About Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he’s published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.

Editorial: Lawmakers should ‘lyft’ the veil on ride-share records | Opinion | eagletribune.com

“Our greatest asset in Massachusetts is our civic-minded citizenry and it is my hope that (records reform) will foster increased and productive engagement from the public,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said in a statement after the Legislature approved the changes.

It took years of fighting on the part of open-government advocates to bring about the changes, the first in 40 years. Sadly, there is no evidence the Legislature is entering a new era of transparency.

Source: Editorial: Lawmakers should ‘lyft’ the veil on ride-share records | Opinion | eagletribune.com

Invoking Uber, Flipkart’s Bansal says markdowns in investor valuation don’t matter – Firstpost

“That (markdowns) does not matter. If you look… they did it to Uber as well. Uber raised (money) at a higher valuation. They did it to one more company, they also raised money athigher valuation,” Bansal told PTI on the sidelines of an event when asked about the recent markdown by Morgan Stanley.

Source: Invoking Uber, Flipkart’s Bansal says markdowns in investor valuation don’t matter – Firstpost

Massachusetts lawmakers debate fallout of ‘gig economy’ | WWLP.com

The Senate bill would also create a trust fund paid for by an assessment on transportation network companies of not more than 10 cents per ride. The money would be distributed to municipalities based on the proportion of rides originating in a city or town.Democratic Senate President Stan Rosenberg said the bill “strikes a balance between allowing an innovative business the ability to thrive while also implementing common sense regulations that protect public safety and consumers.”

Source: Massachusetts lawmakers debate fallout of ‘gig economy’ | WWLP.com

Amazon’s next $1.7 trillion opportunity could come from 5 markets – Business Insider

Amazon has been making big investments lately in all of those categories. It has launched its own private fashion labels while expanding its grocery delivery network. Amazon Business, its office supply sales channel, recently announced that it has sold over $1 billion worth of products, just a year after its launch. It even has its own local services network, called Amazon Home Services, for things like plumbing and TV installations.

Source: Amazon’s next $1.7 trillion opportunity could come from 5 markets – Business Insider

The Gig Economy’s Growing Influence on the American Workforce

Katz and Krueger found that the number of people identifying as “self-employed” in the gig economy dropped by about 10 percent, signaling that more of these contingent workers are on-call or working at temp agencies. Even though there are more independent contractors in the gig economy today than in 2005, their overall share of the contingent workforce has diminished.

The demographics also contradict a common narrative that the gig economy’s growth is driven by millennials either looking for a sense of freedom or finding what work they can in a tough job market. Instead, workers between ages 55 and 74 are the major drivers of the gig economy’s growth. Large growth was also found in workers ages 25 to 54.”Alternative work is more common among older workers and more highly educated workers, and the workforce has become older and more educated over time,” Katz and Krueger wrote.

Source: The Gig Economy’s Growing Influence on the American Workforce

ADVISORY: CAP Hosts Event on Strengthening Unemployment Protections | Center for American Progress

The facilitation of unemployment insurance for on-demand labor must be part of the reform that will be discussed at the Center for American Progress.

Two-thirds of Americans will experience at least one year of unemployment—either themselves or through their head of household—during their working years. For the past 80 years, unemployment insurance, or UI, has provided critical protection for involuntarily unemployed workers and their families by replacing a share of lost wages while workers search for new jobs. UI also helps stabilize the economy during downturns by boosting the spending power of struggling families and creating demand in the economy. In 2009 alone, UI kept more than 5 million Americans out of poverty and saved more than 2 million jobs.As important as it has been in the past, the UI system has not kept pace with changes in the labor force or the economy. In 2014, only about one in four jobless workers received UI benefits—a historic low.

Source: ADVISORY: CAP Hosts Event on Strengthening Unemployment Protections | Center for American Progress

OT regs? ACA compliance? New workforce company thinks it has answers | Pizza Marketplace

The coming overtime regulations that take effect this December are likely only to contribute to the client base for this kind of [on-demand] firm, since so many in the restaurant industry have feared the new regulations which many said will force restaurants to either raise employee salaries or drastically cut individual hours and hire more part-time workers. employees

Source: OT regs? ACA compliance? New workforce company thinks it has answers | Pizza Marketplace

Still questioning whether college is worth it? Read this. – The Washington Post

Researchers at the center found that out of the 11.6 million jobs created in the post-recession economy, 11.5 million went to people with at least some college education. Of those jobs, 8.4 million went to workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher. People with a high school diploma or less education landed 80,000 jobs in the recovery, the report said.

Source: Still questioning whether college is worth it? Read this. – The Washington Post

You can now ask Alexa to order millions of products on Amazon | VentureBeat | Bots | by Khari Johnson

At this time, Alexa’s product ordering is limited to Amazon Prime customers.

Source: You can now ask Alexa to order millions of products on Amazon | VentureBeat | Bots | by Khari Johnson

Hertz Partnering Up With Uber, Lyft To Supply Drivers With Rental Cars – Consumerist

Don’t have a car, but want to work for Lyft or Uber as a driver? Hertz is hoping it can squeeze some extra miles out of its older cars with new deals it’s just announced to supply rentals to the ride-hailing companies.

Source: Hertz Partnering Up With Uber, Lyft To Supply Drivers With Rental Cars – Consumerist