“False” Self-Employment and the Gig Economy – Where are We Now? – Lexology

“Flexibility” is cited by gig promoters as the benefit that defines on-demand work as better than “traditional employment,” but it often comes at a price. Recent UK rulings suggest that workers must be able to replace themselves — in other words, to subcontract their work — in order to be treated as non-employees. Real independent businesses have more freedom than a gig worker, and it appears courts agree. Something for U.S. gig companies to monitor carefully.

The legal analysis in these recent UK decisions focuses on the various aspects of traditional legal tests to identify a “contract for services” (independent contractor / self-employed) versus a “contact of service” (employment contract). These tests also apply in Ireland. Factors that were examined included: the ability of an individual to substitute someone else into their role, the level of control applied by the contracting party, mutuality of obligation and the ability for the contractor to carry out an

Source: “False” Self-Employment and the Gig Economy – Where are We Now? – Lexology


Hybridizing Sales: In-Home, Retail, and E-Commerce Mixed by Humans

Local On-Demand Services need people representing brands and, importantly, customer experience. At Gig Economy Group, we are building tools to extend personal selling. We debuted at the Direct Selling Association Conference with LifeVantage, our first commercial customer. After speaking with Eazl‘s Davis Jones about this idea, he riffs smartly on it in this video.

Here’s the latest on the growth of direct sales, which is one important trend that we think defines a new hybrid sales experience: People in local markets will represent brands, manage service delivery, and sustain customer trust using e-commerce platforms and, even, retail strategies. But it will all converge on the home as the market consolidates its move toward in-home delivery.

18.6 million people in the U.S. were involved in direct selling during 2017.

5.6 million individuals were involved as business builders in 2017 and of these:

.9 million were full-time business builders;

and, 4.7 million were part-time business builders.

13.0 million individuals were discount customers.

Global direct selling increased year over year in 2017 from USD $186.7 billion to USD $189.6 billion; and U.S. direct selling was down slightly from $35.5 billion to $34.9 billion.

Source: Change Presents Opportunity for the Direct Selling Association as it Launches the “Year of the Independent Contractor” | Business Wire

4 HR Changes to Prepare for the Gig Economy | Onrec

Word. The on-demand worker, who may transition to a full-time, still flexible, arrangement, must be onboarded and, more so, made familiar and confident when using your branded content and selling tools.

You can’t afford to skip the onboarding step with gig workers, but many employers do it, anyway. They don’t run background checks, provide training, or do performance reviews. Instead, many gig workers work unvetted with limited supervision and almost no feedback until they turn in their assignments. This structure is unstable and puts undue risk on your business. Remember: your gig workers are still representatives of your brand. They enjoy access to company information and resources that are likely proprietary or confidential, and you still need to track and maintain their performance standards as they work.

Source: 4 HR Changes to Prepare for the Gig Economy | Onrec

More Bike-Sharing: Alphabet participates in funding round for Lime | PitchBook

Yesterday, Lyft joined Uber in the bikesharing business, and today Alphabet follows suit. Lime, which has placed bikes in dozens of U.S. and European cities, will be teamed with Waymo, Alphabet/Google’s autonomous car business to provide multi-modal transportation services. The round totals $300 million and values the company at $1.1 billion.

The “adjacency phenomenon” is a useful construct for understand gig companies. At scale, on-demand companies will roll up more services to increase ARPU by providing adjacent services, such as bikes to ridesharers or yard work to housekeeping customers. In all these setting, the sales problem becomes more complex, intimate — because the customer’s daily habits become the basis for new service offerings — and, less susceptible to purely technical solutions for selling.

Source: Alphabet participates in funding round for Lime | PitchBook

Public Agencies Go Gigging for Influx of Workers – Workforce Magazine

Everything will be outsourced? There is a good reason for oversight of public offices, which gig workstyles should not displace, the prevention of exercise of political power by public workers prime amongst them. This is a relatively innocuous problem when dealing with firefighters, but “gig cops” are potentially political private armies.

What happens next? The Gig Economy is just a mode of employment relationship that has many uses, but it will also need to accommodate the rules and regulations associated with the exercise of governmental power.

RJ Beam, who has worked in law enforcement for 19 years and previously was a volunteer firefighter in college, said that many of the gig firefighters are used for temporary emergencies – like big woodland fires. Big cities probably won’t turn to gig workers for these positions, but smaller towns might since the number of volunteer firefighters has dropped, according to the Wisconsin police officer.

“Some cities have turned to using part-time paid firefighters to fill the gaps without the cost of a full-time career fire department,” said Beam in an email statement. “As more towns need to shift to paying firefighters part-time, they might need to seek gig workers to fill shifts.”

Source: Public Agencies Go Gigging for Influx of Workers – Workforce Magazine

On-demand property maintenance platform Homee raises $11 million to power growth | 2018-07-02 | HousingWire

Welcome, Homee, to an intense battle. Homee is a home services marketplace joining Porch, HomeAdvisor, and others in the race to sell yard and home repair services. We think marketplace platforms are great, but that they need human representation to close larger projects, long-term subscription services, and to handle customer support during the frustrating days of a home remodel.

The company disclosed recently that it raised $11 million in Series A funding, bringing its total capital raise to $15 million. According to the company, it will use the money to launch in new markets and grow its network of vendors throughout the country.

Source: On-demand property maintenance platform Homee raises $11 million to power growth | 2018-07-02 | HousingWire

Lyft gets into bike-share business, acquiring operator of Capital Bikeshare and Citi Bike – The Washington Post

This may be a case of competitive mimickry, as Uber bought JUMP Mobility back in April. However, it points to an inevitability in on-demand: Every business that establishes a beachhead with consumers will find it opportune, even essential, to expand into adjacent markets. Bike-sharing, like car-sharing, can be delivered in one interface by Lyft and Uber.

The question is whether there is enough overlap between car passengers and bike riders.

The ride-hailing company acquired Motivate, the operator of Capital Bikeshare and New York’s Citi Bike, among other bikeshare services, in a deal believed to be valued at least $250 million. The company will introduce “Lyft Bikes,” seizing on the momentum around dockless and pedal-assist e-bikes in major U.S. cities, and inject resources into the bikeshare operator to expand those offerings around the country.

Source: Lyft gets into bike-share business, acquiring operator of Capital Bikeshare and Citi Bike – The Washington Post

Putting A Purpose Behind Lyft’s Wheels

This interview with Lyft VP of Marketing, Melissa Waters, is worthwhile reading. She describes a future built on drivers providing hospitality experiences: “We will continue to have drivers and people servicing vehicles. We think in the frame of hospitality and customer service.”

It’s when she dives into the challenge of building the Lyft brand that the clear gap in experience appears. Note the importance of the customer engagement, which will ultimately rely on the quality of the app and driver interaction. Lyft has described vehicles as rolling offices, hotel suites, and as other hybrid personal service/mobility experience. The people in the driver’s seat are the ones providing the human service/

Waters: High-growth tech marketing is often focused on growth marketing, which was previously known as performance marketing and direct response. It’s the nature of high-growth companies who are looking for added growth and need discipline. While all that is true, it’s fairly short term and is a function designed to deliver short-term returns. Not all young, high-growth companies have brand marketers who can think big picture and long-term early enough in the company’s lifecycle. They do a disservice by delaying brand building and general marketing principles to later on in the life stage of a company.

Soure: Forbes.com.

Ford’s Hypothetical Autonomous Car Test

Ford is testing autonomous vehicles with delivery service Postmates in the Miami area. The catch is, the cars’ automation is merely simulated to gather feedback from customers about the experience. A driver is hiding behind tinted glass.

The reality is Ford is testing car configurations. With three lockers, the Ford vans in Miami will roll up and open the appropriate locker for the customer. The question is whether people will be unnerved by driverless cars, but we suspect the findings will be that a three-locker vehicle will be hard-pressed to operate efficiently. Since customers must leave their house and walk to the van, the challenges are letting people know when the delivery is available and how quickly the van can move on to the next stop. 

The next time you order food from Postmates in Miami or Miami Beach, don’t be too surprised if you have to grab your Cuban sandwiches from what looks like a self-driving van. Ford’s latest autonomous delivery test is underway, as the automaker has partnered with Postmates to bring you goods from more than 70 local businesses. But there’s actually a driver behind the tinted windows — Ford says the Transit Connects give the appearance that they’re autonomous vehicles.

Source: Engadget.

Uber Brand Leader Bozema Saint John Out, Headed for Endeavor

Uber lost its highest-profile executive after new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as brand maven Bozema Saint John departs to become CMO of Endeavor, a new entertainment company. Hired by ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, Saint John is one of the last senior female executives at the company.

The move is not surprising, given the many executive changes at the ride-hailing company under newish CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Saint John was brought in under ousted CEO Travis Kalanick by board member Arianna Huffington, but was never made head of marketing there. Instead, she was in charge of its brand efforts, after having done similar work at Apple for its Apple Music unit.

Source: Recode.