Unit 19
On-Demand Economy

New Knowledge/Fun Science


Share your ideas with your teacher and try to make sentences.

What are the products or services that are on-demand today?


Repeat  these  sentences  after  your  teacher.

1. era (n.) 時代
This era is led by technology.

2. on-demand (n.) 按需
Product repair services are on-demand.

3. instantaneously (v.) 瞬間、立即
When you are in danger, instantaneously death is possible.

4. taking advantage of (phr.) 利用、佔便宜
Stop taking advantage of the kindness of others.

5. desperate (adj.) 飢渴、無路可走
She is desperate to have that job.

6. tied to (phr.) 被捆綁
She is tied to her love for her job.

7. limo  (n.) 豪華轎車
I saw a limo yesterday. It was beautiful!


Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.

I love this new service. It‘s Uber for dog walking. I can get a dog walker anytime I want.

I thought you enjoyed taking your dog for a walk!

I do. But when I’m not able to do it because of work or hanging out with you, for instance, there’s someone to do it with the click of a button.
我喜歡啊。但是有時候我沒辦法自己遛,比如工作忙的時候或者要跟你出來。這種時候只要按一下手機,就有人幫我 遛狗啦。

Gosh, there’s an Uber for everything these days. Dog walking, house cleaning, dry cleaning, even picking up your coffee and muffin order!

This is the new era of on-demand economy. It matches supply with demand at the exact moment of need. Can you imagine we used to have to wait or change our plans to get services that can happen instantaneously now? I read a Wall Street Journal article that predicted half of the workforce would be working on an on-demand basis.

Well, I feel like it‘s creating a new underclass of service people. Most of them don’t have employment contracts, no medical coverage or any other benefits. Yes it’s great for consumers, but aren’t we taking advantage of people desperate for work?

So you don’t think it’s an effective way of creating jobs? Instead of being unemployed or tied to a low paying job, many people now have the option to choose how they work or being paid based on how much they work. Many Uber drivers make way more money than when they were working for a limo or taxi company.

I am all for choice and market forces. I see it as a great opportunity to unleash productivity and creativity. I don’t feel the same kind of moral skepticism that you do. Hey, want to get someone to mix drinks for us at the party next weekend?



I am not saying that it’s all bad. It’s a disruptive model. But government policies have failed to keep up with the pace of change in terms of adjusting benefit schemes for these workers. And it really bugs me when people just expect to be served by someone.

Let me guess. There’s an Uber for that!




The Uber of x, y, z

Even though a good deal of us like new things, we don’t like them to be too new, otherwise we wouldn’t understand them. That’s why new products are often compared to older products. For example: the Uber of dog-walking. Another common example is to compare a product to the Cadillac, an American luxury car.

1. Our business model is quite simple: we are the Uber for babysitters.

2. I wouldn’t say that I have the Cadillac of health care plans, but I’m still covered for most things.

3. My dream is to open the Starbucks of Juice Bars.

4. I’m like the Obama of baristas: More milk? Yes we can!

5. ___________________________________________________________.


Make a conversation with your teacher.

1.What are the factors that can influence a product or a services’ demand?