A Shareable Explainer: What is a Platform Co-op?
The sharing economy held great promise when it first emerged. It was seen as a way to help people build community, reduce unnecessary consumption, and generate extra income. It was based on the brilliantly simple notion that when we share, everybody has more.
But this vision quickly vanished. Tightly controlled, profit-driven corporate platforms corrupted that promise with their brand of transactional “sharing” that all too often depends on externalizing the costs and risks to users and individual service providers — Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers, for example. In addition, those that create most of the value on these platforms usually have no say in how the businesses are operated. Such practices are part and parcel of an effort to grow quickly at all costs, and sometimes with the ambition to establish a global monopoly.