1099 Weekly: Will your next ambulance be an Uber?

This is your weekly dose of everything 1099 related. Sign up here to keep receiving the inside scoop on industry updates every Tuesday. 

Being a worker, investor, or company in the 1099 economy is a decision to place oneself at the epicenter of innovation. The marketplace itself seems to be moving faster than its cogs – regulators, investors, and even (sometimes) the workers and companies. In this era of the repetitive, negative news cycle, the 1099 economy has become a beacon of contrast. Whether or not you can keep up with the constant change, you can’t argue with the creativity coming from the gig economy. Here are the innovative highlights that occurred just this week. 

Innovative Business Models

Uber ... for women? Start-ups hope to match female passengers with female drivers (6 min)
Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times
Some women feel unsafe as Uber passengers (although statistics would disagree). Women’s ridesharing services have been tried in the past and failed, but perhaps LA can give the all-women’s car club the gas it needs. 

A New Wrinkle in the Gig Economy: Workers Get Most of the Money (5 min)
Amy Cortese, New York Times
When the founders of iStock sold their company to Getty Images, they noticed an immediate exploitation of their photographers. So they fought back with Stocksy, a platform that pays photographers 50-75% of sales (compared to 15-45%) and gives each one a share of the company with voting rights. 

Driven by Innovation

General Motors Will Launch Its First Fully Autonomous Car Through Lyft (3 min)
Sebastian Toma, AutoEvolution
A self-driving, fully-electric Lyft pickup could be a reality sooner than we imagined. Spooky. 

Uber will use high-res satellite imagery to improve pickups (3 min)
Steve Dent, Engadget
Yep. Assume everything is visible from space. Uber plans to use new imagery to identify passengers and improve pick-up/drop-off efficiency. 

Innovating Emergency Response

Washington D.C. May Soon be Sending 911 Callers an Uber (3 min)
Ian Mount, Fortune
Low-level emergency callers may soon be directed to an Uber waiting at their doorstep.

Why I Used Uber Instead of an Ambulance (5 min)
Chandra Steele, PC Magazine
Lacking a quick and affordable option (i.e. not an ambulance) for non life-threatening transport to the hospital, this New Yorker turned to Uber.

Innovation: By the Numbers

Uber Hits 2 Billion Rides As Growth in China Soars (2 min)
Davey Alva, Wired
It took Uber 5 years to log its first billion rides, and only six more months to get its next billion. Can it keep it up? Growth in China will almost certainly be the linchpin.

Study: The Serious Environmental Potential of Car-Sharing (3 min)
Katy Steinmetz, Time
Good news for ridesharing companies – a new study by Car2go found that for every shared car the company puts on the road, up to 11 are taken off.

Until next time, have a great week. 


title image by Flickr user by swang168