What unites Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb? Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are transforming themselves into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on. This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of platform capitalism.
This book critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis. It shows how the fundamental foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms, and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future. This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy."
McKenzie Wark, author of Telethesia: Communication, Culture and Class
"Probe the slithering, creeping collusion between public and private, work and exhaustion, capitalism and death. As cars transform into terrorist devices and public housing explodes into flame through neglectful policies, planning and practices, we require books to understand the loss of agency, the loss of choice and the permanent revolution of fear, confusion and ignorance."
Times Higher Education Supplement
“…Srnicek builds an illuminating 120-page dissertation on where the platform came from, and where it might take us.”
Literary Review of Canada