Regulators 1, Lyft 0 (or perhaps 0.5). After trying to launch its unlicensed "ride sharing" model in New York City, Lyft has capitulated to the regulators' demands and will instead launch as an ordinary livery car service -- using only TLC-licensed cars with TLC-certified drivers. [more inside]
The Case Against Sharing: "The sharing economy’s success is inextricably tied to the economic recession, making new American poverty palatable. It’s disaster capitalism. 'Sharing' companies are not embarrassed by this — it appears to be a point of pride." [more inside]
Mealku is a service designed to help people obtain home-cooked meals, by connecting strangers online. It's sort of like AirBNB for leftovers as takeout meals, though right now it's only in New York City. An article from The Atlantic Cities describes Ted D’Cruz-Young's vision for the network and addresses concerns. “There’s always food left over. It’s nice to know it could be someone’s dinner", said one fan.
The Locust Economy
I was picking the brain of a restauranteur for insight into things like Groupon. He confirmed what we all understand in the abstract: that these deals are terrible for the businesses that offer them; that they draw in nomadic deal hunters from a vast surrounding region who are unlikely to ever return; that most deal-hunters carefully ensure that they spend just the deal amount or slightly more; that a badly designed offer can bankrupt a small business. He added one little factoid I did not know: offering a Groupon deal is by now so strongly associated with a desperate, dying restaurant that professional food critics tend to write off any restaurant that offers one without even trying it.[more inside]