The Glossed-Over Election Win Catching the Eye of Big Tech

RobertIt’s hard to look past this week’s crazy election proceedings.

States are lighting up blue and red, with both sides confident that they’re going to win.

But the decision between Trump and Biden wasn’t the only thing voters found on their ballots this election season.

In California, Americans voted on Proposition 22 — the most expensive ballot measure in the state’s history.

The proposition was to allow “gig” companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to classify drivers as independent contractors instead of employees.

Uber has argued time and time again that drivers are not a part of its core business and that it is a tech company NOT a transportation company.

That distinction is what Uber’s entire business model is based on, so I’m not surprised it was willing to pump so much money into getting Prop 22 passed.

Personally, I’m on the side of less government involvement in private companies… I’d rather let the public decide whether or not they want to drive for Uber.

Californians ultimately agreed and voted yes on the measure — a big victory for companies like Uber.

But ride-hailing players aren’t the only ones with skin in the game. I think that Silicon Valley noticed the win… and may just use this new amendment to the law to their advantage…

Uber’s Changing the Rules

While I am fundamentally on the side of Prop 22, I couldn’t help noticing some of the language Uber used if the measure did not pass…

Essentially, Uber argued that unless it drastically changed its business model, it couldn’t handle the cost of classifying its drivers as employees and the benefits that came along with that.

It was a smart, if not a bit threatening, play on Uber’s part…

Do you bankrupt a company or force them to lay off massive amounts of people? Or do you let drivers decide for themselves how they want to proceed? The choice for Californians was obvious.

And if it works for Uber…

Why couldn’t other tech firms give it a try?

Gig companies just proved that you can shape state law to your advantage and by doing so, gave a roadmap of sorts to those watching in Silicon Valley.

Uber clearly needs this cost-cutting to even stay above water. It’s yet to reach profitability and many question its ability to EVER get over that hump.

But other tech companies are eyeing their roads to profitability as well and if cost-cutting and lawmaking can get them there, there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll take it.

It could mean big moves in some of our favorite tech names in 2021 as they craft how best to take advantage of these new developments.

And I’ll be keeping an eye out seeing how this all goes down in the tech world…

Onward and upward,

Robert Williams

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Robert Williams

After nearly 20 years in the trenches of high finance, Robert has joined St. Paul Research to assume the role of Chief Futurist. Robert cut his teeth as an analyst for one of the most revered and prestigious medical institutions on Earth, whose endowment is valued at $4.3 billion. From there, Robert became the lead...

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