Instaserfs (II of III)

Instaserfs II: “Chipolte Strikes back” or “Seriously, in the sharing economy no one can hear you work”  Either tagline works for our second installment in our future of work series. Andrew (our ToE instapoder) continues with his task of working for as many San Francisco sharing economy companies as he can stand this month. Plus Susie Cagle (cartoonist, journalist, and freelancer) explains why the tech community prefers not to talk about the worker.

sharing economy

Also: In two weeks, after part three of Instaserfs drops, we’re hosting an online discussion party for ToE fans. You can join me, Andrew, and a special guest as we dig deeper into the sharing economy and talk about some of the questions the series raises. For more info on that, go to spoken.am and be sure to sign up, invites are limited.

 

11 thoughts on “Instaserfs (II of III)

  1. Dmitry Samarov

    I’ve enjoyed your series on the sharing economy. I drove a cab for many years and in my last few months on the job in 2012 worked with Uber a bit just as they were starting out in Chicago. I’ve written about Uber and the cab business. In my experience people know even less about things like the cab business than the newer sharing enterprises. Here’s one of my articles: http://newcity.com/2014/06/02/hack-attack-in-taxi-vs-uber-the-drivers-are-sidelined-says-an-ex-cabbie/

    Reply
  2. Thomas

    I love this episode and the prior installment. Now – for reasons made abundantly clear in the podcast – please stop calling this precariously contingent labor system “the Sharing Economy”. Using that term to describe app-based employment is an Orwellian appropriation by Uber and their ilk of a legitimate and useful concept.

    You should talk to Janelle Orsi in Oakland about real Sharing Economy concepts. She’s one of the original proponents of non-cash transactions and economic relationships. In fact, she wrote the book on it.
    http://sharingsolution.com/

    Janelle runs the Sustainable Economies Law Center and is a fun person to interview.
    http://www.theselc.org/

    I also want to add that being classified as an employee is very important because employees have some rights that freelancers do not. And significantly, employees don’t have to pay self-employment tax on their income.

    The key ruling on this issue came from the Ninth Circuit a few months ago. FedEd had been classifying its drivers as contractors for decades, offloading capital equipment expense, payroll tax, and liability risk to the individual drivers. Uber essentially does the same thing now. The Court said that FedEx controlled the drivers’ activities completely and that they are truly employees.

    Looking forward to Instaserfs III and I hope the discussion party.

    Reply
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  4. David

    I’m still waiting on the part where you explain how this is all a huge bubble in the making.
    All the hype, overvaluation, lack of regulations; Dot-com era all over again.

    So actually much worse than a pyramid scheme.

    Reply
  5. Paul Marsden

    Brilliant exposé of the underbelly of ‘Uberfication’ – illustrating the dehumanising aspects of marketplace businesses that make markets more efficient by rationalising supply with demand…

    Are we slaves to the market machine, or Is the Uber-for-X on-demand economy just another Groupon-style bubble waiting to burst?

    Reply
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