Summary of High Score, Low Pay

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

High Score, Low Pay summary

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Insider's Take


Sarah Mason, a Lyft driver and sociologist, forensically examines management controls in the ride app industry. Based on her personal experience, she shows how companies like Lyft use gamification to motivate drivers. Your driver is actually playing a game – and may be hooked.

About the Author

Sarah Mason is a Lyft driver and a graduate student studying platform-mediated labor at the University of California.


Before labor rights and a social welfare system protected workers, economic necessity ensured that people worked hard. But once these safeguards were in place, people didn’t start slacking. According to sociologist Michael Burawoy, gamification replaced coercion. Managers framed production, for example, as a set of challenges that motivated workers to overcome obstacles and reach targets. Burawoy observed that gamification also meant that dissatisfied workers no longer felt disgruntled about employers – but rather directed their anger at the colleague who slowed them down.

Today’s ride-sharing companies also use gamification as a management tool. They offer their employees freedom...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

More Than Just Weather and Music
Unconventional CEOs
All the Things Covid-19 Will Change Forever According to 30 Top Experts
Embracing Innovation in Government
America Is Running Out of Everything
The Substackerati

Related Channels