Mitch’s Take: Several things of note here:
- Local On-Demand has gone mainstream, with Time doing this piece and the local TV coverage of the Virginia care car company launch earlier in the feed. It’s so ordinary local news covers it and so big that TIME grapples with it.
- Whatever you call it, and I prefer Local On-Demand for specific reasons, the improved access to logistics data and platforms is transforming the delivery of labor and, more importantly, expertise. Doing something well can earn higher returns in a dynamically priced market, but today’s Uber model treats labor as completely interchangeable. So, the better drivers will find a better platform.
- The power to set one’s own price and earn it based on the quality of the product/service delivered will be transformative across all industries. Combined with the rise of robots that could eliminate the value of mundane labor, this technological and economic transformation will force the human hoping to earn a good living to develop empathy in order to be a member of a large community where they can differentiate their labor.
- Relationships will also support higher earnings, as customers become fans of particular providers. For example, an executive that wanted a black car driver available all day because she has come to trust the driver to keep confidential what he overhears. This extends to dogwalkers, doctors and dietitians, who deliver a care service. Carpenters, Xylophone tuners, architects, and electric car mechanics, too. Service matters, the “power of labor” referred to in the TIME article revolves around the power to price independently
- Some people will prefer to offer their services through a marketplace like Uber or HomeAdvisor, Porch or HaloChef. Others will want to stand as their own business, perhaps with a focus on a few high-value customers who seldom turnover. Many local SMBs will do this, often using marketplace gigs to pad their revenue. Point is, both systems will coexist with full-time jobs. For example, some chauffeurs are employed by companies.
- What this represents is the dawning of a public dialogue about what the new economic deal should include, because the way this era has started the employee/contractor has been stripped of many benefits while carrying increased responsibility for ongoing educational costs and keeping their skill levels competitive. Employees at any large company can attest to the rising pressure to compete constantly with their peers during the past two decades.
- There’s good and bad road ahead. We must aim for the better, higher road even if it costs more, because we are human. Businesses, too, must face this yawning social gap or they will not be viable due to revolutions and mayhem brought by humans amplified by the logistics technology they also use to work. “Disruption” is freshman-year stuff historically by comparison.