• Cash Burning Machine: Uber’s Logic of Planetary Expansion

    Author(s):
    Luke Munn (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Imperialism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    network effects, platform, Territory, uber, Cultural imperialism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/ygg4-qj78
    Abstract:
    Uber’s programme of planetary expansion rapidly captures users and integrates cities. Like other platforms, Uber privileges growth at all costs in order to spin up a set of self-reinforcing dynamics like virtuous cycles and network effects. However, drawing on Arrighi, Hobson, and Arendt, Uber can also be understood as a contemporary incarnation of imperialism. Platforms extend their territories in a programme of aggressive expansion rationalized by future financial gains. The article combines these self-perpetuating technical dynamics with the self-expanding logics of empire. Against the assumed brilliance of founders and the strategic innovation of start-ups, this framing highlights some of the uncontrolled forces and overarching imperatives that both invest and constrain platforms.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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