When Workers Control the Code


The emergence of worker-owned apps could bring some much-needed fairness to the gig economy.

Back in 2016, with the help of Morse and Robin Hood, a local nonprofit, [Up & Go] 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.


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