friday’s urban finds

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“Cars are like pharmaceuticals. There’s a legitimate place for them, but we resort to them too much.” —Peter D. Norton, via @grescoe

“And then you automate it, and it makes that same mistake hundreds of millions of times.”@eskokilpi

The Trillion-Dollar Vision of Dee Hock (1996), via @ChrisCorrigan

Not so long ago, says [Peter] Senge, Hock was addressing an audience full of CEOs. And he really had them pumping: “Great! This is how to create a learning organization that can grow at 20% per year! He’s found the keys to the kingdom!” That is, until the end, when he told them about the one little problem: “You’ll never be able to justify paying a CEO $1 million a year to run this kind of corporation.”

“You could almost see the excitement ebbing,” says Senge.

And yet — it may not be entirely crazy. There are good reasons to think that notions like “empowerment” and “decentralization” are not just the latest management fad. In a business environment marked by information technology, global competition, and fast-paced change, weblike networks are emerging not only among businesses forming strategic partnerships, but also among environmental, human-rights, and other activist groups — even among government agencies seeking to short-circuit the bureaucracy and get something done.

The hidden environmental impacts of ‘platform capitalism’, via @josemurilo

“A key part of this new business model is obscuring how the company actually works. For example, companies like Uber or Deliveroo claim not to employ any drivers, instead using a contractual trick to organise a precarious pool of gig workers who are technically self-employed.

These methods shift the costs and risks onto workers, freeing the company from regulations like the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay, and pensions.

The platform orientation of these companies is about dodging regulations to maximise profits. If these companies are not prepared to pay workers properly, it does not bode well for meeting other regulations and responsibilities more broadly.”

Business Insider: Employee retention rates

Here’s how long employees are staying at the 10 biggest companies in tech:

Facebook: 2.02 years
Google: 1.90 years
Oracle: 1.89 years
Apple: 1.85 years
Amazon: 1.84 years
Twitter: 1.83 years
Microsoft: 1.81 years
Airbnb: 1.64 years
Snap Inc.: 1.62 years
Uber: 1.23 years

Reimagining our Streets as Places, via @juneholley

“Streets are our most fundamental shared public spaces, but they are also one of the most contested and overlooked. Today, and for most of the last century, we have taken for granted the idea that our streets are primarily zones for cars, parking, and the transporting of goods. This has not been the case, however, throughout most of history. Across many cultures and times – since the beginning of civilization, in fact – the street has held vast social, commercial, and political significance as a powerful symbol of the public realm.”

@urbanthoughts11 : “Some people simply cannot see their own privileges.”

Image: via @urbanthoughts11

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