–5, 126 Wilkinson, Frank 84, 130, 131, 169, unemployment 135, 137, 140, 145 172, 184, 185 Union Square Ventures 46 Wong, Julia Carrie 170 unionization 10, 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 work on demand 11–29 ‘unpooling’ 147 worker classification 28–9, 147 Unterschutz, Joanna 178 misclassification 95, 96–100 Upwork 12, 76, 144 workers’ rights 105 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 vs flexibility 115–17 business model 100, 160 working conditions 57, 68–9 commission deductions 63, 67 historical perspective 77, 81 US Uber 113, 178 discriminatory practices 121 working time 105–7 employment litigation 54–5, 97, 98, 99 Wosskow, Debbie 157 regulatory battles 36, 47 Wujczyk, Marcin 178 tax liabilities 126–7 taxi regulation 36, 114 Yates, Joanne 73 transport network company (TNC) YouTube 58 regulation 47–8 user ratings 5, 15–16, 53–4, 55 Zaleski, Olivia 165 portable ratings 111–13 zero-hours contracts 40, 41, 107 sanctions and 61–3 Zuckerberg, Mark 35 * * * Document Outline Cover Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy Copyright Dedication Contents Introduction Welcome to the Gig Economy Humans as a Service Rebranding Work The Platform Paradox Labour as a Technology Making the Gig Economy Work Platforms as a Service Exploring the Gig Economy Charting Solutions A Broader Perspective 1.

Other passengers feel that the relative ano- nymity provided by ride-sharing platforms is an improvement on taxis: see Jenna Wortham, ‘Ubering while black’, Medium (23 October 2014), https://medium. com/matter/ubering-while-black-146db581b9db#.2c0efltcr, archived at https:// perma.cc/FMU3-L5D3; Nick Grimm, ‘Uber apologises over discrimination against blind customer, human rights activist Graeme Innes’, ABC News (15 April 2016), http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016–04–15/uber-driver-refuses-blind- customer-ex-commissioner-graeme-innes/7328984, archived at https://perma. cc/B25F-DCUU; Sarah, ‘Settlement with the National Federation of the Blind’, Uber Newsroom (1 March 2017), https://newsroom.uber.com/nfb-settlement/, archived at https://perma.cc/YK2V-KPVP 6. Who’s Driving You?, ‘ “Ridesharing” incidents: reported list of incidents involv- ing Uber and Lyft’, http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/rideshare-incidents, archived at https://perma.cc/V4TM-YJMV.


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

siteedition=uk#axzz3QsbvnchO. 190 “BlaBlaCar drivers don’t make a profit”: Laura Wagner, “What Does French Ride-Sharing Company BlaBlaCar Have That Uber Doesn’t,” Two-Way, September 16, 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/16/440919462/what-has-french-ride-sharing-company-blablacar-got-that-uber-doesnt. 190 the average BlaBlaCar trip is 200 miles: “BlaBlaCar: Something to Chat About,” Economist, October 22, 2015, http://www.economist.com/news/business/21676816-16-billion-french-startup-revs-up-something-chat-about. 191 operating in twenty-one countries: BlaBlaCar, accessed February 5, 2017, https://www.blablacar.com. 191 facilitating over 10 million rides every quarter: Rawn Shah, “Driving Ridesharing Success at BlaBlaCar with Online Community,” Forbes, February 21, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/rawnshah/2016/02/21/driving-ridesharing-success-at-blablacar-with-online-community/#5271e05b79a6. 191 $550 million in investor funding: Yoolim Lee, “Go-Jek Raises Over $550 Million in KKR, Warburg-Led Round,” Bloomberg, last modified August 5, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-04/go-jek-said-to-raise-over-550-million-in-kkr-warburg-led-round. 191 $15: Steven Millward, “China’s Top ‘Uber for Laundry’ Startup Cleans Up with $100M Series B Funding,” Tech in Asia, August 7, 2015, https://www.techinasia.com/china-uber-for-laundry-edaixi-100-million-funding. 191 100,000 orders per day: Emma Lee, “Tencent-Backed Laundry App Edaixi Nabs $100M USD from Baidu,” TechNode, August 6, 2015, http://technode.com/2015/08/06/edaixi-series-b. 191 twenty-eight cities with a combined 110 million residents: Edaixi, accessed February 5, 2017, http://www.edaixi.com/home/about.

‡ For a variety of reasons, car quality has improved tremendously since 1970, so it’s not as common to hear the term “lemon” used in this way as it was back then. § The French long-distance ride-sharing company BlaBlaCar incorporates particularly precise ratings. Its name comes from the ability of drivers and passengers to communicate their talking preferences in their profiles: “Bla” if they do not like to talk with the other people in the car, “BlaBla” if they like to talk a little, and “BlaBlaBla” if they’re quite chatty. Rawn Shah, “Driving Ridesharing Success at BlaBlaCar with Online Community,” Forbes, February 21, 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/rawnshah/2016/02/21/driving-ridesharing-success-at-blablacar-with-online-community/#73ea3e4679a6. ¶ Benjamin Edelman, Michael Luca, and Dan Svirsky found in an experiment that Airbnb hosts were, on average, 16% less likely to rent to prospective guests whose newly created profiles included a distinctively African American name.

The company has one app for riders, which lets them hail drivers, and a separate app for drivers, which lets them find riders. People who sign up for ride hailing via Uber don’t directly benefit if other people adopt the same app, the way they do when their friends adopt WhatsApp. Instead, what ride hailers care about is the number of drivers who sign up for a different app, the companion app that enables them to find riders. Having more drivers on the rider-finding app increases the likelihood that an available car will be nearby, and therefore makes the service more attractive to people using the ride-hailing app; it shifts out the app’s demand curve. Without such a shift, there really wouldn’t be much demand at all: a ride-hailing app that somehow managed to get millions of users but was connected to zero actual drivers would not be very attractive to these ride hailers.


Autonomous Driving: How the Driverless Revolution Will Change the World by Andreas Herrmann, Walter Brenner, Rupert Stadler

Airbnb, Airbus A320, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, cleantech, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, crowdsourcing, cyber-physical system, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, demand response, digital map, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer rental, precision agriculture, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Zipcar

Autonomous cars can drive themselves towards whatever space in the city or region is most economical. And car insurance rates will likely go down too, since there will be a clear drop in the number of accidents. The costs of mobility can be reduced yet again if we take into consideration driverless taxis, autonomous bus systems or car- and ride-sharing services. Driverless taxis can transport guests with the same door-to-door convenience as traditional taxis but for a lower price, since there is no driver on-board. Car- and ride-sharing services make it possible to eliminate the fixed costs related to owning a car; instead, there will be per-hour or permile usage fees that will be far lower in total for most users. In addition, autonomous taxis, buses and shared cars could be used far more intensely and only need the downtime required for maintenance and refuelling.

In the coming years, MOIA, a company of the Volkswagen Group, is set to develop into a globally leading mobility service provider. The project focuses on app-based ride hailing as well as on pooling services with smart 318 Autonomous Driving connection to public transportation (connected commuting). The primary goal is to use the existing infrastructure in large cities and improve its performance. The objective of connected commuting is to enable travellers to combine the various modes of transportation as efficiently as possible. As such a project can only be realised with joint forces, the company regularly enters technology partnerships, which has started with an investment in the appbased ride sharing provider Gett. In December 2016, Mercedes launched the Croove app for private car rentals. A user searches for the desired car with the app and posts a request to rent it.

Ownership Access and Sharing User as Use of one’s Rental car sharing, business-to-consumer (DriveNow, driver own car Car2Go) and peer-to-peer (Croove, Getaround) User as passenger Use of a taxi Ride sharing (Uber, Lyft) and carpooling (BlaBlaCar) Source: The authors. Note: Mobility apps can link up the various modes of transportation so that the user can identify the fastest and most convenient way to get from one place to another. The Sharing Economy 343 sharing (DriveNow, car2go, Flinkster, Mobility, ReachNow, ZipCar) and with peer-to-peer car sharing (Drivy, Tamyca, Croove, CarUnity, Sharoo, Turo, Getaround), users have to drive the cars themselves. With ride sharing (Uber, Lyft, myTaxi) or carpooling (BlaBlaCar), they are driven by a chauffeur. So far, most sharing models have been station based (A-to-A), i.e. the customers have to drop off the vehicle where they picked it up.


pages: 289

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

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

See also Airbnb repeat business: Kitchensurfing Tonight, 58; TaskRabbit, 56, 80 research methodology: case studies, 7; critical perspective and, 7–8; Hawthorne effect, 232n24; interview matrix, 216–17; participant recruitment and methodology, 21–22, 223n85, 225n34, 228n30, 229n5; service platforms, 7 response rates, 1, 78–79, 81–82, 160 retirement funds: access to, 190; as contributory plans, 37; decreases in, 9; productivity and, 190; sharing economy and, 94, 156; temporary workers lack of, 180; use of, 61 reviews, negative, 4 review systems: customer review sites, 26; employee monitoring and, 204–5; negative reviews, 4, 13, 91, 143; transfer between sites, 20 Rideshare Guy website, 76 ride-sharing, 223n75, 233n72 risks: overview, 22; mitigation of, 170; as transaction costs, 27 risk shifts: overview, 31, 36–38; advanced planning and, 97–100; assumption of risk, 92; dangers of driving for hire, 101–4; entrepreneurship and, 36–37; financial risks, 37; financial sustainability, 31; marketing of self, 181; risk reduction, 27 Robinson, Spottswood, 119 Rockefeller family, 68–69 Rodriguez, Ydanis, 51 Rogers, Jackie Krasas, 122 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 70 Russell, Mike, 189 safety issues: overview, 113; background screening mechanisms, 113–15; pedestrian dangers, 228n32; yellow taxicab standards, 227n16 Santander Bank, 3, 73 Sapone, Marcela, 187–89 Sasso, Anthony, 58 scams: overview, 23; overpayment scams, 148–49; platforms misuse and, 141–42 Scharf, Michael, 109, 189–90, 192 schedules: client response rates and, 84; computerized scheduling systems, 180; flexibility in, 207; just-in-time scheduling, 179, 180–81; long, 5 scheduling availability, 1, 62, 87 Schierenbeck, Warren, 58–59 Schoar, Antoinette, 38 Schor, Juliet, 16, 26, 27, 56, 100, 183, 194, 224n1 Schultz, Ken, 191 Schumpeter, Joseph A., 207 scientific management, 178 Scott, Marvin, 124 secondary labor market, defined, 37 secondhand economy companies, 27, 28fig. 2.

In 2014, Uber temporarily decreased its commission from 20 percent to 5 percent, before returning it to 20 percent in April. Then in September 2014, Uber increased its uberX commission to 25 percent, up from 20 percent for new drivers in select markets, and quickly expanded to additional cities. However, the commission doesn’t include platform booking fees, which range from $1.40 to $2.15, or more, depending on market. The rate drops, commission hikes, and booking fees have led the Rideshare Guy website to point out that in some markets, on short trips that are charged a minimum fare, platforms take more than 40 percent of the price of ride.42 Adding insult to injury, in May 2017 the Wall Street Journal revealed that Uber had been mistakenly underpaying New York City drivers for more than two years by charging the platform’s 25 percent commission before deducting sales tax and Black Car Fund fees.

In addition to maxing out his credit cards, he borrowed his college-student girlfriend’s life savings of $2,000, and additional money from his brothers. Even though Uber advertisements guarantee $5,000 a month, money remains a serious concern: between his car payment of $800 a month and insurance bill of $500 a month, he hasn’t been able to save. From the beginning, Hector knew that driving could be dangerous or have legal implications. In New Jersey, where he started driving, ride-sharing was illegal. His first ride was a group of five, technically more than his car could fit, but “they made it work somehow.” He dropped the passengers off at a local bar. Later that evening, when they called him back for a pickup, he arrived to find a brawl in the parking lot. “I was about to leave because it was like it was turning into ten guys fighting, and they were right in front of my car,” he said.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

the average individual wins weren’t spectacular: For a detailed description of Libratus’s winning approach, see Nikolai Yakovenko, “CMU’s Libratus Bluffs Its Way to Victory in #BrainsVsAI Poker Match,” Medium, February 1, 2017, https://medium.com/@Moscow 25/cmus-libratus-bluffs-its-way-to-victory-in-brainsvsai-poker-match-99abd31b9cd4; see also Noam Brown and Tuomas Sandholm, “Safe and Nested Endgame Solving for Imperfect-Information Games” (2016), Proceedings of the AAAI-17 Workshop on Computer Poker and Imperfect Information Games, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~noamb/papers/17-AAAI-Refinement.pdf. get matched along multiple dimensions: “Ride-Sharing with BlaBlaCar’s New MariaDB Databases,” ComparetheCloud.net, February 19, 2016, https://www.comparethecloud.net/articles/ride-sharing-with-blablacars-new-mariadb-databases; “About Us,” BlaBlaCar.com, accessed January 27, 2017, https://www.blablacar.com/about-us. 4 million people book rides: Arun Sundararajan, “Uber and Airbnb Could Reverse America’s Decades-Long Slide into Mass Cynicism,” Quartz, June 9, 2016, https://qz.com/700859/uber-and-airbnb-will-save-us-from-our-decades-long-slide-into-mass-cynicism.

And it does so very well, matching millions of riders every month and growing quickly. Whereas eBay’s original focus was on price-based auctions, BlaBlaCar’s marketplace offers participants rich data about each other, ranking details such as driver chattiness (hence its name), so users can easily search and identify the best matches for them, and downplaying the importance of price (ride-sharers can select price only within a limited range). BlaBlaCar’s ride-sharing market isn’t alone in using rich data. From Internet travel site Kayak to online investment company SigFig, to digital labor platform Upwork, more and more markets that use data to help participants find better matches are gaining traction and attracting attention. In this book, we connect the dots between the difficulties faced by traditional online markets; the error of the stock market’s trusted pricing mechanism; and the rise of markets rich with data.

They are already acquiring and working with a number of data ontology start-ups, such as Alation, Corrigon, and Expertmaker, to automatically categorize product information. Other marketplaces are following suit, racing to put the data infrastructure in place that will enable a rich, multidimensional flow of information. Without it, markets, offline and online alike, will remain locked into the conventional focus on price. We are already enjoying data-rich markets in numerous sectors, such as travel, ride-sharing, and electronics. But the richer the information, the more difficult it is to process it—to weigh each dimension based on our preferences and select the optimal transaction partner. Translating an avalanche of information into decisions is hard. Who hasn’t gotten overwhelmed by too many filters and options when searching for airline flights on online platforms, such as Expedia, or for a place to stay on Airbnb?


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

“We’ve come to accept extreme congestion as part of our lives,” said Holden.1 “In the U.S., we have the honor of being home to ten of the world’s twenty-five most congested cities, costing us approximately $300 billion in lost income and productivity. Uber’s mission is to solve urban mobility.… Our goal is to introduce an entirely new form of transportation to the world, namely urban aviation, or what I prefer to call ‘aerial ridesharing.’ ” Aerial ridesharing might sound like sci-fi cliché, but Holden had a solid track record of disruptive innovation. In the late 1990s, he followed Jeff Bezos from New York to Seattle to become one of the earliest employees at Amazon. There, he was put in charge of implementing the then zany idea of free two-day shipping for a flat annual membership fee. It was an innovation that many thought would bankrupt the company.

Finally, while the company has started drilling with conventional machines, Musk has borrowed a page from Tesla’s playbook and is now designing electric boring machines that are three times as powerful as the traditional version. It’s also worth noting that all of the innovations discussed in this chapter will work in concert. In the minutes before a Hyperloop pod arrives at a Boring Company–drilled station, the AI behind Uber’s aerial ridesharing service and the AI behind Waymo’s driverless ridesharing fleet will dispatch a swarm of vehicles to that station in order to take passengers on the next leg of their trip. And if that’s not fast enough for you, sometime soon there might just be another option available. Rockets: LA to Sydney in Thirty Minutes As if autonomous cars, flying cars, and high-speed trains weren’t enough, in September of 2017, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk promised that for the price of an economy airline ticket, his rockets will fly you “anywhere on Earth in under an hour.”

Maybe, in a city far from home, you’ve rented the bot by the minute—via a different kind of ridesharing company—or maybe you have spare robot avatars located around the country. Either way, put on VR goggles and a haptic suit and you can teleport your senses into that robot. This allows you to walk around, shake hands, and take action—all without having to leave your home. And like the rest of the tech we’ve been talking about, even this future isn’t very far away. In 2018, All Nippon Airways (ANA) funded the $10 million ANA Avatar XPRIZE to speed the development of robotic avatars. Why? Because ANA knows this is one of the technologies likely to disrupt the airline industry—their industry—and they want to be ready. To put this in different terms, individual car ownership enjoyed over a century of ascendency. The first real threat it faced, today’s ridesharing model, only showed up in the last decade.


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, 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

As a lawyer, she was hoping she’d be able to advocate for workers and make money at the same time—that she wouldn’t have to give up what, perhaps, was one of her greatest talents: “I say things that people don’t want to hear,” she explained. “I say them loudly. And I say it to their face so they don’t miss it.” * * * By the summer of 2017, Abe had put all things Uber aside. After the strikes and his last-ditch attempt to sell his silence to Uber had failed, he decided to start his own ride-hailing app called A-Ryde. He spent money promoting the idea at a conference and filming a commercial (“Woaaahh, let’s not ruin this night with surge pricing,” a hip young man tells a friend who presumably is about to use a different ride-hailing app). When Abe couldn’t raise enough funding to launch the app, he tried to sell his house to finance it (given that a lien had been placed on it, that didn’t work). Since then, he’d realized that the thought of competing with Uber, a startup with billions of dollars in funding, had always been a fantasy.

(magazine) independent business operators (IBOs) independent contractors alternatives to current classification of Arise and category of definition of earnings employees versus Gigster and misclassification of switch to employee model from Uber and unions and worker benefits and worker classification and See also subcontractors Independent Drivers Guild independent worker, proposed category of Industrial Revolution inequality Instacart (grocery delivery service) Instagram Institute for the Future International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International Brotherhood of Teamsters International Labour Office (United Nations) Irani, Lilly iStockphoto Janah, Leila janitorial industry JCPenney jobs, traditional definition of Juno (ride-hailing service) jury duty Kalanick, Travis Kasriel, Stephane Kath, Ryan Kelly Services (“Kelly Girls”) Kinder, Shane King, Martin Luther, Jr. Knight, Brandon Knox, Anthony Konsus (project outsourcing service) Koopman, John Krueger, Alan labor and trade unions AFL AFL-CIO collective action Freelancers Union International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International Brotherhood of Teamsters Screen Actors Guild Unionen (Swedish white-collar trade union) United Construction Trades and Industrial Employees Union Lane, Ty Larson, Curtis Leadum, Mario LG Electronics limited liability companies Loconomics (service-provider cooperative) Logan, Kristen Lyft (ride-hailing service) lawsuits price war with Uber retirement savings and stop-gap technology and tips and Managed by Q (property maintenance service) career development and employee model and funding “future of work” and Good Jobs Strategy and knolling labor and marketplace mentors New York City office operator assemblies operators (frontline workers) origin and theory of positive touchpoints subcontractors and TechCrunch Disrupt 2017 and worker benefits worker earnings worker equity packages See also Knox, Anthony; Rahmanian, Saman; Schwartz, Emma; Teran, Dan Manjoo, Farhad Mas, Alexandre McDonald’s Mechanical Turk (Amazon’s crowdsourcing marketplace) crowd workers Dynamo (crowdworker action website) “good work” tasks Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) purpose of Turker Nation (online forum) Turkopticon worker income See also Milland, Kristy Medicare Mehta, Apoorva Milland, Kristy millennial generation minimum wage Arkansas Facebook and Managed by Q and Mechanical Turk and New York State tipped work and Uber and United Kingdom Upwork and Mishel, Lawrence Munchery (restaurant delivery service) Murray, Charles National Bureau of Economic Research National Domestic Workers Alliance National Employment Law Project (NELP) National Labor Relations Board Nestlé New America Foundation New Deal New York Taxi Workers Alliance New York Times New York Times Magazine Nixon, Richard Obama, Barack oDesk (freelance marketplace).

See also Davenport, Terrence; Foster, Gary; Green, Shakira; Logan, Kristen Samasource Schneider, Nathan Scholz, Trebor Schwartz, Emma (Managed by Q employee) Schwarzenegger, Arnold Screen Actors Guild self-driving cars Shea, Katie Shieber, Jon Shyp (shipping service) sick days Silberman, Six Snapchat So Lo Mo (social, local, mobile) Social Security SpaceX Sprig (restaurant delivery service) Starbucks Stern, Andy Stocksy (stock photo cooperative) subcontractors Arise and earnings Managed by Q and Silicon Valley and Sundararajan, Arun Sweet, Julie SXSW (South by Southwest) Taft-Hartley Act Take Wonolo (staffing agency) Target TaskRabbit (odd job marketplace) taxi industry EU regulation and New York Taxi Workers Alliance tips and Uber and US statistics See also Lyft; ride-hailing services; Uber TechCrunch (blog) TechCrunch Disrupt temp workers and agencies early history of earnings freelancers versus injury rate Kelly Services (“Kelly Girls”) Manpower permanent employees versus Silicon Valley and “temp worker” as a category US statistics work satisfaction Teran, Dan Tischen (labor marketplace) Ton, Zeynep Trader Joe’s trucking industry Trudeau, Kevin Trump, Donald Try Caviar (food delivery service) Turker Nation (online forum) Turkopticon Twitch (live streaming video platform) Twitter Uber (ride-hailing service) 180 days of change affiliate marketing program driver-led activism and protests Drivers’ Guild and FTC charges of exaggerated earnings funding growth of guaranteed fares history of independent contractor model lawsuits and legal issues “No shifts.


Virtual Competition by Ariel Ezrachi, Maurice E. Stucke

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, cloud computing, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, demand response, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, double helix, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Firefox, framing effect, Google Chrome, index arbitrage, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, light touch regulation, linked data, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, Milgram experiment, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price discrimination, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, yield management

Quora (December 13, 2014), http://www.quora.com/How-does-Ubers-dispatch -algorithm-work; James Surowiecki, “In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging,” MIT Technology Review, August 19, 2014, http://www.technologyreview.com /review/529961/in-praise-of-efficient-price-gouging/; Eric Posner, “Why Uber Will—and Should—Be Regulated,” Slate (January 5, 2015), http://www .slate.com/articles/news _ and _politics/view_from _chicago/2015/01/uber _ surge _pricing _federal _regulation _over_taxis _ and _car_ride _ services .html. Douglas Macmillan and Telis Demos, “Uber Valued at More than $50 Billion,” Wall Street Journal (London), July 31, 2015, http://www.wsj.com /articles/uber-valued-at-more-than-50-billion-1438367457. See, for example, Mark Harris, “Uber: Why the World’s Biggest RideSharing Company Has No Drivers,” The Guardian, November 16, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/16/uber-worlds-biggest 274 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. Notes to Pages 50–51 -ride-sharing-company-no-drivers; Izabella Kaminska, “If and When Uber Drivers Unionise . . . ,” Financial Times, January 12, 2016, http://ftalphaville .ft.com/2016/01/12/2149878/if-and-when-uber-drivers-unionise/ (on the possibility of Uber drivers receiving low wages and few employment rights); Tim Bradshaw and Leslie Hook, 2015.

Nor will Uber drivers necessarily compete by offering better ser vice. One study of Uber and Lyft drivers found that they “distanced themselves from one another by checking other drivers’ locations on the map so that they did not compete with each other for passenger requests. When drivers desired a break but did not want to turn off their driver applications to benefit from an hourly payment promotion, they parked in between the other ridesharing cars in order not to get any requests.”27 So, as more people use Uber in Nashville, more drivers will likewise gravitate to Uber’s platform, which further reduces users’ wait time, increasing Uber’s appeal. Unless passengers switch en masse to another platform, Uber’s algorithms will 52 The Collusion Scenarios have greater market power to set the price (including surge pricing) and increase profits.

In 2015, Google’s cars were already “averaging 10,000 new self-driven miles a week, mostly on real-world city streets—not on controlled test tracks.”24 In 2015, Apple was also rumored to be launching an electric car that may eventually be self-driving.25 In addition, 2016 saw a significant investment by Apple in Didi Chuxing, a leading Chinese carhailing app.26 The investment, amounting to a billion dollars, formed part of Apple’s strategy in China, and may well affect the increasingly complex Frenemy dynamic to which Uber is party as well. When, in the future, consumers start using Google’s (and perhaps Apple’s) driverless cars and ride-sharing ser vices, the super-platforms have the potential to become a powerful force in these downstream markets. Both super-platforms already have the mapping technology. Google also has a crowd-sourcing app, Waze, which provides real-time traffic, accident, and police information. Furthermore, Google has a vast quantity of consumer data from its browser, e-mail ser vice, search engine, and social network.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

Their model showed that if we can resolve our trust issues with technology and give people confidence to transact, those people are willing and able to go into direct exchanges with complete strangers. These ideas are setting us on a path to a peer-to-peer economy. What blockchain technology says is, “Why stop at Uber?” Why do we even need this particular company, which takes 25 percent from each ride and has a reputation for abusing its “God’s View” knowledge of passengers’ rides? How about a totally decentralized solution, such as the Tel Aviv–based, blockchain-powered ride-sharing application Commuterz? In that case no one owns the platform, which like Bitcoin is just based on an open-source software protocol that anyone can download. There’s no Commuterz, Inc. taking 25 percent. Instead, users own and trade a native digital currency system that incentivizes them to share rides to reduce traffic congestion and lower the cost of transportation for all. The broad idea is that by deferring the management of trust to a decentralized network guided by a common protocol instead of relying upon a trusted intermediary, and by introducing new, digital forms of money, tokens, and assets, we can change the very nature of social organization.

MIT Media Lab MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative Mizrahi, Alex MME Modi, Narendra Monax Monero monetary and banking systems central bank fiat digital currency and community connections and digital counterfeiting mobile money systems money laundering See also cryptocurrency; financial sector Moore’s law Mooti Morehead, Dan Mozilla M-Pesa Nakamoto, Satoshi (pseudonymous Bitcoin creator) Nasdaq Nelson, Ted New America Foundation New York Department of Financial Services Niederauer, Duncan North American Bitcoin Conference Norway Obama, Barack Occupy Wall Street Ocean Health Coin off-chain environment Olsen, Richard open protocols open-source systems and movement and art and innovation challenges of Cryptokernel (CK) and data storage and financial sector and health care sector and honest accounting Hyperledger and identity and permissioned systems and registries and ride-sharing and tokens See also Ethereum organized crime Pacioli, Luca Pantera Capital Parity Wallet peer-to-peer commerce and economy Pentland, Alex “Sandy” Perkins Coie permissioned (private) blockchains advantages of challenges of and cryptocurrency-less systems definition of and finance sector open-source development of scalability of and security and supply chains permissionless blockchains Bitcoin and Cypherpunks Ethereum financial sector and identity information mobile money systems and scalability and trusted computing Pink Army Cooperative Plasma Polkadot Polychain Capital Poon, Joseph practical byzantine fault tolerance (PBFT) pre-mining pre-selling private blockchains.

National Security Agency’s surveillance of personal data also entangled companies like this and thrust the issue into public debate. In James Graham’s engaging play Privacy, which featured Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role for its New York premier (and included a cameo video feed from Snowden himself), audience members got a disturbing view of how the data on their phones accumulates and can be used against them, as those who gave permission had their trips with ride-hailing service Uber displayed on a giant screen. If revelations about the tracking of our digital footprints breed angst in wealthy countries, people in the developing world face the exact opposite problem: too little data is available about their activities. They can’t prove “who they are.” It’s made more difficult by the fact that 2.4 billion people do not have an official form of ID, either, according to the World Bank.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

Boudette, “Building a Road Map for the Self-Driving Car,” New York Times, March 2, 2017. 8.Jody Rosen, “The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS,” New York Times Style Magazine, November 10, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/t-magazine/london-taxi-test-knowledge.html. 9.In much commentary and reportage, several unrelated developments get mixed up together: driverless cars, electric vehicles, and ride hailing. I believe this fuzziness is deliberately cultivated, as it imparts a sheen of technological progress to the ride-hailing firms when in fact their core business is one of labor arbitrage. Their innovation is merely to exploit the deskilling effect of GPS for this purpose. The main divide across which they practice labor arbitrage is time of residence in a city, which corresponds to the acquisition of knowledge held independently, without reliance on GPS.

Uber did everything it could to signal that “its eventual marketplace dominance was inevitable, that competitive or regulatory resistance was futile, and that journalistic probing was pointless.” Meanwhile, its multi-billion-dollar fare subsidies “completely distorted marketplace price and service signals, leading to a massive misallocation of resources.” One effect of such misallocation is city streets clogged with empty ride-share vehicles, which of course is the very condition that makes it possible to “press a button, get a car” almost instantly. This seems like magic, and we can only marvel at what technology might deliver next. In light of Horan’s analysis, one has to wonder: is Uber’s conspicuous interest in driverless cars really driven by a hope to replace low-wage drivers with autonomous vehicles? Why transfer the capital costs of Uber cars from immigrants who are often financially unsavvy, and get locked into ruthless auto-lease agreements, to the firm itself?

To my daughters, G and J, for insisting that I take the twisty road on the way home from their preschool, squealing “go faster!” Notes INTRODUCTION: DRIVING AS A HUMANISM 1.Uber’s then chief executive Travis Kalanick was named to the president’s Strategic and Policy Forum, and Trump selected Elaine Chao for transportation secretary. The driverless car industry is “salivating over Elaine Chao’s light touch when it comes to regulations and her vocal support for the ride-sharing economy,” according to the Hill. Paul Brubaker, a spokesperson for the industry, said, “She has a keen understanding that technology presents a great opportunity to . . . create new mobility paradigms.” Melanie Zanona, “Driverless Car Industry Embraces Trump’s Transportation Pick,” Hill, December 4, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/308590-driverless-car-industry-embraces-trumps-transportation-pick. 2.See Neal E.


pages: 383 words: 81,118

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

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

See also pricing provider incentives, 105 QuickBooks, 18 QR (quick response) codes, 163 RadioShack, 184 rating systems, 143 recruitment business, 124 regulatory environment, 140 reseller platforms, 107–108 restaurant reservation systems, 7–8, 9–14 retail design in, 186–187 ecosystems, 104–105 frictions in, in China, 61–63 future of, 204 omnichannel, 194–196 reinvention of, 193–196 transformation of from multisided platforms, 183–196 waves of disruption in, 187–188 See also shopping malls RetailNext, 183 ride-sharing apps. See BlaBlaCar; Didi Kuaidi; Uber Rochet, Jean-Charles, 14–15, 17, 22, 27, 30 Rohlfs, Jeffrey, 22–23 ROKR, 113 Rosebar nightclub, Buenos Aires, 96 Safaricom, 168, 169, 172 Samsung Pay, 163 Schumpeter, Joseph A., 49 screening devices, 124–125 Sculley, Arthur B., 65 search diversion, 129 search engines, 42, 93–94 matching algorithms in, 127 pricing, 97 shopping and, 185–186 Sears, 184 self-supply, 80 sexual predators, 139–140 sharing economy, 197–198, 203–205 shopping, changing style of, 183–196 shopping malls, 17–18, 129–133 anchor stores in, 80, 130, 131 creative destruction of, 184, 192–193 designing, 121–122 ecosystems for, 103 ignition strategies in, 80 layout of, 132–133 marquee participants in, 125 pricing, 94, 95 search diversion in, 129 store selection for, 131–132 signaling devices, 127 single-sided businesses, 16 coordination problem in, 69, 70 ecosystems for, 104–106 pricing in, 89–91 Sir John Barnard’s Act, 140–142 sixdegrees.com, 28 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 56 smartphones, 19–20, 41, 48–49 apps, 47–48 broadband development and, 42–43 creative destruction and, 204 ecosystems for, 101–102, 110–119 iPhone, 100 mobile payment systems, 58, 149–150 shopping changed by, 183–196 social networking first-mover advantage in, 28 governance of, 135–136, 137–138, 145–148 See also Facebook Soffer, Donald, 121 Soffer, Harry, 121 Solomon, Bob, 68 Sony, 23, 26–27 Southdale Center, 122 standards, technology, 22–23, 41–42, 126–127 Starbucks, 163 stock brokers, 139 stock exchanges, 39–40, 123 governance of, 140–142 streaming technology, 191–192 subsidy side of the platform, 33–34, 93–94, 96 Sun Microsystems, 43 supply, 2 switching, 28–29 Symbian, 111–112, 115, 118 Taobao, 62–63, 64 taxicabs, 51 technology, 2 for Apple Pay, 158, 159, 160–161 chips, 40–41 creative destruction and, 49–51, 197–206 in growth/development of matchmakers, 19–20, 39–61, 202–203 Internet service providers, 45–47 online/offline world and, 48–49 operating systems, 18, 43–44, 47–48 standards adoption and, 22–23, 26–27, 41–42 telegraph, 201–202 telephones, landline, 22–23, 25–26 Telkom Kenya, 168 Templeton, Chuck, 9–14, 21, 79.

All the people who used Uber 140 million times in 2014, and all of those who used it in the more than three hundred and fifty cities in sixty-seven countries where it was available in November 2015, had downloaded the Uber app onto their smartphones.25 Mobile operating systems, particularly iOS and Android, are foundational multisided platforms that power other important platforms. They are critical components of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and its Chinese competitor Didi Kuaidi and important for music apps such as Spotify. Mobile operating systems are also important for “old” Internet-based matchmakers. Google earned 20 percent of its advertising revenue from the use of its apps on smart mobile devices in 2014, and Facebook earned 73 percent of its ad revenue that way in the first quarter of 2015.26 These mobile operating systems, combined with smart mobile devices, have begun to tear down the walls between the online and the offline worlds.

In addition to fire-code regulations that limit crowds, the nightclub needs to make sure people can move around and interact. Platforms can reduce the effects of congestion by making it easier for participants to connect with each other faster.14 It can take a long time for taxicabs and riders to connect in major cities. Some people who call for taxis end up hailing one because of uncertainty about when and whether the driver will show up. Ride-sharing apps, such as Didi Kuaidi, reduce this problem by using technology to enable drivers and riders to connect quickly and confidently. Search engines, to take another example, design their results pages to make it easier for people to find relevant organic and sponsored search results. Showing people too many items on one page makes it harder for people to find things, since each additional item adds congestion.15 Searching and Matching A platform’s design must do more than help get enough of the right participants.


pages: 305 words: 79,303

The Four: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Divided and Conquered the World by Scott Galloway

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, California gold rush, cloud computing, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, follow your passion, future of journalism, future of work, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Khan Academy, longitudinal study, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, passive income, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, undersea cable, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, working poor, young professional

NYU Stern Professor of Management Sonia Marciano (clearest blue-flame thinker in strategy today) believes the key to establishing advantage is finding points of differentiation where there is large, real or perceived, variance. If you’re a decathlete, the key is to find the event with the greatest variance in performance and own it. Uber is a great product, but I’d challenge you to identify (without knowing which ride-sharing platform you booked through) the difference between Uber, Lyft, Curb, and Didi Chuxing. The category is a 10x improvement over cabs and black cars, but there is an increasing sameness among ride-sharing players. This has likely been the case for a while, but Uber’s CEO frat rock (that is, shit for brains) behavior has prompted people to discover on their own that Lyft is the same thing. The Airbnb platform takes on greater importance as an arbiter of trust, as there is greater variance in the product—a houseboat in Marin vs. a townhouse in South Kensington.

But its cars are data-collecting machines, so the challenge here is scale and execution, not the underlying capability. Uber As I write this, around 2 million people drive for Uber (called “Driver Partners”), which is more than the total number of employees of Delta, United, FedEx, and UPS20 combined. Uber adds 50,000 or more drivers per month.21 The service is available in more than 81 countries and 581 cities.22 And it’s winning in (most of) those markets. In Los Angeles, only 30 percent of ride-hailing trips were in taxis in 2016.23 In New York, almost the same number of cabs and Ubers are hailed daily (327,000 vs. 249,000).24 For many urban dwellers around the world, Uber has become their default transportation solution, the dominant brand in a space that was previously a hodgepodge of local operators and a penchant for yellow. These days Uber is the first and last thing I spend money on in every city I visit.

Specifically, the liquidity of their product. Liquidity translates to having enough suppliers and customers who can be matched to make the service viable. Both have achieved this. However, the liquidity Airbnb has garnered is more impressive and harder to replicate. Uber needs a mess of drivers and people looking for rides to build a business in a city. Uber’s cash hoard gives them the ability to ramp up a city, as can other ride-hailing firms with sufficient capital. However, Airbnb needed to achieve a critical mass of supply in one city and demand (awareness) in many others—people visit Amsterdam from all over the world. There is competition for Uber in every major city, as a firm only needs to establish liquidity in one market. Airbnb needed, and reached, scale on a continental and then global level. Airbnb’s and Uber’s valuations (at time of this writing) are $25 billion and $70 billion, respectively.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

Others, like Cruise Automation (which GM acquired for $1 billion) and Comma.ai, which offers open-source autonomous driving technology in the same vein as Google’s Android mobile operating system, are chasing hard. Baidu, China’s leading Internet search company, has an autonomous-driving research center in Sunnyvale. Byton—backed by China’s Tencent, Foxconn, and the China Harmony New Energy auto retailer group—has an office in Mountain View, as does Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing company in which Apple invested $1 billion. Many of these companies have taken not just inspiration but also talent from Tesla. Part of the value of an innovation cluster like Silicon Valley lies in the dispersal of intellectual labor from one node to the next. For instance, PayPal is well known in the Valley for producing a number of high performers who left the company to start, join, or invest in others.

The number of components in an automobile could be drastically reduced, and the value chain was changing significantly. New competitors had a better chance than ever. For the last century, Wu said, the auto industry had been like boxing, dominated by big guys who followed well-defined rules. But now, it was like mixed martial arts, which favors scrappy, nimble fighters, even if they’re smaller. “The rules become very complicated—or people don’t follow rules.” Meanwhile, ride-sharing had become popular, led in China by Didi Chuxing. Connectivity provided an opportunity to make cars more like mobile phones. And the idea of autonomous driving was gaining momentum, with Baidu, China’s largest online search company, working on its own vehicle since 2013, following Google’s lead. I started to get a little nauseous. It wasn’t only because I was focusing my attention on Wu instead of the road but also because the driver, like many in China, was unkind to the brakes.

In a phone interview two days before I met Wu, Wang Jing, the head of Baidu’s autonomous driving unit, said Baidu believed self-driving cars could reduce the death toll on China’s roads by 90 percent—since that’s the proportion of accidents caused by human error. Self-driving cars would also save time, Wang said. A commute in a megacity like Beijing or Shanghai commonly takes an hour or two, but most cars on the road have only one occupant. A more efficient distribution of bodies per vehicle through ride-sharing would improve traffic and speed up commutes. In China, it will be easier than in the United States for people to make the transition to sharing self-driving cars, Wang reasoned. The population density of the big cities makes it difficult for people to have access to their own parking spaces, and hundreds of millions of Chinese still don’t own cars. “For Chinese people, they don’t have this concept; they haven’t completely embraced the private car yet,” Wang said.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

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

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

Unconstrained platforms will have result in more creativity (more of the good kind and more of the junky kind). GoLoco failed because people in the United States were uninterested in ridesharing. It took a while for us to figure that out. Maybe we just had to work smarter. We narrowed our offering and targeted our marketing so that we might be able to force success in a specific niche and expand from that foothold, a strategy I highly recommend to start-ups seeking to build a critical mass. The smaller the niche, the smaller the critical mass needed to prove success. For GoLoco, we focused first on a specific geography (radiating from Boston, and the Boston-New York corridor), then on certain demographic market segments (working closely with universities to be their ridesharing provider; partnering with conferences, concerts, and sports events). Throughout the first year, there were glimmers of encouragement.

See Reviews reCAPTCHA, 27–28, 29 Red Hook initiative, 245–246 Regulations outdated, 151–152, 155–156 overregulation, 150 platform’s process for not adhering, 132 proposals to police websites, 158–159 self-governing, 153–155 taxis vs. Uber, 149–151 through decentralized leader-free “voting,” 216–217 Requests for proposals (RFPs), vs. asking for solutions, 171 Retail model, 237–238 Reviews creating meritocracy, 55 eBay, 103 rideshare companies, 154 Reward system, decentralized, based on digitized data, 214–215 Rickshaws, auto, 239–243 Ridesharing disinterest, 108–109 as inevitability, 188 mechanisms for regulating, 153–154 See also BlaBlaCar; GoLoco; LaZooz Rock cairns, as metaphor for sharing innovation, 224–225 Romero, Carlos, 251–252 Rosetta Stone, 79 SaferCar, 41 Sainsbury’s, 179 St. Paul, Minnesota, 170–171 Sanger, Larry, 110 Schneier, Bruce, 114–115, 126 Searls, Doc, 117 Seikatsu, 203 Shadow IT, defined, 152 Sharing best practices, 128–129 rebranding word, 12 as tapping excess capacity, 16–19 theses, 11 See also Collaborative economy; Openness Sinai, Nick, 42, 172 Skype as excess capacity, 23–24 growth compared to WhatsApp, 112–113 Smartphones excess capacity uses, 25–27, 48–49 as platform for sustainability, 87 Social media growth of monthly users, 113 incentivizing use for LaZooz, 215 transforming political activism, 83–84 See also Facebook; LinkedIn; Meetup; Twitter Software customer-facing, 14–15 open.

Thomas Spanyol, “Sainsbury’s ASA Challenge Goes to Judicial Review,” December 22, 2014. www.marketinglaw.co.uk/advertising-regulation/sainsburys-asa-challenge-goes-to-judicial-review?cat_id=1. 24. “Rethinking Retail in the Collaborative Economy,” talk given by Véronique Laury, Castorama CEO, OuiShare Fest, June 9, 2014, ww.youtube.com/watch?v=nDkrBfaP8bg. 25. Kevin Delaney, “Google in Talks to Buy YouTube for $1.6 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, October 7, 2006. 26. Curt Woodward, “MA Warns Ride-Sharing, Car-Sharing Drivers of Insurance Risks,” Xconomy.com, June 26, 2014, www.xconomy.com/boston/2014/06/26/ma-warns-ride-sharing-car-sharing-drivers-of-insurance-risks. 27. Scott Austin, “How Does Airbnb’s $10 Billion Valuation Size Up?,” Digits blog, Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014. 28. Roxane Googin, “The Techonomy, Get Used to It,” High Technology Observer, September 27, 2012. 29. Paul Krugman, “The Rich, the Right, and the Facts: Deconstructing the Income Distribution Debate,” The American Prospect, Fall 1992. 30.


pages: 237 words: 74,109

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Extropian, future of work, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, means of production, medical residency, new economy, New Urbanism, passive income, pull request, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, union organizing, universal basic income, unpaid internship, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Transplanted startup workers bemoaned the transit infrastructure, an old system riddled with inefficiencies that shut down almost entirely at midnight—not that anyone making a midlevel tech salary was taking the bus. A glut of transportation apps had sprung up to replace San Francisco’s poky streetcars and unreliable taxi fleet. The largest was an on-demand ride-sharing startup, a company committed to domination at all costs, including profitability. The ride-sharing startup’s main competitor had a near-identical business model but much cuter branding. The cute competitor required its drivers—contract laborers commandeering their own personal vehicles—to hook large fuchsia mustaches, made of synthetic fur, to their grilles and greet passengers with a fist bump. Improbably, this worked. The company knew its audience: San Franciscans, living in neighborhoods where every other storefront had a pun in its name, were corny.

The descent into obsolescence was almost always broken by cushions of venture capital, but we could see the direction things would go. We all knew that internal permissions, limiting what we could see of customer data sets, would come eventually. We also knew, at least for the time being, that it wasn’t a priority for our Engineering team. This level of employee access was normal for the industry—common for small, new startups whose engineers were overextended. Employees at ride-sharing startups, I’d heard, could search customers’ ride histories, tracking the travel patterns of celebrities and politicians. Even the social network everyone hated had its own version of God Mode: early employees had been granted access to users’ private activity and passwords. Permissioning was effectively a rite of passage. It was a concession to the demands of growth. Besides, early employees were trusted like family.

We had plugged the address into a mapping app and followed it blindly, just as we had driven up from San Francisco. I could have been anywhere. The next two days were spent canvassing, walking through suburban sprawl. I hated our conspicuousness, the imposition on strangers; hated that they all knew what was coming the minute we clomped up onto the porch. In working-class neighborhoods with streets that were quiet and still, half the parked cars bore windshield decals from ride-sharing startups. My coworker fretted about rumors she was hearing of the Sales team starting layoffs. PRAY FOR JESUS TO LOWER INFLATION, advised a bumper sticker. On Election Day, engorged with anxiety and optimism, I secured an enamel pin shaped like a uterus to my jacket and went to scout breakfast. A line of men sat at the slot machines, smoking. As the woman behind the casino coffee bar rang me up, I asked whether she had a plan in place to vote that day, reciting the opening of a script I still needed to memorize.


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, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

Uber is very much a market economy, as is Getaround (although environmental concerns might lead one to use these as substitutes for auto ownership); BlaBlaCar and Lyft have some gift economy aspects to them, as does Bandwagon, a platform for sharing yellow cabs in New York, and Hitch, a carpooling network acquired by Lyft in 2015. Natalie Foster, the founder of the (then) sharing economy collective action platform Peers.org, quotes a Peers member named Justin, a ride-share driver in Los Angeles, who calls the ride-sharing experience a positive force in his life: “Often times because of how we run so close in our circles, we sometimes shut ourselves off from interactions with new people. Ride sharing has allowed me to interact with people whom I would never have met.”45 The sharing economy is thus diverse not just in its industries, services and business models, but on the market-to-gift spectrum as well. It is neither the exclusive domain of altruistic givers nor full-steam-ahead capitalists.

Co-founded in 2013 by Matan Field, Oren Sokolowsky, and Shay Zluf, La’Zooz is (as of 2015) a decentralized peer-to-peer ridesharing marketplace that takes a novel approach to this problem. (The platform is based in Israel, and the word “lazuz” means “to move” in Hebrew.) Think about a service like Uber. Sure, there’s value in the technology, but eventually, the system is more valuable to passengers when there are more drivers; and the system is valuable to drivers when there are more passengers. So a critical “input” into such a ridesharing system is user participation. Correspondingly, the users who “seed” the system with early participation are likely to be more valuable, at the margin, than those who join later. La’Zooz has created what seems to be a familiar-looking mobile device app for ridesharing, but with a key difference: embedded in each app is a “mining app” as well, designed to encourage early participation.

Hyde describes how anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski spent several years living on these islands during World War I, eventually mapping out how the circles associated with the flow of armshells and necklaces across people spanned many adjoining islands. 38. Hyde, The Gift, 24, 48, 24. 39. Benkler, “‘Sharing Nicely,’” 316. 40. Hyde, The Gift, 47. 41. Ibid., xxi–xxii. 42. Ibid., xvii. 43. See https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-is-now-a-benefit-corporation. 44. http://tradeschool.coop. 45. Natalie Foster, “It’s Time for CPUC to OK Ride Shares,” SFGate, September 13, 2013, http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/It-s-time-for-CPUC-to-OK-ride-shares-4825997.php. 46. http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/pach/. 47. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (New York: Basic Books, 2011). 1. 48. Robert Nisbet, The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2010), 21. 2 Laying the Tracks: Digital and Socioeconomic Foundations There is now a new kind of relationship of trust for people to build on: trust in online profiles.


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, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

This incident and others seem to support the legal claim by thousands of drivers who are suing Uber, insisting they are indeed employees under the strict management of Uber, not sovereign contractors. As an employer, Uber would be responsible for paying Social Security and Medicare contributions for these workers, as well as unemployment and injured workers’ compensation and driving expenses. This stark reality also points to the grave need for the creation of a new ride-sharing platform in which drivers have more control, either through outright cooperative ownership of the platform or a binding contract negotiated by a union-type organization, such as was recently empowered in Seattle via new legislation. According to Uber’s own numbers, most drivers work only part-time and leave after a year. New drivers like the flexibility, but after a while they burn out, with frequent wage cuts and unfair treatment.

But if one thinks about it, today’s sharing-economy platforms do exhibit some characteristics in common with Sunkist, and a worker-owned equivalent to Lyft and Uber seems quite feasible. Point-to-point urban transportation is a fairly uniform service in an industry with a limited amount of competition. Once the technology associated with “e-hail” and logistics is commoditized, which it will be, the economic fundamentals for the emergence of a platform cooperative would appear to be in place. More important, the network effects associated with ridesharing are geographically concentrated. Thus, unlike platforms such as eBay and Facebook, the barriers to entry posed by an incumbent platform may not be onerous. True, passengers gravitate toward the platforms with more drivers, and vice versa. However, these effects are localized. Most potential passengers in New York care little about the scale of a platform in Los Angeles or Minneapolis. They want the service that has the densest supply in their own city.

The same is true for many labor platforms, including those that provide domestic work and home services. As a consequence, instigating the emergence of a platform cooperative doesn’t involve getting millions or billions of users to switch simultaneously. Rather, it might be seeded simply by signing up a few thousand providers. One such effort under way as of the writing of this essay is Swift in New York, a nascent ridesharing effort that hopes to organize as a driver cooperative. Despite these relatively low barriers to entry, a collective that hopes to build a scalable platform business with a cooperative ownership model faces other challenges. During a panel that Juliet Schor and I participated in at the Platform Cooperativism conference, Schor highlighted an issue her research had uncovered about sharing economy cooperatives: that their value system was often better articulated than their value proposition.


pages: 282 words: 69,481

Road to ruin: an introduction to sprawl and how to cure it by Dom Nozzi

business climate, car-free, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, Parkinson's law, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, skinny streets, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban decay, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

Charging meaningful parking fees, not raising residential densities, is the key to discouraging car trips and encouraging transit, walking, or bike trips, claims one civil engineer.18 In San Francisco, 95 percent of workers whose employers charged for parking and offered public transit vouchers commuted by public transit.19 Extremely high parking fees have been remarkably effective at the University of California–Davis in persuading commuters to ride bikes instead of drive.20 RIDESHARING AND CARPOOLING A good example of the need for pairing tactics that discourage driver-only trips and encourage travel choice is the finding that financial parking incentives are essential to persuade the maximum number of people to share rides.21 When a firm in California started charging $30 per month for parking, solo driving dropped from 90 percent to 45 percent, while carpooling jumped from 6 percent to 48 percent.22 Although rideshare incentives have a difficult time competing with free parking, a federal study of employer ride-sharing programs found that vehicle trips declined by an average of 20 percent when the program was introduced.23 In the mid 1990s, carpooling was much more common for shopping, recreation, and other purposes than for work; occurred mostly on multi-purpose trips; and was most efficient when destinations were accessible to each other.24 GUARANTEED RIDE HOME Communities that adopt “guaranteed ride home” programs assure employees a motor vehicle will be available should they have a trip need while at work, such as a family emergency, that they cannot make by walking, bicycling, or public transit.

Concentrating jobs downtown has little effect on reducing car dependence, whereas a balanced mix of jobs and housing downtown results in much less car use.16 Some cities now require developers to provide a certain amount of residential housing in conjunction with downtown office development. Apart from urban downtowns, the highest rates of bicycling and walking occur in neighborhood centers with a jobs and housing balance. (Well-designed “neighborhood centers,” which usually occur at major street intersections, are walkable shopping areas mixed with housing.) Adding retail shops to office-oriented areas further promotes walking, bicycling, ridesharing, and use of public transit by those who live near their work and near the commingled retail and service outlets.17 Here are some persuasive statistics: compared to a development in a remote, sprawled location, new in-town development can reduce vehicle miles traveled by up to 52 percent and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by up to 81 percent and of volatile organic compounds by up to 316 percent.

When planners, citizens, and elected officials understand how these tactical measures can interact with their particular circumstances, we have the best possible chance to see the quality of our community life maintained, even enhanced, despite what sometimes seems like a tidal wave of growth and development.Because car travel is so heavily subsidized, we drive substantially more than we would if we bore the full cost of our driving, much of which the general public pays for in the form of uncompensated air, water, and noise pollution, crashes, sprawl, the decline of downtowns, and so on. Indeed, scholars in the field of transportation research indicate that we would drive one-third to two-thirds less if these “market distortions” or “underpricing” were eliminated and we had to pay our fair share for driving. Among the many tactics being used or considered for shifting these costs back to motorists are parking fees, ridesharing, guaranteed rides home, trip reduction laws, gasoline taxes, congestion fees, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes.1 PARKING: CASH-OUT PROGRAMS, PARKING ALLOWANCES, AND PARKING FEES Excess parking promotes undesirable levels of solo car travel, makes communities less walkable and less safe, is more costly to businesses, promotes urban sprawl, and degrades an area’s appearance. Our major parking problem today is that developers provide too much.


pages: 416 words: 100,130

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

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

A meeting at Adler’s home had inspired a group of city council people, tech entrepreneurs, and business folks to try a new approach to the same service. And Ride Austin was born. Ride Austin was created not simply as a replacement for Uber, but as an antidote to it. It was an entrepreneurial attempt to create a ridesharing model that would be defined by community, not just by transactions. As TheNextWeb described it: “The app is essentially a clone of Uber, only without the shitty business behind it.” What is behind Ride Austin isn’t a business at all, but a nonprofit. It is a ride-share service that serves the community, with a commitment to drive down costs and increase accessibility. As its slogan goes, “Built by Austin, for Austin.” It espouses a philosophy that is proudly local, pro-driver, and philanthropic. You can tip the drivers. You can round up to the nearest dollar to support local charities.

Ride Austin sees the harmony it can achieve within its triangle and circle as its competitive advantage. It is now committed to making its drivers full employees with benefits—creating reliable jobs. It has plans to work in underserved areas to increase mobility and to encourage more actual ridesharing, by reducing single occupancy rides. It is also thinking through a proposal to use some of the fees from its luxury ride options to offset the costs to low-income riders. Think of it as redistributive ridesharing. The unique situation in Austin—the Uberpocalypse, as it was known—and Austin’s progressive culture offered up a rare chance for an initiative like Ride Austin to emerge. Yet its story may prove quixotic. A new statewide deal has brought Uber and Lyft back to town, leaving Ride Austin’s future in serious doubt.

The conventional wisdom is that network effects at work around platforms like Uber will lead inexorably toward a national and perhaps global monopoly or duopoly emerging (and that is certainly Uber’s goal). Yet, as Deshotel reminded us, 90 percent of ridesharing is purely local. It is a service fairly well suited to a city scale and a more communitarian bent, especially if the incentives of drivers, riders, community, and government can all fall into alignment. Going further, it is not absurd to imagine a Ride Houston, or a Ride DC, or even a Ride São Paulo. Using shared technology and branding, local versions of ridesharing apps might even start to assemble some kind of “federated platform,” with different communities owning and tending their own patches of the same ecosystem. THE CIRCLE TEST: BUILDING NEW POWER COMMUNITIES THAT WORK, INSIDE AND OUT The dynamics of new power communities aren’t important just because they help us understand why Reddit might revolt or Uber might combust.


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, 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

This is how Uber makes money with the platform: by taking a commission from every journey that a driver makes. The success of Uber is also partly explained by its engagement with regulation and transport policy. As Travis Kalanick (2013) – the former CEO of Uber – explained: In most cities across the [US], regulators have chosen not to enforce against non-licensed transportation providers using ridesharing apps. This course of non-action resulted in massive regulatory ambiguity leading to one-sided competition which Uber has not engaged in to its own disadvantage. This coyly phrased lack of ‘disadvantage’ has actually proven to be incredibly advantageous for Uber. As Trebor Scholz (2017a: 44) emphasizes: ‘Uber is a labor company, not simply a tech startup, which means that it is reliant on the availability of an abundance of cheap labor and a permissive regulatory environment.’

Because of the problems that most gig economy unions and workers’ associations have in raising dues, a lot could be done by supporting those that are on the cutting edge of cases and conflicts that will reshape the gig economy for years to come: from the IWGB and IWW in the UK, to CLAP in France, the Transnational Courier Federation across Europe, The Movement in South Africa, the New York Taxi Worker Alliance, Rideshare Drivers United, and Gig Workers Rising in the US. Their battles in the courts are often costly and they tend not to have strike funds, so donate to their causes so that they have the opportunity to win, and the resources to keep going should they lose. Last but not least, we need to make sure that the energy, compassion and power that can be built amongst groups of workers can transition into the domains of regulation and law.

Kalanick has described the rise of the company as analogous to a political campaign in which ‘the candidate is Uber and the incumbent is an asshole called “taxi”’ (Kalanick and Swisher, 2014). Another documented tactic is the use of ‘greyballing’ to evade regulation. This involves the ‘greyball’ tool developed by Uber, which take the data collected by the app through its normal operation in order to ‘identify and circumvent officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-hailing service’.8 The use of the tool was approved by Uber’s legal team and has been running since at least 2014. For example, in Portland, Oregon, Uber was operating without approval. Uber gathered the details of city officials and ‘greyballed’ them, providing ‘a fake version of the app, populated with ghost cars, to evade capture’, including cancelling any rides they were able to hail. Uber justified this as part of its ‘violation of terms of service’ (VTOS) programme, aiming to prevent anyone misusing the service from accessing it.


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, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

“You know, the thing that is illegal when the Mafia does it.”42 As Brad Stone notes, Amazon is becoming “increasingly monolithic in markets like books and electronics,” which is why he believes that antitrust authorities will inevitably come to scrutinize Amazon’s market power.43 Let’s hope that there will be politicians bold enough to take on Bezos before Amazon becomes, quite literally, the Everything Store. No, the Internet is not the answer, especially when it comes to the so-called sharing economy of peer-to-peer networks like Uber and Airbnb. The good news is that, as Wired’s Marcus Wohlsen put it, the “sun is setting on the wild west” of ride- and apartment-sharing networks.44 Tax collectors and municipalities from Cleveland to Hamburg are recognizing that many peer-to-peer rentals and ride-sharing apps are breaking both local and national housing and transportation laws. What the Financial Times calls a “regulatory backlash”45 has pushed Uber to limit surge pricing during emergencies46 and forced Airbnb hosts to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.47 “Just because a company has an app instead of a storefront doesn’t mean consumer protection laws don’t apply,” notes the New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who is trying to subpoena Airbnb’s user data in New York City.48 A group of housing activists in San Francisco is even planning a late 2014 ballot measure in the city that would “severely curb” Airbnb’s operations.49 “Airbnb is bringing up the rent despite what the company says,” explains the New York City–based political party Working Families.50 The answer is to use the law and regulation to force the Internet out of its prolonged adolescence.

v=2QrX5jsiico. 23 See invitation to FailChat: culturesfirststeps.eventbrite.com. 24 Stephen E. Siwek, “The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy,” Institute of Policy Research, August 21, 2007. See executive summary: ipi.org/ipi_issues/detail/the-true-cost-of-sound-recording-piracy-to-the-us-economy. 25 IFPI Digital Music Report, 2011, “Music at the Touch of a Button,” ifpi.org/content/library/dmr2011.pdf, p. 15. 26 Ibid. 27 See, for example, Ellen Huet, “Rideshare Drivers’ Unexpected Perk: Networking,” San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 2013. 28 Gideon Lewis-Kraus, No Exit: Struggling to Survive a Modern Gold Rush (Kindle Single, 2014). 29 Jessica Guynn, “San Francisco Split by Silicon Valley’s Wealth,” Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2013. 30 Rebecca Solnit, “Google Invades,” London Review of Books, February 7, 2013. 31 Michael Winter and Alistair Barr, “Protesters Vandalize Google Bus, Block Apple Shuttle,” USA Today, December 20, 2013. 32 Alexei Oreskovic and Sarah McBride, “Latest Perk on Google Buses: Security Guards,” Reuters, January 16, 2014. 33 Tom Perkins, “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?

,” Nation, July 16, 2014. 39 Ingrid Lunden, “More Woe for Amazon in Germany as Antitrust Watchdog Investigates Its 3rd Party Pricing Practices,” TechCrunch, October 21, 2013. 40 “Amazon Sued by US Regulators over Child In-App Purchases,” BBC Business News, July 10, 2014. 41 Brad Stone, “Amazon May Get Its First Labor Union in the U.S.,” Bloomberg Businessweek, December 17, 2013. 42 David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy, “As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish,” New York Times, May 23, 2014. 43 Stone, The Everything Store, p. 340. 44 Marcus Wohlsen, “Why the Sun Is Setting on the Wild West of Ride-Sharing,” Wired, August 2, 2013. 45 April Dembosky and Tim Bradshaw, “Start-ups: Shareholder Societies,” Financial Times, August 7, 2013. 46 Ben Popper, “Uber Agrees to New National Policy That Will Limit Surge Pricing During Emergencies,” Verge, July 8, 2014. 47 Chris Welch, “Airbnb Hosts Must Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors by End of 2014,” Verge, February 21, 2014. 48 Eric T. Schneiderman, “Taming the Digital Wild West,” New York Times, April 22, 2014. 49 Carolyn Said, “S.F.


pages: 244 words: 66,977

Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It by Tien Tzuo, Gabe Weisert

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, connected car, death of newspapers, digital twin, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Lean Startup, Lyft, manufacturing employment, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pets.com, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, smart meter, social graph, software as a service, spice trade, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, transport as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Y2K, Zipcar

It’s just a matter of time. RAILWAYS AND RIDESHARES Competition in the transportation industry has switched from vertical to horizontal. By that I mean it’s not just car companies going after car companies, or airlines taking on other airlines anymore. Light rails are competing against rideshares that are competing against budget airlines. Everyone is chasing after passengers who are demanding access to anytime, anywhere travel. Take SNCF, France’s state-owned railway company, which was founded in 1938. If you’ve ever gone backpacking in Europe, you’ve ridden SNCF. And for lots of young French people working in cities, SNCF has been a reliable way to visit home on the weekends. But over the last couple of years, they’ve seen some fierce competition from new ridesharing services, long-route coaches, and discount airlines.

People increasingly view the prospect of buying something as unnecessary baggage. They want media at their fingertips, not physical products to manage. That’s why most of the big box retailers I grew up with are gone now: Circuit City, Tower Records, Blockbuster, Borders, Virgin Megastore. A lot of the malls are gone, too! Today people expect services to provide immediate, ongoing fulfillment, from rideshares to streaming services to subscription boxes. They want to be happily surprised on a regular basis. And if you don’t meet those expectations, you get dropped, not to mention trashed on social media. It’s that simple. Forrester Research thinks we’re at the beginning of a new twenty-year business cycle it calls “The Age of the Customer.” Forrester sees a broad, systemic shift in capital models pivoting toward serving a newly empowered generation of customers who have the ability to price, critique, and purchase anytime, anywhere.

You can subscribe to a Volvo XC40 (their compact SUV) for $600 a month, and that includes concierge services like packages delivered straight to your vehicle. Everything is covered except the gas: insurance, maintenance, wear-and-tear replacements, 24/7 customer care. Volvo’s CEO expects that one out of every five of the company’s vehicles will be delivered via subscription by 2023, and the company is working on its own ridesharing network that will allow users to loan or rent its cars for profit. Jim Nichols, product and technology communications manager at Volvo USA, told Consumer Reports, “Our research has shown that many customers are looking for a hassle-free, fixed-rate experience that mirrors the many subscriptions they currently have, such as Netflix or Apple’s iPhone [upgrade] program.” But wait—isn’t a vehicle subscription just another word for a lease?


pages: 285 words: 58,517

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

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

Today this story is familiar and can be seen in many industries. Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, did the same thing when he created a ride-sharing service using mobile technologies to connect drivers and riders directly, where existing black car and taxi companies didn’t. Founder of Angie’s List Angie Hicks connected homeowners to share reviews of local businesses and service providers, creating enormous value over traditional listings like the Yellow Pages. But don’t assume that only start-ups can embrace new mental models and core beliefs. General Motors is demonstrating that it too can shift its core beliefs about value with a $500 million investment in the ride-sharing start-up Lyft and a commitment to build digital networks and autonomous vehicles. Take It Outside Your Mind and into the Real World As you update your mental model, you need to take reinforcing actions to help realize the change.

Other network companies access the physical assets of the network, such as Uber making use of customers’ cars, or Airbnb making use of customers’ real estate. The task of managing external assets, however, is entirely different from managing those owned by your firm. To maintain and grow access to a network’s assets, you must carefully manage the sentiment and engagement of the network itself. If Uber doesn’t keep its drivers happy, there are other ride-sharing networks such as Lyft and Sidecar ready to take them into the fold. Let’s reflect on your organization and pinpoint where you lie on the spectrum from tangible to intangible. Ask yourself these questions, and then mark on the scale of tangible (1) to intangible (10) where your company falls on the spectrum. What are the most important assets of your company? What percentage are tangible? Intangible?

PRINCIPLE 10 MINDSET From Closed to Open Entrepreneurial business favors the open mind. It favours people whose optimism drives them to prepare for many possible futures, pretty much purely for the joy of doing so. —Richard Branson, The Virgin Group EVEN A HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD ORGANIZATION CAN INNOVATE ITS BUSINESS MODEL. General Motors (GM) is coming enthusiastically, albeit a bit late, to the innovative ride-sharing market with a $500 million investment in Lyft as part of Lyft’s latest $1 billion venture financing round. Although a shift from car ownership to car sharing, and even further to autonomous vehicles, could be a risky disruption to their market, GM’s leaders have decided to embrace the changing business model landscape in transportation and innovate what they do and how they do it. Daniel Ammann, GM’s president, said, “We think there’s going to be more change in the world of mobility in the next five years than there has been in the last 50,” and GM is getting ready for that change.1 From that perspective, Lyft is an excellent partner who will help GM turn their views of the market upside down.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

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

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

In early 2015, both Uber and Lyft began experimenting with a new ride-sharing service that complements their familiar call-a-taxi business model. The new services, known as UberPool and Lyft Line, allow two or more passengers traveling in the same direction to find one another and share a ride, thereby reducing their cost while increasing the revenues enjoyed by the driver. Lyft cofounder Logan Green says that ride-sharing was always part of the Lyft idea. The initial version of Lyft, he explains, was designed to attract an initial customer base “in every market.” Having achieved that, he continues, “Now we get to play that next card and start matching up people to take rides.”3 Uber isn’t taking the competition lightly. To try to ensure that its ride-sharing service out-competes Lyft’s, Uber has joined the bidding for Here, a digital mapping service owned by Nokia that is the chief alternative to Google Maps.

Matthews, “Uber Passenger Says Driver Struck Him with Hammer After He Told Him He Was Going the Wrong Way,” NBC Bay Area, October 8, 2014, http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Passenger-Hit-with-Hammer-by-Uber-Driver-278596821.html. 47. Airbnb, “Host Protection Insurance,” https://www.airbnb.com/host-protection-insurance, accessed June 15, 2015; A. Cecil, “Uber, Lyft, and Other Rideshare Drivers Now Have Insurance Options,” Policy Genius, https://www.policygenius.com/blog/uber-lyft-and-other-rideshare-drivers-now-have-insurance-options/, accessed June 14, 2015. 48. Huckman, Pisano, and Kind, “Amazon Web Services.” 49. Jillian D’Onfro, “Here’s a Reminder Just How Massive Amazon’s Web Services Business Is,” Business Insider, June 16, 2014, http://www .businessinsider.com/amazon-web-services-market-share-2014-6. 50. Annabelle Gawer and Michael A.

To try to ensure that its ride-sharing service out-competes Lyft’s, Uber has joined the bidding for Here, a digital mapping service owned by Nokia that is the chief alternative to Google Maps. Uber hopes to buy Here and use its mapping power to produce swift and accurate ride-sharing matches more effectively than any other service.4 In other cases, ideas for new interactions emerge from experience, observation, and necessity. In its search for new drivers, Uber discovered that many of its best prospects were recent immigrants to the U.S. who were eager to supplement their incomes by driving for Uber but who lacked the credit histories and financial qualifications needed to finance car purchases. Andrew Chapin of Uber’s driver operations group came up with the idea of having Uber act as a middleman to guarantee car loans for its drivers, deducting repayments from driver revenue and sending them directly to the lenders.


pages: 337 words: 101,440

Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation by Sophie Pedder

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bike sharing scheme, centre right, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, ghettoisation, haute couture, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, mittelstand, new economy, post-industrial society, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, urban planning, éminence grise

He persuaded his sister to take a detour via Paris to pick him up for the ride and, as they headed down the motorway for the 500-kilometre journey, Frédéric Mazzella noticed how many other cars on the route were empty apart from the driver. That moment, he recalled later, was when the idea came to him of launching a long-distance ride-sharing service that could link passengers to empty seats. Three years later, BlaBlaCar was launched. By 2017 it was the biggest ride-sharing service in the world, with 60 million users. The idea behind BlaBlaCar is simple: the driver ‘sells’ empty seats to cover petrol and road tolls, but not at a profit; the passenger gets a cheap trip, even last minute. The business model is that of Airbnb: BlaBlaCar takes a cut on transactions; trust is built through peer review.

Back in 2008, the bipartisan Attali Commission, for which Emmanuel Macron was a rapporteur, had argued for a deregulation of the taxi industry. But, thanks to its mighty lobby, the advice came to nothing. Such was the scarcity of taxis on the streets of Paris that the concept of Uber was actually dreamt up in the French capital, one wintry evening in 2008, when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were in town for a tech conference, known as Le Web, and couldn’t find a cab. They hit upon the idea of a ride-hailing app, and a year later launched Uber in America. When the French government finally deregulated the chauffeur-driven car sector, it initially put in place a raft of restrictions, which Uber proceeded to breach. Exasperated, the police raided Uber’s premises. Two Uber executives were detained. Only one French minister at the time dissented. The law concerning UberPop had to be respected, Emmanuel Macron declared, but he went on to defend the principle of allowing Uber to operate its regular service.

Emmanuel Macron, March 2017 In the summer of 2015, while Macron was pondering his political options, Courtney Love, widow of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and posted a message on Twitter: ‘they’ve ambushed our car and are holding our driver hostage. they’re beating the cars with metal bats. this is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad.’ The singer was one of the many passengers caught up in violent anti-Uber protests at the capital’s main international airport, and couldn’t believe her eyes. The previous year, the American ride-sharing firm had launched UberPop, a service that matched unregistered car drivers with passengers and which was ultimately ruled illegal in Paris. The capital’s taxi drivers, already exasperated by the arrival of ordinary Uber cars, did what protesters do. Roads were blocked, passengers intimidated, drivers threatened and tyres slashed. It was a familiar, theatrical defence of producer interests in France.


pages: 621 words: 123,678

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

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

Your side hustle can literally be anything, as long as you make money doing it, and once again thanks to the internet, there are more ways to make money than ever before. Do you like to crochet? Sell some handmade mittens on Etsy. Do you collect comic books? Auction some off on eBay. Do you like to drive? Become a driver for a ride-sharing company—or better yet, become a driver for all the ride-sharing companies in your city! Like music? Maybe you can work as a DJ or start selling beat packs online. The possibilities are pretty much endless. However, while there are an infinite number of ways to make money side hustling, not all side hustles are created equal. For example, if you drive for a ride-sharing company you can drive whenever you want, but you are still working for a large company—which, just like a full-time job, limits your income potential. In order to maximize your side-hustle earning potential, find a side hustle: Where you actually work for yourself That pays you well for your time That you enjoy doing That teaches you new skills (skills are future currency) That has growth potential (you can grow it into a larger business if you want) That has passive income potential (where you can hire others to do the work or set up recurring revenue streams) My favorite (and most profitable) side hustles are buying and selling website domain names, flipping mopeds and VW campers, building websites, blogging, and running digital ad campaigns.

You can use that 53 minutes each day to read a book or take a nap, listen to a podcast, or even earn some extra cash by selling something online or working on one of your side gigs. If you have a couple of friends or neighbors who drive the same direction as you, then carpooling is a simple way to cut costs, one that might be even more affordable than public transportation. Another option is ride-sharing using a service like Uber, Lyft, or Waze. In some locations, ride-sharing might even be cheaper than owning a car. I know people in Los Angeles, one of the most car-dependent cities on the planet, who use ride-sharing services to get everywhere because they’re so inexpensive. THE ART OF TRAVEL-HACKING Get out and explore the world. It’s never been easier to travel for less. While travel-hacking takes some work, with a little effort you can travel for a lot less. The more you travel-hack, the better you’ll get.

US Household Annual (2016) You Monthly You Annual Housing Mortgage/Rent Property Taxes Maintenance and Cleaning Home/Renter’s Insurance Electricity Oil/Gas Water/Garbage/Sewer Phone Cable/Internet Other (Including vacation and hotels) Total Housing $18,886 Transportation Car Payment Maintenance/Repairs Gas/Oil License/Registration Insurance Bus/Train Fare Flights (including vacation) Taxis/Ridesharing Total Transportation $9,049 Food Groceries/Eat at Home Eating Out Total Food $7,203 Apparel & Services Clothing and Shoes Jewelry Dry Cleaning/Laundry Total Apparel and Services $1,803 Cash Contributions Donations Other Total Cash Contributions $2,081 Expense Avg.


pages: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

Technology innovation is the most common trigger for launching a new market or upending an existing one. Uber wasn’t the first company to try to improve the experience of hailing a taxi. But prior to the technological innovation of the smartphone, complete with wireless Internet connection and GPS-enabled location-based services, Uber’s business model simply wouldn’t have worked. These innovations reduced the friction for both driver and rider, making Uber’s core UberX ridesharing model a mass-market possibility for the first time. Nor can companies afford to ignore technology innovation after they successfully blitzscale their way to City or Nation stage. Each and every one of the technology companies worth over $100 billion has used technology leadership to reinforce its competitive advantages. Amazon may have started as a simple online retailer with no unique technology, but today its technological prowess in cloud computing, automated logistics, and voice recognition help to maintain its dominance.

Because blitzscaling often requires spending significant amounts of capital in ways that traditional business wisdom would consider “wasteful,” implementing a financial strategy that supports this aggressive spending is a critical part of blitzscaling. For example, Uber often uses heavy subsidies on both sides of the marketplace when it launches in a new city, lowering fares to attract riders and boosting payments to attract drivers. By paying out more than it takes in on those early trips, Uber is able to reach critical scale faster than a more conservative competitor. Given the winner-take-most nature of the ridesharing market, that “wasteful” spending has helped Uber achieve a dominant market position in the cities in which it operates. Of course, that strategy isn’t possible without the ability to raise massive amounts of capital on favorable terms. In Uber’s case, it has been able to raise nearly $9 billion between its founding and the writing of this book. At some point, Uber will have to demonstrate the ability to significantly improve its unit economics, or its investors will get very grumpy.

For example, Microsoft needs to field a search engine to compete with Google, even though it is unlikely to capture much market share, because Google is fielding productivity apps against Microsoft. At this phase, you should try to make your opponents defend every bit of their territories, because, if you succeed, they will be stretched too thin to ward off the attacks you actually consider important. Just remember to save a few ships to fend off attacks from those pesky pirates! From Captain to Admiral At the time of the writing of this book, the ridesharing company Uber was Silicon Valley’s most valuable start-up (and second globally to its frenemy, China’s Didi Chuxing), despite having spent most of 2017 in the news for a number of serious problems and scandals. Some of these issues were due to clearly unethical behavior, including internal problems, such as the sexual harassment reported by the former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, and various external attempts to subvert free competition, regulation, and the press, such as creating fake accounts to poach drivers from its rival Lyft (as reported by The Verge), developing software (Greyball) to prevent law enforcement and regulators from accessing the service, and then-COO Emil Michael suggesting that the company spend money to hire opposition researchers to intimidate journalists.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

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

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

Digital companies in particular have the ability to rethink some of these assumptions and rapidly deploy new approaches. For example, as an alternative to investing in the platform monopolies favored by most of today’s venture capitalists, Fred Wilson has invested in Uber competitor Sidecar, which he argues “has built a true open marketplace for ridesharing.”31 Sidecar does not offer the extreme convenience of Uber, but it’s not really geared toward increasing the efficiency of business travelers. It’s more of a peer-to-peer ridesharing app, through which passengers book lifts from drivers usually in advance. The app lets passengers connect with drivers and then gets out of the way, emphasizing those human-to-human connections over the primacy of its own platform. In contrast to Uber’s centralized price-fixing and opportunistic gouging,32 Sidecar asks drivers to set their own prices by negotiating with riders within the application.

To become an entire environment, however, a platform must win a rather complete monopoly of its sector. Uber can’t leverage anything if it’s just one of several competing ride-sharing apps. That’s why the company must behave so aggressively. Uber’s rival, Lyft, documented over 5,000 canceled calls made to its drivers by Uber recruiters, allegedly in an effort to get drivers to change platforms.26 It’s not that there’s too little market share to go around; it’s that Uber doesn’t mean to remain a taxi-hailing application. In order to become our delivery service, errand runner, and default app for every other transportation-related function, Uber first has to own ride-sharing completely. Only then can it exercise the same sort of command as the chartered monopolies on whose code these modern digital corporations are still running.

In contrast to Uber’s centralized price-fixing and opportunistic gouging,32 Sidecar asks drivers to set their own prices by negotiating with riders within the application. Sidecar facilitates a decentralized free market. The app has been configured to transcend the traditional biases of the corporation against real-world human connection. It’s a more social rideshare program, not a gray-area, unregulated taxi service, so it’s not competing head-to-head against full-time livery drivers. Uber surely wins in an always-on world where agility is the key to success. Sidecar wins in a slightly slower world where riders plan ahead, giving them the added luxury of being choosier about price, driver, and amenities. Think Grandma’s weekly drive to the hairdresser or grocery store. She might even find a driver she likes and book him regularly. The fabric of local connections begins to assert itself.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

At the heart of Collaborative Consumption is the reckoning of how we can take this idling capacity and redistribute it elsewhere. Modern technology including online social networks and GPS-enabled handheld devices offers a multitude of ways to solve this problem. The ubiquity of cheap connectivity that surrounds us can maximize the productivity and usage of a product and mop up the surplus created by hyper-consumption without creating costs or inconveniences. Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar and the ride-sharing service GoLoco, and one of the pioneering thinkers on maximizing idling capacity via technology, says, “This was what the Internet was made for, an instant platform sharing excess capacity among many people.” Ilan Bass, an old friend of Rachel’s, started a new job in London. He had never been a fan of the underground in rush hour. Although the distance of his commute was relatively short, it involved two train changes and a bus ride.

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’ ”15 Meanings of words can change as our cultural acceptance of ideas is reframed.16 Hotels don’t call their business “bed sharing” for good reasons, and as Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of law at Harvard University, says, craigslist does not call its ride-sharing board “hitchhiking.” Collaborative Consumption is not asking people to share nicely in the sandbox. On the contrary, it puts a system in place where people can share resources without forfeiting cherished personal freedoms or sacrificing their lifestyle. A distinguished political scientist who shares this view is seventy-six-year-old Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom. In October 2009, while we were writing this book, she won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, along with Oliver E.

In his book From Counterculture to Cyberculture Fred Turner envisioned that these citizens desire a world in which “Each individual could act in his or her own self-interest and at the same time produce a unified social sphere, in which we’re ‘all one.’ ”5 Collaborative Consumption Systems Swap trading, time banks, local exchange trading systems (LETS), bartering, social lending, peer-to-peer currencies, tool exchanges, land share, clothing swaps, toy sharing, shared workspaces, cohousing, coworking, CouchSurfing, car sharing, crowdfunding, bike sharing, ride sharing, food co-ops, walking school buses, shared microcrèches, peer-to-peer rental—the list goes on—are all examples of Collaborative Consumption. Some of these may be familiar already, some not, but all are experiencing a significant growth surge. Although these examples vary in scale, maturity, and purpose, they can be organized into three systems—product service systems, redistribution markets, and collaborative lifestyles—which are the subject of the next three chapters.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

According to Smith, in 2016, 8 percent of U.S. adults reported earning money in the previous year by doing online tasks (such as surveys and data entry), ride hailing, shopping/delivery, cleaning/laundry, and other tasks. Kidscount.org shows census data that estimates there were 249,747,123 adults in the U.S. in 2016. Thus, 8 percent of the roughly 250 million adults gives our estimate of 20 million. The margin of error for the survey was 2.4 percent, so a more conservative estimate would be 5.6 percent of 250 million, or 14 million. Interestingly, Pew estimates that the fraction of U.S. adults who got paid to do an online task like a survey or data entry was 5 percent, whereas the fraction that got paid for ride hailing was only 2 percent. [back] 3. James Manyika et al., A Labor Market That Works: Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age (Washington, DC: McKinsey Global Institute, 2015), http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/employment_and_growth/connecting_talent_with_opportunity_in_the_digital_age.

And more and more businesses are depending on crowdsourced labor pools as they move their operations to API-managed contract staffing tucked behind the curtain of AI. Caveat venditor. Today, Uber is the most visible example of a company that sees itself strictly in the business of offering people software to help them find rides from people available to pick them up. The popular mobile app offers not only “peer-to-peer ridesharing” but a buffet of what it calls “transportation networks,” from carpooling and food delivery to private jets. Hardly a month goes by without a new lawsuit or settlement resetting or spinning Uber’s business model. According to Uber, rider-customers drive the transaction. Rider-customers open Uber’s app and use its blend of software and APIs to find someone to hire for a ride. Uber driver-partners are, for Uber, another customer.

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that some Uber driver-partners should have been classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Uber was found guilty of violating existing labor laws where it withheld employee benefits to individuals who could show that Uber controlled their wages, hours, or working conditions, ability to secure work, or a “common law employment relationship” in which the ridesharing company trained, directed, or controlled how a driver-partner carried out their tasks.5 The litany of legal cases brought against Uber begs two larger questions: Who is the “employer of record” in a ghost work economy driven by a single-bottom-line scenario, and when are consumers of ghost work acting as employers, too? Legal fights over how Uber classifies and treats its driver-partners as not just another customer, but a worker on its platform, make visible how challenging it is to define on-demand workers’ rights more broadly.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, longitudinal study, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

This is a reason that my firm is working with VIA, a company that solves part of the problem by using a single vehicle to transport up to eight people with eight different origins and destinations efficiently through the use of very complex algorithms. Though I have to admit that another part of the reason I find VIA, Uber, and their ridesharing competitors so fascinating is that so many of the people who are now working on these kinds of complex traffic problems are, like me, lapsed physicists, using sophisticated mathematics to improve the world of transportation. (In fact, my professor brother, forty years after rejecting me as a physics has-been, invited me to a physics PhD candidate’s defense of her thesis, which mathematically described the flow of traffic on highways. Now who’s the scientist?) Actually, although Uber is often described as a ridesharing company, the “sharing” part is a little disingenuous. In fact, the only sharing that applies to most of the trips taken by travelers using Uber or Lyft (though not VIA) comes from the drivers sharing their cars with passengers.

Competitors like Sidecar (launched January of 2012) and Lyft (founded summer of 2012 as an extension of an earlier city-to-city ridesharing service known as Zimride) noticed the potential upside for a business that could extract revenue from travelers without actually investing in anything as expensive as buses, trains, or even cars; all that they needed were software algorithms and marketing. Though the California Public Utilities Commission, under pressure from existing taxi services, shut them all down, it allowed them to reopen the following year as what the state of California now calls “Transportation Network Companies.” Uber, by far the biggest kid on the ridesharing block, expanded to Paris, Toronto, and London in 2012, and hasn’t looked back. By 2015 you could download the Uber app to your smartphone and request an Uber pickup in more than two hundred cities in forty-five countries.e This kind of growth attracts all sorts of attention.

One thing the Internet does unambiguously well is to make information that used to be expensive and scarce now cheap and abundant. You don’t have to spend ten years learning the commuting ropes to know whether the train or bus you’re on is an express or a local, or even when it’s going to show up. You just need a smartphone. Smartphones are also all that’s needed to take advantage of other revolutionary new transportation options: ridesharing services like Via, car-sharing like Zipcar, and—especially—dispatchable taxi services like Uber and Lyft.c However, these and other cool new businesses didn’t create Millennial distaste for driving. They just exploited it. The question remains: why do Millennials find the automobile so much less desirable than their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did? Woodbridge, Virginia, is a small suburb about twenty miles south of Washington, DC.


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

Then there are “next-level ideas” (NLIs) that have much better long-term potential. On our imaginary drive, I mentioned ridesharing, where you essentially operate your own car as a taxi. A lot of people get started with side hustles by driving for Uber, Lyft, or some other rideshare service. It’s not a bad start at all; you can work when you want, and the majority of the fares are yours to keep. Still, it also has a severe limitation: since you only make money when you’re driving, you’re still just earning an hourly wage that is capped by market demand, competition from other drivers, and of course, your own limited supply of free time. In my last book, Born for This, I told the story of Harry Campbell, an Uber driver who created an online community called The Rideshare Guy. Instead of just ferrying people around all the time, he now also earns money coaching other drivers and serving as an expert commentator on the booming rideshare industry.

All along the way, pay close attention to your surroundings—you never know when a good idea might show up. The first thing to notice is that we’re not the only ones on the road. Who else is driving today, and where are they going? Are they driving to work or running errands? Here we can already spot several options. First, all these people need to get somewhere. If you have a car and live in a city, you can sign up for a rideshare service and drive them where they need to go—even if you shuttle people around for just an hour before you have to get to your job. The good thing about signing on with these services is that you decide exactly when and how much you want to work. (Note: this might not actually be the best idea for you, but we’ll get to that in a moment.) Next, what about the people you see out your window who aren’t driving?

Instead of just ferrying people around all the time, he now also earns money coaching other drivers and serving as an expert commentator on the booming rideshare industry. This is what I mean by a next-level idea. See the difference? Since new drivers are signing up all the time, Harry’s market demand is nearly inexhaustible. Starter idea: Drive for Uber Next-level idea: Coach other Uber drivers As another example, back when I got started hustling more than two decades ago, I listed various items for sale on online auction sites. I started by listing random stuff from around my apartment that I no longer needed. It was fun and profitable, but it had a severe, built-in limitation: sooner or later I’d run out of stuff to sell! I then learned to buy items from various auction sites and then sell them in another, earning a profit on the difference in price (much like Trevor did in the example above).


pages: 252 words: 78,780

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

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

From 2013 to 2016, the average New York cabbie’s annual bookings dropped 22 percent, and the value of a New York taxi medallion plunged 85 percent from more than $1 million to less than $200,000, according to the New York Times. Within months of Schifter’s suicide, four more drivers killed themselves in New York. Their union held a protest, placing four coffins outside City Hall and begging the city to regulate the ride-sharing operators. “We are sick and tired of burying our brothers,” the union president said. Twenty years ago, pundits believed the Internet was going to make the world better in all sorts of ways, from perfecting democracy to saving the planet. Best of all would be the financial impact. During the heady days of the first dotcom boom, when stocks were soaring and people were mooning over the magical powers of the web, Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly declared the Internet would usher in decades of “ultraprosperity,” with “full employment…and improving living standards.”

As the dollars get bigger, so does the stress, especially when employers take advantage of the leverage they’ve gained. In the hands of a bad employer those options can make people incredibly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. That is reportedly what happened at Uber. For several years after its founding in 2009, Uber was the hottest tech unicorn in the world. Getting a job at the San Francisco ride-sharing company was like winning a golden ticket. But Uber’s managers took full advantage of that. Uber became a toxic, stressful place to work, with bullying, allegations of sexual harassment, and a notoriously cruel culture. “It’s a money cult” is how a former worker described Uber to BuzzFeed in 2017. “People are putting up with massive amounts of abuse, mental abuse.” Workers tolerated the punishing grind because they didn’t want to lose their stock options.

They subsume their identities into the system and become one with the algorithm. Significantly, they actually call themselves “Amabots.” An Automaton Class Uber manages its three million drivers almost entirely with software. Why not? The company makes no secret of the fact that it hopes one day (as soon as possible) to get rid of human drivers entirely and replace them with self-driving cars. For now, the ride-sharing company treats human drivers as poorly as it can and keeps them at arm’s length. Software becomes a barrier between worker and employer. To the driver, what is Uber? Where is it located? What does it look like? Uber is a black box. Uber is an app on a smartphone screen. Drivers rarely talk to actual human managers at Uber, except when being recruited, and sometimes not even then. They answer to a software “boss” that tracks their performance and deactivates them if their score falls below a certain point.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

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

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

CHAPTER 8 The Uberization of Everything February 2017 wasn’t a good month for former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The ubiquitous ride-hailing business he founded had been drawing criticism from municipal lawmakers and union activists—particularly in large cities like New York and San Francisco—for years, but their PR crisis reached a boiling point following a series of scandals that started with a blog post from a former engineer, Susan Fowler, alleging harassment and rampant sexism at the company. That news went viral in the same month that Waymo, an autonomous vehicle unit owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, filed a federal lawsuit against the ridesharing company alleging that a software engineer had stolen its trade secrets and taken them to Uber, which is developing its own autonomous vehicles.

In her book Uberland, the social scientist Alex Rosenblat rode five thousand miles with numerous Uber drivers in twenty-five cities across the United States and Canada. She found that, not surprisingly, while Uber itself took most of the upside of the business, drivers were often left to bear the cost and the downsides of the disruptive technology on their own. Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor, has always been known as the kinder, gentler ridesharing company, in part because its CEO Logan Green has been more inclined to discuss the downsides of the sharing economy in a thoughtful and open way (that and the fact that he hasn’t been caught on a dashcam screaming at his own drivers). Green is, for example, concerned about the potential mass displacement of drivers in the United States (which represents the largest single category of work for men with a high school degree or less) by autonomous vehicles.

Four years ago, I watched Kalanick give a speech to local business leaders in Boston, during which he boldly proclaimed, “I see a world in which there is no more traffic in Boston in five years.” Uber’s current CEO, Khosrowshahi, has continued to laud the potential traffic- and pollution-reducing effects of the company’s reign in urban areas. Yet today, there is disturbing research that shows that ridesharing, while possibly reducing car ownership, may also increase the number of miles traveled in cities, thus having the effect of increasing transit and pollution issues.35 Such issues were starting to be apparent when I began covering Uber years ago. Yet Kalanick himself, in typical move-fast-and-break-things mode, wasn’t interested in discussing them. In fact, he wasn’t terribly comfortable when any such topics were brought up.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

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

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

Fund for the new idea,” have found the new idea. They call their startup Ridejoy, after trying out Ridebank, Ridetastic, and Ridebee. Jason Shen introduces the idea. “We’re everything for rides. We want to change the way people travel by making it super easy and fun to share rides with other people.” The number of rideshare posts on Craigslist—about a thousand are listed at the moment for just the San Francisco Bay Area—provides encouraging evidence of demand. Shen says they will start off with long-distance ridesharing, to the upcoming Burning Man festival in the desert and also between San Francisco and Los Angeles. As the other startups do at the end of their presentations, Shen offers to the batch the expertise of his team’s members: “Kalvin and Randy are developers,” he says, and as for himself, he knows how to stay motivated in the face of rejection.

We think this is a really exciting opportunity and we can’t wait to show you more.” When writing on his personal blog, “The Art of Ass-Kicking,” Shen projects fearlessness. But today, standing before the assembled group, he seems ill at ease and relies too heavily on reading his prepared text word for word. The only time he speaks in a natural voice is when he talks about the shortcomings of Craigslist as a ridesharing service. Graham notices this. In his critique, he says, “You became strangely animated when you talked about how Craigslist sucked.” The audience laughs. Graham wants everyone to draw a lesson from this. “You should choose the part of your presentation where you want to be most animated. You don’t want to be animated the whole way through—you’ll seem like a used-car salesman. And you don’t want to be like you’re telling a bedtime story the whole way through, either.

As he approaches the dais, the former collegiate gymnast does a cartwheel.3 “I thought you guys need a little pick-me-up or something,” he says, and goes into his pitch. “Ridejoy is the community marketplace for rides. If you’re going on a trip, you can list extra seat space in your car. And if you need to get somewhere, you can find a ride using our site.” He explains that Ridejoy is adding an element of “reputation” to ridesharing, a mechanism for payments, and a “great user experience.” Shen anticipates a question that may be in the minds of the audience members: “Maybe this is some kind of crazy San Francisco hipster thing. It’s not.” He shows a photograph of an older man. “That’s Michael. He’s a former director of Merrill Lynch. And he hosted two plane rides on our site, which just got filled up. And it’s not just old guys with planes, either”—this gets a laugh, perhaps because there are old guys with planes who are sitting in the audience.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

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

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

This is exactly what he heard from the founders of Lyft, Logan Green and John Zimmer, who were pretty sure their ride-sharing business was running afoul of current taxi regulations. Maples isn’t one to advocate shady, unethical start-ups, but rather those that challenge laws that, while originally designed to protect consumers, may no longer be in consumers’ best interest. This is similar to the discussion in the chapter on Enforcers of state-of-the-art reputation systems that can sometimes do a better and more efficient job of eliciting good behavior than government institutions. You might say Maples prefers to back what is righteous rather than what is legal. Why does he love pitches in that legal gray area? “Those could be good businesses to fund because a lot of times there are not a lot of competitors,” he explains. (Even though Uber has a competing ride-sharing service, UberX, Maples points out that Lyft started before Uber launched UberX.)

If you haven’t heard of this behemoth from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, it’s only because its customers are other businesses: rather than arranging rides for busy urbanites, as Lyft and Uber do, C. H. Robinson acts as freight broker for companies that need to quickly find truckload capacity to carry freight from one factory, warehouse, or retailer to another. At its core, C. H. Robinson does much the same thing for buyers and sellers as the ridesharing companies do. Like those companies, C. H. Robinson doesn’t actually own a fleet, and instead acts as a middleman between its customers (the shippers) and its suppliers (the carriers). And because of its large network of carriers—43,000 transportation providers in 2013—it’s able to meet customer demand much more quickly than shippers could by tapping a smaller network, let alone trying to contract with carriers directly.

The law of large numbers turns something unpredictable into something that, on average, is quite predictable—so having great scale lets you make better forecasts. That’s why insurance companies are big. “You don’t want to go to an insurance company that has only 100 subscribers—you want 10 million subscribers,” Chopra explains, because pooling across 10 million subscribers produces outcomes that are more predictable. For many types of middlemen, the minimum scale is obviously lower, but a certain scale is always important. A ridesharing service consisting of just ten drivers is less able to cope with unpredictable demand than a service of 100 drivers. A placement agency with just ten contractors can’t fill the sporadic needs of a client firm. “In being a middleman, scale matters,” Chopra says. The other thing that matters is unpredictability, of course, because it’s how a middleman can provide value to people who prefer predictability: there is no risk pool without risks.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Dmytri Kleiner, The Telekommunist Manifesto (Institute of Network Cultures, 2010); Stacco Troncoso, “Think Global, Print Local and Licensing for the Commons,” P2P Foundation blog (May 10, 2016). 25. Devin Balkind, founder of coopData.org and a collaborator of mine in building the Internet of Ownership, offers a critique of data practices in the co-op sector in “When Platform Coops Are Seen, What Goes Unseen?” The Internet of Ownership blog (February 10, 2017). 26. See platform.coop/2015/participants/maria-del-carmen-arroyo; on Austin and the aftermath, Jeff Kirk, “The Austin Ride-Hail Chronicles: Game Over for RideAustin?” Austin Startups (June 15, 2017); Anca Voinea, “Corbyn’s Digital Democracy Manifesto Promotes Co-operative Ownership of Digital Platforms,” Co-operative News (August 30, 2016). 27. Lina Khan, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” Yale Law Journal 126, no. 3 (January 2017); Jonathan Taplin, “Is It Time to Break Up Google?” New York Times (April 22, 2017); Ryan Grim, “Steve Bannon Wants Facebook and Google Regulated Like Utilities,” Intercept (July 27, 2017). 28.

We think we are getting something for free while we give away our valuable data. We think we are in some sense members of a digital commons while we relinquish our ownership rights. At least Millet’s gleaners knew that’s what they were. Ubiquitous platforms like Facebook and Google gather reams of data about users and offer it for sale to advertisers and others. We know this, to an extent. But our data is also the business of the ride-sharing apps, the office productivity apps, and the apps that use us to train the intelligence of other apps, along with data brokers whose names we’ll never know but who trade in the stuff of our lives. Users supply a growing surveillance economy based on targeted advertising and pricing, which, intentionally or not, can bleed into discrimination of vulnerable populations. The prospect that one’s online activity can affect a credit rating, or find its way into the database of a spy agency, has already dampened the free speech that the internet otherwise might enable.

Municipal and national politicians have come to Scholz and me, among others, in search of policies to consider and evidence they will work. The city of Barcelona has taken steps to enshrine platform cooperativism into its economic strategies. After Austin, Texas, required Uber and Lyft drivers to perform standard safety screenings, the companies pulled their services from the city in May 2015, and the city council aided in the formation of a new co-op taxi company and a nonprofit ride-sharing app; the replacements worked so well that Uber and Lyft paid millions of dollars in lobbying to force their way back before Austin became an example. Meanwhile, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn issued a “Digital Democracy Manifesto” that included “platform cooperatives” among its eight planks.26 The challenge of such digital democracy goes beyond local tweaks. So must co-ops. When a platform serves the role of organizing and enabling the transactions throughout an entire sector of the economy, it should be regarded as a public service.


pages: 116 words: 31,356

Platform Capitalism by Nick Srnicek

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

The convergence thesis helps explain why Google is lobbying with Uber on self-driving cars and why Amazon and Microsoft have been discussing partnerships with German automakers on the cloud platform required by self-driving cars.28 Alibaba and Apple have made major investments in Didi, Apple’s partnership being particularly strategic, given that iPhones are the major interface to taxi services. And nearly all of the major platforms are working to develop medical data platforms. The trend to convergence is igniting international competition as well: intense struggles occur in India and China over who will dominate the ride-sharing industry (Uber, Didi, Lyft) and who will dominate e-commerce (Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart). Alibaba is already the largest e-commerce site in the world as measured by the volume of its sales,29 and Flipkart is valued at around $15 billion. Under the pressures of competition and the subsequent imperative to expand, we should expect these platforms to acquire as many companies as they need. Even second-tier platforms like Twitter and Yahoo are potential purchases, given the vast cash glut being held by the top tier of platforms (indeed, as I wrote this book, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26 billion, gaining access to data on the changing interests, skills, and jobs of millions of workers).

Homejoy, a platform for housecleaning, attempted this by undercutting competitors with prices that were below costs, and eventually collapsed as a result.46 Uber is perhaps the worst offender here, as it is reported to lose $1 billion a year only to fight off another unprofitable company in China.47 It is hard to see a massive struggle between two unprofitable firms as representative of capitalism’s leading light. Uber also spends an immense amount of money on lobbying and marketing, attempting to ensure favourable regulations and growth in its user base. Such is its desperation that Uber has even attempted to sabotage its competitors. It has made extensive use of this tactic in its dealings both with long-running cab companies and with alternative ride-sharing platforms. To fight off one competitor, for instance, Uber took to calling up and cancelling rides with its rival, in an effort to clog up that rival’s supply of drivers.48 When competition through data does not work, money and sabotage remain as options for lean platforms. This leads us to the last major limit: lean platforms are entirely reliant on a vast mania of surplus capital. The investment in tech start-ups today is less an alternative to the centrality of finance and more an expression of it.


pages: 288 words: 64,771

The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality by Brink Lindsey

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Build a better mousetrap, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, invisible hand, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, software patent, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Washington Consensus, white picket fence, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Research shows that surviving new firms are generally more productive than existing firms, while existing firms have higher productivity than those that go out of business. Occupational licensing, by impeding the formation of new businesses, slows down this vital channel of productivity growth. The advent of app-based ridesharing firms like Uber and Lyft, and the furious resistance they often provoke from supporters of the traditional taxicab industry, offer a powerfully vivid illustration of the conflict between occupational licensing and innovation. The quality of taxi services has long been fodder for consumer grumbling, but improvement through competition was thwarted by restrictive taxi licensing and associated anticompetitive regulations. When ridesharing firms devised an ingeniously convenient new way to purchase rides for hire, and an ingenious end-run around the current regulatory structure, consumers leaped to take advantage.

The most promising basis for judicial review of rent-creating regulations lies not in ideologically polarizing expansions of constitutional law but in novel applications of administrative law. Legal scholar John Blevins has proposed using three different standards of review, depending on the provenance of the restriction in question. For municipal regulations (such as those covering taxis and ridesharing, AirBnB, and food trucks), he recommends “hard look” review under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard used in cases under the Administrative Procedures Act; since municipalities derive their powers from the state, their regulations can be considered analogous to agency actions. For state agency interpretations of licensing laws (e.g., a determination of whether eyebrow threading constitutes the practice of cosmetology), Blevins calls for application of a “clear statement” rule in which agency interpretations that extend licensing requirements to any activity not explicitly contemplated by the underlying statute would be rejected by the courts.

See also regulation affluence and, 140–47 agenda-setting and, 133–36, 204n9 concentration of industry and, 20–21 defined, 16–18 dynamism and, 21–22 economic growth and, 113–23 entry barriers and, 21–22 image and, 140–47 increase in, 22–23, 185n11 intangible assets and, 19–20 intellectual property and, 64 legal profession and, 106–8 morality of, 17 politics of ( See politics) reform and, 159–64 RegData index of regulations and, 23, 186n13, 186n14 regressive regulation and, 123–26 rent-proofing and, 153–80 scarcity and, 16–17 secrecy and, 147–49 welfare state and, 150–52, 207n35 zoning as, 113 Republican party, 3, 143, 176, 178 research and development, 20, 23, 26, 70, 72, 80 reserve requirements, 50 ridesharing services, 96–97, 145–46 Rise and Decline of Nations, The (Olson), 8 risk-taking, 36–37 Robinson, James, 8 Robinson, Joan, 74 Rognlie, Matt, 123 Rogoff, Kenneth, 35 Saez, Emmanuel, 1 Sanders, Bernie, 4 savings-and-loan industry, 39–40, 44, 53, 150 scale, economies of, 21, 82, 114 Scalia, Antonin, 100–101 scarcity artificial, 17, 19, 32–33, 120, 184n1 of innovation, 16 rent/rent-seeking and, 16–17 Schleicher, David, 168 Schmitt, Mark, 135 Schumer, Chuck, 145 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21 secrecy, 147–49 securitization, 32, 38–45, 57, 150 self-liquidating profits, 16 “shadow banking”, 38, 41, 44, 47, 151 Shoag, Daniel, 116 Shockley, William, 115 sideways redistribution, 29 skilled workforce, 4, 6, 15, 27, 29–31.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

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

Systems like Mobypark use sensors at car parks, parking garages and on-street parking to report parking spot availability in real time via its website and app throughout Holland and other countries. The average time spent looking for a parking spot is 20 minutes; Mobypark has reduced that time by over 50 per cent. Another new technology being embraced by many smart cities is real-time ridesharing, a service that enables one-time shared rides at very short notice. Companies such as Uber are able to accomplish this as a result of GPS navigation devices to determine the driver’s route and ride demands, smartphones for users to request rides from anywhere and social networks to establish trust and accountability between passengers and drivers. Ridesharing cuts down on the time spent finding and getting out of parking spaces, and saves the time traditionally spent kerbside in a city while waiting for a taxi to come along. Ultimately, redesigning cities for autonomous, smart vehicles will be required.

Autonomous, electric transportation systems and vehicles will also be much cheaper to maintain and operate. The costs of the driver will have been eliminated, and electric motors will require far less maintenance than typical combustion engines and the associated drivetrain. Smart transportation networks in large urban centres will work like a living organism. Small autonomous carts and pods will drive around campuses and shopping areas feeding people to ridesharing locations or public transport stations. Public transportation will be optimised around demand, events, weather and other considerations, all reactive in real time and dispatched by AI controllers. Car parks and parking garages will start to dwindle as it becomes unfashionable and increasingly costly to have your own combustion engine vehicle around town. Figure 11.4: Autonomous modular transportation systems like the Next pod will replace conventional public transport and vehicles.

The trend of young adults moving away from vehicle ownership is already becoming evident. Instead of asking for their own car when they reach driving age, teens are now asking their parents for an Uber account.6 So this is not just a factor of electric, self-driving cars; the sharing economy is already starting to shift behaviour towards dramatically different vehicle ownership models. Children who have grown up with parents who use Uber or ride-sharing services will do the maths and find that it is cheaper to not own their own vehicle in an average city with good public transportation and an autonomous vehicle network. For those with a commute, this is where the Mercedes vision of the self-driving car gives us a glimpse of the near future. Realising that a self-driving car does not need to be optimised for driving, the interior space could instead be used for entertainment, eating your breakfast on the way to the office, as an office itself or just as an extension of your personal space.


Germany by Andrea Schulte-Peevers

Albert Einstein, bank run, Berlin Wall, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, computer age, credit crunch, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Google Earth, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Eisenman, place-making, post-work, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Skype, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, V2 rocket, white picket fence

Right turns at a red light are only legal if there’s a green arrow pointing to the right. HITCHING & RIDE-SHARE Hitching (trampen) is never entirely safe in any country and we don’t recommend it. That said, in some rural areas in Germany poorly served by public transport – such as sections of the Alpine foothills and the Bavarian Forest – it is not uncommon to see people thumbing for a ride. If you do decide to hitch, understand that you are taking a small but potentially serious risk. Remember that it’s safer to travel in pairs and be sure to let someone know where you are planning to go. It’s illegal to hitchhike on autobahns and their entry/exit ramps. A safer, inexpensive and eco-conscious form of travelling is ride-shares, where you travel as a passenger in a private car in exchange for some petrol money.

For Leipzig choose from hourly ICE trains (€29, 1½ hours) or RE trains (€20.80, 1½ hours). The S-Bahn runs half-hourly to Meissen (€5.30, 40 minutes) and Bad Schandau (€5.30, 50 minutes). There are connections to Frankfurt (€85, five hours) and Prague (€30.70, two hours). Dresden is connected to Leipzig via the A14/A4, to Berlin via the A13/A113, and to the Czech Republic via the B170 south. For ride-shares contact Mitfahrzentrale ( 194 30; Dr-Friedrich-Wolf-Strasse 2). Return to beginning of chapter Getting Around Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB; 857 1011) runs the city’s buses and trams as well as a couple of information kiosks, including one on Albertplatz. The S2 train serves the airport from the Hauptbahnhof and Dresden-Neustadt (€1.80, 22 and 13 minutes respectively). Budget about €18 for a taxi to the Hauptbahnhof.

All major car-hire companies have offices at the airport and/or the 2nd level of Munich’s Hauptbahnhof, including Hertz ( 550 2256; www.hertz.com; 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat & Sun), Avis ( 550 2251; www.avis-europe.com; 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Sat & Sun) and Europcar ( 549 0240; www.europcar.com; 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm Sat & Sun). For shared rides, consider using one of Munich’s Mitfahrzentralen (ride-share agency). The ADM-Mitfahrzentrale (Map; 194 40; www.mitfahrzentrale.de; Lämmerstrasse 6) is conveniently near the Hauptbahnhof. CityNetz Mitfahrzentrale (Map; 194 44; www.citynetz-mitfahrzentrale.de; Adalbertstrasse 6) in Schwabing has a good online booking function. Fares are considerably lower than the train. Return to beginning of chapter Train Train is by far the best way to get in and out of Munich.


Lonely Planet Iceland by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, banking crisis, capital controls, car-free, carbon footprint, cashless society, centre right, European colonialism, food miles, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Lyft, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, presumed consent, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft

The changeable weather makes for tough going, and although the path is mostly paved, there is hardly any room on the shoulder of the road to provide a comfortable distance from vehicular traffic. Cycling can be a great way to explore more-rural regions. By Hitching & Ridesharing The most cost-effective way to venture around the Ring Road is to stick out your thumb. In summer it’s quite easy to hitch all the way around the Ring Road but be aware of the potential risks involved. Many hostels have ride-share posterboards in their lobbies. A great resource is www.samferda.is, an online ride-share messageboard. Plan Your Trip Outdoor Adventures Iceland’s spectacular natural beauty encompasses Western Europe’s largest national park and the mightiest ice cap outside the poles, plus a whale-filled ocean and the world’s biggest puffin colonies.

AThe Westfjords official tourist map shows the N1 petrol stations. AMany of the stations have unmanned pumps; using these requires a credit card with a PIN. AYou can also buy N1 cards stocked with credit when you do find someone manning a full-service station. We recommend it, just in case your own credit card does not work in a pinch. AExpect lots of unpaved, often rugged, but universally beautiful roads; most are accessible with a 2WD. AFor ride-sharing, consult www.samferda.net and www.bilfar.is. Patreksfjörður Pop 683 The largest village in this part of the Westfjords, zippy little Patreksfjörður on the fjord of the same name is a convenient jumping-off point for visits to the Látrabjarg Peninsula. The no-frills town has dramatic views to the bluffs and good services for those preparing to head out to more remote fjords. The town was named after St Patrick of Ireland, who was the spiritual guide of Örlygur Hrappson, the first settler in the area.

Municipal buses (%456 5518; www.isafjordur.is) stop at marked stops ( GOOGLE MAP ; Skutulsfjarðarbraut) along the waterfront: Flateyri and Þingeyri (kr350, three daily Monday to Friday) Suðureyri (kr350, 20 minutes, three daily Monday to Friday) A bus for Bolungarvík (kr1000, 15 minutes, three daily Monday to Friday) leaves from the kiosk at Hamraborg, near the Samkaup supermarket. Flybus services: Buses are timed to meet Icelandair flights (but anyone can use them); they run the route Bolungarvík–Ísafjörður–Airport–Ísafjörður–Bolungarvík. In Ísafjörður they stop near the Hótel Ísafjörður, about 45 minutes before departure. Check with the information centre or www.westfjords.is for current schedules. Car For ride-sharing check www.samferda.net and www.bilfar.is. Avis (%591 4000; www.avis.is; Ísafjörður Airport) Europcar (%461 6000, 840 6074; www.holdur.is; Ísafjörður Airport) Hertz (%522 4490; www.hertz.is; Ísafjörður Airport) 8Getting Around City buses (kr350) operate from 7.20am to 6.15pm and connect the town centre with Hnífsdalur and Holtahverfi on the town's edges; they stop ( GOOGLE MAP ; Pollgata) along the waterfront.


pages: 307 words: 88,180

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator

See PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Q Qianlong (emperor), 29 Qihoo 360 (web security software), 41–42 QQ (messaging platform), 41–42, 58 QR codes, 74, 77 Qualcomm, 96 Q-Zone (social network), 58 R Reddit, 109 Reddy, Raj, 4 red envelopes, 60, 61 redistribution of wealth, 203–4, 206–8, 222 reducing work hours, 203, 205–6, 207 reinforcement learning, 12, 143 Renren (social network), 23, 42–43, 48 ResNet, 90 retraining, 203, 204–5, 207, 215, 216, 221–22 ride sharing, 68–69, 76, 79, 137–38 risk-of-replacement graphs, 155–57, 204, 205–6, 211 robot reporters, 108 robots and robotics, 129–30, 166–68, 230 rule-based approach to AI, 7–8 RXThinking, 114–15 S Schmidt, Eric, 90 science fiction, 144–45, 168, 172, 199, 230 Sculley, John, 177–78 search habits, divergent, 37–38 The Second Machine Age (Brynjolfsson and McAfee), 148–49, 150 self-driving cars AI chips and, 96, 97 approaches for deployment of, 131–35 China vs. U.S., 136 deep learning and, 10–11 in India, 138 political culture divide and, 101–2 ride-hailing companies and, 137 semiconductors, 96 “A Sense of Purpose” (Fink), 215 service jobs, creation of, and compensation for, 214–15, 216 service work and social investment stipend, 221, 222 Seven Giants of the AI age, 83, 91–92, 93, 94, 95, 169 sharing economy, 213–14 Shenzhen, China, 99, 125–26, 127, 130–31 shopping carts, perception AI–powered, 119–21, 124, 125 Silicon Valley Baidu’s AI lab in, 93 China’s competition with.

E-commerce websites like Alibaba and Amazon had long done this for the purchase of durable physical goods. The O2O revolution was about bringing that same e-commerce convenience to the purchase of real-world services, things that can’t be put in a cardboard box and shipped across country, like hot food, a ride to the bar, or a new haircut. Silicon Valley gave birth to one of the first transformational O2O models: ride-sharing. Uber used cell phones and personal cars to change how people got around cities in the United States and then around the world. Chinese companies like Didi Chuxing quickly copied the business model and adapted it to local conditions, with Didi eventually driving Uber out of China and now battling it in global markets. Uber may have given an early glimpse of O2O, but it was Chinese companies that would take the core strengths of that model and apply it to transforming dozens of other industries.

Put those relatively cautious managers up against gladiatorial entrepreneurs who cut their teeth in China’s competitive coliseum, and it’s always the gladiators who will emerge victorious. While foreign analysts continued to harp on the question of why American companies couldn’t win in China, Chinese companies were busy building better products. Weibo, a micro-blogging platform initially inspired by Twitter, was far faster to expand multimedia functionality and is now worth more than the American company. Didi, the ride-hailing company that duked it out with Uber, dramatically expanded its product offerings and gives more rides each day in China than Uber does across the entire world. Toutiao, a Chinese news platform often likened to BuzzFeed, uses advanced machine-learning algorithms to tailor its content for each user, boosting its valuation many multiples above the American website. Dismissing these companies as copycats relying on government protection in order to succeed blinds analysts to world-class innovation that is happening elsewhere.


The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus

Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, low earth orbit, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

The ISS collaboration was built on the deep personal trust that A W e b o f T r u s tâ•…  153 comes from having meaningful relationships with other team members, but Project X would be based on provisional trust, which emerges only for as long as it’s needed. In both cases, trust leads to the belief that each side will do what they say, provide what they promise, and not take advantage of the other. Provisional trust was not really an option in the early days of the space program, but applications are arising today that make provisional trust possible. Uber, for instance, is a ridesharing platform that pairs drivers of private cars with passengers looking for a ride. Uber can locate a passenger and find the nearest available car. The app also offers information about the driver and details about the car. It certifies that others have ridden in a particular car, that they were safe and comfortable, that they gave the driver a good rating, and that the company has done some level of filtering.

See also Orbital perspective definitions, 1 a shifting, 3–7 two- vs. three-dimensional, 1–2 Pineapple Project, 136–138 Piñera , 106–107 Polk, James D., 105, 107, photo Polyakov, Valeri, 18 Poverty, 81–82. See also Development work Project X, 151–153, 157 Ramon, Ilan, 20 Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) hackathon, 127, 141, 143 ReCAPTCHA, 145–146, 154, 160 Reisman, Garrett, 54–56, 60 Relationship building from a distance, 157–160 Relationships. See also Collaboration; Trust establishing real, sincere, 38–40 Rich, Ram, 158 Ridesharing, real-time, 153–154 Roscosmos, 16, 17, 36 Rotational pitch maneuver (RPM), 54 Russian Federal Space Agency. See Roscosmos Russian language, 28–30, 33, 36. See also Languages and language instruction Rwanda, 2–3, 68–69, 109–113, 119, photo. See also L’Esperance orphanage Rwandan Genocide, 68–69 Sagan, Carl, 165 Samokutyayev, Sasha, photo Semenov, Yuri, 16, 30 SERVIR, 139–140 orbital perspective and, 131, 133 science in action, 129–133 worm’s eye view and, 131, 133, 140 Sever, Thomas, 128–129 Shared credit, 88–89 Shekhovtsov, Igor, 23–25 Index Shkaplerov, Anton, photo Short-term thinking, 116 Shuttle-Mir agreement, 16 Shuttle-Mir program, 15, 18–20, 27, 30, 32, 42, 86.

See also Impossible; specific topics TechShop, 134 Thagard, Norm, 19, 23, photo Thomas, Evan, 109–112, 117, photo Thompson, Elizabeth, 163 Three- vs. two-dimensional thinking, 1–2 Titov, Vladimir, 40 TMA-21 spacecraft, photo Trust. See also under International Space Station (ISS) program building a foundation of, 19–22 community-based, 154–155 establishing, 85–87 provisional, 152–154 relationship building from a distance, 157–160 a web of, 149–170 Trust-based communities, 160 Uber (ridesharing service), 153–154 Unity (ISS module), xiv, 160–164, 167 Urzúa, Luis, 106 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 131–132 U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARS), 33–34 184â•…  â•… I n d e x Viktorenko, Aleksandr, 18 Vinta, Kiran, photo Virtual communities, 88, 154 Virtual meetings, 158. See also Relationship building from a distance Vision zero, 74–76 Vision Zero campaign, 75, 172n7 Volkov, Sergey, 55 Von Ahn, Luis, 145, 146 Wales, Jimmy, 157 Wetherbee, Jim, 18 Wheelock, Doug, 107 White, Frank, 63 White Room, 49, photo Wikipedia, 154–157 Windshield Wiper (maneuver), 3–4, 58–59 World Bank, 140 World’s Fair in Montreal.


pages: 340 words: 100,151

Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It by Scott Kupor

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, carried interest, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, family office, fixed income, high net worth, index fund, information asymmetry, Lean Startup, low cost airline, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Myron Scholes, Network effects, Paul Graham, pets.com, price stability, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sovereign wealth fund, Startup school, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, VA Linux, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

We mentioned Airbnb earlier in the context of discussing market size to illustrate that the answer to this question might not always be obvious. Now let’s look at Lyft as a way to show how you can best position market size as an entrepreneur. When Lyft was getting started (Lyft actually started as another company called Zimride, a long-distance ride-sharing company), it wasn’t obvious how big the market for ride-sharing could be. A lot of people evaluating the financing opportunity started with the existing taxi market as a proxy for market size and made some assumptions about what percentage of that market a ride-sharing service could reasonably capture. That line of thinking was perfectly logical, but the entrepreneurs didn’t stop there. Rather, they made the case—convincingly at least to us at Andreessen Horowitz—that that line of reasoning was too myopic. Instead, Lyft argued that the taxi market was too limiting because people made assumptions about the availability of taxis, the security of taxis, and the convenience of hailing taxis in choosing whether to in fact order a taxi.


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The initial monopoly can then expand to other industries, like retail, movies, or cloud services. Such businesses end up destroying the marketplaces on which they initially depend. When the big box store does this, it simply closes one location and starts the process again in another. When a digital business does this, it pivots or expands from its original market to the next—say, from books to toys to all of retail, or from ride-sharing to restaurant delivery to autonomous vehicles—increasing the value of its real product, the stock shares, along the way. The problem with this model, from a shareholder perspective, is that it eventually stops working. Even goosed by digital platforms, corporate returns on assets have been steadily declining for over seventy-five years. Corporations are still great at sucking all of the money out of a system, but they’re awful at deploying those assets once they have them.

The things we want our robots to do—like driving in traffic, translating languages, or collaborating with humans—are mind-bogglingly complex. We can’t devise a set of explicit instructions that covers every possible situation. What computers lack in improvisational logic, they must make up for with massive computational power. So computer scientists feed the algorithms reams and reams of data, and let them recognize patterns and draw conclusions themselves. They get this data by monitoring human workers doing their jobs. The ride-hailing app on cab drivers’ phones also serves as a recording device, detailing the way they handle various road situations. The algorithms then parse data culled from thousands of drivers to write their own autonomous vehicle programs. Online task systems pay people pennies per task to do things that computers can’t yet do, such as translate certain phrases, label the storefronts in photos, or identify abusive social media posts.


pages: 215 words: 55,212

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

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

http://www.bicing.com Boat Owners Exchange: Provides information about how to share ownership of a boat through timeshares. http://www.boei.net Eileo: Provides the necessary technology for starting a car-sharing service. http://www.eileo.com GoLoco: Ride-sharing system that notifies users when their friends or interest groups are going places they want to go. http://www.goloco.org Greenwheels: German car-sharing company. http://www.greenwheels.de GTFS Data Exchange: Provides open-source information about public transportation. http://www.gtfs-data-exchange.com liftshare: Ride-sharing service that connects passengers and drivers in the U.K. http://www.liftshare.com/uk MyTTC: Provides open access to transit data. http://myttc.ca NuRide: Users track their savings and earn rewards for carpooling, biking, walking, telecommuting, or using public transportation.

Department of Transportation, reveal early signs that the attitudes of youth toward car ownership and driving are shifting dramatically. The percentage of young people in the United States seeking a driver’s license upon turning seventeen has been in rapid decline since 1998, and fell a third in the three decades between 1978 and 2008. Then, having a license was synonymous with adulthood and independence. Today, more young people are opting for car sharing, bike sharing, ride sharing, and mass transit for everyday personal transportation. Sustainable living is also trending up. Status formerly associated with autonomy and excess is now better achieved through civic behavior and community participation. When Brad Pitt helps build state-of-the-art green homes in the ravaged areas of New Orleans and Leonardo DiCaprio stumps for Global Green, they are reflecting the zeitgeist.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

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

They had problems with their cars, problems paying bills, problems accessing medical care, problems with insurance, problems trying to save, problems getting food on the table. Like many other Rust Belt cities, Pittsburgh was ravaged by the loss of manufacturing jobs. In some ways, Uber has offered the city a salvation, creating thousands of flexible ridesharing gigs and a smallish number of highly compensated positions for scientists and technologists at its local Advanced Technologies Group office. But salvation has seemed chimerical, with those ridesharing jobs paying little and pulling work away from the city’s taxi and jitney drivers and those highly compensated positions at the Advanced Technologies Group dedicated in part to eliminating the need for human drivers entirely. The former problem is the pressing one, the drivers told me. “Their immediate concern is their immediate experience,” said Erin Kramer, the executive director of One Pennsylvania, a local community organizing group, who was sharing burgers and beers with us.

The sudden rise of gig-economy jobs in many ways feels like the apotheosis of the past half century of workplace trends. 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.


Emails From an Asshole: Real People Being Stupid by John Lindsay

ride hailing / ride sharing

I take the long way, however, since if I get pulled over in Kentucky or Virginia I will probably go to jail. We are going around, through Missouri. Missouri is really nice though! From Kathy to Me: IF I HAD A CAR I WOULDNT NEED A FUCKING RIDE THIS IS RIDICULOUS IM DONE TALKING TO YOU I am glad Kathy didn’t ride with us; she was very ungrateful. I offered to drive her over 800 miles for free, yet she complained about the most insignificant shit. Drunken Rideshare Steven’s original ad: I need a ride from Baltimore to New Orleans next weekend. I will be bringing just two bags. You will be compensated. From Me to Steven: Hey! If you still need a ride, I am headed to New Orleans next Friday and am looking for some company on the way down. I want to leave at 9 AM, and we will split the cost of gas and tolls. Mike From Steven to Me: Hi, I do still need a ride.

We can drink cranberry juice, listen to AM radio, and talk about golf. From Steven to Me: You shouldn’t have a damn car! How you have yet to crash it is anyone’s guess! Stop bothering me with this, it isn’t going to happen! Despite Steven’s decision not to ride with me, I still got hammered and made it to New Orleans. I didn’t exactly remember driving there, but I’m sure it was a safe trip. Hummer Rideshare Chris’s original ad: looking for a ride from wilmington to manhattan next wednesday, any time during the day is good. I will pay for all your gas as compensation. From Me to Chris: Hello, I am driving to NYC for a business meeting around 10 AM on Wednesday and would be able to give you a ride. Let me know if you still need one. Mike From Chris to Me: mike, that sounds great. where do you want to meet to pick me up?


pages: 523 words: 61,179

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson

3D printing, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, friendly AI, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lyft, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, software as a service, speech recognition, telepresence, telepresence robot, text mining, the scientific method, uber lyft

With certain kinds of AI management systems, it’s the people—employees and customers—who take a hit when the system fails. This erodes trust. Ethnographers Madeleine Clare Elish and Tim Hwange coined the phrase “moral crumple zone.” In their research, they saw that, in our digital world, control of certain services like ride sharing has become distributed across multiple human and nonhuman actors, yet social and legal conceptions of responsibility remain the individual’s alone. In a 2016 report, Elish provides an example of the moral crumple zone in action.13 She had summoned a ride-sharing service to take her to the airport in Miami. The driver selected the first option provided by the map app for the Miami airport, and off they went. Elish fell asleep and awoke to find that her driver, who was new to the platform, had taken her to a location twenty minutes away from the airport’s passenger terminal.

While the crumple zone in a car is meant to protect the human driver, the moral crumple zone protects the integrity of the technological system, itself.14 For algorithmically-managed crowd platforms, human operators can also become “liability sponges,” getting bad feedback from a customer when it’s really the system’s fault, for instance. Additionally, they bear the brunt of expenses on their cars—the insurance, the gas, the wear and tear, all the while absorbing the liability on behalf of the ride-hailing app if something goes wrong with their ride-giving vehicle. Here are some ways to address the current shortcomings. First, create ways for algorithms to be accountable and identify root causes so that they can be fixed. Accountability isn’t just for human workers. Second, give human workers in the system the ability to second-guess the AI. Trust that workers have judgments and provide valuable context, and that they can provide quality assurance for the service.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

After two months, the top nine ranked entries—finalists came from Hungary, Canada, Israel, Ireland, the United States, and the Netherlands—went on to the showdown round. Over the ensuing thirty days, each finalist posted slide decks, founder bios, and pitch videos and each participated in an open due diligence call, fielding questions from both experts and the crowd. In the end, the winner was a Seattle-based start-up called iCarpool. iCarpool, a ridesharing platform servicing consumers, corporate clients, and urban infrastructure providers, took home more than 60 percent of the community support. So what did they win? iCarpool’s founders scooped the $50,000 in cash but they also got a trip to ITS World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to a supreme networking event, the founders got a chance to demo iCarpool in front of urban planners, government advisers, researchers, and consumers worldwide.

Now imagine a car with a set of open APIs allowing thousands of programmers and niche businesses to create a cloud of applications for your car—from remote personal assistants to navigation and geospatial search applications to on-demand movies and music, and why not throw in mobile Skype for good measure. Optimizing Our Infrastructure with a Ubiquitous Data Grid A rich cloud of in-car services can do more than inform and entertain us; it could help optimize our entire transportation infrastructure. Accompanying your iTunes service, for example, would be an infinite number of applications that enable you to fundamentally change the way you use your car. Some apps could facilitate ridesharing. Others could ease congestion and keep you safe by distributing road traffic more evenly or selecting optimal routes for reducing air pollution on days when concentrations reach dangerous levels. Or, rather than sole ownership, there could be applications to facilitate shared car ownership, with dynamic pricing models that take into account environmental factors like location, time of day, traffic congestion, and seasonal demand patterns.

The other problem is coordination: matching two or more people who are leaving from the same place and going to the same destination at the same time has never been easy. With the emergence of carpooling platforms that make connections and help establish trust between drivers and passengers, these problems are now much easier to address. One of the biggest platforms is called mitfahrgelegenheit.de (rideshare), which operates across Germany and Austria. The popular site has 1 million registered users and facilitates between 20,000 and 30,000 rides every day. With high gas and rail ticket prices in Germany, the service is especially popular with young people. “Our goal is to reduce the traffic on our streets and with that the amount of pollution that is released into the atmosphere,” says Michael Reinicke, one of the site’s founders.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

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

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

Instead, Uber’s website teems with profiles of middle-class “UberEducators” who work as rideshare drivers to collect extra spending money. The site features Monique, a schoolteacher in New Orleans with “12 years of teaching experience under her belt” who turned to Uber to “help during the 2015 holiday season.” Another driver profiled on the company’s site is a frustrated special education teacher who was sick of doing “paperwork” rather than working with children. She also wanted to pay for a new porch for her home. These testimonies, sometimes accompanied by inspirational slo-mo videos of real-life driver-teachers, fit nicely with Uber’s portrait of their educators as wholesome, hardworking professionals. But they also telegraph another useful message: Uber’s drivers have turned to rideshare-driving not as a full-time professional pursuit but as a second job that serves a purely supplementary purpose.

“Many truckers are very fearful,” said Zachary Lerner, the group’s senior director of labor organizing, who has been organizing drivers against the autonomous vehicles. “Trucking is not the best job, but it pays the most in lots of rural communities. They worry: Are they going to support their families? And what will happen to all of the small towns built off the trucking economy?” Driverless Ubers may indeed threaten the gig economy freelancers we met earlier—the schoolteachers who drive for rideshare services in order to pay their bills. (Ironies compound: as the writer Douglas Rushkoff has noted, today’s drivers are themselves now part of the research and development for what will most likely be the driverless future, building up a company with their labor in preparation for a time when the company will do away with them.) “Our demand is to freeze all the subsidies for the research on autonomous vehicles until there is a plan for workers who are going to lose their jobs,” Lerner said.


pages: 165 words: 50,798

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

Balancing privacy and transparency for optimal performance and trust in the system requires constant tuning. Figure 1-5. Rideshares rely on trust and ratings. Despite these challenges, Uber has built a platform that integrates mobile phones, social networks, and GPS to disrupt the business of transport. Their success is evident in the backlash from rage over “surge pricing” to lawsuits and fines in cities around the world. Interestingly, their defense is all about categorization. Uber insists they are not a taxi company nor a limo service. They simply match drivers and passengers. So they aren’t subject to established regulations, licensing, or insurance requirements. Uber isn’t alone in this argument. They have competition. For instance, there’s Lyft, a peer-to-peer rideshare whose drivers don’t charge “fares” but receive “donations” from passengers who are encouraged to sit in the front seat and give the driver a fistbump.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The start-up CeeSuite has automated the investment banking lifecycle for the vast pool of regional SMEs that could never afford Wall Street banks. Its founders are also creating a virtual accelerator that digitizes the stages and lessons of the start-up process, from crowd-funding investment through initial coin offerings (ICOs) and blockchain-based business models. Cybersecurity companies are thriving in Singapore and expanding from there. Asians are learning and adapting as much or more from each other as from the West. The ride-sharing industry is emblematic of how Western companies are losing out to local rivals for both strategic and cultural reasons. As recently as 2015, it seemed as though Uber was taking over the world. But thanks to SoftBank’s consistent support for a suite of Asian car-sharing firms—Didi Chuxing (DiDi) in China, GrabShare in Southeast Asia, and Ola Cabs in India—Uber’s valuation dropped below that of DiDi, which bought Uber’s China operations (after which SoftBank bought Uber shares at a discount).28 In Russia, Uber was subsumed by Yandex.Drive; in Southeast Asia, Uber sold its operations to GrabShare, which took another $1 billion in investment from Toyota.

Taking advantage of Jakarta’s 500,000 informal motorcycle taxis, Go-Jek leveraged Singaporean and US investment to professionalize into a full-scale logistics operation with integrated mobile payments (GoPay). Not only did the company beat its five-year growth forecast in less than a year, but a half-million drivers joined the formal economy and tax base. In 2017, Gojek was valued at $3 billion. In 2018, it announced plans to spread across Southeast Asia. The key areas of Asia’s digital integration—social media, payments, e-commerce, and ride sharing—have been on a steep ascent since 2015, growing by more than 30 percent per year in terms of user base and revenues. Given the significant cross-border population movements across Asia, migrant laborers have been among the first to benefit. Malaysia’s Maybank has partnered with the Singapore blockchain start-up Crosspay to enable hundreds of thousands of unbanked Indonesian and Burmese migrants to receive payments.

Baidu’s open-source approach to driverless-car software development, called Apollo, has lured Intel, Daimler, and Ford to contribute resources. Baidu might be on a collision course with Didi Chuxing—or perhaps it will simply buy it. US firms are now copying Chinese innovations. LimeBike in California is copying China’s dockless bike sharing as pioneered by Ofo and MoBike. DiDi has algorithms that predict which ride-sharing users will want a ride at certain times and locations and is designing driverless car interiors for shared augmented-reality experiences—programs that Uber and others will surely copy. Apple is conducting payments through the iMessage chat service, following what Tencent has done. Amazon now has a lending service similar to that of Alibaba. Facebook plans to follow WeChat by becoming a complete ecosystem of digital services.


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

Along the way, we might even regain a measure of security, for acknowledging identity as fluid and self-directed would make for a more interesting, and trusting, culture. To reach such a state would require that our actions online go untracked, much less be used against us in ways we don’t expect. Unfortunately, an entire industry has built up around doing just that. They’re becoming increasingly wary that their lives are going to be no longer their own. —John Pezold, Georgia state representative If you’ve ever used Uber, the ride-sharing service and smartphone app, you’re probably familiar with rating drivers. After each trip, a passenger is expected to rate his or her driver on a score from 1 to 5. Too many low scores and the driver’s job is in jeopardy. What many people don’t know is that drivers rate their passengers as well, and these scores are usually kept hidden from passengers. There are only a few ways to get them. You could ask an Uber driver to reveal your score, or you could call up Uber’s corporate office and see if they’ll share it with you.

When a group of Uber drivers assembled outside the company’s headquarters to protest their firing, the company’s general manager said that the drivers weren’t employees and that, when they were fired, it simply amounted to deactivating the drivers’ accounts. The given reason? Low ratings from passengers. This insouciance is built into Uber, which calls itself a software company, or alternatively, a transportation network company, rather than a taxi company. (Sidecar identifies as a peer-to-peer ride-sharing service.) Uber is also known for flouting local laws by setting up business in a new city without speaking to officials responsible for managing the transport sector. There’s a great deal of unacknowledged work involved in the sharing economy. Drivers have to keep their cars clean and insured, with no help from the company nominally employing them. Zipcar customers have to clean the cars after using them.

Or that these moderators spend hours numbly scrolling through grisly photos that people around the world are trying to upload to the network. Uber’s selling point is convenience: press a button on your phone and a car will arrive in minutes, maybe seconds, to take you anywhere you want to go. As long as that’s what happens, what do consumers have to complain about? Now joined by a host of start-up delivery services, ride-sharing companies are in the business of taking whomever or whatever from point A to point B with minimal fuss or waiting time. That this self-indulgent convenience ultimately comes at the expense of others is easily brushed off or shrouded in the magical promise that anything you want can be produced immediately. This is the Amazon ethic—customer first, costs slashed to the bone, goods delivered as soon as possible through cut-rate independent contractors—to the max.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Second, they had sensors affixed to them—their eyes and ears most importantly—that fed contextual data to their brains to ensure that they put their knowledge to good use. But so did other people. No London cabbie became worse at their job because of navigation apps. Instead, millions of other non-cabbies became a lot better. The cabbies’ knowledge was no longer a scarce commodity, opening up cabbies to competition from ride-sharing platforms like Uber. That other drivers could show up with “The Knowledge” on their phones and predictions of the fastest routes meant they could provide equivalent service. When high-quality machine prediction became cheap, human prediction declined in value, so the cabbies were worse off. The number of rides in London’s black cabs fell. Instead, other people provided the same service. These others also had driving skills and human sensors, complementary assets that went up in value as prediction became cheap.

It’s just different cultures, different policy regimes, and a different environment.”21 This is certainly the case for pursuing features like facial recognition. China, in contrast to the US, maintains a massive centralized database of photos for identification. This enables companies like Chinese startup Face++ to develop and license a facial recognition AI to authenticate the driver for passengers using Didi, the largest ride-hailing company in China, and also to transfer money via Alipay, a mobile payment app used by more than 120 million people in China. This system relies entirely on its facial analysis to authorize payment. Furthermore, incumbent Baidu is using a facial recognition AI to authenticate customers collecting their rail tickets and tourists accessing attractions.22 By contrast, in Europe, privacy regulation makes data access far more stringent than elsewhere, which may shut out European firms from AI leadership altogether.


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

Data-as-service start-ups are booming, and giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP have spent billions of dollars in the past several years snapping up companies that develop software for advanced data analytics. In fact, intangible digital assets—such as behavioral data on consumers and tracking data from logistics—can be the seeds of entirely new products and services. The disruption in taxi services is one example. Uber uses algorithms to determine “surge” prices in times of peak demand.46 Lyft, another on-demand ride-sharing start-up, employs a “happy hour” pricing model to lower rates in times of soft demand.47 Health care is another example of a sector where the marriage of data, analytical models, and decision-support tools—all key components of digital capital—can create immense economic value, improve customer experience, and create difficult-to-replicate capabilities. Some five million Americans suffer from congestive heart failure, which is treatable with drug therapy or implantable devices.48 Medtronic has built an industry first, CareLink Express Service, a remote heart-monitoring network that connects implanted cardiac monitoring devices to sites where physicians can remotely view and interpret data, improving the quality and efficiency of patient care in the process.

in competition, 10–11, 80, 84–85, 166–168 in consumption, 9, 94–95, 95 (table) in labor market, 10, 151 overview, 9–11, 203 Tunisia, 111–112 Twitter, 43 (table) Uber, 31–32, 47, 48, 154 Ukraine, 118–119, 176 Umea Energi, 28 Unemployment, 150, 155–156, 160, 184 (table) Unilever, 11, 67–68, 86, 87, 177–178 United Kingdom aging population in, 65, 70 car insurance and price transparency in, 173 Clarks Village, 93–94 connectedness rank of, 81 (table) e-commerce market in, 99 (fig.) England, 29, 31–32, 93–94, 143 fertility rate decline in, 56 labor market gap in, 162, 163–164 new competitor entry of, 84 public spending in, 191, 192 ride-sharing in, 31–32 savings rate in, 139 unemployment in, 184 (table) United States China e-commerce overtake of, 1–2, 9, 96, 98, 99 (fig.) connectedness rank of, 81 (table), 86 in economic center of gravity, 16–18, 19 (fig.) energy regulation in, 196 environment policy in, 119, 196 Federal Reserve, 10, 138 government centralization in, 192 government incentives in, 194 immigrant labor in, 77 international students in, 78 labor market gap in, 149–150, 153 (table), 155, 161, 193 local manufacturing in, 27 natural gas and oil extraction in, 2, 36, 116, 125 public-private partnerships in, 198 savings rate in, 138, 139 urban collaborative spaces in, 27 urbanization speed and scale in, 20 (fig.)


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

., 40 Staton, Michael, 121–22, 128, 130–31, 133–34, 139, 144, 147, 153, 156, 184 Stein, Gertrude, 165–66 Stephens, Dale, 139–41 Stuyvesant High School (New York City), 1 Suffolk County Community College, 164 Suppes, Patrick, 78, 89–94, 99–100, 104, 106, 109, 116, 155, 157–59 Swarthmore College, 53 Teacher in America (Barzun), 32–33 TED (Technology, Education, Design) festival, 148 Teletype, 93, 156 Terman, Frederick, 123 Texas, University of, 204, 216 Texas State University, 55 Thiel Fellowships, 139–41 Thrun, Sebastian, 147–53, 158, 169, 170, 181, 191 TIAA-CREF, 48 Timaeus (Plato), 17 Toyota, 129 Trachtenberg, Stephen Joel, 42–44, 53, 56, 59, 61–63, 65, 66, 197–98 TransUnion, 200 Trilling, Lionel, 32 Trivial Pursuit, 189 Truman, Harry, 51 Tulsa Senior and Junior High Schools, 90 Turner, Lana, 208 Twitter, 129, 217 U.S. Census, 9 U.S. News & World Report, 42, 58–60, 64, 163, 230 Uber ride-sharing service, 121–22, 133 Udacity, 152–54, 158, 170, 223, 231 UnCollege Movement, 139, 141 United Kingdom, Open University of, 231 University of Everywhere, 5–7, 11, 141, 201, 236, 238, 241 cost of, compared to current cost of higher education, 234 course development for, 85, 89, 111–12 credentialing system for, 218 elite university involvement in, 158–59 emergence of, 66–67, 73, 121, 231 hybrid university unbundled and reassembled into, 133 international collaboration in, 247–48 public consciousness of, 182 See also Massive open online courses USEED, 132–33 Uses of the University, The (Kerr), 54 Usher software, 199 Utah, University of, 125 Vatican, 16 Verizon, 146 Vermeer, Jan, 116 Veysey, Laurence, 34, 249, 261n Victoria’s Secret, 187–88 Virginia, University of, 154, 193 Virginia Tech Math Emporium, 108, 113 Volkswagen, 148 Vygotsky, Lev, 84, 227 Wall Street Journal, 128, 154 Walmart, 145 Wang Laboratories, 168 Washington, George, 23 Washington, University, 35, 204 Washington Post, 78 Washington University (St.

., 157 Lewin, Walter, 190–91 Liberal arts, 16, 27–31, 237, 241, 244–45 in accreditation standards, 50 core curriculum for, 49 at elite universities, 179 online courses in, 158, 244 PhDs and, 35 rankings and, 59 teaching mission in, 253 training, research, and, 29, 33, 261n (see also Hybrid universities) Lincoln, Abraham, 25 LinkedIn, 66, 217 Litton Industries, 75 Livy, 25 London, University of, 23 Lue, Robert, 178–81, 211, 231 Lyft ride-sharing service, 122 MacArthur, General Douglas, 51, 90 MacArthur “Genius” awards, 2 MacBooks, 132, 144 Madison, James, 23 Manitoba, University of, 150 Maples, Mike, Jr., 128–30, 132 Marine Corps, U.S., 140 Marx, Karl, 45 Massachusetts Bay Colony, Great and General Court of, 22 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 37–38, 59, 116, 132, 148, 153, 167–79, 245 admissions to, 39, 161, 212, 214–15, 245 Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex, 1–4, 143, 173–74 Bush at, 51–52, 79, 125, 168 computer science sequence offered online by, 231, 233 founding of, 29, 167 General Institute Requirements, 14, 190, 241 graduation rate at, 8 hacks as source of pride at, 168–69 joint online course effort of Harvard and, see edX MITx, 169, 173, 203 OpenCourseWare, 107–8, 150, 169, 185, 191 prestige of brand of, 163, 181 Saylor at, 176–90 Secret of Life (7.00x) online offering of, see Introduction to Biology—The Secret of Life (7.00x) tour of campus of, 168, 174 wormhole connecting Stanford and cafeteria at, 174–75, 179, 235 Massive open online courses (MOOCs), 150, 154, 156, 158, 159, 185, 204, 255 global demand for, 225 initial audience for, 214–15 providers of, see names of specific companies and universities Master Plans, 35, 60, 64–65 Master’s degrees, 117, 193, 195–96 Mayo Clinic, 242 Mazur, Eric, 137 “M-Badge” system, 208–9 McGill University, 204 Mellon Institute of Science, 75, 76, 229 Memex, 79, 80 Mendelian genetics, 3, 103–4 Miami-Dade Community College, 64 Microsoft, 128, 139, 145, 146, 188, 204 MicroStrategy, 187–91, 199 Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 50 Minerva Project, 133–38, 141, 215, 235, 236, 243 Minnesota, University of, Rochester (UMR), 242–43 Missouri, University of, 208 Moore’s law, 176 Morrill, Justin Smith, 25–26 Morrill Land-Grant Act (1862), 25, 168 Mosaic software program, 126 Mozilla Foundation, 205–8, 218, 248 MS-DOS, 87 Myanganbayar, Battushig, 214, 215 NASDAQ, 177, 188 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 208 National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 96 National Bureau of Economic Research, 10 National Institutes of Health, 52 National Instruments, 216 National Manufacturing Institute, 208 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 208 National Science Foundation, 52 National Survey of Student Engagement, 243 Navy, U.S., 53, 123 Nebraska, University of, 26 Nelson, Ben, 133–35, 139, 181 Netflix, 131, 145 Netscape, 115, 126, 128, 129, 204–5 Newell, Albert, 79, 105 New Jersey, College of, 23 Newman, John Henry, 27–29, 47, 49, 244 Newman Report (1971), 56 Newton, Isaac, 190 New York, State University of, Binghamton, 183–84 New York City public schools, 1, 44 New York Times, 9, 44, 56–57, 107–8, 149, 170 New York University (NYU), 9, 64, 96, 250 Ng, Andrew, 153, 158 Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle), 17 Nimitz, Admiral Chester W., 90 NLS/Augment, 125 Nobel Prize, 3, 45, 59, 78, 80, 176 Northeastern University, 64 Northern Arizona University, 229–30 Health and Learning Center, 230 Northern Iowa, University of, 55 Norvig, Peter, 149, 170, 227–28, 232 Notre Dame (Paris), cathedral school at, 18 Nurkiewicz, Tomasz, 218 Obama, Barack, 2 Oberlin College, 46 O’Brien, Conan, 166 Oklahoma, University of, 90 Omdurman Islamic University, 88 oNLine system, 125–26 Open Badges, 207 Open source materials and software, 177, 205–6, 215, 223, 232 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 9, 224 Overeducated American, The (Freeman), 56 Oxford University, 19, 21, 23, 24, 92, 135 Packard, David, 123 Parkinson’s disease, 70 Paris, University of, 18–19, 21, 137 Pauli, Wolfgang, 176 Pauling, Linus, 70 Pausch, Randy, 71–72 Peace Corps, 125 Pellar, Ronald (“Doctor Dante”), 208 Pell Grant Program, 56 Penguin Random House, 146 Pennsylvania, University of, 23, 24, 31 Wharton Business School, 155 Pennsylvania State University, 53 People magazine, 57 Pez dispensers, 146 Phaedrus (Socrates), 20, 98 PhDs, 7, 55, 117, 141, 193, 237, 250, 254 adjunct faculty replacing, 252 college rankings based on number of scholars with, 59 regional universities and community colleges and, 60, 64, 253 as requirement for teaching in hybrid universities, 31–33, 35, 50, 60, 224 Silicon Valley attitude toward, 66 Philadelphia, College of, 23 Philip of Macedon, 92 Phoenix, University of, 114 Piaget, Jean, 84, 227 Piazza, 132 Pittsburgh, University of, 73–76 Pixar, 146 Planck, Max, 45 Plato, 16, 17, 21, 31, 44, 250–51 Portman, Natalie, 165 Powell, Walter, 50, 117 Princeton University, 1–2, 23, 112, 134, 161, 245 Principia (Newton), 190 Protestantism, 24 Public universities, 7, 55, 177, 224, 253 Purdue University, 96, 208 Puritans, 22–24 Queens College, 23 Quizlet, 133 Rafter, 131–32 Raphael, 16, 17 Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, 87 Reagan, Ronald, 56 Regional universities, 55, 60, 64 Reid, Harry, 42 Renaissance, 19 Rhode Island, College of, 23 Rhodes Scholarships, 2 Rice University, 204 RNA, 3 Rockstar Games, 230 Roksa, Josipa, 9, 36, 85, 244 Romans, ancient, 16 Roosevelt, Theodore, 165 Ruby on Rails Web development framework, 144 Rutgers University, 23 Sample, Steven, 64 Samsung, 146 San Jose State University, 177 Sandel, Michael, 177 SAT scores, 63, 136–37, 171, 195, 213 Saylor, Michael, 186–93, 199, 201 Saylor.org, 191, 223, 231 Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph, 45 School of Athens, The (Raphael), 16 Schopenhauer, Arthur, 45 Science: The Endless Frontier (Bush), 51 Scientific American, 92, 155 Scientific Research and Development, U.S.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

Every now and then an RV-sized vehicle—perhaps a commuter’s well-appointed mobile office—rolls grandly by. On rare occasions, a car bearing a human driver appears. Warned of the presence of a nearby biological being behind the wheel, other cars react with caution, giving the human-driven car an extra-wide berth. To summon a taxi, you press a button on your phone. A few minutes later, a driverless taxi sidles up next to you. Since you agreed to ride-share, your pod already contains a passenger or two headed in your general direction, a minor annoyance that will substantially reduce the cost of your fare. Figure 2.1 A depiction of customized autonomous mobile office pods (concept). Source: Courtesy of IDEO Like the inside of an elevator, your pod’s interior is bare bones, utilitarian, with hard, easy-to-clean surfaces and minimal moving parts.

CMU has been at the forefront of robotics and autonomous vehicle research for decades. Led by legendary robotics professor William “Red” Whittaker, CMU’s Tartan racing team dominated the series of three government-sponsored races between autonomous vehicles that some people credit with catalyzing the development of the modern driverless car—the DARPA Challenges of 2004, 2005, and 2007 (DARPA is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense). In February 2015, the ride-sharing company Uber, eager to jump-start the development of its own autonomous vehicle, also gravitated to Pittsburgh and hired away some forty staff members from CMU’s robotics and computer science departments. Our goal was to spend a day visiting a legendary off-campus division of CMU’s formidable robotics department, the university’s National Robotics Engineering Center, or NREC. At the time of our visit, the Uber raid on Carnegie Mellon’s roboticists had not yet taken place.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

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

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

Paige, who got canned after eleven months, had taken only five days of vacation. At a traditional company she would have been owed a week or two of vacation pay, but from HubSpot, she got nothing. Think about how many hundreds of people churn in and out of a place like HubSpot, and you can see how the savings add up. Another way to drive down labor costs is to deny people employee status in the first place. Uber, the ride-sharing company, saves money by categorizing drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber insists drivers prefer this because they enjoy more freedom. Uber and others in the “share economy” are creating a new form of serfdom, an underclass of quasi-employees who receive low pay and no benefits. As former secretary of labor Robert Reich put it in a June 2015 Facebook post: “The ‘share economy’ is bunk; it’s becoming a ‘share the scraps’ economy.”

They’re the ones who were supposed to be keeping an eye on the others. During my time at HubSpot, I was shocked to see how badly managed the company was and how packs of inexperienced twenty-something employees were being turned loose and given huge responsibility with little or no oversight. In the world of start-ups that is now the norm, not the exception. The consequences are just what you would expect. Employees at Uber, the ride-sharing company, have used a “God View” feature to stalk people using the service, including a BuzzFeed journalist. Re/code, a tech blog, claims other companies have done the same, including Lyft, a rival to Uber; Swipe, a photo-sharing app; and Basis, which makes a “health watch” that tracks people’s heart rates, sleep patterns, and other personal information. In the early days at Facebook, the young employees had a master password to gain access to anyone’s account, according to a book by a former Facebook employee.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

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

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

Google and blogs divert revenue from newspapers, publishing, and libraries. Digital advertising diverts revenue from newspaper, magazine, and TV advertising. Technological innovation increasingly relies on lowering costs, which is achieved by reducing the quality of the product as well using untrained individuals or personal assets. Airbnb allows people to rent out their own home for accommodation. Uber, a ride-sharing application, allows individuals to use their own cars to provide transport services. Wikipedia and other online media or entertainment services rely on unpaid labor. This kind of innovation also focuses on creating free platforms or services in order to build a sufficiently large user community from which stealth revenues can be extracted, either directly or by selling user data to allow targeted marketing, or worse.

Airbnb, Lyft, and others do not always comply with regulations designed to ensure a minimum level of skill, standard of performance, safety and security, and insurance coverage. Taxi and hire-car drivers have protested about services that undercut their often regulated charges and livelihoods. There have been anecdotes about orgies in Airbnb-rented properties, and accidents or assaults involving ride-sharing drivers. Accountability for these services relies on the parties to a transaction rating each other, ensuring that inadequate performance will preclude future participation. Like all online reviews and rating systems, this is not a substitute for independent evaluation and oversight. Unfair reviews, predicated on ulterior motives or malice, can exclude individuals from future work, “deactivating” them.


Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

Shared use There is undoubtedly a trend, particularly among millennials, of being less interested in owning – or even driving – a car compared with the previous generation. A PriceWaterhouseCoopers report on connected cars suggests that ‘urban residents in Western markets appear to be losing interest in owning their own cars, a trend exacerbated by their desire to move to urban areas, where cars simply aren’t a requirement, and where public transport and ride-sharing apps can easily fulfil their needs’.29 Indeed. But this has to be put into context: global figures for car sales are still rising, in line with economic growth, and the shared-use concept has therefore only been adopted by a small urban-living minority. The idea that people will readily opt for communal vehicles is also questionable. Car clubs such as Zipcar have had some success. London has around 200,000 car-club members, who have access to 3,000 vehicles, according 48 The triple revolution to the annual survey of car-club use; there are 25,000 fewer independently owned vehicles on London’s streets as a result.

General Motors, while eschewing a precise time line, is almost as gung-ho about its ambitions: ‘we expect to be the first high-volume auto manufacturer to build fully autonomous vehicles in a mass-production assembly plant’, its CEO, Marry Barra, said in December 2016. The company paid $581 million in 2016 to buy a self-driving technology start-up called Cruise Automation, and it has said its focus will be on ride sharing, suggesting that the company is predicting the decline of the current model of individual car ownership. GM’s ‘Super Cruise’ system is due for release in 2018, but it is only considered as Level 2 on the automation scale. Several other car manufacturers have teamed up with tech companies too. Ford is investing $1 billion in a robotics company called Argo AI and, as mentioned in the previous chapter, it is skipping Level 3 automation.

The other big Japanese companies Toyota and Honda have both stated that they aim to have cars that ‘drive themselves’ in time for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2020: Honda has paired with Waymo in order to achieve this while Toyota is investing $1 billion in its autonomous car project. The South Korean firm Hyundai is also investing heavily, with $1.7 billion allocated to its autonomous car programme. In February 2017 the company’s senior research engineer, Byungyong You, said that they were ‘targeting…the highway in 2020 and urban driving in 2030’,34 which would effectively be Level 3 and Level 4, respectively. Volvo is focusing on two different ends of the market: ride sharing and luxury cars. It has entered into a $300 million joint venture with Uber to develop autonomous cars. 58 What can cars do now? Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview in July 2016: ‘It’s our ambition to have a car that can drive fully autonomously on the highway by 2021.’ 35 In June 2017 Daimler announced an agreement with Bosch to bring both Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles to urban environments ‘by the beginning of the next decade’.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

If there is one major factor leading to the idea that demand, not supply, is the future constraint, it is related to the junction of climate policies and technology. The one market that seemed to be guaranteed for oil for a very long time was transportation and, specifically, the automobile. No longer, not on the “Roadmap” to the future. For oil now faces a sudden challenge from the New Triad: the electric car, which uses no oil; “mobility as a service,” ride-hailing and ride-sharing; and cars that drive themselves. The result could be a contest for dominance in a new trillion-dollar industry: “Auto-Tech.” * * * — The debate over how rapidly the world can and must adjust to a changing climate, and how much it will cost, is unlikely to be resolved in this decade. But the endeavor will take on greater urgency as public opinion becomes more aroused and new policies seek to implement “net zero carbon.”

He was replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi, who had been CEO of the online travel company Expedia.6 By then, the ride-hailing industry was already well established; Uber alone had two million drivers worldwide, and “Uber” had the status of a verb. The growth in ride hailing had proved exponential. In San Francisco alone, Uber’s revenues were in the billions, compared to less than $200 million for taxis. By 2017, Uber was operating in 540 cities around the world; Lyft, 290 in the United States. In the United States, Uber had about 70 percent of ride hailing and Lyft, 30 percent. Internationally, in addition to DiDi, other major players have emerged, including Gett in Europe and Ola in India. Overall, ride hailing could be a very big industry. But the industry still had a major challenge—to prove that it could be profitable.

Lyft’s market cap had similarly fallen, from an IPO value of $24 billion to about $14 billion. Ride hailing on a massive scale could disrupt the century-old model of selling and servicing cars that run on oil fuels for personal use. The traditional model would give way to a whole new business model and indeed way of life—“mobility as a service” (MaaS). Instead of buying a car, keeping it in the garage, driving it to work, leaving it in a parking lot, and so on—altogether only using the car that 5 or 10 percent of the day—people would not own a car at all. Instead, they would buy mobility as they need it. But the coronavirus and social distancing delivered an unexpected blow to ride sharing. Would people want to share vehicles, or would they rather own their own mobility? In one indication, by June of 2020, less than three months after the reopening of China, DiDi was back to 70 percent of its pre-crisis level.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

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

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

In 2007 Logan Green and John Zimmer had founded a peer-to-peer service called Zimride, which was focused on matching drivers and passengers for long intercity rides. In 2012, Sunil’s work inspired them to launch a new service, called Lyft, which offered the first public peer-to-peer ride-sharing service for local pickup not by professional drivers, but by “your friend with a car.” Sunil, late to the party despite being way early, launched Sidecar at about the same time. (It was still in private beta when Lyft launched publicly.) But by the time Sidecar went out to raise money, Uber and Lyft had already built huge venture capital war chests, and Sidecar was unable to compete in a capital-intensive business. It went out of business at the end of 2015. Uber responded to Lyft with UberX, and the ride-sharing landscape as we know it today was born. Lyft has continued to innovate, with Lyft Line (which Uber matched as UberPool), consistent with Zimmer and Green’s original vision to create a modern version of the peer-to-peer public transportation network similar to the one they’d seen during youthful travels in Zimbabwe, and which had inspired them to create first Zimride and then Lyft.

But all that the traditional taxi companies did with their connectivity was to put a credit card reader in the back of the taxi, and a small screen for broadcasting content and ads. In fact, one Internet entrepreneur had thought of Camp and Kalanick’s idea long before they did. Sunil Paul’s patent for System and Method for Determining an Efficient Transportation Route, filed in 2000 and issued in 2002, is eerily prescient. It describes almost perfectly many of the features of modern on-demand ride-hailing systems. But all the pieces of the puzzle weren’t yet on the table to build what Sunil imagined. “I had this idea that the smartphone would replace cars,” Sunil told me. “You wouldn’t need a car anymore because you could coordinate your transportation through your smartphone.” Early smartphones existed at that time, mostly in Europe, but they were far from ubiquitous. “In 1999, I tried starting a company around it,” Sunil continued.


Lonely Planet Iceland (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Carolyn Bain, Alexis Averbuck

Airbnb, banking crisis, car-free, carbon footprint, cashless society, centre right, European colonialism, food miles, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, post-work, presumed consent, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, undersea cable

The changeable weather makes for tough going, and although the path is mostly paved, there is hardly any room on the road’s shoulder to provide a comfortable distance from vehicular traffic. Cycling can be a great way to explore more-rural regions. By Hitching & Ridesharing The most cost-effective way to venture around the Ring Road is to stick out your thumb. In summer it’s quite easy to hitch all the way around the Ring Road but be aware of the potential risks involved. Many hostels have rideshare posterboards in their lobbies. A great resource is www.samferda.is, an online rideshare messageboard. Plan Your Trip Outdoor Adventures Iceland’s spectacular natural beauty encompasses Europe’s largest national park and the mightiest ice cap outside the poles, plus a sea full of whales and the world’s biggest puffin colonies.

Ísafjörður, Flateyri and Þingeyri (Ikr350, three daily Monday to Friday) Suðureyri (Ikr350, 20 minutes, three daily Monday to Friday) Súðavík (Ikr1000, 20 minutes, Monday to Friday; you must reserve the day before) Bolungarvík (Ikr1000, 15 minutes, three daily Monday to Friday). Flybuses ( GOOGLE MAP ; Airport–Ísafjörður Ikr1000; Ísafjörður–Bolungarvík Ikr1000; Airport–Bolungarvík Ikr1500 ), keyed to Icelandair flights (but anyone can use them), run Bolungarvík–Ísafjörður–Airport–Ísafjörður–Bolungarvík. In Ísafjörður they stop near the Hótel Ísafjörður. Check with the tourist office or www.westfjords.is on all buses, as the situation is in flux. Car For ridesharing check www.bilfar.is. AvisCAR HIRE (%591 4000; www.avis.is; Ísafjörður Airport) EuropcarCAR HIRE (%840 6074; www.holdur.is; Ísafjörður Airport) HertzCAR HIRE (%522 4490; www.hertz.is; Ísafjörður Airport) 8Getting Around City buses (Ikr350) operate from 7.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays (until 10.30pm in winter) and connect the town centre with Hnífsdalur and Tungudalur; they stop along the waterfront.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

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

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

And even if you don’t want to drive for Uber or Lyft, you can still make money with them. There are plenty of people who have a driver’s license but don’t own a car. If you have an under-utilized car that’s just sitting in your garage and depreciating in value, you can rent it out to ridesharing drivers. You can now list your car on HyreCar.com. An average car owner has the potential to generate up to $12,000 per year, providing a good source of passive income. Also, your car is protected under HyreCar’s industry ridesharing insurance. Poshmark People buy or sell their clothing via Poshmark’s mobile app. The premise is that you can “make money from clothes that are just sitting in your closet.” Fon Fon enables people to share their home Wi-Fi network in exchange for getting free Wi-Fi from other users in the network.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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

The impact of Uber will likely spread far beyond your nightly ride home; it has implications for business models across transport and logistics globally. Today Uber is best known for providing the equivalent of a taxi ride. But if you listen to discussions in the executive suite and with its board of directors, what you’ll hear is a vision to dominate urban logistics. This starts with car rides. Uber is developing a ride-sharing model that aspires to take 1 million cars off the streets of London while creating 100,000 jobs. Even if it comes near a fraction of this goal, it is still all for the good for reducing carbon emissions and for employment. Beyond that, expect Uber to try to take over the big business of same-day and next-day delivery. I imagine opening the Uber app on my phone when I’m looking to send a package.

Summers, “How Uber and the Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulators,” Harvard Business Review, October 13, 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/10/how-uber-and-the-sharing-economy-can-win-over-regulators/; TX Zhuo, “Airbnb and Uber Are Just the Beginning: What’s Next for the Sharing Economy,” Entrepreneur, March 25, 2015, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244192. Founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick: Cities, Uber, https://www.uber.com/cities. Uber’s first tagline was: Kevin Roose, “Uber Might Be More Valuable Than Facebook Someday. Here’s Why,” New York Magazine, December 6, 2013, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/12/uber-might-be-more-valuable-than-facebook.html. Uber is developing a ride-sharing: “The City of the Future: One Million Fewer Cars on the Road,” Uber Newsroom, October 3, 2014, http://blog.uber.com/city-future. High-profile investors include: Brad Stone, “Invasion of the Taxi Snatchers: Uber Leads an Industry’s Disruption,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 20, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-20/uber-leads-taxi-industry-disruption-amid-fight-for-riders-drivers.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

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

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

Each example has been sourced officially or from a major publication. Car movements—Every car since 2006 contains a chip that records your speed, braking, turns, mileage, accidents whenever you start your car. Highway traffic—Cameras on poles and sensors buried in highways record the location of cars by license plates and fast-track badges. Seventy million plates are recorded each month. Ride-share taxis—Uber, Lyft, and other decentralized rides record your trips. Long-distance travel—Your travel itinerary for air flights and trains is recorded. Drone surveillance—Along U.S. borders, Predator drones monitor and record outdoor activities. Postal mail—The exterior of every piece of paper mail you send or receive is scanned and digitized. Utilities—Your power and water usage patterns are kept by utilities.

See also books; ebooks and readers realism, 211–14, 216 real time, 66, 88, 104, 114–17, 131, 145 recommendation engines, 169 Red Dead Redemption, 227–30 Reddit, 136, 140, 143, 149, 264 Red Hat, 69 reference transactions, 285 relationship network analysis, 187 relativity theory, 288 remixing of ideas, 193–210 and economic growth, 193–95 and intellectual property issues, 207–10 legal issues associated with, 207–10 and reduced cost of creating content, 196–97 and rewindability, 204–7 and visual media, 197–203 remixing video, 197–98 renting, 117–18 replication of media, 206–9 Rethink Robotics, 51 revert functions, 270 reviews by users/readers, 21, 72–73, 139, 266 rewindability, 204–7, 247–48, 270 RFID chips, 283 Rheingold, Howard, 148–49 ride-share taxis, 252 ring tones, 250 Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 278 robots ability to think differently, 51–52 Baxter, 51–52 categories of jobs for, 54–59, 60 and digital storage capacity, 265 dolls, 36 emergence of, 49 industrial robots, 52–53 and mass customization, 173 new jobs related to, 57–58 and personal success, 58–59 personal workbots, 58–59 stages of robot replacement, 59–60 training, 52–53 trust in, 54 Romer, Paul, 193, 209 Rosedale, Phil, 219 Rowling, J.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

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

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

This system, she added, “amplifies everything that goes through it, so it creates feedback loops used to bully people, and it creates more points of interaction and many more opportunities for people who are homophobic to meet a gay person. And now suddenly so many more people are meeting gay people. If empathy comes about through human interaction, this system creates so many more opportunities for that.” The day I interviewed Gorbis, Bettina Warburg, a researcher at the Institute for the Future, told me this story from her recent commute in the San Francisco area: “I was riding in a Lyft the other morning—where you ride-share with others headed in the same direction. My driver chatted with me and mentioned his last [passenger] was ‘voted out of the car,’ because he was expressing extreme homophobic rhetoric. He said, ‘You won’t get a ride in San Francisco with those values—you are in the wrong city.’ We were a black, a Hispanic, and a woman in the car talking about how intolerance does not jibe with an economy built on platforms that value participation.”

Many of those laws and conventions continue to serve us well today, and over the course of a century, we had plenty of time to adapt our laws to new inventions, such as freeways. Today, however, scientific advances are bringing seismic shifts to the ways in which we use our roads; legislatures and municipalities are scrambling to keep up, tech companies are chafing under outdated and sometimes nonsensical rules, and the public is not sure what to think. Smartphone technology gave rise to Uber, but before the world figures out how to regulate ride-sharing, self-driving cars will have made those regulations obsolete.” This is a real problem. When fast gets really fast, being slower to adapt makes you really slow—and disoriented. It is as if we were all on one of those airport moving sidewalks that was going around five miles an hour and suddenly it sped up to twenty-five miles an hour—even as everything else around it stayed roughly the same.

planetary boundaries PlayStation 3 Pleistocene epoch pluralism Pluralism Project politics: bipartisanship in; compromise in; disruption in; dogmatism in; money in; polarization in; trust and; see also geopolitics politics, innovation in; adaptability and; diversity and; entrepreneurial mindset in; federal-local balance in; Mother Nature as mentor for; need for organization in; ownership in; “races to the top” in; resilience in; specific reforms in pollution Pol Pot polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Popular Science population growth; climate change and; political instability and; poverty and; in weak states Population Institute poverty; advances in connectivity and; chickens and; global flows and; population growth and power of flows power of machines power of many; Mother Nature and; supernova and; see also population growth power of one; ethics and; supernova and Prabhu, Krish prairie, as complex ecosystem Present at the Creation (Acheson) Preston-Werner, Tom Prickett, Glenn privacy, big data and Private Photo Vault Production and Operations Management Society Conference (2014) productivity, supernova and Profil Progressive Policy Institute progressivism; economic growth and Prohibition Project Dreamcatcher Project Syndicate public spaces Putin, Vladimir Putnam, Robert Quad Qualcomm; maintenance workers at Qualcomm pdQ 1900 Quednau, Rachel Queen Rania Teacher Academy Quiz Bowl (TV show) QuoteInvestigator.com (QI) racism rain forests Rain Room ransomware Rattray, Ben ReadWrite.com Reagan, Ronald Real Time Talent Reflections on the Revolution in France (Burke) regulation, technological change and Regulatory Improvement Commission (proposed) Reilly Tar & Chemical Corporation Rejoiner.com relationships, human, connectivity and Republican Party, Republicans: climate change denial by; dogmatism of; implosion of; liberal; polycultural heritage of resilience; in Mother Nature; ownership and; political innovation and retailing: big data and; supernova and Reuters ride-sharing Rifai, Salim al- Ringwald, Alexis Rise and Fall of American Growth, The (Gordon) Rise of the West, The (McNeill) “Rising Menace from Disintegrating Yemen, The” (Henderson) Roberts, Keith robotics “Robots Are Coming, The” (Lanchester) Rockström, Johan Rodríguez, Chi Chi rogue states Rosenstein, Wendi Zelkin Royal Ontario Museum Rugby World Cup (1995) Ruh, Bill Russ, Pam Russell, Richard B.


pages: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Other sectors popular among women were education, health care, and media and entertainment. But the vast majority of venture capital in 2016 went into fintech (meaning financial tech, such as apps that disrupt banking and retirement planning), security, genetics, augmented and virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, in addition to an outsize amount in transportation (dominated by funding of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing services). These numbers indicate a big mismatch between ideas that attract mostly male VCs and ideas that attract female entrepreneurs. Is this a true gender gap? Maybe, but not necessarily. There is evidence to suggest that women choose lower-cost-of-entry, lower-growth sectors simply because they have fewer resources available to them. Not only are women less likely to receive venture capital than men, but they are also less likely to have business loan and credit applications approved.

“I had instincts leading me to believe the product wouldn’t be a hit. I wish I’d voiced these concerns more effectively, but I was working with such legends, and I thought they knew better.” Every investor has a list of woulda, shoulda, coulda’s, to be fair, but had Lee spoken up, she might have saved Kleiner a lot of money—that is, if the legends had listened. A few years later, Lee suggested the firm make a seed investment in a quickly growing ride-hailing company called Uber. At that time, however, Kleiner didn’t typically invest at such an early stage. Later, she encouraged the partners to meet with Uber’s then-CEO Travis Kalanick as he was raising the Series B, but there was little interest. Given the juggernaut that Uber became—despite its cultural issues—clearly this was a missed opportunity. (Again, Kleiner later invested in Uber at a much higher valuation.)

Geidt squirmed away, the colleagues say. Pishevar, a major Democratic party donor who raised money for President Obama and hosted a fundraiser with George Clooney for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, was one of Uber’s most influential backers; he maintained an especially close relationship to co-founder Travis Kalanick. Geidt, who joined Uber as its fourth employee and its first woman, was in charge of launching the ride-sharing company in new cities at the time. A person with firsthand knowledge of Pishevar’s behavior toward Geidt confirmed the holiday party account. Though Geidt declined to comment when the story broke, it’s clear Pishevar was in a position of power. He had recently co-founded his own venture fund, Sherpa Capital, and the futuristic tube transportation company Hyperloop One. Pishevar, through his lawyer, denied the allegation and told Bloomberg that he and Geidt always maintained a “friendly, professional relationship.”


pages: 83 words: 23,805

City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There by Ted Books

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, big-box store, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, demand response, housing crisis, Induced demand, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, McMansion, megacity, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, Zipcar

Our cities have been designed to separate out the functions of our lives, with residential and commercial zones, consumers and producers clearly demarcated. The sharing economy upends all of that. “Cities are going to have to reconsider and rethink how they view public space,” says Josh Moskowitz, the business development manager for car-sharing service Car2go. The reaction of most cities so far as been to warily size up Airbnb hosts as vacation rental owners, or rideshares as taxicabs. Their real identity is still something legally undefined, requiring new policies that recognize, for instance, the difference between someone recouping the cost of owning a car by giving rides in it, and someone making a hefty profit that way. Bureaucracies have to figure this out because the benefits will be so immense, at both citizen and city scales. The very thing that makes cities so powerful — their ability to agglomerate — will only be enhanced by the sharing economy.


pages: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Vickrey’s ideas have transformed economic theory and had an impact on policy. Governments around the world use auctions based on Vickrey’s ideas to sell licenses to use radio spectrum. Facebook, Google, and Bing use a system derived from Vickrey’s auction to allocate advertising space on their web pages. Vickrey’s insights about urban planning and congestion pricing are slowly changing the face of cities, and they play an important role in the pricing policies of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.2 However, none of these applications reflects the ambition that sparked Vickrey’s work. When Vickrey won the Nobel Prize, he reportedly hoped to use the award as a “bully pulpit” to bring George’s transformative ideas and the radical potential of mechanism design to a broader audience.3 Yet Vickrey died of a heart attack three days after learning of his prize. Even had he lived, Vickrey may have struggled to inspire the public.

Just get some sleep, you were going hard last night.” “Good idea.” You probably find the idea of Facebook prying into the details of your friends’ relationships, and paying you to help it, creepy. Yet this business practice, at one remove, is already ubiquitous. Why does Google enable us to plan our trips on Google maps? It learns traffic patterns, which it can then package into services it sells to ride-sharing and public transit platforms. Why does Facebook provide us a “free” space to build our social lives? Because we reveal personal information, which enables Facebook to match us with products we might be willing to buy. Why do Instagram and YouTube offer such useful ways to share media? The images and video they host are the inputs to “machine learning” (ML) systems that power “artificial intelligence” (AI) services that they sell to customers—from face recognition to automated video editing.


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

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

Meanwhile, D.C. taxis have organized protests, as have the same in Los Angeles and other major cities. As it turns out, these services are increasing safety. They make it easy for people who are too drunk to drive to click a button on their smartphones and get a ride home safely. Following two years in which DUI arrests increased 10 percent each year, they have fallen by 14 percent this year. The LA Weekly speculates that this drop is because of these ride-sharing services, which are used often late at night in locations with bars and clubs. All my conversations with Uber drivers seem to confirm this hunch. The taxi monopolies might have provided such efficient services, but without competition, the motivation for progress evaporates. Similarly, we might expect the hotel industry, which is forced to pay high taxes and to comply with vast regulations, to grumble about room-sharing services such as Airbnb, which bear no 11 such costs.


Pocket Stockholm Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

active transport: walking or cycling, cashless society, Kickstarter, ride hailing / ride sharing, sexual politics, urban decay, walkable city

AStockholm City Bikes (www.citybikes.se; 3-day/season card 165/300kr) Has self-service bicycle-hire stands across the city. Bikes can be borrowed for three-hour stretches and returned at any City Bikes stand. Purchase a bike card online or from the tourist office. Taxi ATaxis are readily available but fees are unregulated – check for a meter or arrange the fare first. AUse one of the established, reputable firms, such as Taxi Stockholm or Sverige Taxi. AThe ridesharing company Uber (www.uber.com) also covers Stockholm. Boat ADjurgårdsfärjan city ferry services connect Gröna Lund Tivoli on Djurgården with Nybroplan (summer only) and Slussen (year-round) as frequently as every 10 minutes in summer; SL transport passes and tickets apply. Tram AThe historic 7 tram runs between Norrmalmstorg and Skansen, passing most attractions on Djurgården. ASL passes are valid.


Lonely Planet's Best of USA by Lonely Planet

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, mass immigration, obamacare, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration

Hotel tax adds 14.5% to rates. If you have a car, figure on $35 to $55 per day for in-and-out privileges. Try for a bed in Capitol Hill and Southwest DC, with its range of hotels, suites and hostels; or Downtown and the Penn Quarter, which bustles with trendy bars, restaurants and theaters. TAXI Taxis are relatively easy to find (less so at night), but costly. DC Yellow Cab (%202-544-1212) is reliable. The rideshare company Uber is used more in the District. TRAIN Union Station (www.unionstationdc.com; 50 Massachusetts Ave NE) is the city’s rail hub. There’s a handy Metro station here for transport onward in the city. Amtrak (%800-872-7245; www.amtrak.com) Set inside the magnificent beaux-arts Union Station. Trains depart at least once per hour for major East Coast cities, including New York City (3½ hours) and Boston (six to eight hours).

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA; www.transitchicago.com) operates the city’s buses and the elevated/subway train system (aka the El). The standard fare per train is $3 (except from O’Hare, where it costs $5) and includes two transfers; per bus it is $2.25. Unlimited ride passes (one-/three-day pass $10/20) are also available. Get them at rail stations and drug stores. TAXI Flash Cab (%773-561-4444; www.flashcab.com) Yellow Cab (%312-829-4222; www.yellowcabchicago.com) Rideshare company Uber is also popular in Chicago. TRAIN Chicago’s classic Union Station (www.chicagounionstation.com; 225 S Canal St; mBlue Line to Clinton) is the hub for Amtrak (%800-872-7245; www.amtrak.com) national and regional services. MIAMI PIDJOE / GETTY IMAGES © Miami Miami is many things, but to most visitors, it is mainly glamour, condensed into urban form. It is simultaneously an outpost of the Caribbean, the most diverse Latin American city in the world, and a quintessentially American place.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

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

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

Analysis 58 (1) (1998): 7–19. Clark, Andy. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. “Company Info | Facebook Newsroom.” Facebook. Accessed February 19, 2016. http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info. “The Comprehensive List of Uber Incidents, Assaults and Accusations.” Who’s Driving You? Accessed June 10, 2015. http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/rideshare-incidents.html. “Controlled Supply.” Bitcoin Wiki, July 20, 2015. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply. Cooper, Matt, Panagiotis G. Ipeirotis, and Siddharth Suri. “The Computer Is the New Sewing Machine: Benefits and Perils of Crowdsourcing.” Presented at the WWW 2011, Hyderabad, India, March 28, 2011. http://www.ipeirotis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/p325.pdf. Cushing, Ellen. “Amazon Mechanical Turk: The Digital Sweatshop.”

This form of arbitrage is a sophisticated triangulation of intimacies, asking participants to trade in or renegotiate certain facets of identity in favor of algorithmically crafted substitutes. People hailing cabs on the streets of New York have long felt judged by race, among other characteristics, and some African Americans specifically use Uber because racial context is muted or removed from the ride-hailing equation.38 Uber becomes a new filter in the system of social context, identity politics, regulatory regimes, and antidiscrimination laws, inflecting these various ideological conflicts through the lens of its interface. As one blogger in Washington, DC, noted, “The Uber experience is just so much easier for African-Americans. There’s no fighting or conversation. When I need a car, it comes.


pages: 172 words: 48,747

The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, George Santayana, glass ceiling, income inequality, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, payday loans, pink-collar, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

Struggling U.S. cities of the Rust Belt and heartland lack the investment of coastal contemporaries, but have in turn been spared the rapid displacement of hipster economics. Buffered by their eternal uncoolness, these slow-changing cities have a chance to make better choices—choices that value the lives of people over the aesthetics of place. In an April blog post, Umar Lee, a St. Louis writer and full-time taxi driver, bemoaned the economic model of ride-share services, which are trying to establish themselves in the city. Noting that they hurt not only taxi drivers but poor residents who have neither cars nor public transport and thus depend on taxis willing to serve dangerous neighborhoods, he dismisses Uber and Lyft as hipster elitists masquerading as innovators: “I’ve heard several young hipsters tell me they’re socially-liberal and economic-conservative, a popular trend in American politics,” he writes.


pages: 170 words: 49,193

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

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

* Some of them are no doubt thinking of Karl Marx’s vision of a communist paradise, where people could ‘hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner’. * The following operate as either monopolies or oligopolies in their respective fields: Google (search engine, video streaming, online advertising); Facebook (social network, messaging, online advertising); Uber (ride-sharing); Airbnb (home-sharing); Amazon (online retail – especially books, cloud computing); Twitter (micro-blogging); Instagram (photo-sharing); Spotify (music streaming). * People who talk breezily of ‘breaking-up’ Google don’t appreciate how much worse search engines would become without it. * You may have heard excited talk of the latest technologies that promises to liberate us from monopolies and concentrations of power, collectively called ‘blockchain’.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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

Some current examples are listed in Table 2-4. There is OpenBazaar (a decentralized Craigslist), LaZooz (a decentralized Uber), Twister (a decentralized Twitter), Bitmessage (decentralized SMS), and Storj (decentralized file storage). Table 2-4. Sample list of Dapps Project name and URL Activity Centralized equivalent OpenBazaar https://openbazaar.org/ Buy/sell items in local physical world Craigslist LaZooz http://lazooz.org/ Ridesharing, including Zooz, a proof-of-movement coin Uber Twister http://twister.net.co/ Social networking, peer-to-peer microblogging66 Twitter/Facebook Gems http://getgems.org/ Social networking, token-based social messaging Twitter/SMS Bitmessage https://bitmessage.org Secure messaging (individual or broadcast) SMS services Storj http://storj.io/ File storage Dropbox Swarm https://www.swarm.co/ Koinify https://koinify.com/ bitFlyer http://fundflyer.bitflyer.jp/ Cryptocurrency crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter, Indiegogo venture capital funding In a collaborative white paper, another group offers a stronger-form definition of a Dapp.67 In their view, the Dapp must have three features.

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


pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, G4S, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, ubercab, urban planning, Zipcar

A new generation is emerging that considers their phones to be their personal computers. Simultaneously, it is becoming cool to not own a car at all. Ford is not trying to reverse the trend with an expensive marketing campaign, as carmakers would have done in earlier eras. Instead, it is coping with the “democratization of technology,” and following the lead of future customers by investing in Zipcar, an urban ride-sharing service, and TechShop, where urban entrepreneurs can access advanced tech tools to germinate new city-based businesses. A Blind Spot As impressed as we were with the automotive industry’s understanding of contextual technology and its importance to the future of cars, we were disappointed to find that, as of now, none seems to be considering the impact of digital eyewear such as Google Glass.


pages: 196 words: 55,862

Riding for Deliveroo: Resistance in the New Economy by Callum Cant

Airbnb, call centre, collective bargaining, deskilling, Elon Musk, future of work, gig economy, housing crisis, illegal immigration, information asymmetry, invention of the steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, new economy, Pearl River Delta, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, union organizing, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

Brighton and Hove City Council (2010) Housing costs update Quarter 4 2010. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/2010%20%284%29%20Housing%20Costs%20%28Oct-Dec%29.pdf; Brighton and Hove City Council (2017) Brighton & Hove housing market report Quarter 4 2017. www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/2017%20%284%29%20Housing%20Market%20Report%20%28Oct-Dec%29.pdf. 3. F. Kooti, M. Grbovic, L. M. Aiello, N. Djuric, V. Radosavljevic, and K. Lerman (2017) Analyzing Uber’s ride-sharing economy, in Proceedings of the 26th International Conference, ACM Press. 4. K. Bryan (2019) Deliveroo and Uber Eats takeaway riders rent jobs to ‘illegal immigrants’. The Times. www.thetimes.co.uk/article/deliveroo-and-uber-eats-takeaway-riders-rent-jobs-to-illegal-immigrants-ml36gvp93. 5. M. Perry (2000) Bread and work: social policy and the experience of unemployment, 1918–39. Pluto Press, p. 103. 6.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Visit www.sdmts.com/schedules-real-time to plan your route online. One paying adult may travel with up to two children aged 5 and under for free on buses with a valid MTS ticket. On Saturdays and Sundays up to two children (age 12 and under) may ride for free with one fare-paying adult (age 18 or older) on all MTS routes. Taxi & Rideshare Taxi fares vary, but plan on about $12 for a 3-mile journey. Established companies include Orange Cab (%619-223-5555; www.orangecabsandiego.net) and Yellow Cab (%619-444-4444; www.driveu.com). Recently app-based ride-share companies such as Uber (www.uber.com) and Lyft (www.lyft.com) have entered the market with lower fares. Trolley Municipal trolleys, not to be confused with Old Town Trolley tourist buses, operate on three main lines in San Diego. From the transit center across from the Santa Fe Depot, Blue Line trolleys go south to San Ysidro (on the Mexico border) and north to Old Town Transit Center ( GOOGLE MAP ; www.amtrak.com; 4009 Taylor St).

Outside is the Digital Mural Project, where, in place of the usual cigarette advertisements, a billboard features slogans like 'Abolish borders!' in English, Arabic and Spanish. BEFORE YOU GO AMake reservations at top San Francisco restaurants – some accept early/late walk-ins, but not all do. AReserve Alcatraz tickets two to four weeks ahead, especially for popular night tours. ADownload SF-invented apps for ride sharing (Lyft, Uber), home sharing (Airbnb), restaurant booking (Yelp) and audio walking tours (Detour) – all widely used here. 2Activities Cycling & Skating Basically Free Bike RentalsCYCLING ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %415-741-1196; www.sportsbasement.com/annex; 1196 Columbus Ave; half-/full-day bike rentals adult from $24/32, child $15/20; h9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm Sat & Sun; c; gF, 30, 47, jPowell-Mason, Powell-Hyde) This quality bike-rental shop cleverly gives you the choice of paying for your rental or taking the cost as credit for purchases (valid for 72 hours) at sporting-goods store Sports Basement ( GOOGLE MAP ; %415-437-0100; www.sportsbasement.com; 610 Old Mason St; h9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm Sat & Sun; g30, 43, PresidiGo Shuttle), in the Presidio en route to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Visit Anaheim ( GOOGLE MAP ; %855-405-5020; http://visitanaheim.org; 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim Convention Center) The city's official tourism bureau has information on lodging, dining and transportation, during events at the Convention Center. 8Getting There & Away Disneyland and Anaheim can be reached by car (off the I-5 Fwy) or Amtrak or Metrolink trains at Anaheim's ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center; GOOGLE MAP ; 2150 E Katella Ave, Anaheim) transit center. From here it's a short taxi, ride share or Anaheim Resort Transportation shuttle to Disneyland proper. The closest airport is Orange County's John Wayne Airport (SNA; GOOGLE MAP ; www.ocair.com; 18601 Airport Way, Santa Ana). Air Most international travelers arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), but for easy-in, easy-out domestic travel, the manageable John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana is served by all major US airlines and Canada’s WestJet.


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal

It’s a groovy little spot, roughly halfway between LA and the Southern Californian city of Indio, where the festival is held. The meet-up emerged out of an online discussion thread I joined about the festival. The experiment I am conducting is to see if I can do the whole trip using participatory tools on my iPhone. I found my accommodation using Airbnb. I booked my flight using a budget air travel app. I used Uber to get to the airport. I arranged a ride-share at the other end on the groups’ Facebook event page. I used Apple maps and WhatsApp to arrange a place to meet. In the half hour since we arrived at the café, I have posted three moody photos of palm trees to Instagram to prove to my friends what a groovy time I am having, responded to an important email from a client, and checked the weather. I think I am doing pretty well. When Rik gets off his call, I ask him if he is OK.


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

The related idea that life can be better without fossil fuels is a core tenet of the Transition Town movement, which started in England in 2005 (I quote its founder, Rob Hopkins, on pages 135-136). Transition Initiatives are grassroots efforts to wean communities off dependence on oil and other carbon fuels by promoting local resilience (through development of things like local food systems and ride-share programs). Transitioners realize that it is probably futile to wait for elected officials to take the lead in planning for the great energy shift, given that very few politicians understand our predicament — and given also that, even if they did, the measures they would likely propose would be deeply unpopular unless the populace were first educated about constraints on fossil-fueled growth. The genius of the movement lies in its engagement of the citizenry first.


pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, lifelogging, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

In an auction in late 2013, medallions for the first time sold for more than $1 million. What would these medallions be worth if anyone with a driver’s license and a car could operate as a taxi? This is starting to happen as citizen-cab services like Uber enter the market. But the standard cabs have paid a lot of money to have the market to themselves. So it was little surprise in 2013 that a new ride-sharing service, Sidecar, got a rough reception in New York. Two of the drivers were detained, and one had her car impounded. The cabdrivers, in a sense, are a protected guild, free of the competition that might benefit the public. Health care is chockablock with artificial barriers like this to protect incumbents from competitors. Endless credentials and licensing requirements ensure steady work for one guild or another, often when a lowlier order could do the job just as well, or even better, at a lower price.


The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design by Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth

23andMe, affirmative action, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, ImageNet competition, Lyft, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, p-value, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, personalized medicine, pre–internet, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, short selling, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, superintelligent machines, telemarketer, Turing machine, two-sided market, Vilfredo Pareto

It’s a game that deserves a chapter of its own. 1 A distinct but related side effect of selfish behavior in commuting is known as Braess’s paradox, in which adding capacity to a network of roadways actually increases congestion (or closing roads decreases congestion), and which has been reported to have occurred in large cities such as Seoul, Stuttgart, and New York City. Such phenomena cannot occur under the Maxwell solution. 4 Lost in the Garden Led Astray by Data Past Performance is no Guarantee of Future Returns Imagine that you wake up one day and check your email. Waiting for you in your inbox is a message with the subject line “Hot Stock Tip!” Inside, you find a prediction: shares of Lyft, the recently listed ride-sharing company (NASDAQ:LYFT), are going to end the day up. You should buy some now! Of course, you don’t take this advice—how did it get past your spam filter? But the prediction is specific enough that you remember it, and you check Google Finance after the close of the market. Sure enough, LYFT shares ended the day up. Amusing, but not terribly surprising—if the sender had merely flipped a coin and guessed, he would have been right about the direction of the stock half the time.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

I had encouraged President Obama to create and fund it in his budget, and we were the first applicants. (Funny how that happened.) We also found some money in a federal program called Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement. We had a start, but we needed more. So I put on my dancing shoes and went down to Springfield. I cajoled our state to change TIF regulations so we could apply TIFs to transportation. We also levied a first-ever fee on the ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, which raised $16 million in its first year (2017). We used that money to raise $180 million in bonds to be used for capital improvement. We did this—the biggest modernization of our transit system in the city’s history—without raising our tax rates or fare increases, and without a new federal transportation bill. Finding the money is more complicated than it should be.


pages: 232 words: 70,361

The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, labor-force participation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, patent troll, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, very high income, We are the 99%

According to our computations, 80% of the wealth owned by the top 0.1% richest Americans consists of listed equities, bonds, shares in collective investment funds, real estate, and other assets with easily accessible market values. As for the remaining 20%—mostly shares in private businesses—valuation raises fewer problems than you might think. Although not publicly listed, shares in large private businesses are regularly bought and sold. Even before Lyft and Uber went public in 2019, for instance, it was possible for rich people to invest in the ride-sharing service companies. Private companies regularly issue new stock to banks, venture capitalists, wealthy individuals, and other “accredited investors” with deep enough pockets. These transactions de facto put a value on private firms. Admittedly, in some cases no transactions can take place for years. It’s often true for mature private businesses that are controlled by a small number of owners.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

Indeed, it might require a leap of faith—a commitment to test life without a smartphone to see what it’s really like. For others, this practice may remain too extreme. Some people are tied to their smartphones for specific reasons that cannot be ignored. If you’re a health care worker who makes home visits, for example, maintaining access to Google Maps is key. Similarly, around the time I was writing this chapter, I received a note from a reader from Curitiba, Brazil, noting that the ability to use ride-sharing services like Uber and 99 is crucial to getting around in a city where cabs and walking are often not available options. For other people, the opposite issue might hold: their smartphones aren’t enough of a problem for them to receive much benefit from removing them from their life. I count myself in this category. I don’t have any social media accounts, I don’t play mobile games, I’m terrible about texting, and I already spend long times away from my phone each day.


pages: 237 words: 66,545

The Money Tree: A Story About Finding the Fortune in Your Own Backyard by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Bernie Madoff, Ethereum, financial independence, global village, hiring and firing, housing crisis, passive income, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

The only problem with an unpaid sabbatical,” she continued, “is that whole ‘unpaid’ part. So I figured I needed to make some money that I wasn’t already budgeting elsewhere. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I should probably be doing that anyway. These days, it’s not smart to rely on a single company for your entire income.” “That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about,” said Jake. “I thought about signing up for one of those ride-sharing programs, but when I did the math I realized I wouldn’t make much more than minimum wage. They promise that you’ll be an ‘owner,’ but they’re the ones collecting most of the money while all the drivers are out hustling.” “Right,” said Preena. “So that’s what brought me to the Third Way, the group I’ve been going to. It’s a bunch of people who are all trying to make money on the side, but not in a way where they’re just getting part-time jobs working for someone else.”


pages: 173 words: 53,564

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

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

Economic News Release, November 3, 2017. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm. Cambridge Associates LLC. “US Private Equity Funds Return 0.2%; US Venture Capital Funds Return 3.3% In 1Q 2016.” Press Releases, September 2016. https://www.cambridgeassociates.com/press-release/us-private-equity-funds-return-0-2-us-venture-capital-funds-return-3-3-in-1q-2016/. Campbell, Harry. “RSG 2017 Survey Results: Driver Earnings, Satisfaction and Demographics.” The Rideshare Guy (blog), January 17, 2017. http://therideshareguy.com/rsg-2017-survey-results-driver-earnings-satisfaction-and-demographics/. Card, David, Jochen Kluve and Andrea Weber. “What Works? A Meta Analysis of Recent Active Labor Market Program Evaluations.” RUHR Economic Papers, July 2015. Carroll, Christopher, Jiri Slacalek, Kiichi Tokuoka, and Matthew N. White. “The Distribution of Wealth and the Marginal Propensity to Consume.”


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Unlike the Google car, however, Mercedes imagines that “passengers are able to interact intuitively with the connected vehicle” in a “symbiosis of the virtual and real world.” Google, on the other hand, has been promoting a vision of complete autonomy. As one Google engineer compares their approach to those of the car companies: “They want to make cars that make drivers better. We want to make cars that are better than drivers.” The ride-sharing giant Uber recently hired a large group of roboticists away from Carnegie Mellon, in an apparent effort to automate their cars. Google has been testing self-driving cars on California roads since 2009, claiming hundreds of thousands of miles of accident-free highway driving. They travel routes mapped with great precision by Google’s human-driven survey cars; the maps serve as virtual railway tracks for the cars (indeed, they are as yet unable to drive on roads without these detailed maps).


pages: 309 words: 78,361

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

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

The Share Solution When I published The Overspent American in 1998, one sentence generated a reaction akin to outrage—my suggestion that neighbors could share expensive items that are only used periodically, such as riding mowers. Ten years later, it’s not only mowers that are being jointly owned, but tractors and even vehicles. The sharing economy is taking off. The best-known example is car sharing, pioneered in the United States by Zipcar, which makes vehicles available to urban members on a short-term basis. Its founder, Robin Chase, has moved on to create GoLoco, a ride-sharing service. Freecycle.org members are committed to the reciprocity of both giving and getting. IShareStuff.com allows individuals to post items they are willing to share and to contact others who have done the same. These examples are extensions of two important movements that promote global sharing: the information commons and responsible use of common resources of land, water, and atmosphere.


pages: 300 words: 76,638

The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Yang

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, call centre, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, falling living standards, financial deregulation, full employment, future of work, global reserve currency, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Narrative Science, new economy, passive income, performance metric, post-work, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unemployed young men, universal basic income, urban renewal, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

“Your car will drop you off at work, and then it will pick other people up and make you money all day until it’s time to pick you up again,” Musk proclaimed. “This will 100 percent happen.” It is obvious that Tesla trucks will eventually have the same self-driving capabilities as their cars. Other autonomous vehicle companies report similar timelines, with 2020 being the first year of mass adoption. And it’s not just those driving trucks who are at risk. A senior official at one of the major ride-sharing companies told me that their internal projections are that half of their rides will be given by autonomous vehicles by 2022. This has the potential to affect about 300,000 Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States. The replacement of drivers will be one of the most dramatic, visible battlegrounds between automation and the human worker. Companies can eliminate the jobs of call center workers, retail clerks, fast food workers, and the like with minimal violence and fuss.


pages: 301 words: 78,638

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

"side hustle", Atul Gawande, Cal Newport, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, late fees, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Paul Graham, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, survivorship bias, Walter Mischel

(This is one reason tidying up can feel so good: we are simultaneously moving forward and lightening the cognitive load our environment places on us.) If you look at the most habit-forming products, you’ll notice that one of the things these goods and services do best is remove little bits of friction from your life. Meal delivery services reduce the friction of shopping for groceries. Dating apps reduce the friction of making social introductions. Ride-sharing services reduce the friction of getting across town. Text messaging reduces the friction of sending a letter in the mail. Like a Japanese television manufacturer redesigning their workspace to reduce wasted motion, successful companies design their products to automate, eliminate, or simplify as many steps as possible. They reduce the number of fields on each form. They pare down the number of clicks required to create an account.


pages: 258 words: 74,942

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

The hotel has thirty-five rooms and access to six natural hot spring baths, which are open 24/7 to better serve their guests. The water of the baths is pure, alkaline, and neither artificially heated nor treated. The hotel serves simple, seasonal food, locally sourced from the surrounding mountains and rivers. Besides the baths, there are no other attractions in the nearby area, and there’s definitely no wi-fi or ride-sharing. Still, it’s been a popular destination for far longer than any of us (or our great-grandparents) have been alive. Guests have included emperors, politicians, samurai, and military commanders. The hotel’s focus, since the beginning, has been on customer service, not on growth or expansion. It’s stayed small because the top priority has always been making guests comfortable. How the Onsen Keiunkan has succeeded by not choosing exponential growth is a story best told by looking at its peer: the oldest continuously run business in the world, Kongō Gumi, a Buddhist temple construction company.


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, 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

An understanding of sampling costs helps in identifying scenarios where social curation works well and those in which it doesn’t. 3.7 TRUST DRIVES INTERACTIONS The 7C Framework For Trust Trust is a critical factor in enabling interactions on platforms. It is especially important in enabling peer-to-peer interactions in hitherto fragmented and unorganized markets. Trust creates an environment that fosters the repeatability and long-term sustainability of interactions. Travelers on a ride-sharing platform like BlaBlaCar must be assured of a safe ride. Peer-to-peer marketplaces for used goods must ensure that buyers are assured of a minimum level of quality in the transactions they engage in. Airbnb hosts must be assured of a solution if their apartments are ransacked. Dating platforms must ensure that everyone feels safe in the interactions that ensue. All these examples demonstrate the challenges of participating in fragmented and unorganized markets.


pages: 252 words: 73,131

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

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

There’s a lesson there for modern platforms: greed can plant the seeds of your own undoing. There are plenty of modern-day equivalents to the French king’s shortsighted exploitation of the fair’s merchants. Once you hold a critical position between buyer and seller, market makers suffer from an almost inevitable temptation to profit from it. Uber has been accused of taking a bigger cut of its drivers’ fares after convincing them to invest in new cars and luring them to the ride-sharing platform. And Amazon—a notorious driver of hard bargains—eats the lunch of some of its third-party sellers who happen upon a blockbuster product. That’s what researchers Feng Zhu of Harvard and Qihong Liu of the University of Oklahoma found in their analysis of top-selling products on Amazon, where they showed that, in some fraction of these cases, Amazon started stocking the product itself.


pages: 246 words: 70,404

Come and Take It: The Gun Printer's Guide to Thinking Free by Cody Wilson

3D printing, 4chan, active measures, Airbnb, airport security, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, assortative mating, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, disintermediation, fiat currency, Google Glasses, gun show loophole, jimmy wales, lifelogging, Mason jar, means of production, Menlo Park, Minecraft, national security letter, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Skype, thinkpad, WikiLeaks, working poor

He had been telling me things I had never heard before. The Bay Area libertarians were a small and closeted number. Startup cultures were of different strains. There were men who made millies and there were men who made billies. The rule is to get big and to get big fast, in the name of libertarianism, of course. “The cities fine your customers tens of thousands of dollars if you’re Airbnb; the attorneys general and the unions come after the ridesharing apps. There are undercover cops literally pulling people from Ubers. You have to move to many markets quickly, make it too hard to uproot you everywhere at once.” I met a few more people while I was there. I heard about a man collecting the notes of Peter Thiel to release as a book, about the Massive Online Open Course insurgents trying to drive a wedge between dot gov and dot edu, about Patri Freidman and those charting the high seas for zones of libertarian secession.


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, Boris Johnson, business cycle, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

The next speaker nearly broke down crying as she told of a family that was able to go to the beach together for the first time thanks to a van purchased with a loan from her organization. A grad student then presented her research that suggested that car ownership could play a role in helping people climb out of unemployment (though this and all other factors were dwarfed, she pointed out, by the positive effect of increased literacy on employment). A transit agency representative brought in to discuss an existing rideshare program for the elderly homebound in the city’s suburbs and unincorporated areas was inadvertently the star witness—the costs, as well as the travel times, were huge. Another speaker, the head of a regional business alliance, bragged about his two mile commute, which he undertook daily in his car, alone, and joked that his only problem with giving low income people cars was that they were likely to “end up wrapped around my front bumper.”


pages: 297 words: 84,009

Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero by Tyler Cowen

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, experimental economics, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, offshore financial centre, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, ultimatum game, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

We are imperfect, vulnerable human beings who need lots and lots done. Because most of us don’t have a vision for how we could accomplish those things on our own, or even through government, corporations end up doing many of them. “When in doubt, let it happen” has been the philosophy behind the spread of so much corporate activity in the United States, most of all in the world of tech. Did Uber even bother to ask for permission to operate its ride-share business, or request that a referendum be held on whether it should be treated as a municipal utility? In reality, we’ve had a tech revolution and such significant growth in American business because our companies very often solved problems first and sorted out many of the complications later. We also rely on business to regulate speech, for better or worse. Our government usually respects the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, but PayPal has decided it will not process payments for extremist and hate groups.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

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

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

Regulatory Shelterism A globot killed Joshua Brown, or so some would claim. In May 2016, his Tesla collided with a truck. He died instantly. Despite safety issues raised by this and other accidents, US states are pushing forward laws that will hasten the progress of vehicles driven by software robots. In December 2016, for example, Michigan allowed the testing and use of self-driving cars on public roads, including ride-sharing and truck platoons (where a few robot-driven trucks follow each other closely). The Michigan law doesn’t require a human to be in the vehicle. This has truckers worried, and their labor union is doing something about it. The truckers’ union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is over a century old—having been formed when a teamster was someone who drove a team of horses. James Hoffa, the union boss, said, “I’m concerned about highway safety.


pages: 288 words: 81,253

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

It’s the perfect interaction between past-you, present-you, and future-you. Ulysses recognized that his future-self (along with his crew) would become entranced by the Sirens and steer toward the rocks. So he had his crew fill their ears with wax and tie his hands to the mast, literally binding his future-self to better behavior. One of the simplest examples of this kind of contract is using a ride-sharing service when you go to a bar. A past version of you, who anticipated that you might decide irrationally about whether you are okay to drive, has bound your hands by taking the car keys out of them. Most illustrations of Ulysses contracts, like the original, involve raising a barrier against irrationality. But these kinds of precommitment contracts can also be designed to lower barriers that interfere with rational action.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K

Did he/she explain any swapped items, was he/she careful with the groceries, did he/she take any unwanted bags away with him? Am I alone in hearing a note of menace in the supermarket’s description of their drivers as ‘the friendly face’ of the business? We now know that an experience is over when it’s time to quantify it, the moment ending on a question mark rather than a full stop. After each journey using a ride-sharing service, you are locked in that stalemate of mutual appraisal. Similarly, from library coffee shops to airport security lines, it’s now commonplace to encounter those stands with childish buttons for us to press on our way past. ‘How was your experience today?’ these unstaffed customer-service stations ask. The nebulous swirl of sentiment that we carry around with us must then be compressed into one of four buttons, each painted with a different cartoon face, moving swiftly from beet-red rage to beatific green smile.


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

A second will come via micropayments (probably via the block chain). The ability to move infinitesimal transaction amounts will underpin entirely new business models. Autonomous vehicles Implications: In September 2014, California will issue the first license plates for driverless cars. Starting with delivery vehicles and then taxis, predictions call for existing road capacity to increase 8-10 times once a critical mass of AVs is reached. Ridesharing is an intermediate step toward fully automated transportation, which may have a bigger visible impact on society than anything else, including sustainability, urban planning (almost no parking lots) and fewer traffic fatalities. Note that most of these technologies and trends were unknown a decade ago, and all were non-existent thirty years ago. No doubt even more technologies and trends, as yet unknown, will emerge in even the next five years as convergences and intersection points drive an ever-faster pace of change.

By comparison, scarcity of supply or resources tends to keep costs high and stimulates ownership over access. Today, a trend known as Collaborative Consumption leverages the Internet and social networks to create a more efficient utilization of physical assets. The following shows just some of the vertical markets affected by the phenomenon of moving from “possess” to “access”: bartering, bike sharing, boat sharing, carpooling, ride sharing, car sharing, collaborative workspace, co-housing, co-working, crowdfunding, garden sharing, fractional ownership, peer-to-peer renting, product service systtem, seed swaps, taxi shares, time banks, virtual currency (Source: Wikipedia). Note that in traditional industries that can be fully information-enabled, new competition has produced a staggering drop in revenues for old companies. The business models for music, newspapers, and book publishing have all suffered through this transformation, and today look almost nothing like they did ten years ago.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Machine translation between languages is better than ever. It’s still not as good as human translation, but human brains are magnificent at figuring out the meaning of garbled sentences. A stilted, awkward translation of a web page is usually all the casual web surfer needs. GPS systems that provide directions from point A to point B are terribly handy. They don’t always give the best directions to the airport, if you ask any professional taxi or ride-share driver, but they will get you there and they will mostly show the traffic on the route for sufficiently busy areas. However, the unreasonably effective data-driven approach has enough problems that I’m skeptical about using AI to fully replace humans for actual, life-threatening situations, like driving. The best case for considering how artificial intelligence works both really well and not at all is the case of the self-driving car.


pages: 291 words: 90,771

Upscale: What It Takes to Scale a Startup. By the People Who've Done It. by James Silver

Airbnb, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, call centre, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, DevOps, family office, future of work, Google Hangouts, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

When there’s a successful transaction in the form of night units for Airbnb, that’s the sign of the marketplace working. So anything you do that’s driving up nights booked [or equivalent] is what you want to do for a marketplace. ‘For Uber and Lyft, it’s rides booked. So they don’t say kilometres driven; they could, and then you could incentivise people to do longer rides, but the theory is that ride length is not very elastic, so using these ride-sharing services for more rides is the right reflection of the utility of those apps.’ And while it’s not always immediately obvious what a company’s North Star metric is, says Grol, without knowing it you are going to have a much more challenging time accelerating the growth of your business. Benjamin Grol is a partner and the Head of Growth at leading VC firm Atomico, where he focuses on helping portfolio companies grow and evaluating new investment opportunities.


pages: 283 words: 81,376

The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe by William Poundstone

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, digital map, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, Gerolamo Cardano, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, Turing test

Since Nietzsche’s time, the Übermensch has become a Rorschach blot. The Nazis spun Nietzsche to their purposes. So did American Jews of the time, who created superhero franchises that have long survived Hitler’s thousand-year Reich. The Übermensch figures in the modernist canons of George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman), James Joyce (Ulysses), and Alfred Hitchcock (Rope). Silicon Valley’s most successful ride-sharing company, Uber Technologies, dropped the umlaut for business reasons. Coming of age along with the internet, Bostrom became involved in the transhumanist movement. One of the first subcultures to be united by the global web, transhumanists meld Nietzsche, speculative technology, and science fiction into visions of the future. Among those visions is immortality. Transhumanists propose that people of the future may be able to upload their neural connections to computers and live forever as digital beings.


pages: 231 words: 76,283

Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way by Tanja Hester

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, anti-work, asset allocation, barriers to entry, buy and hold, crowdsourcing, diversification, estate planning, financial independence, full employment, gig economy, hedonic treadmill, high net worth, index fund, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, mortgage debt, obamacare, passive income, post-work, remote working, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, stocks for the long run, Vanguard fund

The most basic question to ask is whether you need a car or, if you’re a multicar household, if you need as many as you have. Even a paid-off car comes with ownership costs of several thousand dollars a year from insurance, gas, maintenance, and parking. If you are making payments on that car or, worse, leasing it, then add several thousand more dollars per year. Going carless is not an option for everyone, but if you live in a walkable area or a city with good public transportation, you might find that ridesharing and car-sharing services provide all the car time you need. If having a car is critical, consider ways to reduce your costs: keeping one car for a long time instead of upgrading, buying instead of leasing, buying used, increasing your insurance deductible to drop your premium, or just driving less to save gas. We’re still a two-car household, and we bought both of our cars new, so you need not go carless or only buy used, high-mileage cars to be able to retire early.


pages: 346 words: 89,180