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What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy
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What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the “old order”—and they’ve succeeded in effecting the “biggest change in the American workforce in over a century,” according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

But this new wave of
Paperback, First, 212 pages
Published February 11th 2016 by OR Books (first published November 19th 2015)
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May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic
I've travelled around the US staying in people's spare Airbnb rooms, I've booked awesome Airbnb places across Australia, and I'll soon be staying in Airbnb apartments across Europe. I've used Uber often, and found it far superior to the often rude and grumpy taxi services available in Melbourne.

In saying that, I'm not blind to the problems Airbnb can cause, and in all honesty, I wouldn't want to live next door to an apartment being hired through them. I'm also aware of Uber's shady business mode
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I started this book wondering why one would even try to complain about companies like Uber and Airbnb, if all they do is connecting people to create a more sustainable and intelligent use of resources.
I finished this book realizing that all this time I've been believing propaganda, and that the economic interests behind these organizations are much deeper and darker than I thought.

My only wish was that the open-data section was more linked to the others and that each thesis was more structured,
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, nonfiction
This book is not against sharing; however it is against giant corporations evading laws and public safety by claiming to not actually be companies. Which seems to be what AirBnb, Uber and their lot have become, if you actually look at how they operate and their revenune and not the rhetoric.

"Many successful open movements grow in a consistent pattern. The movement starts by appealing to egalitarian ideals, and relies on claims that openness can redress the balance with powerful institutions... A
Dora Okeyo
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I am not an Economist but I am involved in economy more often as a consumer and sometimes a producer. I am in awe of how the author breaks down "sharing economy" and how he uses examples of innovations that are well known like Uber and AirBnB.
It is true that the sharing economy does appeal to ideals like equality, the essence of community and sustainability and it is also true that these companies or stakeholders use the same ideals to make massive private fortunes and we ought to question all t
jasmine sun
kind of overviewy/obvious, wish it was more rigorous and less anecdotal
Julie Hudson
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The author makes a very good argument against the sharing economy and it certainly made me think again about my views of AirBnB and Uber and they way they can bypass legislation that is usually there to protect us. It's a shame that great sounding 'sharing' businesses become targets for investors who see them as an opportunity for making more money and thereby destroy the ethos and values of the original business. I got a bit bored through the last two chapters on open software. ...more
Terry Freedman
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
It used to be quite common for people to draw a distinction between the online world and what they called “the real world”. Indeed, judging by the way some people put just about every aspect of their private lives on social media, not everyone understands even today that that distinction is a false one.

If you harbour any doubts about this, consider the so-called “sharing economy”. Armed with just a smartphone and a few well-chosen apps, you can arrange to have your home cleaned, a meal delivered
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Here is a book that looks under the covers at what the "Sharing Economy" is and how it is causing undermining regulated businesses. This isn't a happy picture. The original ideals of sharing have been subverted by for-profit businesses. What used to be fair and for extra cash is now full time (or more) employment for those doing the work. The companies involved don't really care, that is what is most evident from the first sources. Everything is on the shoulders of either the service provider (i ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First 100 pages - 4.5 stars
Last 100 pages - 1 star

The author has a very progressive worldview (anti-corporation, pro-regulation, sees racial & other forms of discrimination everywhere). However, he also has a sharp mind and good research. The first 100 pages contain business case studies of major "sharing economy" businesses. I found it fascinating to read, even if I disagreed with his resulting conclusions. It is a joy to connect with another intellectually mind trained.

The second half of the
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ethics
Must read for technology advocates

Unless you're not planning to live in the society that "sharing economy" platforms are creating (spoiler: they don't really give you a choice) you should know their moral limits from implementational shortcomings - something Mr. Slee is very concisely pointing out in this book.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I didn’t need to read What’s Yours is Mine, Against the Sharing Economy.  I felt instinctively that AirBnB and Uber were a bad idea, and I’ve never used them.  But lots of people do – and it turns out that I have unwittingly been a participant contributing content to a sharing business (i.e. Goodreads).  These disruptive business models are now global, and spawning offspring of all kinds.  Tom Slee tackles the phenomenon and exposes it for what it is.
In the preface, which updates devel
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this a thought-provoking and enlightening book. Like almost everyone, I've heard the stories about the "sharing" and "community" aspects of AirBnB, Uber, and, yes, Goodreads. But I'd never really critically considered whether these stories correspond to the reality. Tom Slee examines various aspects of the "sharing economy" and uncovers that the truth is often less romantic than the official verbiage. For instance, I had not realized that home owners are squeezing out their renters becau ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This critique of the sharing economy goes beyond that to examine some of the general hope and hype surrounding the general embrace ethos of open/free technology projects. The warnings about Uber, Lyft, AirBnB and the ilk are superficially a bit dated now that the gee-whiz era is over, but there is some deeper commentary.

The history of Linux, which went from being freely worked on to volunteers to "free" (in the FSF parlance) but dominated by paid developers who work for major companies was a lit
Willy Marz Thiessam
Slee has written a well researched book. This author details the nature of the "sharing" economy such as UBER and Air BNB, pointing out quite clearly this "sharing" is nothing more than transferring the liabilities, risks and corporate obligations on to the working poor and local communities. Slee describes the new economy where companies that are organizing people "share" resources such as accommodation or transportation. In other words they exploit ruthlessly property that does not belong to t ...more
Paul Richardson
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Those Who Believe the Sharing Economy Merits Further Scrutiny

I have to admit that my dislike of Uber came initially from the “God” feature in their platform and how it was used to stalk a female reporter. Beyond that, as the author documents in this book. Many of sharing economy companies trade on their utopian flavored marketing while still being veritable old school corporations. Well worth the read.
georgia bookblast
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Technologist Tom Slee argues that the so-called sharing economy damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make fortunes by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.

Reviewed on The BookBlast® Diary 2017
Anjar Priandoyo
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
I like this book, mainly because the tone that he used is that sharing economy is bad. Therefore the book is a sharp critic on sharing economy. Basically, technology is not a solution to a social problem, especially as complicated as a taxi (transport) or housing
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely not my normal type of book to read. I found this book very interesting with both sides of the discussion to do with Sharing Economy. I have never used AirBNB or Uber and I may never will. This was a hard read for me but an interesting one nevertheless.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and well researched discussion of the "sharing" economy. Contrasts the way that Uber and others portray what they are doing with their actual behavior and impact on people.
John Millard
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
“A common thread of these initiatives, many of which are linked to successful technology entrepreneurs, is that they insist entrepreneurship (rather than, for example, service) is the right way to solve social problems. They believe profit and social good can not only coexist, but can benefit each other so long as the motivations of those in charge are pure”. I can hear Billy Ray Valentine saying to Mr Uber and Mr Airbnb “Sounds like you guys are a couple of pimps.” First there were austerity me ...more
Elizabeth Burton
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
I’ll preface this with the caveat that I have a personal connection with the transportation industry—my husband has driven a licensed cab for 35 years or so. However, while I do see Uber and Lyft as a threat to our way of earning a living, my understanding of how the taxi industry works is what made the gaping holes in the “sharing economy” clear when I first came in contact with it. I will also note that, in presenting the alternate side of the discussion on several websites where the unquestio ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant counter point to the constant narrative that is fed by mainstream and tech media and Ayn Rand fans about sharing economy that it is disrupting the old ways of doing businesses which the author points out is a facade and underneath it all, they are just conventional for profit businesses (no sharing) mainly to serve the well off... recommended
Matthew Maclean
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent tonic against the sharing economy hype, and a peek at parts of the business model that don't square so well with the warm and fuzzy marketing rhetoric. For the most part, very well argued, supported with good footnotes and data, and delivered in an even-handed manner. The best chapter in my opinion is the one covering "self-regulation" through rating systems, where he absolutely destroys common claims and shows how such systems function to keep service providers in line.

As many others
Justin Liew
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book delves into the undercurrent of the Sharing Economy. It looks at the downsides of Uber, AirBnB, and other companies and initiatives that seek to upend existing industries. On the surface, they present themselves as the alternative to the oppressive industries they seek to replace, with environmental, social and community benefits. These are laudable goals. However, as the author shows with many of these types of ventures, they start small, but when they scale and when money gets involv ...more
Rufo Quintavalle
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've always been suspicious of the term "sharing economy". If it is really about sharing then why does it seem to be making the haves richer (those who own flats they don't live in or stuff they don't use) and the have-a-lots (the VC firms who own the companies) very rich indeed. Slee provides argument and evidence to go with my hunch. The book wanders a bit towards the end (the chapter on the commons doesn't seem as tightly argued or well researched as the earlier chapters) and at times could b ...more
Ernst Hafen
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Tom Slee takes a close and well documented look at the so-called Sharing Economy. He shows how the initial sharing idea has been subverted by a hard core Silicon Valley venture capital winner-take-it-all strategy. In the case of its most prominent companies, Airbnb and Uber, over 1 bn investments dictate the rules of the new came; externalizations of risks while focusing on world dominance. At its wake are the workers and the city areas that developed their character as commons. It is an importa ...more
Anandh Sundar
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book made me think about the drawbacks of the sharing economy. Some interesting points

Separation of risk(spread between customers and service providers) from reward(to platform)
Privileged consumption-lifestyle as a service
Intimacy scaled up is no longer intimacy(reputation as a service-Tinder Premium/Amazon reviews)
Profiting from emergencies is price gouing as that demand a community response
Web 2.0 digital commons are tended by a community but owned by a single entity-often these are built
Cheng Nie
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tom Slee provides a very different perspective of the sharing economy that everyone else praising. I really appreciate that he critically compare the story of sharing economy companies with that of Animal Farm.

I don't agree with his critics about Linux systems though. He is concerned that the support from for-profit organizations would distort the original goal of Linux. However, to me, there are so many different distributions of Linux OS that you can choose. By and large, Linux is still a ope
August Bourré
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenally well-researched, both in terms of original research and surveys of existing work, extremely well-argued, and written in a clear, engaging voice.

An absolute must for anyone interested in the Sharing Economy.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, kindle
Very eloquently argues a lot of vague thoughts I'd had about the 'Sharing Economy' - basically that it's a backdoor method of deregulation on a massive scale. Reading this and Rise of the Robots back to back was probably not the best idea in terms of keeping positivity high for the future of work. ...more
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Tom Slee writes about technology, politics, and economics and in the last two years has become a leading critic of the sharing economy. He has a PhD in theoretical chemistry, a long career in the software industry, and his book No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart is a game-theoretical investigation of individual choice that has been used in university economics, philosophy and sociology courses. He ...more

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