Daily Archives: 05/30/2014

Mayor – Austin Chronicle Profiles

steve aus chron(Community Matters) Nice write ups on the four candidates, two serious ones at this point. One more on Saturday. A Jew, a Mexican and an African American – each from middle class backgrounds, first in families to attend college, each successful in their careers, each committed to giving back.

Steve’s interview good – authentic, relaxed and candid.

Mike Matinez did a good job too – of course spinning his eight years on the job. The one spin I can’t abide is he now calls for accountability while Mike martinez aus chronhe doggedly defended White Construction/JW Marriott while they were flaunting the terms of their City of Austin subsidy (a la fee waivers), refusing to pay required fair worker wages. I’m glad he’s come around. 

Todd Phelps and Randall Stephens interviewed too.

Sheryl Cole has’t officially declared (she will Saturday) so not included in this round of Austin Chronicle profiles.

Lyft, Uber, Sharing Economy

lyft(Community Matters) Tensions are stretched & there’s no holding back the sharing economy. I’m sympathetic with my friends who abide by the rules & regulations, and the ground has shifted inalterably. I see it for the better. We’ve got to find a way for the two worlds to coexist.

As peer to peer businesses allow anyone to become a retailer, sharing sites let individuals become a taxi service, boutique hotel, a bed & breakfast or a car-hire at any time with low transaction costs. Yes there are some risks and consumers are willing to accept these. Peer to peer sites and those who use them monitor & rank quality & safety. While there can be shortcomings, there certainly can be from existing rules & regulations as well. Especially in Austin’s taxi industry, intentions to limit competition (whether by the companies or drivers) went too far and have backfired. It’s too late to put this genie back in the bottle. Let’s focus on how we transition into this new world and find the mutual wins – citizens’ interests should rule.

Lyft launches in Austin. Uber & Sidecar will do so too. Airbnb, Homeaway and many others are or soon will be providing individuals real sharing economy benefits.