Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

Today’s New York Times published a piece by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi titled Gig Workers Deserve Better. They do deserve better, and some of his suggestions, like company-sponsored benefits, are spot on. He’s also right when he says that today’s employment laws are antiquated and were not designed for the world of today. But he also says that classifying gig workers as employees would rob them of flexibility; that’s Uber’s party line, but it’s simply not true.

Here’s a recap of the controversy. Uber, and most other gig companies, say that their workers are independent contractors, not employees. Labor law…


Is it a product deal or a technology deal?

So Amazon is acquiring Zoox, the developer of purpose-built self-driving taxis. What are they going to do with it?

Those familiar with the Design For Exit theory of M & A know that tech acquisitions happen for one of four reasons: team, technology, product, or channel. And that a product deal means the acquirer keeps the acquired company’s business model and offer to the customer more-or-less intact after the acquisition, while a technology deal means the acquirer embeds the acquired product into an existing or new offer.

Amazon hasn’t disclosed what…


Reports today say that Donald Trump will hold an Oklahoma campaign rally on June 19th, a little over a week from now, and that a large mask-free crowd is expected.

This is, objectively, great news. Whatever your political persuasion – red, blue, purple, or none of the above – you should be happy this rally is happening in the way that it is. Why? Because science.

The fact is, no one actually knows how many Covid cases will be caused by a mass gathering of this sort. There are estimates, but they come with wide confidence intervals – meaning that…


Coronavirus and its associated shutdowns are hitting hospitality businesses hard. Restaurants, in particular, are often small, family-owned businesses with modest profits and minimal cash reserves. Many are now forcibly closed, and those that are open are doing a fraction of their regular business.

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of restaurant owners impacted by coronavirus, you’re thinking: how do I survive this crisis?

Your main costs are labor, food, and rent. You’re not paying for food that you don’t order. You may or may not be paying workers — if you can afford to, I certainly hope you…


Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

California’s #AB5 independent-contractor law goes into effect today. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of FUD and misinformation floating around about the law; even the usually excellent New York Times published a story yesterday full of incorrect assertions. I’d like to set the record straight by dispelling five of the most common myths about AB5.

Myth #1: Freelancers can’t work flexibly any more.

This is the biggest fear that freelancers have about AB5, and it’s just not true. You can still work lots of short gigs, or a few longer gigs. You can work for one company or many companies. …


Both of our major parties in the US have nominated candidates with extraordinarily high unfavorable ratings. Lots of reasons have been put forward, but no one seems to be discussing the root cause, which is the presidential primary system itself. Primaries are not the only way to select party candidates, and they’re almost certainly not the best way.

In fact, while the idea of a primary is put forward as “democratic,” our country and our democracy would be better served if the “parties” — meaning, in practice, a fairly small leadership group within each party — selected presidential nominees.

“But…

Spencer Greene

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