Friday, 29 September 2017


In a move that heralds the beginning of a vertical monopoly of sorts, Swedish furniture and lifestyle purveyor IKEA has acquired the San Francisco-based online platform TaskRabbit that allows people to contract freelance labour for a wide-range of services—including presumably assembling IKEA furniture.
The handyman services company has another sixty-thousand independent workers signed on and has already struck similar deals with other major on-line retailers to supplement installation and delivery. What do you think of the gig-economy—or rather the “sharing-economy” as the newly-minted partners characterise it? I can’t speak to the reputation of either company separately but something in the combined enterprise strikes me as exploitative and symptomatic of our rather precarious profit-models.