The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the “old order”—and they’ve succeeded in effecting the “biggest change in the American workforce in over a century,” according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. But this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists.
In What’s Yours Is Mine, internationally-acclaimed technologist Tom Slee argues the socalled sharing economy damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make fortunes by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.
This revised and updated edition of Slee’s original “smart and searing critique” includes a new foreword by the author.
About the authors
Tom Slee writes about technology, politics, and economics and in the last two years has become a leading critic of the sharing economy. He has a PhD in theoretical chemistry, a long career in the software industry, and his bookNo One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart is a game-theoretical investigation of individual choice that has been used in university economics, philosophy and sociology courses. He lives in Waterloo, Canada and blogs at www.tomslee.net.
“Building upon his previous empirical critiques, Tom Slee explains how ‘sharing economy’ companies have used feel-good rhetoric to mask illiberal and irresponsible business models.” — Chris Jay Hoofnagle, faculty director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
“The Sharing Economy frames its critics as Luddites, bureaucrats and rent-seekers, but Tom Slee is none of these. A thoughtful technologist, Slee paints a well-researched picture of companies that have built up massive market valuations by externalizing their costs and sidestepping regulations designed to protect consumers. This book is clear-eyed and important.” — Sue Gardner, former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation
“In this lucid and rigorous book, Tom Slee dismantles the facade of the sharing economy, revealing hidden and often troubling truths about companies like Uber and Airbnb. If you want to understand how internet businesses really operate, What’s Yours Is Mine is the place to start.” — Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows and The Glass Cage