The global trend of Uberization of everything.
Last updated: December 3, 2019
After second great depression of 2008, traditional banking sector collapsed to its worst. It was the point where traditional financial service providers got replaced by technology companies. Great depression induced recession made family budget out of control. It made people jobless and homeless. By 2009, Uber, the car hailing company introduced their product, UberCabs, which is substantially revolutionary for the post-recession era. It disrupted the market by introducing a new mode of work, company structure. The disruption was, replacing traditional mode of employee-employer relationship by technology platform. The term Uberization was quoined to denote the sheer growth of shared economy everywhere.
Intersecting every ‘Uberized’ platforms, we can find the following.
- It is operated using a mobile application.
- It is using rating based isolated reputation system.
- Worker is not an employee but a service provider.
- No job assurance. Human evolution are based on sharing. Mega corporations are exploiting the very human nature and extracting revenue. While considering everything into account, we have to inspect commons.
- For a common users point of view,
- Feasible for pocket.
- High degree of usability
- ease of payments
The trend of platforms extracting surplus value from a product which not owned by itself was introduced by social media giant, Facebook. Where their revenue is generated from user generated content. Likewise, Airbnb – from others’ buildings, Uber, Ola, etc – from others’ cars, TaskRabbit – from others’ expertise, crowd sourced their products, shared their risks to them and earned profit.
The workers, usually are millennial, who are not organized. They are not even recognized as company’s workers, instead, they call something irrelevant. For example, worker at TaskRabbit are referred as Rabbits. These underpaid, people who don’t have any securities for life are called precariats. In recent years, researchers had found substantial increase in such platform adoption. The study also points out the situation of workers. Most of the workers are not graduates and they are poorly paid. The above story depicts such a similar situation. This business model is distributing risks and loss to their so called ‘service providers’ and ownership of profit resides with platform owners.
We have to find an end to this paradigm of new corporate mode of operation. That is, Platform cooperativism.