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The network Uber drivers built (fastcompany.com)
37 points by pastalex on Jan 12, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

This is good. Say what you like about unions (and yeah, there are some problems), but generally employees need to be able to work together like this or they're at an even more massive disadvantage compared to employers. The gig economy is likely to be highly extractive from workers unless the workers wisen up like this.

>massive disadvantage compared to employers

In cases where labor is less like a commodity and/or when the employee, customer and employer lines are blurry (as is the case with city and town employees but less so with say, the IRS) there is less benefit to unionization.

I do think that unions would be a net positive for most gig-economy workers though.

> He’s a forum administrator, one of many across the globe who put in countless hours managing unofficial online communities where drivers who work for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hail services share advice and warnings, answer questions, and provide a rare sense of camaraderie.

I remembering reading a foreword to Animal Farm, saying how Orwell was able to predict the dystopian aspects of technology, but wasn't able to see how technology could bring about social change for the good (like the shortwave being used to communicate across borders and into dictatorships).

I think this type of statement shows just how much we miss this currently when we bemoan every tech dark side.

The same decentralized tech aspect of Uber that helped change the ride service industry, can also help the drivers fight being exploited.

My theory, very weakly held, is that many in our industry are naturally pessimistic (I know I am) and it helps us see all of the ways that things can go wrong and help us prevent them. But I think we're also missing out on a lot of opportunities that would help use the same tech to counter the outcomes.

It's like fire. We can burn the world, hurt each other, and tear down society. But we can use it to warm the world, help each other and build society. Both are kind of inevitable.

Was the video to the right unpausable for anyone else? Any time I scrolled it would start again - ended up removing the containing div but it's odd video control behavior

What's to stop this network of drivers from building a new version of uber that they collectively own, along with engineers and other worker-owners that could manage the tech side? The point of ridesharing companies is to find drivers for people that want them. Now the drivers all know each other through this network and just need to figure out how to tell customers where they are. They could make a lot more for themselves if they didn't have to give a large chunk of the ride fares to highly paid management and investors.

Demand (ie. Customers) is easily one of the hardest parts of business. You're suggesting that supply is the cornerstone of a market, but thanks to the Internet, owning supply is nowhere near as important as owning the customers.

See: Facebook, Google, Amazon.

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