Except network of drivers, network of riders with the app installed, name recognition, capital to run the backend systems and delve into mapping algorithms, etc.
That's my point: Uber has done a lot of the hardest work for their competitors, but now has to match them on price or watch them eat away at their market. I don't see any strong network effect – what's the advantage to me as a passenger or driver of using Uber because you use Uber?
Of course it's possible to build some app that tells people nearby to pick them up with metering/billing services built in.
From a business standpoint, it would almost be impossible to duplicate what they have today.
Ultimately, this space will operationalize out to the company that can manufacture safe and reliable self-driving cars most efficiently. That's kind of how you can tell uber hasn't won yet: if a company came along that was doing that, it would eat their lunch.
Further, faced with the awesome self-driving car company, uber's hungry huge capital needs thus far will be nothing but a burden.
I believe they timed this all wrong -- they are myspace and in the wrong business.
Assuming, of course, the fleet cap- and opex makes autonomous vehicles a more profitable proposition than driver share without fleet costs, and it gives them a competitive advantage over smaller autonomous taxi fleets. I'm curious what their internal projections look like in that regard.
If someone can get the cost down to 1/10th or speed it up 10x etc, then uber may find itself down and out (or racing to catchup).
i.e. I could build "the Uber for when you want to go out on a date and impress someone in the car" as an overlay service.
There is a service for that. It's called Uber Black.
"The most common cause of failure in leadership is produced by treating adaptive challenges as if they were technical problems" - Ron Heifetz
Good thing Uber has conveniently created that for you.
2. Uber Pool requires a large number of drivers and customers to make it work. This is a real network effect and benefit, as having 2-3 customers in a car is more efficient than 1. This requires having other customers on a similiar route.
3. Customers want the closest car to them, meaning the company with the most cars gets a benefit
4. There are driver and customer acquisition and switching costs
Once you've got one city down, scaling it isn't that hard.
Uber and Lyft should relaunch there with self-driving cars (the mayor is all about self-driving cars) and change their logo to a fingerprint.
The same rules that Uber and Lyft seem to have no problem working under in Dallas and Houston.
Austin didn't kick anyone out, they left and good riddance I say. Fare and Fasten aren't perfect, but I will much more readily support a local company than Uber.
So, that would be why the city was overwhelmed fingerprinting drivers. Uh, yeah, let's see some evidence behind your statements.
And Austin didn't kick them out, Uber and Lyft LEFT. Uber and Lyft tried to hold Austin hostage, and, surprise, the Austin VOTERS bit them.
Uber is, in fact, launching self-driving already in, wait for it...Pitsburgh.
So, maybe that's the deal.
If that's true, why isn't Lyft doing well?
The point of the parent is: How does Uber turn all these subsidies into an actual profit someday? It's easy to undersell your competitors when you're burning money. Once the VC dries up, how does Uber compete with any other entrant?
Uber = Network effects. And not just that, but a two-sided market too! Combine that with the verb "to uber" and you have huge barriers!
Later, someone pointed out to me that Lyft and Uber are aggressively competing right now. It seems that Uber might be artificially deflating its prices to try and kill the competition, or discourage new companies from even entering the market. If they do manage to kill Lyft, you can be sure they will raise their prices again.
Or take the Soviet Union itself. The democratically elected Provisional Government was overthrown by force. Even the socialists-only Constituent Assembly election was simply voided and ignored by the Bolsheviks when they overwhelmingly lost.
Your claim is empirically false. Socialism has historically been imposed involuntarily at gunpoint in almost all cases where it has achieved any measure of real power. Moreover, once established, its show elections are a farce, with only pre-selected Party approved candidates allowed to win.
You will no doubt reply that none of this was done by "real" socialists, and that <insert your favorite sub-sub-branch of socialism here> are the only "real" socialists. This is the "No True Scotsman fallacy".
Pretty much ANY political system gains power through bloodshed. The United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, pretty much the entirety of South America, Africa and Asia... With the wide ranges of political systems that span all these places, each and every one of them was put in place by violence.
You point out the horrible regimes that adopted the word "Socialist" or "People's" in their name and point out all the atrocities that they have committed. While adopting those monickers != actual socialism, you've headed off that argument, so I'll give you that. However, don't lay violence as a means of gripping power at the feet of Socialism... That's a human trait.
So were the US backed gorrillas in every violent uprising in South America in the 1980's.
So were Belgian trading companies in the Congo.
So were the French people during the Reign of Terror.
So were the Catholics during the all of the Inquisitions.
So were the Spanish during the expulsion of the Moors.
I could go on. The point being that this is not a Socialist trait. The first two were done with Capitalist intent. The last two were carried out with both political and religous power in mind. It's clear that you don't like Socialism, and that's fine... to each his own. But it's "disingenuous" to ignore history for the sake of proving your point.
No, given the evidence, it's not fair. You could say the exact same thing for Capitalism.
Please. Now you're just being purposefully insulting.
Trying to impute motives to an unreal analytic abstraction is the reification fallacy.
That is an empty refutation...
Colonialism was(is?) as very real practice. I really don't understand how you can claim that it is an "intellectual abstraction"
You went to Wikipeda for the definition of reification, but not for the definition of Colonialism?
They were universally created, armed, trained, and funded by the KGB as part of a massive decades-long social engineering program designed to make people think that there were organic third world socialist movements which had spontaneously emerged from the local population's great love of socialism. In reality they were all -- 100% of them -- created and operated by remote control from Moscow.
They served the interests of the Soviet Union exclusively. They were interested in the needs or betterment of local peoples only insofar as this also served to expand Soviet control and influence in those places.
As the local third world socialists usually naively did not realize this reality, the locals who actually worked and fought in the "indigenous" movements were internally referred to as "useful idiots" within the KGB.
Communism has always been an explicitly internationalist movement with the conversion of all countries worldwide -- and especially highly industrialized countries, above all the United States -- to Communist rule as the open goal. Under these circumstances, the US response of funding counter-operations abroad to counteract these KGB operations was appropriate.
See e.g. the Mitrokhin archive, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/2006-0..., etc.
You completely ignored (or didn't understand) my point. I spread the attributions of violence around to show that using abhorrent violence to grip power has nothing to do with political inclination, economic system or religion. It is innately human.
Whether other systems have also been undemocratic is irrelevant (the "tu quoque fallacy").
I simply making the point that gripping power through undemocratic means is not a trait of a particular political belief, but rather a trait of human kind in general. Not agreeing with huac, and not agreeing with you.
You're quoting fallacies while not understanding what's being said around you.
I wish people had the balls to stand behind their politics.
Now taxes, that's a different story.
If you're paying too little, you've got to expect that situation is not sustainable - either that good deal withers, or the vendor's lock on their customers means they can raise prices arbitrarily.
That is indeed the case: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/technology/will-ride-ha...
Quite the business model. I wonder if they really believe they're earning goodwill at the rate of an Andrew Jackson per ride?
They can do that, if they want anti-trust problems. I bet Uber wants Lyft to survive so they can have a substantially similar competitor to point to when the government's lawyers come knocking.
At that point, any (future) new entrant to the market will face a steeper uphill battle than Lyft did. In the process, they may lose some customers to real cars or public transit, but they'll remain the only player in this space.
If Uber succeeds in killing Lyft, they can dictate pricing more effectively and harvest a surplus from the remaining consumers.
Crucially, Uber doesn't own the cars nor the drivers. Anyone willing to throw more cash to drivers and take less cash from riders (with the infusion of VC funding) can instantly steal both the supply and the demand from Uber.
The problem for uber is that I am paying the majority of the cost of owning a car, the parking space, either way, so switching back to driving myself has a low cost. Housing situations I want that don't come with "free" parking are few and far between in my area.
Now if uber would bully the city into letting someone build a parking free tower of studio condos? Yeah o.k. Maybe they could exploit the lack of competition to get me to pay a lot more for transport, but as it is, they need to keep the price below what I would pay to read for twenty minutes rather than drive, and I am not sure that would add up to a market clearing wage without some vc largess.
If Uber gets big, expect this to happen in addition to blocking the construction of effective bike lanes.
The only real benefit to public transit at this point is that it allows you to dodge the cost of parking your vehicle for a day while you are at work. But Uber has figured out other ways to successfully allow people to dodge that cost.
With Uber pool my commute takes roughly the same time as metro, is door to door, and now cheaper and in many ways safer than taking the metro.
Or they are just trying to tread water until they can remove drivers as a cost. If Uber can use VC money to pay current driver and then use more VC money to purchase a self driving fleet, they just have to wait it out until their current prices become profitable.
Together, that would make your taxable income something like 60% of the figure.
 And seriously, phrasing the guarantee as before their own cut? Come on, guys.
If that "provided you accept certain amount of rides" keeps increasing since more people will make use of such subscriptions, the operating expenses (fuel + wear and tear) continues to increase.
Yes that's pretty disingenuous.
I see your point here and am annoyed by this tendency, but to be fair, in the US, this is pretty common. After all, salaries are reported pre-tax, despite a $100K salary meaning wildly different post-tax nets depending on where in the country you live.
Nothing wrong with a finder's fee. Lots wrong with promoting the pre-fee value.
I think your point is that it's common practice to not mention all kinds of add-ons when listing prices, so there's nothing particularly unusual about Uber doing it, even if we'd prefer everyone to agree to stop doing it.
But even so, I think there's a big difference: in the case of taxes (retail or labor), there's a valid defense: "I don't know tax rates in your municipality", "I don't know how many deductions you have or what your family income is". Even so, when paying a vendor, you know how much you're deducting from their payments for yourself, so you don't really have an excuse for reporting a figure that includes a part that you know you have to personally take out.
The scumminess would be more obvious if Uber e.g. claimed that rides in a certain interval would get a 10% bonus, without also mentioning that they increased their take to cover it all. It would no however, be scumy if they simply failed to mention that "oh, this might push you into a higher tax bracket".
An analogous example is Japanese salarymen working many dozens of hours of overtime per month, becoming dependent on those extra hours and extra pay, structuring their life based on this inflated amount. When the financial crisis hit and firms tightened up, reducing or outright barring overtime work, these families suffered.
Thing is, how many people does it take to run a medallion/dispatcher cab company? Aside from the drivers, maybe 10-20 people? An app-aided service could flourish with many fewer employees, so when you have Uberlikes trying to define a market they're doing so at a chosen price point. There's nothing that says that a sustainable price point can't be (much, much) lower. If a service can do 80% of Uber functionality/reliability/satisfaction, they might be able to easily undercut them on price and still have everybody be happy.
Anecdotally, I used Lyft/walked to work for a week and got a similar week of half off Pool rides in SF.
I have been riding uber every day for the last few weeks after a skateboard crash. Pools from home->work are almost always ~$7.50 and pools from work->home are almost always ~$2.30. I believe it is because i work at an uber hot-spot and live in an uber dead-end.
Population density is actually increasing in Houston's inner city. It would be an interesting experiment for Uber to at least try pooling inside our 610 loop area.
The pricing felt convoluted even before I saw this part. I can't see this being worth the effort, if you can't even guarantee the $7 prices.
It seems like this is their way of addressing the problem of "being in the car". If you get in the car with your $7 UberX pass, then demand to go to San Jose, something has to happen. Getting out of the car is probably worse for the customer, so they cap the amount this pass buys you, knowing you'll never hit the limit under the intended use case.
However, it seems like they could handle that with something like "Must start and end in San Francisco, with a single destination" (meaning, not a "go here, wait for me to get back, then go here" trip).
But going by Uber's history, this would be too transparent and wont workout for them.
This is the same trick to get you out there more. It's also inevitably the end game for Uber. Deliver value for less than your monthly car payment.
Someone is crunching the numbers right now figuring out exactly how much LTV they can extract from you in exchange for paying $500 a month every month to Uber.
Then when Uber wins that game by the end of next year many other CPG and big box retailers will follow suit, riding along the subscription box model.
By 2020 it will be normal for you to receive income from the government just so you can hand it over to lifestyle providers of all stripes every month to live how you personalized it to be.
Latest fashion every month from WalMart! Semi-prepped meals every day from Safeway! 30 day supply of customized toothpaste from Target! Just insert token.
Edit: Looks like it's only available for uberPOOL.
There is less money coming out of Uber than is being put into it by VCs.
Not sure why everyone thinks these are such business successes. It doesn't take a genius to burn piles of cash.
These 800 miles would be reimbursed at $460 using the IRS mileage rate which is for gasoline vehicles, but assume that only 1/3 of that is gas and the other 2/3 is depreciation, wear/tear, licensing, etc. then we see that Uber would need to have each rider pay $1.53 just to break even on the cost of owning the vehicle. This ignores the fact that self-driving cars are likely to be much more expensive when it comes to non-gasoline costs. I believe I read somewhere today that the Teslas takes ~3mile/kWh so this cost would need to be added in, this is ~$0.07/mile at 20 cents per kWh. Total cost to break even is then roughly $1.80 per passenger, plus whatever additional costs a new and experimental all electric fleet with undefined insurance statistics costs above a regular vehicle.
Assuming their current model of $8 per uberX ride is an example of what they expect to hit, then Uber is taking in $6.20 per passenger or $1240 per car per day or $452,600 per car per year assuming perfect efficiency.
The question that really matters though is how will Uber's fleet deal with peak passenger demand? These 200 riders are not spaced out evenly at 7 minute intervals - most of them all will want to ride at the same time. People will stop using Uber if the waits become too long and Uber will lose its competitive advantage.
Or Uber can pay off its drivers more earlier and in this way win more of their loyalty for Uber. Brilliant.
Also happens in "no so" private mode on the iPhone. Apple should really fix that as it leaks information.
I can't surely be the only one who experienced this?
That's probably a quarter of the people I run into on my commute to and from work. People just don't give a shit about breaking traffic laws themselves. Of course they'll be sure to honk at and scream at the other people who do.
At least in the case of Uber, in my city, cops are a bit aggressive about making sure they don't do things like stop on a busy corner or do other stupid, anti-social maneuvers. I once had an Uber driver stop on a busy corner and block turning traffic. As I got into the Uber a cop ran up and literally ripped the door out of my hand as I was shutting it to scream at the driver he had 10 seconds to move or get a $1,000 ticket. Going out on the main strip during a Friday night, it isn't uncommon to see an officer deal with at least one driver.
Have driven for Uber.
There is approximately nowhere to legally stop in a busy downtown area aside from parking garages that cost $35+. The best you can do is pick stopping places that minimize disruption to traffic (i.e. fire hydrants, no parking zones that could easily accomodate parking, the parking spaces too close to the stop signs) and get into/out of them safely, signaling, watching mirrors and checking for bikes. Be quick, and if a cop or more legitimate user of that parking space comes up, get out of it and circle the block.
If we insisted that drivers only stop in legal parking spaces, there would be nothing resembling delivery or taxi service in a busy downtown area, except at the handful of buildings that actually have taxi stands and loading docks.
There's a reason one of UPS's largest operating expenses is parking tickets. IMO that's perfectly fine. The city has to make it cost something so it's not taken lightly, but the service still gets to exist.
I get the frustration in downtowns, but I live in San Jose, which is not busy downtown and it annoys me every time these people do weird things and impede the traffic flow.
If so, I'm guessing you've benefitted from a driver stopping or parking in a place they weren't legally allowed to stop.
Do you think these services should go away, or what?
Just this morning I saw an uber driver stopping at the sidewalk but having the back of his car hanging in the lane making people having to drive around him. That is, in my opinion, just egoistic and annoying. On the other hand if you stop in front of the fire lane without impeding traffic, no one will care.
Also, now there are not only bad taxis, but also bad Ubers!
I feel like there are a lot more Ubers in an area than there are cabs. So I will get annoyed more often by an Uber than a cab.