The Gig Economy is Neither ‘Sharing’ Nor ‘Collaborative’

Financial Times – June 14, 2016

Most “sharing” or “collaborative economy” companies use the internet to facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers for a fee. Some facilitate the renting of assets (such as Airbnb), some the sale of labour (such as TaskRabbit and Upwork) and some a bit of both (such as Uber). What exactly is being shared here? Who is collaborating with whom? Freelancers on Upwork are no more sharing their skills with the world than I am sharing mine with the Financial Times. Airbnb hosts are not collaborating with their guests any more than Marriott International is collaborating with its customers.

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