Travis Kalanick’s forced resignation as the CEO of Uber is a great symbolic end to the adolescence of the “sharing” economy. Uber and other companies that claimed space in this invented arena may now have to acknowledge that they are not actually new and different from everything that went before them. And the rules that apply to their competitors also apply to them.
Uber under Kalanick was in many ways the poster child for the sharing economy. The company insisted that all the rules that governments had put in place to regulate the taxi industry — to protect workers and to prevent discrimination — didn’t make sense for the new model, because they were Uber.
The company’s effective motto, that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission, seemed to cry out for a swift slap to the face. Taxis are hardly new, but the Uber gang claimed that the whole set of regulations developed around the industry didn’t apply to them because they were an app-based “ride hailing” platform, not a taxi company.
This was, and is, garbage; as are most of the claims for the “newness” and “uniqueness” of […]