Ridesharing for Women, Slacking in Public, and New Business Models


New Ridesharing Service for Women May Not Pass Go
 For a wide variety of reasons, from safety to solidarity, a ridesharing service only for women seems like an outstanding idea. Launching next week in Boston, Chariot for Women will offer better background checks, only female drivers, and no surge pricing. Sounds great, but it’s probably illegal, a bitter irony considering how Uber, whose failings this new service seeks to counter, succeeded at first precisely by flaunting existing laws and policies.

Slacking in Public
 Slack the software tool is in large part about transparency in organizations, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Slack the company is aiming to be transparent with some of its most important partners. Slack’s goal is to be a platform where others create value. Its executives know that the most successful platforms are those that make it easiest for developers to know what’s coming up, so they can be prepared and do their best work. In the service of that, Slack has published an ongoing Trello-based platform roadmap for developers. It’s new and there’s not much there so far — we’ll see how it develops — but it’s a sign that one maturing unicorn knows who it needs to satisfy.

Toward the Next Generation of Business Models
 Traditional models of transacting business are broken, says John Hagel, one of the leading lights in an industry built around rethinking them. Hagel argues in his latest column (Edge Perspectives) that there are three core shifts occurring in business model innovation. First is how and when payment occurs (and for what value), second is the role of data in transactions, and third is the role of participants in a transaction, which Hagel claims will extend beyond customer and vendor. Hagel also starts to make the case that advertising won’t be a sustainable model going forward. It’s all still quite abstract — there are no real-world companies mentioned in his 1,900-word essay — but as he has done many times before Hagel provides a prism worth looking through as we imagine what’s next.

The Skin Care Company Funded by The Company
 Cosmetics from a CIA-funded firm can soften your skin, minimize your blemishes, and capture your DNA information (Intercept).

Offshore Capital in the 21st Century
 Thomas Piketty’s name is now connected with the Panama Papers, not as an investor (that would have been hilarious) but as a critic. The economist wrote about it for Le Monde (there’s an English-language version in The Guardian) and he goes after secrecy with the same passion he has for inequality. He connects the scandal with broader policy, arguing that “we have indeed avoided a widespread depression but in so doing we have refrained from the necessary structural, regulatory and fiscal reforms.”

This Is What the End of The Boston Globe Looks Like
 The initial idea? Creative. The execution? Clueless. See the NewCo Shift analysis on Medium.

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