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Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy

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Backfeed dares to democratize the Internet. Photo credit: company website Founded by a small group of graduate students with a vision for a fairer society, this startup aims to start a revolution as big as the Internet itself All over the developed world, the middle class is feeling stressed. Inequality is growing while the Forbes billionaire’s list fills its ranks with tech billionaires. Startup entrepreneurs dream of winning the “exit” lottery, while masses of freelancers survive from gig to gig with hardly any safety net. The sharing economy is a hot buzzword in tech circles. Companies like Uber, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, Applause and Airbnb are celebrated as the wave of the future. At its best, the sharing economy consists of an efficient marketplace for matching supply with demand. It’s no wonder that Hillary Clinton recently lambasted the “sharing economy” in a campaign speech, saying that it “is raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.”

What’s wrong with centralization? Platform Cooperativism. Opération coup de poing à Paris contre les locations meublées touristiques illégales - 13 janvier 2016 - Immobilier. "Bonjour ! Nous sommes des agents de la Ville de Paris. Nous venons contrôler les meublés touristiques". Hier, pour la seconde fois en un an, des agents de la mairie sont venus frapper aux portes d'appartements situés dans le centre de la capitale pour débusquer les "professionnels" de la location de meublés touristiques type AirBnb. La ville de Paris a décidé de ne rien lâcher dans sa lutte contre ces locations illégales, mais continue cependant d’opérer une distinction entre propriétaires occupants, louant leur logement à titre occasionnel, et les propriétaires investisseurs qui exercent à l’année. L'objectif n'est pas de s'en prendre à des propriétaires qui louent leur appartement une ou deux semaines par an quand ils partent en vacances, explique Ian Brossat, adjoint au logement.

Il s'agit de cibler les professionnels qui louent illégalement leur logement à l'année, et qui souvent achètent un appartement avec l'intention, depuis le départ, de le transformer en meublé touristique". Arcade City: Decentralized, Blockchain-Based Answer to Uber. The city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire passed an ordinance regulating ride-sharing services that took effect in September of 2015.

The ordinance made driving with Uber and other ride-sharing companies illegal within the city limits. Christopher David, a former Uber driver, launched the Free Uber campaign using Bitcoin prize pools to incentivize activism protesting the ordinance. Now, in the wake of protests by Uber drivers over the company’s decision to cut fares, David is launching his own blockchain-based ride-sharing platform, Arcade City. To promote the new platform, he and nine other drivers gave 100 rides on New Year’s Eve on a donation-only basis.

CoinTelegraph spoke to David about Arcade City. CoinTelegraph: You were an Uber driver before. How does this system contrast with traditional ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft? Christopher David: Imagine a decentralized Uber that connects drivers with customers peer-to-peer using the Ethereum blockchain. Driver engagement is key. Sharing economy firms like Uber and Airbnb are burning cash at a phenomenal rate -- but it's OK. An audience member at the Sharing & On Demand Economy Conference recently questioned a panel of entrepreneurs on whether people will possess anything of their own in years to come, be it their own home, their own car, their own wedding dress, or even their own power drill. Owning things is expensive and finding places to store unnecessary luxuries in a world that’s becoming increasingly densely populated could be seen as cumbersome, according to Alex Stephany, the former CEO of drive rental platform JustPark.

Entrepreneurs operating in the sharing economy, which is underpinned by the internet and the rise of smartphones, are describing their businesses as revolutionary, with Uber’s Travis Kalanick saying his taxi-hailing app is changing the way people travel across the world. “We want transportation to be as reliable as running water everywhere for everyone,” Kalanick said at Salesforce’s annual conference in September. Show me the money UK government and the sharing economy. Rocket's Airbnb clone Wimdu burned € 16,5 million in first year. Recently, rumors surfaced that Rocket Internet is trying to sell Wimdu, its Airbnb clone, but that it can’t find any buyers for it.

According to the reports, Wimdu is struggling to find traction in a busy European market where Airbnb and HouseTrip are growing market share fast. Wimdu denied the rumors that it was being shopped around and said it was ‘very happy with its numbers’ and its future. Every player in the segment is burning huge amounts of cash (Airbnb raised $ 120 million, HouseTrip raised $ 60 million), because they are locked in a race to establish what Johannes Reck of GetYourGuide yesterday called ‘marketplace’ advantages: the player who can move the most demand and supply wins.

And because suppliers and consumers naturally want to use the largest, busiest marketplace, they keep winning once they establish their dominance beyond doubt. Thanks to the publication of the annual results of Wimdu, we now know how much money Wimdu is spending, and the answer is: a LOT. Selon Uber, l'activité de 80 000 chauffeurs indépendants serait menacée à Paris.

Taxis contre Uber : où sont les chiffres ? Le Monde.fr | • Mis à jour le | Par Philippe Jacqué Jeudi 25 juin au matin, de nombreux blocages routiers étaient mis en place en France par des chauffeurs de taxi. A l’aéroport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, l’accès à trois terminaux était bloqué peu après 6 heures, tandis que le périphérique parisien a dû être fermé momentanément dans les deux sens vers 7 heures dans sa partie ouest. Lire aussi Bagarres de rue entre les taxis et UberPop Plusieurs syndicats de taxis avaient appelé à une journée de grève, avec des rassemblements fixes à des points clés à Paris comme dans de grandes villes de province. Cette impuissance de l’Etat attise la colère des taxis, qui voient dans UberPop une concurrence déloyale faite par des non-professionnels, soumis à aucune charge. Lire aussi La stratégie de hors-la-loi de Uber Les taxis perdent du terrain Les taxis sont aussi vent debout contre le développement des véhicules de tourisme avec chauffeurs (VTC).

Lire aussi Succès éclair d’Uber en Chine. Les chiffres qui expliquent pourquoi Uber cartonne (quand même) Un carton. Malgré les (ou grâce aux) diatribes, mises en demeure, grèves et autres blocages, Uber s’est imposé en quelques années comme un acteur majeur du secteur des transports. Plus personne n’ignore désormais le nom de la start-up californienne, et le mot « uberisation » est en passe de remplacer, dans le dictionnaire mental, l’expression « concurrence exercée à l’encontre d’une profession protégée ». Entre juillet 2014 et juillet 2015, en France métropolitaine et en Suisse romande (au total 65 millions d’habitants), un million de personnes auraient utilisé, au moins une fois, le fameux service. Le cabinet de conseil 6T, spécialiste de la mobilité quotidienne, a étudié les résultats d’une enquête menée auprès de 6476 clients de Uber (chauffeur professionnel), Uberpop (chauffeur occasionnel, aujourd’hui interdit).

L’enquête a été financée par Uber France, qui refuse de dire pour quel montant. Qui ? Des jeunes, des cadres. Quand ? Où ? Combien de temps ? Pour quoi faire ? Pourquoi ? Uber Bonds Term Sheet Reveals $470 Million in Operating Losses. Uber Technologies Inc. is telling prospective investors that it generates $470 million in operating losses on $415 million in revenue, according to a document provided to prospective investors. The term sheet viewed by Bloomberg News, which is being used to sell $1 billion to $1.2 billion in convertible bonds, doesn’t make clear the time period for those results.

The document also touts 300 percent year-over-year growth. The figures show the heavy losses that Uber is accruing as it expands its global car-booking operation amid fierce local competition. Uber is already operating in more than 300 cities worldwide and is raising money at a $50 billion valuation, a person familiar with the situation said last month. “These are substantially old numbers that do not reflect business activities today,” Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian said in an e-mail. Hillhouse Capital Management is leading the convertible bond deal, a person with knowledge of the matter said June 23. Uber, AirBnB & Cie, l’économie collaborative nous a été volée – Interview.

Plus personne n’est dupe. Une part de l’économie collaborative est aujourd’hui gangrénée par des entreprises tentaculaires qui capitalisent sur la bonne volonté des citoyens. Des voix s’élèvent pour dénoncer cette spoliation et proposer une nécessaire réflexion à l’émergence d’alternatives vraiment collaboratives. Rencontre avec Matthieu Lietaert, auteur du livre ‘Homo Coopérans 2.0 – changeons de cap vers l’économie collaborative‘. Interview. L’esprit de partage et le sentiment collectif constituent, en principe, les moteurs de l’économie collaborative. En pratiquant systématiquement des frais de service, ces outils collaboratifs, qui en pratique sont très efficaces et utiles (personne ne le contestera), cachent une spoliation de richesse en s’essuyant les pieds sur l’esprit de collaboration.

Pour en savoir plus, nous avons rencontré Matthieu Lietaert, politologue, auteur et producteur belge, qui s’est longuement penché sur l’économie collaborative. M. Mr M. : Agir ? Can we build a humane alternative to Uber? By now, most people have recognized “the sharing economy” as more a convenient slogan than as heralding a new era of prosperity. Thanks to forward-thinking platforms such as Airbnb and Uber, we were told, the sharing economy would let people work in whole new ways. But lately there’s been turmoil in what’s now more widely known as the on-demand or gig economy. Upset at persistent fare cuts, Uber drivers have staged strikes in New York, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. The strikes occurred despite a lack of union representation, though the Seattle city council recently passed a law that, if upheld, would let Uber and Lyft drivers unionize.

So what happened to the promise of the sharing economy? “Digital laborers are getting up every morning only to join an auction for their own gigs.” That’s occurred against the backdrop of the larger American economy, with its record wealth inequality and stagnant wages for middle and lower class workers. That leads to the final challenge: policy. What might a Coop Uber look like? (or should we be thinking bigger)? | Hello Ideas. Given Uber's ability – in spite of owning no cars and employing no drivers – to swiftly grow and dominate any market it enters, there's understandably a lot of interest in a driver-owned Coop competitor, not least amidst growing controversies and opposition.

In this article, two coop structures are explored, as well as a third, more open and decentralised protocol option. I learnt of an interesting coop recently: the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, responsible for clearing and settling most US securities (i.e shares & derivatives). At the heart of global neoliberalism is this user-owned coop, holding some $40 trillion in securities and running a service the entire economy depends on. I’d already been surprised enough to learn that Slaughter & May, the leading corporate law firm repping half of the FTSE100, was a mutual partnership with no hierarchy or even boss, amongst hundreds of profit-sharing partners.

Uber's not a charity. Option 1. Option 2. Option 3. How could this work? What If Uber Were a Unionized, Worker-Owned Co-Op? These Denver Cabbies Are Making It Happen by Mary Hansen. Wolde Gebremariam is one of more than 160,000 people nationwide who drive their own cars for Uber. Based in Denver, Gebremariam, age 28, drives his Chevy SUV for the company and occasionally works as a private limo driver. “The labor movement has to bring ownership and equity into the picture.” Uber built its $40 billion business around a mobile-based application that connects drivers with riders. Hailed by some for shaking up a stagnant taxi industry, others criticize the company for how it treats drivers, who pay for their own cars, gas, and maintenance.

It’s also been criticized for dictating rates and for deactivating drivers’ accounts, essentially firing them, without warning. The ride-hailing app company may be innovative from the perspective of its customers—and its owners—but for the driver the experience is very similar to that of a traditional taxi driver, as Gebremariam can attest.

That’s how he thought it would work, anyway. Gebremariam isn’t just complaining about it. Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy. The backlash against unethical labor practices in the “collaborative sharing economy” has been overplayed. Recently, The Washington Post, New York Times and others started to rail against online labor brokerages like Taskrabbit, Handy, and Uber because of an utter lack of concern for their workers. At the recent Digital Labor conference, my colleague McKenzie Wark proposed that the modes of production that we appear to be entering are not quite capitalism as classically described. “This is not capitalism,” he said, “this is something worse.” [1] But just for one moment imagine that the algorithmic heart of any of these citadels of anti-unionism could be cloned and brought back to life under a different ownership model, with fair working conditions, as a humane alternative to the free market model.

Take, for example, Uber’s app, with all its geolocation and ride ordering capabilities. Just forget about all the trending lifestyles;the giant automaton could get a new set of operators soon.