ParkWhiz launches new Amazon Alexa skill | Markets Insider

On-demand starts to blend with new user interface technology. ParkWhiz adds a Amazon Alexa skill to find available parking. Capital One added chatbot service on Cortana today, as well. Bots are important to engagement.

The ParkWhiz skill for Alexa offers a hands-free method to find a parking space near an address, calculate the walking time to their destination and book parking on ParkWhiz.com. Once booked, drivers will receive an email notification with their parking pass which they can display on their smartphone for validation.

Source: ParkWhiz launches new Amazon Alexa skill | Markets Insider

Convargo grabs $19 million to improve road freight | TechCrunch

Another logistics startup, this for the French shipping and delivery market. Note the asset-tracking features, allowing business and consumers to track packages as they are in transit. Think in terms of transparency in the supply chain, and this is clearly a standard feature of any national infrastructure.

French startup Convargo is a marketplace for shippers and carriers so that you can find a truck and send goods across France more efficiently. The startup just raised a $19 million Series A round led by Inventure Partners and Earlybird.

Source: Convargo grabs $19 million to improve road freight | TechCrunch

Uber hires ex-DoJ and Pepsi lawyer as chief legal officer

Uber adds grown-up counsel.

While at Morrison & Foerster he helped with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. That led to a position in the justice department when Mr Obama won, eventually rising to become associate attorney-general, the third most senior position in the department.

Source: Uber hires ex-DoJ and Pepsi lawyer as chief legal officer

The case for Uber at $95 billion – Axios

This “case” was offered by an existing Uber investor, who is obviously hoping for a higher valuation than the reported $48 billion SoftBank is using to value the existing shares it will possibly buy. Given its regulatory issues, legal peril, and the distractions of Travis Kalanick’s power plays, Uber is not worth $95 billion.

What is Uber really worth? That’s a big question right now, as SoftBank is prepping a private tender that could value the company as low as $50 billion or as high as the $70 billion that it got in its last funding round. But one shareholder, who asked to remain anonymous, argues to Axios that a comparable analysis actually should value Uber at upwards of $95 billion.

Source: The case for Uber at $95 billion – Axios

The Hardest Thing About Working in the Gig Economy? Forging a Cohesive Sense of Self — HBR.com

THe Harvard Business Review looks at on-demand work and the psychological strategy for building confidence when attention is distributed across multiple jobs.

Focus on each job until you gain confidence, but then forge connections. Holding multiple jobs can be overwhelming, and cognitively depleting. Therefore, it is critical for multiple jobholders to learn to manage their energy investments. Our research revealed that how this is done changes over time. When you’re starting out in a new area, you should treat each job as a distinct role that needs to be nourished. Try to set clear boundaries and ensure you are fulfilling each of your clients’ or customer expect

Source: The Hardest Thing About Working in the Gig Economy? Forging a Cohesive Sense of Self

Uber Credit Card: Company’s Latest Step in Being More than Ride-Share | Inverse

A credit care loyalty program is a solid basis for linking services, but it doesn’t ensure those services will be attractive to users.

Uber announced Wednesday at Money2020 conference in Las Vegas that it’s partnering with Visa and Barclays to offer its own branded credit card, complete with a full-fledged rewards system.

Source: Uber Credit Card: Company’s Latest Step in Being More than Ride-Share | Inverse

Chinese on-demand transport giant Didi Chuxing to land in Russia – Chinadaily.com.cn

Didi Chuxing will enter Russia.

“Sovereign fund has a lot of opportunities to invest in technology companies such as China’s car-hailing service provider Didi, which we have invested in. We expect Didi will land in the Russian market soon, ” Dmitriev said, according to a report by Sina citing Russian media Sputnik.

Source: Chinese on-demand transport giant Didi Chuxing to land in Russia – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn

Defending Trade Secrets In The Gig Economy – Lexology

Lexology suggests a form of non-compete for gig workers, a job-like agreement that must be combined with premium wage and benefits access to justify the limitation on the worker. Fortunately, the on-demand economy is reaching an inflection point at which better documented and improved working conditions are recognized as necessary by workers and platform companies.

A gig business’s relationships with its customers, contractors, and vendors are among its most valuable assets. Some employees and contractors are expected to develop lasting relationships on behalf of the company. Well-drafted agreements with these individuals should include a provision prohibiting them from soliciting customers, contractors, and vendors – especially those with whom they interact directly – for a reasonable period of time. State laws regarding the validity of non-solicit agreements can var

Source: Defending Trade Secrets In The Gig Economy – Lexology

Lowe’s Says DIY Will Fade, Consumers Will Hire Pros for Smart-Home & Other Projects – CE Pro

Chris Langford, managing director of Lowe’s Ventures, hits the on-demand nail on the proverbial head. Life in an on-demand economy involves long-term trusted service relationships. He goes so far as predicting a rise in service-supported rentals, or “Housing-as-a-Service.” I suspect home ownership will continue and fragment into a leasehold-like model involving subscription services and, among owners, a focus on improving home value through maintenance.

The missing ingredient in all these thoughts is the sales interface that is intimate enough to support in-home engagement. People won’t go to Lowe’s for services as often, favoring a blend of services coming to them. Lowe’s needs to enable service discovery in the home and community to weave its inventory into many services.

Langford explains: [T]he ability to find trusted service providers is increasing exponentially. A further benefit of being able to find service providers is that the cost of service should decrease thereby making outsourcing more attractive. With more and more people identifying as time constrained and lacking DIY skills, the likelihood of choosing to outsource home improvement tasks to a professional should rise drastically.

Source: Lowe’s: DIY Will Fade and Consumers Will Hire Pros for Smart-Home & Other Projects – CE Pro

Taxi Medallion Owners Say Unequal Treatment Is Boosting Uber, Lyft | New York Law Journal

Medallion owners are suing to get the same relaxed rules as Uber and Lyft. It’s a strategy that could work.

New York City taxicab medallion holders are being unfairly forced to comply with regulations not imposed upon ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft and that those constraints are causing them to lose business, a lawyer representing New York credit unions argued Tuesday before an appeals court.

Source: Taxi Medallion Owners Say Unequal Treatment Is Boosting Uber, Lyft | New York Law Journal