Pythagoras Pizza CEO Evan Kuo Evan Kuo
The main way that Silicon Valley companies keep employees loyal is with stock options. Stick around for a year or two, and you get a small slice of ownership in the company. It's a good incentive for workers to do their bit to increase the company's value.
It doesn't really work that way in most other jobs though, especially if you're not an office worker. No matter how many burgers you flip or skim-milk lattes you serve up, you won't own any of the company. And when employees aren't sharing in any of the value they create for a company, morale suffers and turnover increases.
Now, Evan Kuo, the CEO of San Francisco venture-backed pizza-on-demand startup Pythagoras Pizza, thinks he has a clever plan to bridge those two worlds.
Kuo wants to create a new digital currency, to be called "fragments," that would give workers a piece of the pie. The new currency would be sort of like Bitcoin, except that it would be linked to the valuation of Pythagoras Pizza itself.
If this plan works, Pythagoras drivers will earn some fragments every time they deliver a pie. Every order that a Pythagoras chef cooks up also generates fragments. Even Pythagoras customers will be able to get in on the action, with every friend referral resulting in a bounty of fragments.
The better Pythagoras' business performs, the more each fragment will be worth. It means that whether you work for Pythagoras for two weeks or two years, you're earning some kind of stake in the company's future performance, commensurate with your contribution.
In the "gig economy," where independent contractors bounce between organizations on a job-by-job basis, Kuo's plan could create a framework to align workers' interests with those of the platforms they serve. Kuo...