In an increasingly platform-mediated world, platforms have outsized control over their participants—whether that’s app developers in the creator economy, or rideshare drivers in the gig economy. We’ve been trying to understand how this can be changed for the better—how platform participants can be made rightful stakeholders; bridging the gap between labor and capital. Our guest today, Jason Prado, is at the forefront of that effort.
Jason is the Head of Product for The Drivers Cooperative, a driver-owned ride sharing platform based in New York. The Cooperative is a worker-owned alternative to traditional ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft. Jason joined the Cooperative after working for big tech companies like Facebook and realizing that his interests as a worker were not aligned with his employers.
The Drivers Cooperative now has over 3,500 drivers and 30,000 users on its platform, and has garnered vocal support from prominent political figures like AOC. Our conversation with Jason dives into the history of the labor movement, the ideological shift that made him leave big tech and join the Cooperative, and what collective action looks like in today’s platform dominated creator and gig economies.