Josephine has a unique place in the ecosystem of companies trying to reinvent food services. Unlike most services, which have focused on on-demand convenience either by placing orders from existing restauranteurs or by putting together new factories for “meal kits,” Josephine is a platform that connects consumers with home cooks. I’ve been a delighted customer and was really bummed when Josephine’s operations in my hometown of Oakland were halted while regulators sort out how to think about this innovative company. We’ll likely talk a bit about the regulatory issues, but what I really want to talk to Matt about is how Josephine enlivens the unique character of a city by creating economic opportunity for home chefs and bringing unlicensed cooking out of the shadows. I also want to talk about how it augments the personal fabric of the community by creating new human connections.
— Tim O’Reilly
We are in the Wild West of the peer economy — legal precedent and ethics have been outpaced by novel technology and business models. Platforms sharing more economic value and decision making with their (increasingly independent) providers will be more secure and adaptive as the space matures.
The “sharing economy” has not set the right example so far. Platforms have evaded the basic responsibilities of employers to create a growing class of invisible, on-demand labor. . . .Employers can either treat their workers like interchangeable pawns or look for ways to share the value these workers help to create.
We believe that investing in and trusting our cooks — by giving them the skills, ownership, and creative license to run their own businesses — is both a strategic and ethical investment in the Josephine business.
The ideal path, and the course we continue to pour effort into charting, is that we as innovators find ways to collaborate with regulators early and often, to cocreate models and rules that promote, rather than deter, ethical and accountable employment.
Matt Jorgensen is cofounder and Co-CEO of Josephine, a platform helping home cooks share their food with their friends, neighbors, and communities. Josephine is committed to advocating for and empowering providers—by engaging with diverse communities, sponsoring legislation, and incorporating cooks into decision making and ownership of the platform they are helping build. Matt has a bad memory, so he thinks a lot about the future. Specifically, he is excited about the possibilities for distributed ownership and more inclusive labor opportunities in the new economy. Prior to Josephine, Matt worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and founded a men’s apparel company called Rousers.
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