Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘what’s yours is mine’

“Airbnb likes to say, ‘Come and live like a local.’ But if they’re driving out locals while they’re doing that, that is a problem.” – TOM SLEE interviewed in The Coast

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Airbnb likes to position its hosts as everyday people offering up their homes for a little cash when they take a vacation or leave on a work trip. But new data assembled for The Coast shows the exact opposite.

Over half of the Airbnb listings in the urban core seemingly belong to property owners with multiple listings. The exact figures, however, are difficult to pin down.

Read the full article here.

What’s Yours Is Mine shows how money-making and sharing of common space are ultimately incompatible”: WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE reviewed at Real Change

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Readers of Real Change are probably well aware of some of the difficulties with the so-called “sharing economy,” best exemplified by Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, which grew exponentially from humble beginnings. Tom Slee’s “What’s Yours Is Mine” is more than a detailing of the negative impacts of these companies; it takes a look at the Silicon Valley philosophy of “open sharing” for profit and shows how money-making and sharing of common space are ultimately incompatible.”

Read the full review at Real Change.

“You don’t have anything set in stone”: Read about the so-called “sharing economy”

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The Indypendent discusses the problems with the so-called “Sharing Economy” and how its lack of permanence and costs are exploiting its workers.


“The thing is though with Taskrabbit you don’t have anything set in stone. You’re constantly looking for jobs, looking for work and, sometimes, nobody’s hiring you. It’s like, ‘Why doesn’t anybody want to hire me?'”


Read the full article on the Indypendent here, and for more gig economy reading, check out Tom Slee’s “What’s Yours is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy” here.

“All the benefits . . . without any of the responsibilities”: Tom Slee, author of WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE shares his thoughts on the so-called sharing economy

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

“All the benefits . . . without any of the responsibilities”


Tom Slee, author of What’s Yours is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy, chats to the Indypendent about the trials and tribulations of the “gig economy.”


“Uber is taking 30, 35 percent of the amount of any fare. Airbnb takes about 13 to 15 percent of any rental. They’re involved in every transaction. They take a significant amount of money from every transaction. Yet when push comes to shove, they want to say, ‘This is not our responsibility and we want nothing to do with it if anything goes wrong.’ A well-presented platform can be quite useful to people who have skills to promote, but these current ones end up being [based on] a largely exploitative model.”


Read the full article on the Indypendent here.

“Review: What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing EconomyTOM SLEE reviewed on Liz Pelly

Monday, August 1st, 2016

“One of Tom Slee’s motivations for writing What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy—published in February by OR Books—was to push back against people in the tech industry appropriating the language of “collective action and progressive politics” for private financial gain. “I wrote this book because the Sharing Economy agenda appeals to ideals with which I and many others identify; ideals such as equality, sustainability, and community,” he writes. “The Sharing Economy continues to have the support and allegiance of many progressive-minded people … [but evokes] those ideals to build massive private fortunes, to erode real communities, to encourage a more entitled form of consumerism, and to create a future that is more precarious and more unequal than ever.”

Slee’s book provides much needed historical context on the sharing economy phenomenon: a history of digital “openness” being leveraged for private profit, as well as a history of the commodification of the internet, pointing out key moments in time where legislation changed to first allow commercial activity on the web. “There was vociferous argument over the ethics of pursuing profit over the internet,” he writes. It’s a book about the sharing economy, but also more: it’s about how we got to this conflicting place where we all are seemingly beholden to commercial platforms that we don’t totally understand, mined for data by corporations profiting from users’ micro-work.”

To hear more, visit Liz Pelly

“We have labor standards for a reason” TOM SLEE on The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

“In most economies there are always folks who need a job, and you can have very low paying jobs that people will apply to and will work for, but here in Canada we have labor standards, and we have them for a reason. We have them because that kind of race to the bottom, a purely free market approach encourages does not end up in a good place.”

To read more, visit The Agenda.

“This new model has raised a bunch of questions” AirBnB co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk on TOM SLEE

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

“In terms of the darker side of shared economy, this new model has raised a bunch of questions about how it fits in with existing policies. I think those are fair questions, but that does not mean the idea (of shared economy) is bad. We have to have conversations about how new models get reconciled with existing rules.”

To read more, visit Business Standard.

“Authoritative” TOM SLEE reviewed in The Star

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Uber enthusiasts, he writes, attribute its success to technology. But the real reason Uber thrives is that it avoids paying many of the costs borne by regulated taxi services, including insurance and mechanical fitness tests.

To read more, visit The Star.

“It’s about extending the deregulated free market into new areas of our lives.” TOM SLEE reviewed in Truthdig

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

But the big picture is remarkably clear. “The Sharing Economy is a movement: it is a movement for deregulation,” Slee concludes. “It’s not about building an alternative to a corporate-driven market economy, it’s about extending the deregulated free market into new areas of our lives.”

To read more, visit Truthdig.

“Superbly argued” WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE praised in The Guardian

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Airbnb’s marketing still plays on the feelings of virtuous and adventurous sociability in the idea of a “guest” staying in a spare room of the “host’s” home. Yet, as Tom Slee’s superbly argued book points out, the vast majority of Airbnb’s business is now “entire home” rentals: self-contained flats or villas. Long-term renters in cities such as San Francisco are being forced out by landlords who see more profit in short-term Airbnb stays. Slee performs some very clever data research and finds out that the most expensive Airbnb apartment in Rome is one of several European luxury pads rented out by an American tech entrepreneur, who bought them with the proceeds of the sale of his last software company. The idea of “sharing” is as meaningless here as it is in Uber’s made-up concept of “ride-sharing”, which sounds as ecologically minded as “car-sharing” but actually describes a taxi service. Nor is any “sharing” going on with companies such as TaskRabbit, in which people bid to perform other people’s odd jobs.

To read the rest of the review, visit The Guardian.

Read an exclusive excerpt of WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE on Alternet

Monday, March 28th, 2016

In city after city, debates surrounding ridesharing services are playing out, with Uber front and center. The debates are about many things: they are about us as consumers, but also us as citizens, and us as employees; they are about the role of government and the responsibilities of business.

To read the rest of the excerpt, visit Alternet.

On Jacobin, TOM SLEE explains how Uber and Airbnb falsify data to appear beneficial to local economies

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

High-powered technology executives delivering quantitative claims in an authoritative and confident tone, in polished marketing language, can go a long way to creating that picture of an irresistible sunny future. By the time the truth surfaces, the damage is done.

To read the rest of the article, visit Jacobin.

“A smart and searing critique” WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE reviewed in The Spectator

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

In What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy, Tom Slee, an author and blogger who also works in the software business, delivers a smart and searing critique of a business that people are only just beginning to think about in a serious way. While some bloggers still treat the sharing economy as some kind of cause, Slee rightly analyses it as a business model masquerading as a movement.

To read the rest of the review, visit The Spectator.

TOM SLEE praised in the New York Times

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

The New York Times reported on Tom Slee’s recent discovery that Airbnb purged listings in preparation of a transparency report. To read the full article, visit the New York Times.

CounterPunch praises WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE as a book that “should be close at hand for activists fighting the blind greed of Silicon Valley’s self-entitled profiteers.”

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Slee is an extremely well-informed skeptic who presents a satisfyingly blistering critique of high tech’s disingenuous equating of sharing with profiteering.

To read the rest of the review, visit CounterPunch.

In an interview with Vice, TOM SLEE explains the limitations of the sharing economy

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

The sharing economy can, in a certain way, be seen as an extension of companies finding ways not to pay people their full value. That also takes form in unpaid internships and using independent contractors instead of full-time employees. It’s always been a left-wing ideal that all are entitled to a universal basic income, that we as a collective have a responsibility to make sure everyone at least has something. That idea is now being taken up by Silicon Valley, which would claim its services help people provide themselves with that universal basic income, without actually paying it to them. I think Silicon Valley is going to take that idea and see how far it can run with it.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Vice.

Airbnb secretly removed 1,000 listings before its transparency report. TOM SLEE and Murray Cox investigate to explain what those erased listings reveal.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

To read the full report, visit Tom Slee’s website.

“I see Uber and to some extent AirBnB as fundamentally anti-democratic.” The Register interviews TOM SLEE

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Of course there are some areas of over-regulation. But thousands of cities around the world have independently decided that regulating taxis is needed, and it’s worth thinking why that is so. One reason is universality; another is transparency and consistency in fares; another is to give drivers an income. There are lots of problems with taxi services, but these underlying causes don’t go away with Uber. After-expense incomes for drivers are now on a race to the bottom, churn in the driver base is high. And personally I do think taxes matter, and avoiding them by using complex routing of funds through subsidiaries as Uber and Airbnb do is one more thing that needs to be stopped.

To read the rest of the interview, visit The Register.

David Robinson praises WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE on Medium

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Ultimately, I read Slee’s book as a call to conscious consumption. At their best, these new apps can give consumers affordable, convenient, and in some cases more interesting or rewarding experiences, all while providing flexible, incremental work to people who badly need it. But as consumers, we should not judge these apps solely in terms of the immediate experience they offer each of us. Instead, we need to recognize that some old rules are being newly and widely ignored, and some new ones may yet need to be written.

To read the rest of the article, visit Medium.

Early praise for WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE on ZDNet

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Intimacy scaled up, Slee writes, is no longer intimacy. Instead of casting these issues around employment or even, as Slee quotes Tim O’Reilly as saying, an economic shift led by software and connectedness, we should be viewing them through the lens of power, money and influence. As these companies bypass regulations, they become attractive to the entrenched businesses they seek to replace — and become a vector for those companies to do so, too. Why should Uber get to classify its drivers as independent contractors when Fedex is stuck with employees? The “sharing economy”, Slee concludes, is not a fix for social problems.

To read the rest of the review, visit ZDNet.

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