How Platform Coops Can Beat Death Stars Like Uber to Create a Real Sharing Economy
We have an epic choice before us between platform cooperatives and Death Star platforms, and the time to decide is now. It might be the most important economic decision we ever make, but most of us don’t even know we have a choice.
And just what is a Death Star platform? Bill Johnson of StructureC3 referred to Uber and Airbnb as Death Star platforms in a recent chat. The label struck me as surprisingly apt: it reflects the raw ambition and focused power of these platforms, particularly Uber.
Platform cooperatives are an alternative to Death Stars. They do as Lisa Gansky has urged — they share value with the people who make them valuable. Platform cooperatives combine a cooperative business structure with an online platform to deliver a real-world service. What if Uber was owned and governed by its drivers? What if Airbnb was owned and governed by its hosts? That’s what an emerging movement is exploring for the entire sharing economy in an upcoming conference, Platform Cooperativism.