Up and Go

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= "Up & Go offers professional home services like house cleaning, (and soon childcare and dog walking) by those who are looking for assistance with laborers from local worker-owned cooperatives". [1]

URL = http://www.upandgo.coop/

"Unlike extractive home-services platforms which take up to 30% of workers’ income, Up & Go charges only the 5% it needs to maintain the platform."

Discussion

Clive Thompson:

"One of these apps is Up & Go, which lets you order house-cleaning services in New York City. The cleaners are trained professionals—many of them Latin American immigrants, who formed worker-run cooperatives long before they ever started thinking about an app. That was a crucial part of what made Up & Go possible: The workers were already organized.

Best of all, they would own their own code, with no Silicon Valley “disrupter” skimming profits off the top.

“They know each other,” says Sylvia Morse, of Brooklyn's Center for Family Life, a group that began helping co-ops establish themselves in the mid-2000s. For instance, Up & Go's workers hold monthly meetings to hash stuff out.

Back in 2016, with the help of Morse and Robin Hood, a local nonprofit, they decided to set up their own local, grassroots rival to Handy, the venture-funded (and sometimes worker-maligned) “Uber of household chores.” The idea had tons of upsides: A digital booking interface would make it easier for customers to engage the service, and it would allow workers to market themselves more easily on social networks.

Best of all, though, they would own their own code, with no Silicon Valley “disrupter” skimming profits off the top. “Any decisions on how the tech will be used is up to them,” Morse tells me.

In practice, that means more money goes to the people who actually put in the elbow grease. When customers use Up & Go to hire a house cleaner, only 5 percent goes to the app (3 percent for transaction costs and a wee 2 percent for business costs like running Up & Go's servers and development). There's no venture capitalist demanding hockey-stick growth or profits. “Investors are nowhere at the table,” says Danny Spitzberg, who worked for a year and a half at CoLab, a digital agency, on Up & Go. The house cleaners make an average $22.25 per hour, about $5 more than the area average.

It also means the cleaners of Up & Go have been able to avoid the Lyft trap. When deciding how to design their app's user interface, they opted not to give users the ability to rate individual workers. A customer can certainly rate the overall quality of Up & Go's service, but they can't drill down to a single person. Two years in, Up & Go is thriving." (https://www.wired.com/story/when-workers-control-gig-economy/)

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