sharing
Credit: Paul Joseph

It bases its business on breaking the rules, says Harvard Business School prof

Here’s a radical thought: maybe B.C.’s arcane transportation rules were right to deter Uber from the start. Harvard Business School prof Benjamin Edelman argues that the whole business model of the world’s most valuable startup is predicated on flouting rules put in place over time to protect consumers—namely, to license and regulate vehicles and drivers—more than adding any real value or efficiency. “And having grown through intentional illegality,” he writes, “Uber can’t easily pivot toward following the rules.” He urges those jurisdictions that do allow it to shut it down before it does any more damage.

 

Or as Frances Bula notes in a 2015 BCBusiness story about why Vancouver has been slow to join the sharing economy, "The trick for both those interested in the possibilities of sharing economies and those with the job of regulating them is trying to figure out what is genuinely innovative, consumption-reducing, public-serving and sharing—and what is just rule-breaking with a fancy new name."