Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


The marketing lie behind companies like Airbnb and Lyft.

If you’ve used Airbnb or Uber or any other “sharing economy” service lately, you may be surprised to learn that you were not a consumer but a foot-soldier in a movement. And like any self-respecting movement, this one has a set of core principles that must periodically be affirmed and elaborated—in this case, at a slickly-produced conference called “Share” back in May.

So it was that Natalie Foster, the former Obama campaign organizer directing the San Francisco assemblage, enthused that the sharing economy was really one big exercise in community-building. Whenever we crash in a stranger’s guestroom or rent out their car, we aren’t taking advantage of a cheap, convenient service. We’re recreating the virtues of small-town America. “We are rejecting the idea that stuff makes us happier,” Foster said, “that ownership is better than access, that we should all live in isolation.”

Added October 11, 2019