The On-Demand Conference Expands To New York City

Friends in and around New York City — please mark your calendars for September 15 in downtown in NYC: The On-Demand Conference hits the Big Apple: www.ondemandconference.co. My co-conspirators in this effort — Pascal from Checkr and the entire crew from Tradecraft (including Misha) — digested feedback from Version 1 and gained the conviction to go for V2.

Back in May, just three months ago, the inaugural “On-Demand Conference” was a hit in San Francisco. That conference concluded with a lively ending where a debate among investors brewed over the issues facing contract workers in the gig economy. [video archive]

Now, just three months later, it’s as if we live in a new world. Some state governments across the country have issues preliminary rulings about worker classification; a parade of well-funded on-demand startups have made headlines by proactively converting some or all of their contractors to W-2’s; presidential candidates running for office in 2016 have brought the topic into debates and headlines; and all of it has come together as a bonafide mainstream news topic.

While things are changing quickly, some of the world’s best venture capitalists have grown wary of the sector. Some have warned that on-demand consumer solutions are saturated, and that not everything needs to be on-demand, and that the high capital intensity in scaling (often without technology moats) all make for a dubious investment climate.

These are are, indeed, valid concerns. Just as the last conference generated substantive debate and featured an entire day of highly-focused content from the startups and operators building these companies, our aim with Act 2 is to double-down on our organizational efforts and create the space where the most pressing issues can be surfaced and debated.

To that end, we have a All-Star East Coast lineup for the event. Click here to see the agenda and browse through the names. We will have managers and GMs from companies like Uber, Instacart, Postmates and many more; we will have some of NYC’s best investor minds on stage; and we will have tech media representing The New York Times, VentureBeat, Scientific American, Forbes, and more.

Finally, and a bit selfishly, I”m excited to share that I will open up the day’s events in a fireside chat with Albert Wenger from Union Square Ventures. For those of you who read Continuations, Albert’s blog, you’ll know he’s written extensively about Uber and ridesharing technologies, about how workers are classified and treated, and his argument to call for Universal Basic Income as a policy in anticipation of a world that may be automated by advancements in technology.

It all has the makings for a fantastic event. I’m looking forward to it. For more information and to register, click here.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2017 Semil Shah.

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