At a macro level, the sharing economy is shifting. Uber's business model, focused on hiring an army of contractors, isn't the only game in town. Funding conversations are changing, and investors are asking about sustained growth models.
"About a year ago, the conversation especially with investors was grow, grow, grow at all costs. Don't take on any liability, and replicate the Uber model," said Matthew George, founder and chief executive of Bridj. "Unfortunately what that's done is, it's created these really, really, really fragile companies that are spending way more than they're bringing in, even with the contractor model," he said.
And some start-ups embracing worker benefits including higher pay are looking to the legal future. They anticipate judicial rules that are likely to conclude classifying de facto employees as contractors just won't cut it for much longer.
And it's here, in this intersection of technology and labor policy, that the $15 wage fight has emerged.
California and New York, meanwhile, are on paths to become the highest-paid minimum wage states in the nation after their governors reached deals to raise the lowest amount a worker earns to $15 an hour.
California will lift minimum pay to $15 by 2022. New York City will see $15 wages by the end of 2018, with slower increases elsewhere in the state.
A question now is whether higher minimum pay will ultimately trigger more economic prosperity. And will other sharing economy start-ups follow with higher wages, as the Uber business model loses some of its gloss?
Marcela Sapone, CEO of chore service start-up Hello Alfred, gets a lot of questions about the $18 an hour she pays her hundreds of employees in five regions, from San Francisco to Brooklyn, New York.
She has one question for skeptics. "'How long do you want to be around for?'" said Sapone, who launched the company in 2014 with co-founder Jessica Beck.
"Very early we had a lot of pushback from investors on using W-2s," Sapone recalled. "But it helped us find investors that were right for us."