Next Economy Notes

Nick Hanauer:

There are positive feedback loops between customers and businesses that creates jobs

impoverishing workers can't work out

reasonable distributions of wealth generate far more economic dynamism than unequal ones

Tim O'Reilly:

so why aren't you a communist?

Nick Hanauer:

when I talk about inequality, I am not arguing for equality, but a productive amount of inequality

people will be angry now and riotous if things get work. this isn't communism, this is common sense

the people most in favour of less inequality are capitalists like me

Tim O'Reilly:

is the fear of innovation technology and robots founded in reality

Nick Hanauer:

what matters is not accumulation of money in society but accumulation of solutions to problems

all technological innovation brings disruption wiht it, and the cooler the innovation the bigger the disruption

you must match the rate of technological innovation wiht equal amounts of civic innovation

Tim O'Reilly:

when you say civic innovation you don't mean it's governments job to fix, but the we need to take civics seriously

Nick Hanauer:

all civilisation depends on solving collective action problems

should we hack our way through the woods with machetes or should we have roads?

Tim O'Reilly:

it seems you are making a call to self-interest to your fellow plutocrats - the pitchforks are coming

you also want to get policy innovation going on minimum wage in one city and see it spread

Nick Hanauer:

we are trying to change the frame of the debate around civic policy nationally

the $15 minimum wage sounded crazy and outlandish when we started talking about it

Seattle now pays tipped workers 500% more than the federal minimum, and now has the best restaurants bar SF

when you pay restaurant workers well enough to eat in restaurants, the whole economy improves

I grew up in a family business that felt we had a social responsibility to the community

economics is the way communities instantiate their social and moral prejudices about power

we need to acknowledge that institutions are yielding to networks and plan for that to happen


people believe that CEOs and companies drive the economy

Nick Hanauer:

Trump said "our wages are to high" but he didn't mean himself. He believes his high wage is good for economy

if you say to poor people hanging on by their fingernails "if govt make me raise wages I'll fire you…"

it's a triple threat "if you force us to pay our workers fairly we will fire them"

Tim O'Reilly:

there is a myth of a set of standardised skills and standardised credentials - we're reinventing that

how do we build and education to jobs pipeline that is built for the networked era?

Reid wrote a fantastic article on self driving cars

Reid Hoffman:

people want to make the most effective investment of their own capital in employment

what ameks entrepreneurs succesful is networks of investors, employees talant

Zoe Baird:

there is a profound transformation of our economy from digitisation and globalisation

we built institutions to serve the industrial age, we need to do it for the digital age

Nick Hanauer:

trickle down economics is an intimidation tactic masquerading as an economic theory

Reid Hoffman:

I wrote a piece on disrupting education - they key thing is to have ongoing learning while working

employers need to recognise more micro certifications from these kinds of ongoing education

Zoe Baird:

for decades we've been telling americans that they need a college degree to succeed but 70% don't have them

we need to create a new kind of robust labour market for middle skilled employees

Reid Hoffman:

we're tryign this out in one city with te assumption we can scale this to multiple cities

Tim O'Reilly:

there is an interesting question of signalling - is there a skills mismatch or is the signalling bad?

Zoe Baird:

it's changing for people in this room, but not more for the middle skilled

an undergraduate in CS at Yale thought she had to take coding bootcamp to get a job

people don't have a clue what to tell their kids to study, and how to show their skills when done

we have $1Trillion in college debt, yet many of those people are on low-wage low skill jobs

Tim O'Reilly:

we're cracking down on private schools that are feeding on this debt system, what else?

Reid Hoffman:

we need to get employers to recognise which of these certifications provide the right signalling for their work

Zoe Baird:

there is a need for some of the funding that goes inot college loans to go into apprenticeships as well

Kimberley Bryant:

if you teach one girl, she will naturally turn around and teach 5,6 or 10 more

we started Black Girls Code in a basement with a few people, only one of whom could code

when I looked in the rooms of conferences and meetup events, I didn't see anyone who looked like me

when we brought the girls in they were inspired by the design thinking and brought their friends and parents

our programme grew from the basement into an international organisation with 10 in the US, 1 in South Africa

I found 45 places from Sydney Australia to a small town in Alabama who were looking for opportunites

African American women achieve only 3% of CS degrees; Latinas 1%, Native Americans <1%

more than 45% of African American Girls are not graduating from high school at all, and graduate slowest

one fo the things that we found was that the girls brought their moms to classrooms too

the training became exponential as the girls trained their peers and mothers to code as well

Rebecca only came to our class because her father made her, but she flourished and excelled

Ida was on a school computer and told the teacher she was showing girls how to make a website

the teacher then set Ida up with an after school programme at her school to teach the girls

what I see when I look at these examples is that girls are natural change agents

I believe the work we are doing with Black Girls code is more than coding - it changes perception too

Girls of colour receive greater punitive and zero tolerance policies, and end in the school to prison pipeline

we need only turn on our TV to see a 250lb officer sitting on a black girl at a pool party

images showing black girls coding, building robots challenge the media portrayal of black girls

I started as a mom who was interested in technology

my job as a mom and as the founder of Black Girls Code is to not let these girls fail

a girl wore her "black girls code" shirt to school. Teacher: "why black girls?" 'Because black girls matter'

Tim O'Reilly:

Stephane Kasriel's upwork is an online marketplace for freelance work

Stephane Kasriel:

we want to connect companies with talent wherever they are, for knowledge work

about half of our business is software development, web design etc

the other half is knowledge work like content marketing, graphic design, anything that can be done remotely

we do about $1B/year in 80 different categories

one of the most recnt developments is that many of the fortune 500 companies are starting to use this

our biggest client has more than 10,000 freelancers working for them

Tim O'Reilly:

you use a lot of freelancers yourself to build upwork?

Stephane Kasriel:

you have to dogfood we have about 250 employees and 700 freelancers

Tim O'Reilly:

so you're also an example of a distributed workforce.

How do you think about the workers on your platform - what do you do for them?

Stephane Kasriel:

if you look at frictions in the labour market today, 1% of global GDP is lost to supply/demand mismatch

what are the main sources of inefficiency in labour: location is one- we have great engineers in Louisiana

the jobs are over-concentrated in cites that are too expensive to live in

the next thing is trust - hiring is about trust, I need to know the employee is trustworthy

as the duration of jobs keeps going down, trust becomes more and more important

we provide a reputation system that helps build trust quickly for short term work

the 3rd thing is matching jobs with workers

one of the most complex parts is matching as quickly as possible - hiring takes 4 weeks; we manage in 2 days

who is qualified? who will be interested? are they available now?

how do you try to direct the flow to get the optimum match between open jobs and available free lancers

we want to reduce the amount of time people spend writing job descriptions and long cover letters

the overarching story is that the resume is dead. The half life of a skill is trending down

what is it that you know and what are you interested in doing are key

an established freelancer who has done hundreds, thousands of hours on a platform we don't need to assess

for an established freelancer I can tell them what they are good at - which PHP frameworks etc

clients tend to hire people with lots of feedback; we need to nudge them to consider new people

you need to get a nanojob and a nanodegree and a few more nanodegrees and jobs

Steven Levy:

does anyone find it disturbing that the guy in charge of hiring at google leads for kills in assassins creed?

Laszlo Bock:

It's like House of Cards there

Steven Levy:

I dis book about google and was impressed with google getting evreryone's GPAs and only hire from good schools

Larry Page would vet every single candidate

Laszlo Bock:

when you are a small company it is efficient to only go to a few places. we changed that

we looked at how people actually perfrom compared to where they went to school, and found no relationship

there is a smalla dvantag 2 yeras in, but no difference after 5 years or so, so we stopped looking at schools

Steven Levy:

so it wasn't so much a prejudice but a shortcut?

Laszlo Bock:

the most predictive thing is a work function test - get them to do the work

the next thing is structured testing and structured questions, whcih predicts better

by doing this we hired a more diverse group of people by assessing more directly like this

Steven Levy:

google broke new ground by setting very high standards and interviewing for ages

Laszlo Bock:

we found more than 4 interviews didn't make a difference to performance so we cut them down

Steven Levy:

when we say everyone hs to be an A player,we are missing out a lot of good people

Laszlo Bock:

we looked for people who weren't the superstars but made other people work better and found them

Steven Levy:

google was among the first to release a diversity report on gender and ethnicity. you really fell short

Laszlo Bock:

we put eh data out there to have an honest conversation and to show that we had to improve

this also makes hold ourselves accountable. we improved the representation of women by 1% last year

1 of our engineers went to Howard university for 6 months and improved their CS degree, now we hire from there

we have a small improvement, but we need to do more

we considered hiring al the diverse people from other tech companies, but decide that wasn't right

Steven Levy:

why don't you include age in your published data?

Laszlo Bock:

we look at age, we look at veterans, we also look at neurodiversity

we built all this unconscious bias training; we wanted to check that we made improvements before sharing

everyone knows what good management looks like, but it sucks because it is boring to do

we surveyed each employee to rate managers on these obvious skills every 6 months, and saw improvevement

a lot of management stuff is boring gruntwork, but you can solve it with a checklist

Steven Levy:

is there a project in google for self driving managers?

Laszlo Bock:

I can't disclose that


do we have a shortage of tech workers?

Laszlo Bock:

we look for a broad background and deep knowledge of one area

we're not great at assessing people but we do focus on the wrong things


how do you capture creativity?

Laszlo Bock:

we do very little testing we do structured interview questions

we take all the answers to thr structured questions and have independent blind review

job descriptions are terrible - when superstars switch companies they revert to mean

Satya Nadella:

Imagine writing a memo that accurately conveyed emotion as well as meaning

Tim O'Reilly:

is speech becoming a first class interface at microsoft?

Satya Nadella:

first we had the PC operating system, then the browser, an agent is the 3rd runtime

the agent is the new app model - what if you can transcend the apps and speech becomes the new ui

you can do complex tasks that span applications - it's like browsing the web and browsing the app ecosystem

with Cortana, Siri, google now and Alexa there are lots of version of this model

it isn't just speech, sometimes it is just text - a bot interface between an app and an agent frontend

Tim O'Reilly:

there is a lot of platform infrastructure to do this AI right - location is key

to say 'next time i am at whole foods remind me to buy currants' - how do we make that platform available?

Satya Nadella:

the shopping cart example is a good one- you could build apps that plug into events that the agent triggers

the agent shoudl work to surface your ui whenever it is relevant

Tim O'Reilly:

there si a lot of data science in the next generation logistics apps are you going to make a platform for that

Satya Nadella:

are you directing attention via your UI or are you pluggin in their ui

if you come from advertising you are going to skew your agent towards suggesting apps

as we monetise differently it will define how we interact wiht the apps

statistical machine learning is changing every field and we have a role there as a platform company

what we did with Kinect and so on was put it into Azure as AzureML - we want to democratise it

Tim O'Reilly:

AzureML is democratising machine learning for lots of compnaies

Satya Nadella:

Thyssen Krupp is an elevator company that moved to being a SaaS company that maintains elevators using Azure

they decided to service other companies elevators too as hey had the teams in place

Tim O'Reilly:

how do we augment workers to make them more productive?

Satya Nadella:

productivity comes down to land, labour and capital - we want to drive those 3 factors of production

augmentation is the race wiht the machine - AI is inevitable, how do we design the human in the loops

the mahcine gets more leverage from capital, the human gets more leverage from the labour

eg Skype translate is for reducing transaction cost by crossing language boundaries

the notion of time matters - we need to apply our attention - the scarce commodity - more wisely

we have a product called Delve that analyses how you spend your time and helps you prioritise

how can Ai ultimately augment your productivity so you can get a higher return on your time

we see AR and VR as distinct - we're betting on AR

the dominant VR scenario next year will be PC based, for next year at least

we have built VR mirror worlds in the past, but if we can put objects back into the real world…

we put the NASA martian rovers in their office to review


A question about culture - what metaphors do we need for ordinary people to live with Big Data and AI?

Satya Nadella:

we debated Cortana - should we give this a personality, should it be someone you can relate to

we are now working on how Cortana will take on cultural attributes of the different parts of the world

there is a project called Xiaoice in china that is very close to Her

Brian Mullins:

DAQRI makes an augmented reality helmet that is the interface for the internet of things

we have created computer enhanced systems that can let workers see heat with thermal cameras

when the smart helmet identifies a piece fo equipment it will tell the worker what needs to be done

Augmented Reality is in use in Kazakhstan in a steel mill combining real time information with thermal imaging

the worker can just glance at the machine and see all the information they need to operate it

part of Uber's sucess is that ost of us know how to drive; in industrial space there is less transferable

what if you could put on a helmet and do any job? if we can empower them to solve problems by showing data

Hyperloop is another of our partners. here's a sneak peek of what they are doing with our helmet

the remote expert can see through the eyes of the worker and give them more information on the spot

this worker is using the smart helmet to see what is inside the container

Tim O'Reilly:

uber thinks it has a social mission. are you delusional? How do you persuade society?

David Plouffe:

when uber staretd their aims were quite modest - to get their friends around town in towncars

as Uber grew it showed that there was more available there

a big problem in govt was how do we get more income to more people

what we see with Uber we have a lot of people who drive part time just to augment their wages

Tim O'Reilly:

we had an uber driver who felt trapped as he had bought a car to work for uber and had to wrk full time

some are advantaged, some are disdvantaged

David Plouffe:

a lot fo the data around Uber and Lyfy is around what happens to the taxi market, and we aren't interested

50% of uber trips are one way - we are part of a multimodal system

10% of milennials are giving up cars and using Uber as part of that

when we talk to drivers who do this 40 hours a week desire flexibility as well as part time

a lot of drivers do this while looking for other kinds of work too

we have restricted the ability to make money by driving for decades

at the same time we have been forcing people into car ownership as taxis and transit are rare

Tim O'Reilly:

so in addition to taxi companies hating you you'll have car companies hating you

how much time do you spend thinking about the worker value proposition?

David Plouffe:

the number 1 reason people were trapped in poverty was the lack of access to transportation

if we can bring down the price of transportation to parts of town we can change economy

2/3 of our drivers vary their own schedule based on their own control

on-call scheduling has been a big problem, and we don't do that, drivers set schedules

when we last reported 14% of drivers were women; now it is over 20%

Tim O'Reilly:

what I'd love to see is more data released so we get beyond battling anecdotes and researchers can check things

how should uber be regulated?

David Plouffe:

services like uber aren't outlawed, most regulations are pre GPS and cellphone

in germnay you need to return to your base before picking up someone else

we have a lot of new laws on ride-sharing like Sydney and the Phillipines

in france 25% of our most recent drivers were unemployed, but it takes 240 hours fo training

Tim O'Reilly:

how much training is taken away by technology versus still required?

David Plouffe:

we lose 1.2 million people a year in traffic accidents; we think we can help safety

Eric Barajas:

As an uber driver I am not making as much money that you are saying

David Plouffe:

come and talk to our SF office and we can see what we can do

Eric Barajas:

There is no threat of deactivation if I speak up like this?

David Plouffe:

the rating system is for passenger safety, not for punishing people who speak out


there is a lot of debate between 1099 vs w2 - should there be a new class of labour?

David Plouffe:

we are confident that we will hold up independent contractors up in court

Lynda Chin :

you have been talking about augmenting human expertise

I have been in cancer genomics for a decade, and want to target cancer like a sniper not a carpet bomber

most oncologists were trained 20-30 yeras ago before this kind of genomics was possible so there is a gap

we are seeing a disparity of care that is significant enough to be a life versus death decision

what we want to do with technology is to capture the expertise so we can share it

how many in the audience have the sense that you don't want to go to a hospital in july when new doctors come in?

the system is Oncology Expert Advice that is a hybrid of human expertise and Watson inferences

we train Watson with the literature and the background knowledge and treat it like a new medical student

Watson reads the medical charts - not just the structured data but the free text notes too

it then compares the extracted records wiht the literature and makes recommendations, then the experts edit it

we are training the system to make predictions and have them corrected by our experts

Tim O'Reilly:

how far are we from having this deployed?

Lynda Chin :

not 2 years, more like 5 years before this is clinical use

our goal is to share the expertise of a specialist with a generalist

Lynda Chin:

The work with oncology made me realise that we could change how we think about healthcare to be like amazon

working on diabetes is about taking it outside the hospital and into mobile clinics and into the home

Zoe Baird:

if we're going to have income growth in a competitive market we are going to have to expand the jobs available

most new jobs come from entrepreneurs and small businesses - we need both policy and platforms

one is enabling small and medium sized businesses to reach world markets - look at Ali Baba in China

it is possible to export service businesses now with internet video and communication

there is a developing digital divide between small businesses and large businesses - Big Data for big biz

Tim O'Reilly:

you are mostly in agreement and working on the same approach that govt has a role addressing market failure

Zoe Baird:

Marco Rubio is making some fo the comments that we are making - these new economy ideas are not partisan

It is a matter of the government thinking of a digtal age agenda not an industrial agenda

Neera Tanden:

both parties are being concerned about economic inequality and shrinking middle class

it comes out in the immigration debate as well as the welfare debate

there is a lot of populist rhetoric on the republican side that responds to the inequality issue

Tim O'Reilly:

should we have more immigration or build a wall?

Neera Tanden:

I see immigration as a positive

Felicia Wong:

So do I, i think we can bring in a broad coalition fro immigration reform

Tim O'Reilly:

what about TPP?

Neera Tanden:

we're focused on trade as a positive thing - you can have trade deals that create upwards pressure on wages

people confuse globalization and trade - we don't have a bilateral deal wiht china

Felicia Wong:

it's not clear if this trade deal does what it promises or is it an alliance of global elites against people

Neera Tanden:

I am not a fan of negotiation behind closed doors but we shoudl judge the language directly

Tim O'Reilly:

new president is coming in a year from now with this huge income gap - how do we think of investment?

Neera Tanden:

the most important thing we can do is to reject fatalism - the trends are not fatal to us

other countries have found ways to face these trends and preserve their middle income families - learn from them

Zoe Baird:

before we even get to the president being elected, once we get to a 2 party discussion we will see the visions

the biggest challenge for this presidential election is to be talking about the future not ideas from the past

we're in a disaggreagated network world now and how we capitalise on that is what matters

Felicia Wong:

this is an incredibly exciting politcal moment; policy change is possible there are new ideas like Basic Income

Byron Auguste:

I'm goign to start with what is motivating me to opportunity at work

in 1950 Detroit was the richest city in america, with a broad middle class. in 1970 they could have good jobs

In 1970, my father saw an advert for a COBOL programming course and got a career as a programmer

that was 45 years ago, and my life has been very differnt becasue of it

45 years from now is 2060 and much will have changed by then, but its not robots that are the threat

employment is our most important market - the Labor Market is $8.5T compared to $280B for software

a year of inadvertant joblessness is as significant as losing a limb or a spouse

Amoral machinery and institutions set the agenda in the name of "efficiency"

the labor market has become a wildly inefficient 'efficiency' machine with crude clockwork rules

employers have made a 4 year college degree as a barrier, not a bridge


it's not milennial job hopping that is the problem, it is employers laying off far more than before

Prime aged men and women are dropping out of the labour market

low paid people barely cover the cost of their own employment so that dropping out makes sense

30-40M college goesr din't graduate; 15-20M caregivers who can't work 10-15M old workers need to reskill

Gallup estimates only 30% of Americans are engaged at work

$150-200 trillion is the rough estimate of human capital in the US - 4-5x the value of US corporate assets

we need to think about human capital as a universal asset - and how to optimise return on human capital

instead of Pedigree - degrees and work history, hire on Mastery - demostrated skill

Training needs to be accessible and asessable so anyone can use ot

techHire has an IT jobs focus opportunity@Work is a TechHire employer network

if you employ people sign up on

if you teach train or mento, use TechHire to match taining to demand

If you create new technologies work on rewiring the US Labour market

Lauren Smiley:

we're now looking at the presnt of work, people organising labour on the ground

Jess Kutch:

there was a barista in starbucks who had to wrok with long sleeves in the heat as SB had a ban on visible tattoos

what started with a few people at starbucks is now 25,000 people worldwide

employees are able to hold their employers accountable by sharing this worker knowledge

Michelle Miller:

right now it is hard for employees to share wiht other employees by gives them this

we want to creat the infrastructure for the new forms of workplace democracy for the 21st century

we want to do this in partnership with the employees and what they know from the frontline

I can't think of a better time to be working on this by putting workers at the centre of this

Lauren Smiley:

Liz Shuler has been working on reinventing the labor union for the future

Liz Shuler:

we think it is fantastic that workers are finding new ways to organise alongside labor unions

AFL-CIO has 13M workes ar all leves of the economy from actors to Nasa scientists and firefighters

we are seeing productivity go up and wages stagnate, and we need to work together to do that

you don't necessarily have as much leverage as traditional collective bargaining, but social campaigns can work too

the labour movement is about worker democracy and how to lift voices in today's economy

we have our central council in silicon valley working to help shuttle bus drivers and janitors

There is a fear of retaliation from management, as we heard from the Uber driver earlier

Lauren Smiley:

is it even possible to attempt to organise a union for on-demand workers?

Liz Shuler:

under labor laws it is impossibe to organise aunion for contract workers, but we are seeing people innovating

I like to think of the unions as the original disruptors - disrupting the gilded age

I can't leave as a labor person without a call to action text WTF to 235246 we are talking about how to help 1099

Lauren Smiley:

tell me about Universal Basic Income, Andy


I have spent all my life working on workers benefits; I became a union leader by accident

Andy Grove said they there are strategic inflection points; thats how we are for work and income now

something big needs to happen - Universal Basic Income is that thing

every year, every american 18 or older gets a check of $1000/month

this gives everyone the choices that the wealthy have now, to look after themselves, their family

giving money for education hasn't worked; directly giving money is simpler and clearer

Lauren Smiley:

there is a fight to raise the wage floor is this a cop out?


we already have a cop out with EITC and food stamps that Walmart uses to underpay its workers

we should not stop jobs being replaced by innovation or robots, just guard against the harm

Liz Shuler:

we're thinking about what the future is for an organisation of workers and we will work with other orgs

Joseph Smarr:

can you use UBI to replace more targetted programs? Is a lump sum better than a negative income tax?


the problem wiht a negative income tax is that is based on income

welfare programs end up with costly qualifications, look at the Alaska option

lets let people make choices, lets get them to choose how to spend their money to do the right thing

Laura Tyson:

I asked to moderate this session becsaue when I read Nick and Dave's piece I was blown away

the middle class is under attack - and a threat to the middle class is s threat to growth

David Rolf:

I'd like to imagine an alternative history of the election of 1976 where they had said we'll create wealth

imagine that we will create more wealth in the next 40 years than ever, but 90% will go to the top 1%

what nick and I promised in our june article was a secret conspiracy to replace the war on the middle class

with a new virtuous cycle that will grow the economy

Nick Hanauer:

if you understand the economy, growth is increasing amounts of diverse demand with increasing innovation

if we include people robustly in our economic system that it what creates success

there are no counterexamples to inclusive econbomy as success, exclusive as failure

the article described this

we need to switch to proration - work an hour for an hours worth of work

and the principle of portability - to move benefits with you not employer

Laura Tyson:

different societies handle different kinds of employment differently

what are the benfits we are talking about? it's not just in current benefits packages

David Rolf:

America is almost unique in how we assign responsibility to employers, creates incentives to avoid employment

the 1950 decision that put the obligations on employers created within a year the franchise system to avoid it

Nick Hanauer:

this leads to this crazy race to the bottom where Walmart employs a million workers at poverty wages

Walmart earns $27B each year, they could easily pay their employees far more

Laura Tyson:

those corporate profit growth came from a growth of productivity that was not passed through to them

David Rolf:

if a lawyer can figure out how to bill me on 6 minute increments it can be worked out how to get it right

Nick Hanauer:

this is a very surmountable problem

Laura Tyson:

what is the cost of doing this and who pays the cost - is this redistributon?

how much does it cost and who is going to pay?

Nick Hanauer:

it would be incorporated in the economy like any other change in costs

us corporations will spend $700B on stock buyback alone this year - we can not raise the price 1‹

Laura Tyson:

it's a distribution choice

one reason companies do share buybacks is so companies can finance debt not equity

if you rasie the price of labour you encourage employers to use less of it

David Rolf:

when congress proposed banning more than 8 hours a day of labour for children dept stores said would close

Nick Hanauer:

jobs will no more shrink when wages go up than animals will shrink when plants grow

the $15 minimum wage came from us as it is halfway between minimum wage tracking inflation and growth

Laura Tyson:

lets talk about basic income

David Rolf:

we need a basic income for everyone, we need high wages for work and to decouple benefits from employment

what we will remember 100 years from now is whether when the american dream was at risk did we stand up?


I've been obsessed with transportation for lots of years, since I was down in LA

for my first job between driving to school and to work in LA I was spending 3 hours a day in traffic

LA is a city built around cars not people, and all those cars with one person in could be shared

I then spent all of college wihout a car and worked out how to use public transportation

I ended up on th epublic transportation board and realised after 3 years I had accomplished nothing

public transit in the us is a dead end as only 30% of the fare pays for the trip, so there is no engine for growth

I took a trip through Southern Africa, and I was blown away with how quiet the streets were there

everyone walked or used combis, which were small bus routes built by individuals who had cars and spotted demand

so how do we bring this back to the US and build a transportation network that scales unlike public transit

here everyone has a car - families have multiple cars so there is a lot of supply

Tim O'Reilly:

you did pure peer to peer with zimride and then moved to on demand with Lyft


I think we can get close to the price of public transit

in the US we spend about $2 trillion a year on transportation and 95% of that is car ownership

poepl spend first on houseing, then on transportation then a distant 3rd is spent on food

Tim O'Reilly:

what is the endpoint if people do give up their cars?


it will be a mix - when it is a dense city it will tend to professional drivers doing end to end trips

most americans commute 12.5 miles to work each way every day and that id too expensive fro lyft now

what we want to do is match up the commuters with other possible trips

Tim O'Reilly:

the casual carpool lane on the bay bridge provides an incentive for this - we need more of that

how do we deal wiht the drivers doing this full time having a living wage


in 2014 us and uber were in a price war, and if we hadn't responded we would have had much fewer rides

as we made those moves we wanted to ensure that the full time drivers were ok

we gave a power driver bonus for those drivers doing more of the driving to help the people who counted on it

Tim O'Reilly:

you allow tipping in the app which uber does not

since I started doing this event my tipping habits have changed


the majority of users do not tip, but a substantial number do and it is material to the drivers

Tim O'Reilly:

you can make it friendlier to drivers by tipping more and making it so


at what point do you negotiate wiht drivers to help getting cheaper vehicles


as we get to scale we can do more there we partnered wiht Hertz to do a daily/weekly rental to drive for Lyft

we did a program with Shell to provide discounts on gasoline

we also announced expresspay where drivers need money to cashout same day once you hit $50


a lot of questions we have about inequality could be answered if we had access to the raw data you have on operations


we've been doing a few exciting partnerships recently

a substantial number of lyft rides start or end at transit stops - we are the last mile for public transit

the least profitable runs fro transit agencies are the empty buses that run around the hills and pick up people


what load factor you'd have to use if there was an employee determination?


a handful of things that are different between lyft and uber - tipping is in lyft, not in uber

uber has doen more to require dress code and vehicles and uniformity

we a;ways want lyft to be 'be yourself' as peers rather than drivers

we have not received state subsidies but we launched lyftline a year ago that is more like a transit line

the majority of our rides are now lyftline

there is scope for employer provided benefits here, which would be better than parking places

Steven Levy:

Chad Dickerson is the CEO of Etsy, which you all know

You were an English Major - you siad a liberal arts education was more important than science and maths

Chad Dickerson:

running a startup is like king lear - dividing up the kingdom is a bit like the cap table

liberal arts teach you how to communicate. we're not building software we are building experiences here

Steven Levy:

Small is beautiful is something that you embrace - you startwd with artisinal items

Chad Dickerson:

Schumachers Small Is Beutiful inspired me - it is a blueprint for an economy of many small decentralsied things

when I think about the web and Etsy, i thikn it helps us realise the human economy can be beautiful

the way that Etsy grows is by connecting more and more of these small things

1.6M sellers in nearly every country in the world $200M in 2014 last Q $65M

Etsy is based on shared success - Etsy takes 3.5% cut of sales on Etsy - the money largely goes to community

roughly 18% of sellers is that etsy is their full time job, but many value the flexibility of it not being

Steven Levy:

Is esty the post robot apocalypse?

Chad Dickerson:

Etsy is us taking over from the machines rather than vice versa - 3d printing is making inroads

Steven Levy:

when etsy began it was stuff amde by a single person then you allowed people working for them,

Chad Dickerson:

Etsy manufacturing is misunderstood. We noticed that many sellers were telling us that they would get a rush

they were feeling unwelcome on etsy because they needed help but can't fulfil it all themselves

it's a good thing when you get orders but it can be hard to keep up with demands

Alison made superhero capes, and got a lot of demand, ans he asked an apparel factory to help her make them

what we learned from etsy manufacturing for outside production that we vetted - about 5,000 do it

we find that most sellers use local manufacturers for growing their businesses

we are seeing individual sellers registering as manufacturing as well as older family businesses

Steven Levy:

at what point does the manufacturing project lose meaning?

Chad Dickerson:

our sellers, even when they want to scale they want to stay involved in production

my computer bag is scaled up by working with leather workers and craftmanship

it is a smaller more beautiful version of manufacturing

Steven Levy:

Amazon just launched 'hand made by amazon' does that compete?

Chad Dickerson:

we have been doing this for years - we really believe in it and it's not side project or a test

we have a concept called Etsy Teams who self organise to work together on projects

during the Greek crisis the Etsy team in Italy were asking to buy from the Etsy sellers in Greece

Etsy is a certified B Corp - using the power of business to create social good

The exciting thing about our business is that our whole business is based on shared success

Steven Levy:

when you are a B Corp what do you do differently?

Chad Dickerson:

a third party certifies us that we are meeting social goals as well as business ones

Danese Cooper:

I love etsy - I loved your videos that dignified the act of crafting, DO you plan more like that?

Chad Dickerson:

story telling and helping our sellers tell our stories is important too

we really care about the process of making, we can see that in the about pages

in etsy manufacturing you can see the people involved who our sellers are working together with

Danese Cooper:

I used to know a lot fo your technologists and I'm impressed with how you run that bit of the company too

Chad Dickerson:

I care about he 'code is craft' mantra that our tech team has adopted

Zeynep Ton:

I'm goign to talk about how to make low wage jobs better jobs without urting prices or profits

in 1913 Ford lowered the cost of production os the average americn could buy a car

but this system had a weakness - ebveryone was interchangeable parts

then Toyota by design created a human centred system empowering the employees to fix problems

Toyota showed the world that the outcome was higher productivity and better quality too

toyota became the gold standard and everyone copied them

Todat's mass production workers don't work in factories but in retail and food service

if you want to make an economy inclusive you ahve to make these jobs better jobs

I'm an operations managment professor and I started looking at retail supply chains to optimise inventory

we saw retail did a good job at planning but broke down at teh store level

we found goods were stuck in stores and retail tells were inaccurate

we found so many stores had operational problems with low staff and high staff turnover

what i saw was that retail was operating in a vicious cycle where labour was treated as as cost to minimise

then retailer underinvest in workers in wages, in training and in staffing

this vicious cycle is bad for the cutomers and the companies as well as the workers

Next i staretd working for companies that worked in excellence like mercadona in spain

mercadona's employee turnover is 3.8% - I coudln't believe this was so low

they provide training, schedules are known one month in advance and staff are happy

I ten mmoved to Alabama QuikTrip a chain wiht gasoline and convenience stores

QuikTrip has been in fortunes 100 best companies to work fro for years in a row

what si their secret? How do they get low prices, good jobs and great performance

I wanted it to be higher wages and benefits simply creating higher performance

what I found was that they were like Toyota the achieved excellence through human centred Opeating system

often you see people in retail whose only job is shelving merchandise

in mercadona they will shelve, order products, and open a till if needed - they are empowered to improve

they chose to give some slack in the system so employees can do more things

mercadona have only around 8000 prodcuts not the 40000 of a typical store

thsi system is better for employees and drives operational excellence too

for these to work, you need a qualified workforce, so they invest in people

right now there are too few operating Good Job Strategy - that si a way fro companies to compete better

this is not easy to pull off - excellence is harder to achieve than mediocrity

Worker groups: put pressure on companies that have a good jobs strategy

investors: ask companies for data on employee turnover, engagement and activism so they measure them

Patty Donovan of QuikTrip said "I work with 12-14 people, and they touch others so they can be happy and succesful"

Lauren Smiley:

Dan Teran founded Managed by Q in 2014 - an outsourced office manager

Palak Shah is the social innovations director for the national domestic workers alliance

Dan you built good jobs into operations at managed by Q

Dan Teran:

we employ hundreds of cleaners and handymen in NY chicago and SF

we started out outsourcing to other companies, but realised if we wanted the best employees, be the best emplotr

we implemented what Zeynep said in her book - cross-training is key

We had a handyman at IKEA in our uniform who created referrals by good behaviour

supply side referrals is the hardest part of scaling a business; by employing them and training we encourage this

we ask how people how likely they are to refer and get an NPS of 83

they tell us their abilities and where they want tow ork and their home address and we make empathetic schedules

there is an on demand aspect to the business but there is a massive recurring element which eases scheduling

we think about on demand as having enough slack in the system to support that on top of scheduled

we wanted to have super high employee retention, so we wanted people to eb abel to grow and develop in the company

there is path to progress from an operator to a mentor to a supervisor, and some become account managers or QA engs

whetehr you work in the office or the field, everyone is an operator, and everyone cleans, even engineers

this has huge results as the engineers have to actually use the operator app

the field operators seeing the office employees in the fields makes a difference

the base benefits offered to managers and software engineers are the same as for the operators too

every quarter after I present to the board I then present to the operator assembly too

a lot fo the handymen were lone wolves and then they come in the house and then become part of the team

Lauren Smiley:

do you see yourself as a do gooder? will all CEOs want to be like you?

Dan Teran:

we're not fighting a battle we are working to do the right thing for the long term fro the company

palak shah:

we are the national voice for the domestic workers, cleaners, nannies and so on

for years domestic workers have been exempted from most labour protections

the emergence of silicon valley into the domestic worker market is changing everything about it

what we are also seeing that the gig economy workers are seeing many of the same things that domestic workers do

we are realising that there is an opportunity to shape the DNA of this economy

we think there is an opportunity to solve for equity

we ahve come up with that we call the good work code #goodworkcode

there are 8 values: safety; stability & flexibility; transaparency; shared prosperity; a liveable wage;i

inclusion & input; support & connection; growth & development;

this is a public leadership case to be made for signing up for this

Lead Genius CEO:

we are keen to sign on to this and show good work practices and share these

palak shah:

change doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. These 12 companies are taking the first step and we will learn

given all the business challenges we have heard about today, this will start to give ideas fro good work

we are talking to lost of different companies - we hear excitement from a business and leadership point of view

Tim O'Reilly:

Evan's 1st job was working for O'Relly Media years ago. First Blogger then Twitter and now Medium show his vision

it means caring deeply about what you want to see int he world and then working to make it so

there's through line in blogger twitter adn medium about who we out to be

Ev Williams:

The thing that got me excited about the interenet was the idea of knowledge exchange

I grew up on a farm in nebraska pre-internet and the idea of tapping into the worlds brains was the most exciting thing

a lot fo people had he idea that putting thoughts out was what the internet did and lowering that barrier

in 2012 it seemd like the barrier was low enough but we needed to build more on top of it

all teh problems that we see in the landscape today were caused by that same force

Tim O'Reilly:

on medium when you get a good debate going that is when it works very well - it's a good place for facts

this is very difference from the discourse we see in politics. How do we do this more

Ev Williams:

I'm optimisic now as this was the core idea of the internet - it is intentional to design on medium that we are the same

on medium we are all on the same playing fields and at the same level -

Tim O'Reilly:

every comment is effectively a new article on the smae level

Ev Williams:

there are many times on medium where you can respond to an article with a reasoned reply

most of he campaigns are now publishing on medium and senators are posting on medium about the iran deal

on the internet what you measure gets rewarded- unique visitors and page views

we make distinction between a 1 second view and a 1 minute read

time isn't the ideal metric, what we really want to know did it change someone's mind

Tim O'Reilly:

it struck me along time ago what did the good life look like in a world without drudgery

I look like to Plato's symposium and debating the good life - I see that is what we are doing on medium

the jobless future could look liek medium

Ev Williams:

an early medium post on dinovember where this couple convinced their kids that plastic dinosaurs came alive

this was a funny story that people wrote and others found it funny

Tim O'Reilly:

that fundamental accessibilty of media does make a dfifference

when will people think this internet stuff is art

Ev Williams:

you can say it has gone the opposite way - social media lowered the barrier for publsihing

but it also lowered the ceiling od what was possible by limiting options

if you look at facebook it is commercial publishers and the users share to freidns and comment

Tim O'Reilly:

so medium is relatively highbrow

Ev Williams:

there si going to be professional journalism there, and we will have ways for people to pay fro it

we would like to get to scale and build these toolsl and let people see what makes sense for them

obvious ventures was a venture fund I started last year with a couple of partners

our focus is what we call world-positive investing

my approach to investing is always I want to make more good things happen in the world wiht money

if it's something I want to exist in the world, that is my filter

can we make an intellectually honest argument that at scale this can make a positive impact to the world

we invested in Diamond Foundry that is creating diamonds in a Fab, no mining no slavery

a company called beyond meat that is veggie based protein


how do you think about the future?

Ev Williams:

I just listen to Tim,

Tim O'Reilly:

I think about the future through big long-term trends adn look for people who are passionate about what they do

Ev Williams:

one way I think about the future is that technology is neutral and removes gaps and friction and costs

the internet is a giant convenience store for human desire, and it can run amok

the companies tat tend to succeed are those that make things easier and more convenient

that there are cheap calories on very corner doesn't eliminate the possibility of a great farm to table resturant


can you talk around the broader movement around communication at medium spillover

Ev Williams:

there are similar trends for lots of things - marketplaces for consumers and producers


what is the most important lesson learned at intersection of internet and comms?

Ev Williams:

it's always hard to build things

in 1997 I was really cocky and I put a copy of this book 'focus' on Tims desk

I use this Tim quote "business is a context for doing interesting things"


what has been better for you using your own products?

Ev Williams:

I enjoy using my own prodcuts though I often cringe as theya re not good enough yet

I always think about 'who do you want your customers to become'

twitter I think of a superpower in their pocket that tells them what is going on

with medium i think it is there to make me smarter by telling better stories

I write on medium because I weant to be aprt of a conversation adn effect how other people think

Tim O'Reilly:

an event like this is my medium, so to speak - we are engaged in a conversation we want to continue

Lauren Smiley:

we have a vertical on medium called #wtfeconomy so follow that and respond there

Steven Levy:

I would like to applaud the audience too

Tim O'Reilly:

I want this to be the start of not just further conversation but of action - we hope to see you back next year

lets go and make good things happen in the world!