It seems to be happening all at once – an explosion of new and bigger on-demand platforms by Amazon and Google disrupting innovators like Homejoy and Uber.
In late March, Amazon officially launched Amazon Home Services, its new platform enabling the search, comparison, and convenient online booking of various home services, including cleaning and maid services.
Less than two weeks later, Google leaked that it expects to launch a competing platform by late Spring.
All of this is happening just as
- Handy barely escapes its first labor law suit in California
- Homejoy (backed by Google) acquires its first labor law suit
- Uber, the popular on-demand taxi service, loses its battle over worker misclassification
What can we observe so far?
- Platforms designed exclusively for independent contractors (Handy, Homejoy, Uber) are struggling to blend the fragmented contractor world under one brand, and not succeeding.
- Platforms designed to pit established businesses and independent contractors against each other in a visible and regulated business environment may fare better, but only time will tell.