Uber and Lyft drivers’ median hourly wage is just $3.37, report finds — from theguardian.com by Sam Levin
Majority of drivers make less than minimum wage and many end up losing money, according to study published by MIT

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Uber and Lyft drivers in the US make a median profit of $3.37 per hour before taxes, according to a new report that suggests a majority of ride-share workers make below minimum wage and that many actually lose money.

Researchers did an analysis of vehicle cost data and a survey of more than 1,100 drivers for the ride-hailing companies for the paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. The report – which factored in insurance, maintenance, repairs, fuel and other costs – found that 30% of drivers are losing money on the job and that 74% earn less than the minimum wage in their states.

The findings have raised fresh concerns about labor standards in the booming sharing economy as companies such as Uber and Lyft continue to face scrutiny over their treatment of drivers, who are classified as independent contractors and have few rights or protections.

“This business model is not currently sustainable,” said Stephen Zoepf, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University and co-author of the paper. “The companies are losing money. The businesses are being subsidized by [venture capital] money … And the drivers are essentially subsidizing it by working for very low wages.”

 


 

From DSC:
I don’t know enough about this to offer much feedback and/or insights on this sort of thing yet. But while it’s a bit too early for me to tell — and though I’m not myself a driver for Uber or Lyft — this article prompts me to put this type of thing on my radar.

That is, will the business models that arise from such a sharing economy only benefit a handful of owners or upper level managers or will such new business models benefit the majority of their employees? I’m very skeptical in these early stages though, as there aren’t likely medical or dental benefits, retirement contributions, etc. being offered to their employees with these types of companies. It likely depends upon the particular business model(s) and/or organization(s) being considered, but I think that it’s worth many of us watching this area.

 


 

Also see:

The Economics of Ride-Hailing: Driver Revenue, Expenses and Taxes— from ceepr.mit.edu / MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research by Stephen Zoepf, Stella Chen, Paa Adu, and Gonzalo Pozo

February 2018

We perform a detailed analysis of Uber and Lyft ride-hailing driver economics by pairing results from a survey of over 1100 drivers with detailed vehicle cost information. Results show that per hour worked, median profit from driving is $3.37/hour before taxes, and 74% of drivers earn less than the minimum wage in their state. 30% of drivers are actually losing money once vehicle expenses are included. On a per-mile basis, median gross driver revenue is $0.59/mile but vehicle operating expenses reduce real driver profit to a median of $0.29/mile. For tax purposes the $0.54/mile standard mileage deduction in 2016 means that nearly half of drivers can declare a loss on their taxes. If drivers are fully able to capitalize on these losses for tax purposes, 73.5% of an estimated U.S. market $4.8B in annual ride-hailing driver profit is untaxed.

Keywords: Transportation, Gig Economy, Cost-Bene t Analysis, Tax policy, Labor Center
Full Paper
| Research Brief

 

——-

Addendum on 3/7/18:

The ride-hailing wage war continues

How much do Lyft and Uber drivers really make? After reporting in a study that their median take-home pay was just 3.37/hour—and then getting called out by Uber’s CEO—researchers have significantly revised their findings.

Closer to a living wage: Lead author Stephen Zoepf of Stanford University released a statement on Twitter saying that using two different methods to recalculate the hourly wage, they find a salary of either $8.55 or $10 per hour, after expenses. Zoepf’s team will be doing a larger revision of the paper over the next few weeks.

Still low-balling it?: Uber and Lyft are adamant that even the new numbers underestimate what drivers are actually paid. “While the revised results are not as inaccurate as the original findings, driver earnings are still understated,” says Lyft’s director of communications Adrian Durbin.

The truth is out there: Depending on who’s doing the math, estimates range from $8.55 (Zoepf, et al.) up to over $21 an hour (Uber). In other words, we’re nowhere near a consensus on how much drivers in the gig-economy make.

 ——-

 

The number of Americans working for themselves could triple by 2020 — from work.qz.com by Amy Wang

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Americans are as eager to work as ever. Just no longer for somebody else.

According to FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting company that has conducted a study on self-employment for two years, the number of Americans working for themselves looks to triple—to 42 million people—by 2020.

The trend, gauged in a survey of more than 2,700 full-time US workers in traditional, independent, and small business roles about their career plans, is largely being driven by millennial workers. FreshBooks estimates that of the next 27 million independent workers, 42% will be millennials. The survey, conducted with Research Now, also finds that Americans who already work for themselves are suddenly very content to keep doing so, with 97% of independent workers (up 10% from 2016) reporting no desire to return to traditional work.

 

 

From DSC:
With the continued trend towards more freelancing and the growth of a more contingent workforce…have our students had enough practice in selling themselves and their businesses to be successful in this new, developing landscape?

We need to start offering more courses, advice, and opportunities for practicing these types of skills — and the sooner the better!  I’m serious. Our students will be far more successful with these types of skills under their belt. Conversely, they won’t be able to persuade others and sell themselves and their businesses without such skills.

 

 

 

Michelle Weise: ‘We Need to Design the Learning Ecosystem of the Future’ — from edsurge.com  by Michelle Weise

Excerpts:

These days, education reformers, evangelists and foundations pay a lot of lip service to the notion of lifelong learning, but we do little to invest in the systems, architecture and infrastructure needed to facilitate seamless movements in and out of learning and work.

Talk of lifelong learning doesn’t translate into action. In fact, resources and funding are often geared toward the traditional 17- to 22-year-old college-going population and less often to working adults, our growing new-traditional student population.

We’ll need a different investment thesis: For most adults, taking time off work to attend classes at a local, brick-and-mortar community college or a four-year institution will not be the answer. The opportunity costs will be too high. Our current system of traditional higher education is ill-suited to facilitate flexible, seamless cost-effective learning pathways for these students to keep up with the emergent demands of the workforce.

Many adults may have no interest in coming back to college. Out of the 37 million Americans with some college and no degree, many have already failed one or twice before and will be wholly uninterested in experiencing more educational trauma.We can’t just say, “Here’s a MOOC, or here’s an online degree, or a 6- to 12-week immersive bootcamp.”

 

We have to do better. Let’s begin seeding the foundational elements of a learning ecosystem of the future—flexible enough for adults to move consistently in and out of learning and work. Enough talk about lifelong learning: Let’s build the foundations of that learning ecosystem of the future.

 

 

From DSC:
I couldn’t agree more with Michelle that we need a new learning ecosystem of the future. In fact, I have been calling such an effort “Learning from the Living [Class] Room — and it outlines a next generation learning platform that aims to deliver everything Michelle talks about in her solid article out at edsurge.com.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

Along these lines…I just saw that Amazon is building out more cashierless stores (and Walmart is also at work on introducing more cashierless stores.) Now, let’s say that you are currently a cashier. 2-5 years from now (depending upon where you’re currently working and which stores are in your community), what are you going to do? The opportunities for such a position will be fewer and fewer. Who can help you do what Michelle mentioned here:

Working learners will also need help articulating their learning goals and envisioning a future for themselves. People don’t know how to translate their skills from one industry to another. How does a student begin to understand that 30% of what they already know could be channeled into a totally different and potentially promising pathway they never even knew was within reach?

And that cashier may have had a tough time with K-12 education and/or with higher education. As Michelle writes:

Many adults may have no interest in coming back to college. Out of the 37 million Americans with some college and no degree, many have already failed one or twice before and will be wholly uninterested in experiencing more educational trauma. We can’t just say, “Here’s a MOOC, or here’s an online degree, or a 6- to 12-week immersive bootcamp.”

And like the cashier in this example…we are quickly approaching an era where, I believe, many of us will need to reinvent ourselves in order to:

  • stay marketable
  • keep bread and butter on the table
  • continue to have a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives

Higher ed, if it wants to remain relevant, must pick up the pace of experimentation and increase the willingness to innovate, and to develop new business models — to develop new “learning channels” so to speak. Such channels need to be:

  • Up-to-date
  • Serving relevant data and information– especially regarding the job market and which jobs appear to be safe for the next 5-10 years
  • Inexpensive/affordable
  • Highly convenient

 

 

 

 

FREEDOM 2.0 – Blockchain’s Biggest Use Case with Richie Etwaru @richieetwaru — with thanks to Mike Mathews for his posting this on LinkedIn

Description:

While the Internet has profoundly impacted global society, new questions must be asked. When the human species reflects on the Internet in 2081 a hundred years after its invention will the Internet be viewed as good for our species, and has the impact of the set of adjacent inventions of the Internet furthered the triumph of the human species? Did we connect the last billion with mobility, did we distribute wealth meaningfully, and was basic healthcare democratized? Or, did social media coupled with mobile cameras create a spike in vanity that affected important social constructs such as love, self-esteem and family? Did AI create a new class system of robo sapiens that constrict freedom? And did we change the core of commerce of trust between citizens, communities and governments? Maybe; the Internet is only 49% of the story of our species, and the remaining 51% of our story is still unfolding. Richie will discuss the other 51% which he believes is blockchain, and how we can change the answers to some of these new types of questions of mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Advantages of Blockchain Technology — from hortonworks.com by Ryan Wheeler

Excerpt:

Blockchain ensures data objectivity—a single source of truth. Blockchain also represents a security layer that ensures that data is encrypted in such a way that only the people you want to can read your data. It makes it next to impossible for people to corrupt or manipulate the data—or even gain wrongful access to it—because the system raises an instant red flag when a problem occurs, and it uses a new, advanced encryption method to secure the data.

Blockchain is both reactionary—alerting users to changes—and proactive, by preventing the security threat. And even if the data is somehow breached, it still can’t be used. The effects have already been seen in the healthcare industry, where technologies using blockchain have provided the proper balance of security and governance for people’s health data.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Interesting to see this new platform developing, one that combines 2 big trends — blockchain and freelancing:

 

 

 

Also interesting to see:

 

“Peculium: The first savings system in cryptocurrency utilizing AIEVE and Blockchain Technology with artificial intelligence. PECULIUM revolutionizes savings management by deploying immutable Smart-Contracts over Ethereum blockchain.”

 

 

 

 

 

Addendum/also see:

 

The blockchain provides a rich, secure, and transparent platform on which to create a global network for higher learning. This Internet of value can help to reinvent higher education in a way the Internet of information alone could not.

 

 

 

If you doubt that we are on an exponential pace of change, you need to check these articles out! [Christian]

exponentialpaceofchange-danielchristiansep2016

 

From DSC:
The articles listed in
this PDF document demonstrate the exponential pace of technological change that many nations across the globe are currently experiencing and will likely be experiencing for the foreseeable future. As we are no longer on a linear trajectory, we need to consider what this new trajectory means for how we:

  • Educate and prepare our youth in K-12
  • Educate and prepare our young men and women studying within higher education
  • Restructure/re-envision our corporate training/L&D departments
  • Equip our freelancers and others to find work
  • Help people in the workforce remain relevant/marketable/properly skilled
  • Encourage and better enable lifelong learning
  • Attempt to keep up w/ this pace of change — legally, ethically, morally, and psychologically

 

PDF file here

 

One thought that comes to mind…when we’re moving this fast, we need to be looking upwards and outwards into the horizons — constantly pulse-checking the landscapes. We can’t be looking down or be so buried in our current positions/tasks that we aren’t noticing the changes that are happening around us.

 

 

 

From DSC:
As I read the article below, I couldn’t help but think of Microsoft’s recent announcement to purchase LinkedIn.com (who had already acquired Lynda.com last year).  Perhaps Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn (and with it, Lynda.com) will bring big data to lifelong learning, career building, and matching job providers with job seekers (i.e., online-based marketplaces/exchanges). If Microsoft doesn’t do this, perhaps IBM’s Watson will. But this is where blockchain could come in as well…to verify that someone actually took this or that module, course, training, etc.


 

How Microcredentials are Changing the Landscape of Higher and Technical Education — from evolllution.com by Michael Netzer, Associate Provost & SVP of Academic Program Development and Outreach, American Public University System

Excerpts:

Just ten years ago, one would never have considered the portability of credentials that could follow a person from location to location, allowing potential employers to verify a job candidate’s fit for a position quickly. However, that is just what has happened, and the explosion of interest in digital badging and microcredentials is changing the landscape of higher education.

Digital badges encoded with microcredentials contain meta data that links back to the issuer, performance criteria, and verification of evidence.

Ultimately, badging offers portability of acknowledged skills and abilities that can be carried anywhere to demonstrate competency. Learners can accumulate badges across institutional platforms, and the badges can be sorted, shown, or hidden by the learner to reflect achievement in the particular skills or knowledge which the learner wishes to exhibit.

 

 

 

Why can’t the “One Day University” come directly into your living room — 24×7? [Christian]

  • An idea/question from DSC:
    Looking at the article below, I wonder…“Why can’t the ‘One Day University‘ come directly into your living room — 24×7?”

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

This is why I’m so excited about the “The Living [Class] Room” vision. Because it is through that vision that people of all ages — and from all over the world — will be able to constantly learn, grow, and reinvent themselves (if need be) throughout their lifetimes. They’ll be able to access and share content, communicate and discuss/debate with one another, form communities of practice, go through digital learning playlists (like Lynda.com’s Learning Paths) and more.  All from devices that represent the convergence of the television, the telephone, and the computer (and likely converging with the types of devices that are only now coming into view, such as Microsoft’s Hololens).

 

LearningPaths-LyndaDotCom-April2016

 

You won’t just be limited to going back to college for a day — you’ll be able to do that 24×7 for as many days of the year as you want to.

Then when some sophisticated technologies are integrated into this type of platform — such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based learner profiles, algorithms, and the ability to setup exchanges for learning materials — we’ll get some things that will blow our minds in the not too distant future! Heutagogy on steroids!

 

 


 

 

Want to go back to college? You can, for a day. — from washingtonpost.com by Valerie Strauss

Excerpt:

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if you could go back to college, just for the sake of learning something new, in a field you don’t know much about, with no tests, homework or studying to worry about? And you won’t need to take the SAT or the ACT to be accepted? You can, at least for a day, with something called One Day University, the brainchild of a man named Steve Schragis, who about a decade ago brought his daughter to Bard College as a freshman and thought that he wanted to stay.

One Day University now financially partners with dozens of newspapers — including The Washington Post — and a few other organizations to bring lectures to people around the country. The vast majority of the attendees are over the age 50 and interested in continuing education, and One Day University offers them only those professors identified by college students as fascinating. As Schragis says, it doesn’t matter if you are famous; you have to be a great teacher. For example, Schragis says that since Bill Gates has never shown to be one, he can’t teach at One Day University.

We bring together these professors, usually four at at a time, to cities across the country to create “The Perfect Day of College.” Of course we leave out the homework, exams, and studying! Best if there’s real variety, both male and female profs, four different schools, four different subjects, four different styles, etc. There’s no one single way to be a great professor. We like to show multiple ways to our students.

Most popular classes are history, psychology, music, politics, and film. Least favorite are math and science.

 

 


See also:


 

 

OneDayUniversity-1-April2016

 

OneDayUniversity-2-April2016

 

 

 


Addendum:


 

 

lyndaDotcom-onAppleTV-April2016

 

We know the shelf-life of skills are getting shorter and shorter. So whether it’s to brush up on new skills or it’s to stay on top of evolving ones, Lynda.com can help you stay ahead of the latest technologies.

 

 

From DSC:
Let’s take some of the same powerful concepts (as mentioned below) into the living room; then let’s talk about learning-related applications.


 

Google alum launches MightyTV for cable cord-cutters — from bizjournals.com by Anthony Noto

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

MightyTV, which has raised more than $2 million in venture funding to date, launched today with a former Google exec at the helm. The startup’s technology incorporates machine learning with computer-generated recommendations in what is being touted as a “major step up” from other static list-making apps.

In this age of Roku and Apple TV, viewers can choose what to watch via the apps they’ve downloaded. MightyTV curates those programs — shows, movies and YouTube videos — into one app without constantly switching between Amazon, HBO, Netflix or Hulu.

Among the features included on MightyTV are:

*  A Tinder-like interface that allows users to swipe through content, allowing the service to learn what you’d like to watch
*  An organizer tool that lists content via price range
A discovery tool to see what friends are watching
*  Allows for group viewings and binge watching

 

From DSC:
What if your Apple TV could provide these sorts of functionalities for services and applications that are meant for K-12 education, higher education, and/or corporate training and development?

Instead of Amazon, HBO, Netflix or Hulu — what if the interface would present you with a series of learning modules, MOOCs, and/or courses from colleges and universities that had strong programs in the area(s) that you wanted to learn about?

That is, what if a tvOS-based system could learn more about you and what you are trying to learn about? It could draw upon IBM Watson-like functionality to provide you with a constantly morphing, up-to-date recommendation list of modules that you should look at.  Think microlearning. Reinventing oneself. Responding to the exponential pace of change. Pursuing one’s passions. More choice/more control. Lifelong learning. Staying relevant. Surviving.

…all from a convenient, accessible room in your home…your living room.

A cloud-based marketplace…matching learners with providers.

Now tie those concepts in with where LinkedIn.com and Lynda.com are going and how people will get jobs in the future.

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

 

BlueJeans Unveils Enterprise Video Cloud as Businesses Hang Up on Audio-Only Communications
Global Enterprises Adopt Video as a First-Line Communications Strategy

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

April 12, 2016 — Mountain View, CA—BlueJeans Network, the global leader in cloud-based video communication services, today unveiled the Enterprise Video Cloud, a comprehensive platform built for today’s globally distributed, modern workforce with video communications at the core. New global research shows that 85% of employees are already using video in the workplace and 72% believe that video will transform the way they communicate at work.

“There is a transformation happening among business today – face-to-face video is quickly rising as the preferred communications medium, offering new opportunities for deeper personal relations and outreach, as well as for improved internal and external collaboration,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of BlueJeans. “Once people experience the power of video, they ‘hang-up’ on traditional conference calling. We are seeing this happen with the emergence of video cultures that power the most innovative cultures—from Facebook and Netflix to Viacom and Del Monte.”

 

From DSC:
I wonder if we’ll see video communication vendors such as BlueJeans or The Video Call Center merge with vendors like Bluescape, Mezzanine, or T1V with their collaboration tools. If so, some serious collaboration could all happen…again, right from within your living room!

 

 

From DSC:
Hmm…I wonder how job seekers and job providers could benefit if IBM Watson were to team up with LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com? And/or for those freelancers who are seeking to work on new projects with those organizations who have projects to be completed…?

I’m thinking Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based job exchanges/marketplaces, with the engines constantly churning away through — and making sense of — enormous amounts of data in order to find people just the right job for them.

For example, someone in Texas wants to work part time in special education and their LinkedIn.com profile shows that they have x, y, and z as their credentials and that they have taken a, b, c, d, and e courses (which the person could also find on the “marketplace section” as having been necessary in that state).  They are looking for 20 hours a week and, as they live in San Antonio, they need something in or near that city.

Would this collaboration bring something that other current job exchanges don’t?  I’m not sure, as I don’t know how much data mining is occurring with them. But the scale of the two companies — along with the technologies and the strategies that they are pursuing — could present some interesting affordances.

 

 

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

economicgraph-linkedin-feb2016

 

 

This idea of the need for such a marketplace/mechanism takes on all the more importance if it’s true that we are living in a post-jobs economy and that getting new project-related work is key in putting bread and butter on the table.

Without having looked at this very much, it appears that LinkedIn.com has already been pursuing this type of goal/vision, as seen with the work they are doing involving The Economic Graph.

See:

 

 

 

 

The promise of the blockchain |The trust machine — from economist.com
The technology behind bitcoin could transform how the economy works

 

TrustMachine-Oct2015

Excerpt:

The blockchain food chain
To understand the power of blockchain systems, and the things they can do, it is important to distinguish between three things that are commonly muddled up, namely the bitcoin currency, the specific blockchain that underpins it and the idea of blockchains in general. A helpful analogy is with Napster, the pioneering but illegal “peer-to-peer” file-sharing service that went on line in 1999, providing free access to millions of music tracks. Napster itself was swiftly shut down, but it inspired a host of other peer-to-peer services. Many of these were also used for pirating music and films. Yet despite its dubious origins, peer-to-peer technology found legitimate uses, powering internet startups such as Skype (for telephony) and Spotify (for music streaming)—and also, as it happens, bitcoin.

The blockchain is an even more potent technology. In essence it is a shared, trusted, public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls. The participants in a blockchain system collectively keep the ledger up to date: it can be amended only according to strict rules and by general agreement. Bitcoin’s blockchain ledger prevents double-spending and keeps track of transactions continuously. It is what makes possible a currency without a central bank.

Bitcoin itself may never be more than a curiosity. However blockchains have a host of other uses because they meet the need for a trustworthy record, something vital for transactions of every sort. Dozens of startups now hope to capitalise on the blockchain technology, either by doing clever things with the bitcoin blockchain or by creating new blockchains of their own (see article).

 

 

 

Addendum on 11/1/15:

 

 

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