GigCompare is joining Driver’s Seat Cooperative
The journey so far, and what’s coming next…
The idea for GigCompare.com came about roughly a year ago in March 2020. I’d been studying the gig economy for a while, particularly the ways in which the workforce is treated and often manipulated to work for less than minimum wage. The pandemic was in its first wave, and the vulnerability of the gig workforce was made ever more clear.
When I left my job at Google, the plan was to try to do something about it. At the time, I wasn’t sure how, and GigCompare was the first step in what I’d hoped would be a series of products and tools designed to help gig workers better understand how they are being paid. The core premise was that “knowledge is power,” and that transparency would lead to demand for change.
Over various iterations developed last year, the site became better and faster at answering questions gig workers have like “how much am I earning per hour after expenses?” “How are pay rates changing over time?” Or “which app is paying the most in my city?”
Answering those questions requires crowd-sourcing pay data from hundreds of gig workers and making it easy to understand and use the aggregated information.
As GigCompare gathered this pay data, more challenging questions emerged:
- Who should own the data generated by workers?
- How should it be used?
- Assuming this data has value (it does) who should benefit from that value?
I wasn’t sure how GigCompare would answer these questions, but I wanted to find a way that would put gig workers first.
If you look around the gig economy world today, there are plenty of third-party apps, sites and services that have their own answers to these questions, and I found most answers unsatisfactory.
However, there’s one company that stands out.
Driver’s Seat Cooperative was founded on the premise that gig workers own the data they create, and that they should be the prime beneficiaries of it. Their co-op model puts workers in control of their data and even gives them control over the company itself.
Rideshare and delivery drivers use the Driver’s Seat app to analyze their own work data, allowing them to determine the most productive places and times to work, see which apps generate the most income for them, and keep an independent record of their earnings and hours for tax and benefits purposes.
When I met Hays and Matt last summer, we quickly realized that we were working towards similar goals and wanted to find ways to collaborate.
Over time, it became clear to me that the best way to find success would be together, and I’m excited to share that GigCompare will be joining Drivers Seat.
Over the coming months we’ll be working to combine our efforts on our shared goals and bring our vision of a more transparent and equitable gig economy closer to reality.
I’m grateful to be a part of it.
-Charlie, Founder, GigCompare.com