Platform Cooperatives


A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively-owned, democratically-governed business that uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders. Proponents of platform cooperativism claim that, by ensuring the financial and social value of a platform circulate among these participants, platform cooperatives will bring about a more equitable and fair digitally-mediated economy in contrast with the extractive models of corporate intermediaries. Platform cooperatives differ from traditional cooperatives not only due to their use of digital technologies, but also by their contribution to the commons for the purpose of fostering an equitable social and economic landscape.

Platform cooperativism draws upon other attempts at digital disintermediation, including the peer-to-peer production movement, led by Michel Bauwens and the P2P Foundation,[1] which advocates for “new kinds of democratic and economic participation”[2] that rest “upon the free participation of equal partners, engaged in the production of common resources,” as well as the radically-distributed, non-market mechanisms of networked peer-production promoted by Yochai Benkler.[3] Marjorie Kelly’s book Owning Our Future contributed the distinction between democratic and extractive ownership design to this discussion.[4]

9 Working Examples of Platform Cooperatives


What is a platform co-op?

Just like traditional co-ops, platform co-ops are organisations that are owned and managed by their members. While traditional co-ops are normally based around a physical community of members, platform…

(continues at the link above.)
A two day conference on the collaborative economy

A two day conference on the collaborative economy

The conference happened on February 16-17 2017 at Goldsmiths, University of London

Platform Cooperativism

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The Internet is slipping out of ordinary users’ control. Internet technologies are transforming our workplaces, relationships, and societies. Companies like Uber, Amazon, and Facebook are capturing vital sectors of the economy such as transportation and phenomena like search and social networking. All of us who rely on the Internet have virtually no control over the platforms that affect and inform us on a daily basis.


Platform Cooperativism Consortium (PCC)
The PCC supports the cooperative platform economy through research, advocacy, education, co-design, legal advice, application development, the documentation of best practices, the coordination of funding, and events.

11 Platform Cooperatives Creating a Real Sharing Economy
An upcoming event related to Platform Cooperatives as agents of Change.


Co-operative Business Models for Sustainable Platform Enterprise

Is how we view establishing a new creative content maker’s platform.

It starts with the idea that you are able to tag your own creations on your own physical hardware or authorized “agent” that will operate on your behalf and retain on-going record of use of your content.



I know that there is a need because I live in a Cooperative Housing Community and it works. I believe in the principles.



Further Layers

A large scale system will be more easily broken down into layers of related systems interacting within the layer or with other layers in the overall system

A decentralized collaboration system like https://matryx.ai/

The idea of consent systems such as this link: https://www.raphkoster.com/2017/08/27/consent-systems/

Block chain technology involved in a revenue sharing and distribution system for content creators within the system and appropriate layer and circle of trust through out the network.


Hacker Archtypes

In Eric Raymond’s latest posting about “Hacker Archtypes” he discusses another text’s references of psychological archtypes from the book,  On the Warrior’s Path

We don’t think this is a complete set, and some of the names might change. But it’s enough of a start for some public brainstorming.

Also note: no hacker is only one of these, but in talking about a number of mutual friends we found it was always pretty easy to agree on both the friend’s dominant archetype and the secondary one that they display most after it. I think this is an indication that we are, even if imperfectly, zeroing in on real traits.

Here they are. Descriptions mostly Susan, names mostly me.

Algorithmicists: Very good at algorithms and sustained, intricate coding. Have mathematical intuition, and are one of the two types (with Architect) that have the highest tolerance for complexity. They like the idea of correctness proofs and think naturally in terms of invariants. They gravitate to compiler-writing and crypto. Often solitary with poor social skills; have a tendency to fail by excessive cleverness. Never let them manage anyone!

Tinkerers: Hackers who are drawn to crossovers with the physical world – will design hardware as cheerfully as software. One of the two types (with Prankster) most likely to be lockpickers and locksmiths. Know practical electronics (including analog and RF), adept at reverse-engineering. When you can get them to pull their heads out of the details (which they may resist pretty hard) they make terrific whole-systems engineers.

Architects: The guys who are fascinated by, and very good at, blocking out architecture in complex systems. Kings of the productive refactor. Have an acute feel for design patterns and can see around corners in design space. Strong drive to simplify and partition; “It’s not done until it’s elegant.” The Architect failure mode is to lose sight of the ground. Architects don’t necessarily have communications skills; if they do, they can make worthy team leads.

Sharpshooters: Tenacious detail-obsessives who are most comfortable with a bottom-up view of code and like rifle-shooting bugs more than almost anything else. In past times they would have been happy writing assembler. Polar opposite of the Architect, very productive when paired with one (and vice-versa). Not a good bet for managing anything.

JOATs: The great strengths of the jack-of-all-trades are adaptability, fast uptake of new ideas, and mental flexibility. The JOAT doesn’t do any one thing better than the other types, but can do a bit of everything – including people and social engineering. The JOAT failure mode is to try to do everything themselves. A JOAT is more likely than other types to make an excellent team lead, as long as he or she remains aware enough to delegate deep technical decisions to others.

Pranksters: Their natural bent is adversarial – they’re great at thinking up ways to disrupt and subvert systems (or just put them to unexpected and hilarious uses). They gravitate to infosec and test engineering. The really good ones can social-engineer people more ruthlessly and effectively than any of the other types.

Castellans: Supreme control freaks who get their power from focusing on what they’re responsible for and knowing it inside out. Castellans memorize manuals; they love language-lawyering, process automation, and vacuuming up domain-specific knowledge about whatever they’re working on. Old-school sysadmins are often castellans: “That will never happen on my system” is their promise (and of course Pranksters love to prove them wrong).

Translators: The type that bridges between human and machine: tends to excel at UI/UX development, documentation, policy and supply-chain stuff, requirements analysis, user training, and so on. Highly social, less hard-core technical than others, but in a way that helps them help other hackers understand how non-hackers see and interact with technology. Some of them make good project managers, but like JOATs they need to understand their technical limitations and mostly leave the hard decisions to types that naturally swim in deeper technical waters. Of all the types, Translators are the least likely to self-identify as hackers even if they are intimate with the culture and working within it.

What archetypes, if any, are we missing? Are there places where the boundaries need adjusting?

(Oh, and me? Mostly Architect with a side of Algorithmicist and a touch of JOAT.)

Final note: This post is being edited as we collect more feedback. “Translators” weren’t in the first version at all.

I began life as a JOAT and have spent time doing some of these other roles.


Application Idea

I recently have been researching existing solutions for an application and have added a 3rd requirement that I believe would be the

  • A Personal Chef (The Service Provider)
  • The Consumer (End User)
  • A Food Supplier (in my local case, that would be Grocery Gateway ) ◊

Upon a Google search I came up with a few options with obvious, and not so obvious short comings or lacking an ability to use the app in my location.

https://www.chefxchange.com/  (Not available in Toronto at this time)



https://www.hireachef.com/ website listed many chefs in the GTA.

Feature Opportunity: I also believe that an application should facilitate meal planning as a collaborative tool with the Chef and Consumer. The Food Supplier could then have an avenue of regular business every time the Chef and Consumer created a Meal Plan for their agreed upon period of time. Once completed the application would generate a list of food required to fulfill the Meal Plan.

http://www.thechefupstairs.com/private_chef_at_home.html A homegrown site and solution right here in Toronto. More to explore, maybe they’d be interested in supporting this idea further.♣

On-demand private chef startup Kitchit shuts down

Why did KitchIt shut down? Opportunity to learn from their experiences.

Others cited above have shut down or launched and shuttered for a lack of a “sustainable business model”.

http://nbs.net/five-principles-of-a-sustainable-business-model/ This article outlines the following 5 items

  1. Diversity
  2. Modularity
  3. Openness
  4. Slack Resources
  5. Matching Cycles

Further exploration required and to come.


Follow up

Another open link http://sustainabilityadvantage.com/2010/08/10/5-criteria-for-a-sustainable-business-model/





◊ I have not been in contact with Grocery Gateway to even know whether they are open to such a proposal.

http://www.thechefupstairs.com/private_chef_at_home.html Partnership/Joint Venture Opportunity, etc.

Please fill out the poll below to help us understand our target audience better. Thanks.




Pollexy – Building a Special Needs Voice Assistant with Amazon Polly and Raspberry Pi (Amazon Blog)

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/pollexy-building-a-special-needs-voice-assistant-with-amazon-polly-and-raspberry-pi/ (Click link to open new window to article in question).

The first couple of paragraphs from the article are cited below.

April is Autism Awareness month and about 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (CDC 2014). In this post from Troy Larson, a Sr. Devops Cloud Architect here at AWS, you get an introduction to a project he has been working on to help his son Calvin.

I have been asked how the minds at AWS come up with so many different ideas. Sometimes they come from a deeply personal place, where someone sees a way to help others. Pollexy is an amazing example of just that. Read about Pollexy and then watch the video here.

This is a great example of combining existing hardware and software to develop a life enhancing solution with technology for people.


(not my question) Ask HN: What are some great “Free” services provided by IBM, Amazon, etc.?

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14087880 is the original source URL for this question.

Ask HN: What are some great “Free” services provided by IBM, Amazon, etc.?

jamiesonbecker 1 day ago [-]

Google offers $300 in credit that you can use on anything you like for one year as soon as you sign up right off the bat, and AWS has offered the Free Tier almost since inception.

For startups, Google[1], Amazon[2], Microsoft BizSpark[3], OVH Digital Launch Pad[4], Digital Ocean[5], have startup programs that you can apply to with varying amounts of service credit (usually expiring afer one year). (Don't write off OVH: theirs seems to be the smallest, but their stuff is by far the highest value.. 2GB instances for $3.49/month and great DDoS protection; however, their cloud dashboard takes a little time to get used to, but seems pretty powerful once into it.)

1. $20k to $100k in service credits @ Google: https://cloud.google.com/developers/startups/

2. $5k at Amazon, $15k in accelerators: https://aws.amazon.com/activate/

3. Up to $120k at Microsoft: https://bizspark.microsoft.com/

4. $500 to $100k at OVH: https://www.ovh.com/us/dlp/

5. up to $100k at Digital Ocean (not sure if this is actually launched yet -- we applied for https://userify.com but never heard back): https://www.digitalocean.com/hatch/


no1youknowz 1 day ago [-]

I really want to apply to Google. But unfortunately, my startup doesn't qualify due to not being in an approved VC fund, Accelerator, or Incubator.

Does anyone know of any program, that does not require me to give any equity? So that I may join and get the Google credits?


griffinkelly 1 day ago [-]

If you know someone that works for Google they can internally recommend you as well.


Bombthecat 19 hours ago [-]

For real?

Good to know :)


jamiesonbecker 1 day ago [-]

Also keep in mind that most of these credits usually expire after one year, so definitely have a solid plan to get profitable before they run out.


rdli 1 day ago [-]

If you have funding from some sort of fund or incubator, you can also ask your investors to talk to Google. (Our investors weren't on the official list, but we talked to them, and then Google put them on the list.)


doubleplusgood 1 day ago [-]

Find someone who's connected. We got credits despite not being a real start-up at all.


bambax 1 day ago [-]

Startup School Founders Track, but the 1st session is already underway; there will certainly be many more.


trapperkeeper79 1 day ago [-]

Wait .. is this the track where you get a mentor or does it include the "follow along" track as well?


bambax 14 hours ago [-]

Not sure, I think they're both named the same... But the deals from Google / AWS / Azure are only available to startups that have been accepted (that have access to mentors, office hours, etc.)


geoka9 1 day ago [-]

Isn't Google's $300 credit only valid for 2 months?


BrandonY 1 day ago [-]

Nope, 12 months: https://cloud.google.com/free/

In addition, the $300 is only for expenses in excess of the "Always Free" usage limits, which covers quite a bit of stuff, including 5 gigs of cloud storage, 1 micro compute engine instance, and a terabyte of BigQuery queries per month.

(disclaimer: I work at Google)


komali2 1 day ago [-]

Why did it used to be 2 months? When did it change?

It absolutely used to be 2 months, otherwise, my account would still be able to use those 300$ credits. But I just checked, it can't. I still have the expiration email if you want.


endentru 23 hours ago [-]

I too remember only getting 2 months to use them- I signed up sometime Nov/Dec 2016. Guess they changed it fairly recently.


Mz 1 day ago [-]

Shouldn't that be "source" rather than "disclaimer"?


mobiplayer 2 hours ago [-]

I think it was more of a disclosure...


Mz 2 hours ago [-]

Yeah, "full disclosure" would have worked fine.


OJFord 9 hours ago [-]

People 'disclaim' all sorts of funny things here.


gcb0 19 hours ago [-]

It changes on a whim. Like anything google, some people are probably still seeing 2 months because they are in some bucket or something. Who knows?

Building on google stuff is as risky as building on apple's.


niftich 1 day ago [-]

There is a fairly well-known curated list started in 2015, 'free-for-dev' [1], which lists "SaaS, PaaS and IaaS offerings that have free tiers of interest to devops and infradev".

There is another list started in 2016, 'stack-on-a-budget' [2], for "services with great free tiers for developers on a budget".

A tangentially related list is 'Public-APIs' [3], for APIs "which make their resources available for consumption."

[1] https://github.com/ripienaar/free-for-dev [2] https://github.com/255kb/stack-on-a-budget [3] https://github.com/abhishekbanthia/Public-APIs


samtho 1 day ago [-]

IBM Bluemix[0] has some good trial offerings, you can always contact them and say you're a hobbyist and they may be able to give you a longer trial. Their IoT platform is pretty cool and you have access to Watson.

There is also a surprising amount of open source projects they put out[1][2].

Disclosure: I work at IBM in the Cloud Division.

[0] https://console.ng.bluemix.net/

[1] https://github.com/ibm

[2] https://github.com/strongloop


brightball 1 day ago [-]

I will say, I was interested in trying out Bluemix for sake of Watson but the 30 day trial was a huge, huge turn off. I signed up for an account to look around for a project I'm hoping to find time for next month...but my clock is ticking now despite not using ANYTHING. By the time I'm ready to develop, the trial will be expired.

It's a terrible approach IMO.


jbob2000 21 hours ago [-]

Hey, I tried the Bluemix 30 day trial, even continued with a subscription. I ended up cancelling before I got very far. The UI was noticeably slow, every click was like 5 seconds to load. It was really frustrating as a new user digging around looking for things.

I was using the MobileFirst Services Starter and the documentation was not great, lots of broken links, and just very disparate - I couldn't really figure out how to piece things together. I spent a weekend pulling my hair out trying this thing before I went back to a MEAN stack on Heroku. It's entirely possible that I am the wrong client for this product, it's really difficult sifting through the IBM marketing information!


6stringmerc 1 day ago [-]

If you want to try screenwriting, Story Writer by Amazon is an excellent free-to-use service. Basic, yes, but after a couple years using it I can assert it does the trick. Perfect for those wanting to 'give writing a script a try' without forking over for the industry standard Final Draft.



jonahx 1 day ago [-]

The crowd here will likely prefer the open source fountain, which is a markdown style language that can be used with your favorite editor:


I'd recommend it to anyone -- even non-technical people -- it's a shame it wasn't what became the standard, but you can export to final draft format.


6stringmerc 1 day ago [-]

Ah yes, I did come across that. I was looking for a very specific format-only tool that would pass muster vs a Final Draft by comparison. I'm sure nailing the expected look/feel is do-able in Fountain and probably, as you note, appealing to the tech savvy sector.


forgotmysn 1 day ago [-]

Celtx is probably the best free-tier screenwriting software


6stringmerc 1 day ago [-]

I used it years ago and as a machine-based software I'd likely agree. I seem to remember trying to load it again and seeing it wasn't freeware, or had a 30 day trial. Might be a distorted recollection, but I was looking quite intensely before selecting Story Writer. Even like Word .dot files for formatting. Nice to see competition in the space, IMO.


spookyuser 1 day ago [-]

How does this compare to writerduet?


6stringmerc 1 day ago [-]

Writer Duet is like staring at a Cable News Broadcast screen with all sorts of stuff everywhere in the way. To me it's visually distracting and more than I feel like using / interacting with.

Story Writer is like using a Text Editor with just enough smarts to assist with predictive Character type names and quick-to-set-up descriptions / transitions. Personally I far prefer the simplicity of Story Writer.


rb808 1 day ago [-]

If you have a MSDN subscription, perhaps from your employer, you get a free $50/mo -> $150/mo Azure credit.



ljoshua 1 day ago [-]

Or likewise, Bizspark can get you the Azure credit too, along with basically an MSDN subscription.


throwaway2016a 1 day ago [-]

For AWS I think some of the best offerings on their free tier are Lambda and DynamoDB. Both of which have generous lifetime free tiers.

Using the two of them you can have an API and database that is good enough for a lot of startups and hobby projects without paying a dime (ever).

Together they are used for Amazon Alexa skills which means hosting your Amazon Alexa skill is free for most skills.


tootie 1 day ago [-]

I think DynamoDB is waning in it's already limlited popularity. It has some clever ideas, but is really hard to implement. The main selling point is price, but you kinda get what you pay for.


throwaway2016a 1 day ago [-]

If you can fit your use case into DynamoDB without any struggling: the performance and ease of scaling is a massive bang for your buck.

It's actually pretty easy to use too if your use case makes sense for it.

However, if your use case does not fit what DynamoDB expects, you are better off using another DB rather than try to bend DynamoDB to your will.


dvdhnt 1 day ago [-]


> Get $200 free credit - Start free with $200 in credit, and keep going with free options.

> Try any Azure services - Explore our cloud by trying out any combination of Azure services for 30 days.

> Pay nothing at the end - We use your credit card information for identity verification, but you’ll never be charged unless you choose to subscribe.


searchhn 1 day ago [-]

Google cloud platform has many free offerings..



victorhooi 1 day ago [-]

Google Cloud has a fairly generous lifetime free tier:


5GB of cloud storage, 1 free micro instance, 1TB of BigQuery queries etc.

You also get $300 credit for 12 months.

Disclaimer: I work for Google.


tolle 1 day ago [-]

Is the individual plan limited to certain countries?


mijoharas 1 day ago [-]

There is the AWS free tier[0]. which means you can get free ec2 instances:

> 750 hours per month of Linux, RHEL, or SLES t2.micro instance usage.

(along with S3 and some other services) I think it's only free for a year though.

Other than that, they have lumberyard[1] which is a game engine, but I think there are some weird terms like you need to use AWS if you use a server[2][3].

[0] https://aws.amazon.com/free/

[1] https://aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/

[2] https://aws.amazon.com/service-terms/#57._Amazon_Lumberyard_...

[3] > 57.4 Operating Restrictions. Without our prior written consent, (a) the Lumberyard Materials (including any permitted modifications and derivatives) may only be run on computer equipment owned and operated by you or your End Users, or on AWS Services, and may not be run on any Alternate Web Service and (b) your Lumberyard Project may not read data from or write data to any Alternate Web Service. “Alternate Web Service” means any non-AWS web service that is similar to or can act as a replacement for the services listed at docs.aws.amazon.com/console/lumberyard/userguide/alternate-web-services .


hvtuananh 1 day ago [-]

AWS free tier is only available for the first 12 months.


oblib 1 day ago [-]

IBM's Cloudant is pretty sweet. I used it last year to dev some apps I was working on using CouchDB and PouchDB. It saved me the hassle of installing CouchDB and gave me the chance to play with their APIs which have some pretty nice additional features.


They give you $50 of service a month for free, which was way more than I ever approached.


neonhomer 1 day ago [-]

What advantages did you see comparing Cloudant to CouchDB?


oblib 1 day ago [-]

With the release of CouchDB 2.0 there's not a lot of difference anymore, and much of what's new in that came from IBM's work on CouchDB.

Right now Cloudant offers a full text search. You can build that into a CouchDB on your own too, but it's an add on. I've been meaning to take a crack at installing it on a Raspberry Pi I have CouchDB 2.0 running on but I've not done it yet.

They might also have an enhanced version of the "Fauxton" DB manager. It's been awhile since I've logged into my account there so I don't recall how close in features they are now.

I think they have their own authentication routines that may have some advantages for some users.

Aside from that they make it really easy to just start using it. If you wanted to work with really big data sets Cloudant would be a pretty good option because you can skip all the DB setup work and have instant access a highly scalable platform that lets you get to right to work.


oneweekwonder 1 day ago [-]

> What advantages did you see comparing Cloudant to CouchDB?

> If you wanted to work with really big data sets Cloudant would be a pretty good option because you can skip all the DB setup work and have instant access a highly scalable platform that lets you get to right to work.

I think one need to state it more clearly with cloudant you get a hosted solution SaaS, they will scale better then you, have better backups, and will be able to rebuild a view quickly, while you are deleting logs to rebuild it and struggling to get performance out of your vps.


reid 1 day ago [-]

Microsoft gives nonprofits $5,000 in credits annually towards Azure services.



andymurd 22 hours ago [-]

Does anybody have experience with Red Hat's OpenShift PaaS? [0]

Reading through the sales copy, it seems to be a reasonable competitor to Heroku. They offer 3 small gears free and have a startup assistance program for those that qualify.

[0] https://www.openshift.com/pricing/index.html


lukaszkups 1 day ago [-]

Intel XDK - this is an IDE for developing mobile apps, but without messing with Phonegap/cordova paths/installs etc. - it compiles in Intel's cloud and gives You a link to download (or live-reload/preview during development) - very handy - since I've found it I really prefer developing mobile apps that way.


adamdwilson 1 day ago [-]

Microsoft Power BI Desktop can connect to almost a hundred data sources, do data cleanup and joins, and create beautiful reports suitable for business users.




The above is just a text dump  of the link contents as of about 8:00PM EST 12-04-2107. See the link for the most current version. What I was useful and wanted to preserve it for later use and reference.


Being remunerated for your content.

How much remuneration could one reasonably expect for the content they create and share online?

Isn’t this the domain of sharing and creating virtual objects (content) and receiving remuneration for their use by others virtually?

If we disconnected the monetization layer from the content creation layer and establised a common data (content) sharing that enables circles of trust relationship management. Centralized on the original content creator’s source system. Shared with a group owned cloud to backup and mirror each member and their content.