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    In this episode, I’m interviewing editor Deepa Das Acevedo about the new book ‘Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation’ – I actually have a chapter in it, as well! I’m glad to have participated in a book like this, as my chapter, in particular, brings the driver perspective to this conversation. It will be a great resource for the industry, including regulators, the media and more.

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    Also, I just wanted to mention that The Rideshare Guy offers consulting work for businesses – surveys, driver insight, product evaluation and more. If you’re interested in working with me, head over to the Consulting page here.

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    Intro to Deepa Das Acevedo

    • Law professor at the University of Alabama Law School
    • Has been studying the gig economy since 2013
    • Focuses on employment law
    • PhD in Anthropology, became interested in the gig economy

    Participant Observation

    • Started working in the gig economy, hanging out with drivers
    • It’s not ‘just’ hanging out – it’s making observations
    • It won’t give you all the data, but you can get an understanding of what drives people
    • Gets you stories that help you explain what you’re studying

    Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation

    • Overview: pulls together insights from people like Harry (and others who contributed to the book) along with research to say ‘these types of conversations are something regulators should pay attention to’
    • Without this information, judges, city council members, etc. are operating on a partially empty basis
    • A lot of information has come out from journalists – but what happens is those references become the only references regulators have
    • They’re not always fleshed out or challenged – so regulators don’t have the full picture

    Providing the Full Picture

    • A lot of conversations around the gig economy come from old data or even other cities
    • Gig workers seem to be left out of the conversation entirely
    • Ex. surveys show drivers want to be independent contractors, but this doesn’t fully encompass the law, etc.
    • Motivations don’t always make sense – saying ‘drivers want to be ICs’ leaves out nuances

    Employment and the Law

    • Independent contractor status can be difficult to balance
    • Real life and legal implications
    • Should what drivers want matter? Certain protections in place so they aren’t taken advantage of
    • This isn’t to say regulators have everything they need – it’s still enormously complicated

    Process of Creating a Resource Like Beyond the Algorithm

    • Not as bad as warned!
    • Credit goes to contributors for the work
    • Engagement among the contributors
    • Cambridge only has hard copies right now, but paperback edition will be out in a few months


    • Thanks to Deepa for coming on the podcast, and for editing such a great compilation of insights on the gig economy
    • The book is going to be an excellent opportunity to learn about different viewpoints on similar issues
    • If you pick up a copy of the book, let me know!
    • Shout out to all of my co-authors (see below!)

    Show Notes

    -Harry @ RSG

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.