I think Google's strategy is far deeper than short term profit.
For example, if their primary motivations were Preventing Monopoly status, and feeding their AI Research they would be embracing open standards, Federation of services, and a whole host of other things they have rejected the last decade or so.
They would have never Killed Reader, they would have never taken Hangouts off XMPP, they would have never killed alot of their API's and services web sites were using, they would have never killed the Search Appliance... I could go on and on and one
Google does not have a Grand Master plan playing 5D chess to get to the Singularity.... They are just another Top Heavy Corporation focused on Quarterly earning statements and marred in Internal and External Politics.
If Google provided a good stable API, people may never consider going to concurrence. By pissing off some users, Google stimulates competition and avoids becoming a "public service". I think this reasoning explains well Reader, XMPP, their dropped API and explains also why they do not embrace open standards.
I disagree with you on their focus on earnings, but I fully agree with "marred in internal and external politics".
Launching a bunch of terrible and failing copycat projects and closing down actually useful "niche" projects sure helps with not appearing too dominant, but it does nothing to help feed Google's AI.
It also does nothing to prevent Google's competitors from becoming dominant and getting locked out of important data sources like social interactions (Facebook) or product search (Amazon).
I agree with syshum. Supporting federated, open protocols would make much more sense. It would make Google appear benign while at the same time granting them access to a lot of data and help keep competitors at bay.
Disagree completely. A Social Network is better when everyone can communicate seamlessly with each other, that does not require a hierarchy model controlled by a single entity, it is much much harder to do in a decentralized way, and it much less profitable but it is far from impossible or even better as a social network to be centralized. It is better for profitability to be centralized, it is better for censorship, control, etc to be centralized, but for the actual users it can be decentralized, seamless and far better
>Google avoids having a too good social network to avoid becoming dominant.
Google does not have good social network for a variety of reasons, none of which is because they have purposely chosen not to have one.
>If Google provided a good stable API, people may never consider going to concurrence. By pissing off some users, Google stimulates competition and avoids becoming a "public service". I think this reasoning explains well Reader, XMPP, their dropped API and explains also why they do not embrace open standards.
When talking Anti-Trust this is the exact wrong approach. MS got into Anti-Trust trouble because of their non-standard dominance over the web. It was a combination of IE Integration into windows along with other technology like ActiveX that was not open to competitors. Forcing users to use the IE Web Browser.
Had there been a stronger Standard like HTML5 is today, and has MS been a full partner and compliant with it I likely would have avoided all Anti-Trust actions (especially in the US) even with the integration of IE into windows.
Adopting Free and Open Standards can be a defense against Anti-Trust.
He was asked about using AI to make search better and he responded that they are using search to make AI better.
It is the ultimate long game with many steps on getting there that might not make sense in issolation but all go together.
Grab motorbike service is also very popular but in this case also displacing an existing local market of independent moto taxi drivers. I'm not sure how their prices for rides compare but I don't see any obvious improvement in the quality of life for drivers.
I'm also less excited by the prospect of food delivery replacing restaurants. Not only does it involve a ton of wasteful packaging, but almost all food suffers a lot in transport. There is no comparison, for example, between a pizza fresh out of the oven and one that's been in a steamy pizza box for 15 minutes.
Naomi Wu / @RealSexyCyborg / 10 Dec 2017 / Naomi Wu Retweeted Seruko
If food delivery cost $0.40USD with no "tip" lots of Western countries might be at a similar place. Cheap migrant labor is the backbone of our e-commerce boom. The way they treat those boys is unforgivable.
The gig economy - more cost-effective than slavery.
The previous tweets in the thread seem more relevant here:
> I'm generally skeptical of anyone who makes a week-long trip to China and comes back awed by 'how advanced they are in X.' In my experience Chinese academics and firms lie their ass off to visitors.
> Unfortunately...yes. It's economics- photos of "foreigners looking impressed at X" is pretty much a requirement for any sort of fund raising here. Western counterparts have incentive to play along so they can say "the Chinese are beating us at X" and get more funding back home.
Not sure about the other Western countries.
"[Google] stuck in me-too mode and have been for years. They simply don’t have innovation in their DNA any more. And it’s because their eyes are fixed on their competitors, not their customers."
"I just witnessed history in the making. (...) I have not seen a land rush this massive since the early days of the Web, and it just might be even bigger.
So what is Grab? Well, the simple and unsatisfying answer is: They’re the Uber of Southeast Asia."
And given those apps have managed to re-arrange e-comm, on demand, banking & payments industries over the course of a few years id say they are pretty innovative. Take a look at what Kudo (a grab acquisition) does for example.
Also agree with the comment below re countries with high un-employment. At least here in Indonesia on-demand services seem to have made a net positive impact on income levels for low income demographics. Hopefully when one emerges as the victor some regulations are put in place to make sure this remains the case.
"uber of southeast asia", "alipay of southeast asia", "wechat of southeast asia" all that doesn't matter in this context. They're all unoriginal. Parent was saying how OP is claiming to have left Google because they are unoriginal and frame themselves against competition. That's exactly what "X of Y" is. Doesn't matter what X, or Y is. That's what that expression is designed to do.
I should have been more specific. What they are on track to becoming (the we-chat, alipay of SEA), requires a high level of innovation in itself.
As We-chats rise was very different to Alipay's - Grab & co's are to the chinese companies. Its most definitely not cookie-cutter territory.
- People don't trust apps more than they do banks. Traditional bank accounts are expensive (for bank & users) and its this has been the primary limiter of financial inclusion. Mobile wallets reduce branch costs. Mobile wallets like Grab, where the "bank" has a few hundred thousand employee / customers and millions of potential users to sell to have a great head start.
- People use grab-pay / go-pay instead of cash because you get a big discount on services when you do. They need to this, because cash-in to mobile wallets is such a pain. And no, they don't have much trust in apps. Subsidies can be reduced of course as they cement habit and provide more utility from the app (hence the rush for merchants & new use cases).
- Credit card fraud doesn't stop people from applying for credit cards. Central bank regulations on ownership criteria do. As does financial prudence (& religious reasons here).
- The NO TIPPING signs at Jakarta Airport are to let you know its a free service. Because tipping parking attendants is commonplace. Its not related to bribary.
- "Thieves are everywhere". Not gonna comment on that one. But I will on the "the evil taxi drivers in cahoots with the police" one. If this was commonplace there would obviously not be much demand for the legions of taxi's that operated before online apps came around. Once, I was ripped off by a guy offering a hotel in a train station in Rome. It doesn't mean hotels in Rome are inherently untrustworthy.
The latter part of the article is pretty accurate - Grab & Gojek are have made huge improvements in employment and financial inclusion. They have opened up the door to insanely cool new services and Id struggle to think of tech companies who have made such a huge impact into daily life here (Including FB & the like). Its also extremely likely that one of them will become the Alipay/Wechat of SEA and re-arrange the banking & e-comm landscapes too over the next few years.
Taking taxis in most of SEA (and China), at least as a white foreigner, is a gamble every time. In KL, it takes me about 3 times each time to get a taxi that doesn't try to charge me a fixed fare, which is usually about 3x the normal fare. On my last two visits to Shanghai, i had one ride each time where the driver was "asking" for extra money by yelling and in one case threatening physical violence. In Bangkok it much depends on the location. Worst case you'll have to ask about 5 parked taxis before one agrees to use the meter.
Before Grab/Uber, there were not many alternatives to taxis, but that does not mean that taxis were providing good service.
Personally i use go-jek. Got an sms just like whatsapp, and i was setup. Grab wants me to create an account, meh, so i stopped there.
I like the live tracking, so i can see, where the driver is. Helped me a lot to get out and find the driver, as the navigation route is most likely wrong in all these small streets. Hard to give notes, they ignore them anyways.
The Go-Jek apps, for each purpose one, meh. The update mess on each day, whenever i get wifi, i hate it.
And i see signs everywhere: only drop-off, no go-jek, no grab, no uber. They are pretty vocal about it. So yeah, its a war.
Surely it breaks up local schemes of corruption. One can see it, when streets are closed down by types in army clothes, and a caravan of cars enter the streets, with dudes in open jeeps, moustache and laughing. There goes the money.
I do not know. There is a global economy and local businesses. I wish it was not a few companies driving the disrupting changes, that will destroy most likely local businesses, that have developed over decades. Sure, people use it and that is good. Good ideas replace ideas not so good anymore in these times.
Ah, i dont know. I want tools, that allow people to connect directly in an open market. Without a big company controlling the flow and taking a percentage here and there. But maybe thats the prize to pay for now. Everyone can take a camera now and do tv, its not monopolized anymore by a few.
End of rant. I wish that dude good luck. I also have left a well oiled machine to start something else. I do not share his excitement, though. The food delivery business will never be mine except for emergency. That beats crusty, non plastic wrapped 'fresh' together with a few friends. But thats just me. :)
I think Steve just wrote a great recruiting piece for Grab and Gojek ;-). Both are incredible companies, so all for the good. $Diety knows we need some great companies outside SF.
Due Disclosure: (I have no real interest in the ride sharing space but) Some of my friends are driving the tech at GoJek, and they are incredibly sharp people, with great vision and the tech chops to match. If Yegge wanted to be in a war with formidable opponents, he's got it in spades!
Here in Malaysia the government already ban motorcycle ride-hailing service as it's considered unsafe for passengers. I assume it's the same thing as well in Singapore.
I'm getting super excited!
... a little bit later...
> "So what is Grab? Well, the simple and unsatisfying answer is: They’re the Uber of Southeast Asia."
Lost me at this point!
>"Aside from Singapore, the traffic infrastructure ranges from bad to terrible to near-nonexistent. (I mean, c’mon, Indonesia alone is 17,000 islands.) The credit-card industry is near-nonexistent."
>"And it is growing more rapidly in Southeast Asia, because — as any Asian person will happily tell you — they love their food more than you do."
>"I’m getting myself involved in a land war in Asia."
>"Asians use smartphones possibly more than anyone else in the world."
>"Not so in SEA. Everyone stares happily into their smart phones all the time."
It's not the 1300s anymore, many of us "Westerners" have spent time in South East Asia. And one of the great experiences there is going out to dine at night markets, hawker centers and food stalls. Getting food delivered ... not so interesting.
I get it that you came back from a company offsite and were eager to show management your enthusiasm but oh how cringeworthy this piece is.
Also talking crap about your previous employer as a means of getting publicity for your new one is incredibly tacky. More especially so considering you spent 13 years with them.
In other words, if company X can only deliver your low price pizza and Diet Coke via abuse of its workers, then that business should not exist. It's a hard leap to make for many people, but a necessary one.
I'm a proponent of strong unions with generally binding collective agreements (= collective agreements defining legally binding minimum terms for the whole industry), but I suppose the model won't work everywhere for one reason or another.
So yeah.. I doubt people could gang up on unsustainable businesses as long as they personally pay less.
Ok, not a direct quote from mayo bottle but you get the gist of it.
Now the funny part, my better half has a hotel and restaurant. She has trouble working with good ingredients because people demand crap ones they are used to.
That was my exact experience first time I bought high quality peanut butter. The oil had separated and stayed at the top. I thought something went wrong and I was ripped off. Took me some googling to realise that's what happens if the maker don't take away natural nuts oil and don't replace it with palm oil. Took me some time to adjust to natural no-unnecessary-additives jams too.
Now cheap knockoffs taste like shit though. The overexposed taste is just too lame and lacks depth.
But nothing, NOTHING comes close to freshly blended peanut butter warm from those little blending machines at natural grocery stores or Whole foods.
If he can start to write more now that he's no longer at Google, then I'm happy not just for him and his new job, but also for the rest of us, who can (hopefully) hear his voice much more often.
The only explanation is that if they really worked at Google for 13 years, they must have made so much money that they don't care about making good financial decisions anymore.
Just FYI, he's a pretty famous blogger. He also accidentally posted a supposed-to-be-private rant about Google a few years ago, which became pretty famous too.
So yes, he really did work at Google for 13 years.
Which is not saying I disagree with you about this particular case, it sounds a bit overblown to me too.
WTF? Why would the mafia do fake ride bookings? Who is paying them? Sounds like a certain company is trying to pump up their numbers artificially.
The whole ride-sharing thing is a massive bubble and OP's blind enthusiasm only confirms this. When I went to Thailand, taxi was so cheap, I felt compelled to give the driver a 100% tip.
Halfway through, the article started to sound like satire. I was expecting to get to the end of the article and see "Just kidding! seriously people; stick to Google..."
I've heard this is common in markets where startups (/multi-sided platforms) dump a ton of VC money in the form of incentives and offers, in the absence strict ID verification. Even if the customer only pays $x, the driver gets paid $(x+d), and you can make the extra $d per transaction if you played both customer and supplier.
That said I kind of disagree with this:
Restaurants and food trucks are both about to be obliterated by Peach and Uber Eats.
The biggest cost to a restaurant was their location and hence, the rents. Sure using food delivery apps helps them a lot. It also lowers the barrier of running a restaurant. So people might be all in for these apps. But that is one side of the equation.
The real question is - How is this a viable business for the food delivery apps? Is the market large enough to make real profits? As an example, most of the food delivery apps in India are not doing great:
Swiggy has been the "Uber" of food delivery apps here in India and they have revised their prices upwards quite frequently.
For example, right now, restaurants are naturally incentivized to disperse around the city to take advantage of foot traffic. But this turns logistics into a N x M challenge which is expensive. Delivery restaurants are instead incentivized to cluster together because 1 x M logistics is so much more efficient.
Once they cluster, further efficiencies can be unlocked. For example, right now, if there are 10 Asian restaurants in a block, each of them offers steamed rice and each of them owns a rice cooker. If you exist in a cluster and all your orders come from delivery, it no longer makes sense for you to be a "jack of all trades" restaurant, you can just have one restaurant make the 3 - 4 types of rice required for all Asian cuisines and it gets added on as a side for your order. Similar with like, mashed potatoes for Western restaurants, just have one restaurant focus on making the best damn mashed potatoes possible with all sorts of customized mixins and all the other restaurants don't have to deal with mashed potatoes. Prior to delivery restaurants, a "rice and mashed potatoes restaurant" would be totally non-viable. But with the disaggregating effects of delivery, it's now a possibility.
Probably the closest analogy I can think of is the Singaporean Hawker centers. Each stall is only responsible for making 2 - 3 things and they make the best damn version of that thing possible. America, for whatever reason, has never managed to produce truly decent food courts so it's a totally different paradigm.
On top of that, clustered delivery allows for the sharing of a lot of common infrastructure (HVAC, refrigeration, suppliers, dishwashing services, cleaning services, etc.) in a way that makes the entire enterprise more plug and play. Think AWS instead of dedicated servers. Rather than each kitchen having to hire a cleaning crew or worrying about what happens if the walk in is on the fritz, dedicated teams who specialize in each respective task can deploy it as a service scalably across the entire set of restaurants. Instead of incurring $X00,000 in startup costs, you can instead just lease at $X,000 a month and scale up your spend as you scale up your revenue.
All of this requires delivery as a format to get over certain scale humps so that efficiencies can start to be unlocked. But once they do (as they're currently reaching in Asia), we're going to start seeing much more interesting, innovative business models that take delivery as a premise and innovate from there.
What you describe is a food assembly line optimised for efficiency, but I think if you look around you'll see that the kind of food that comes out of such assembly lines is generally considered second rate and unhealthy.
The idea of having one place preparing one type of ingredient is especially troubling. What happens when that enterprise grows successful enough that it just doesn't care about the quality of its product anymore? It's just a monopoly problem, at local level, waiting to happen. In any case, eating the same mashed potatoes all the time, even if they're the best damn mashed potatoes possible (which is impossible, really, because if you ask ten different people what kind of mashed potatoes they like, you'll get ten different answers) you'll get bored of them pretty damn quickly and long for something new.
You mention street food; that's the antithesis of what you propose. The whole point of street food is variation. I've never been to Singapore but I literally can't imagine street food prepared centrally. It would be ... bland.
It really helps to know something about an industry before you claim that some random app is going to completely revolutionize said industry.
The question really is on the app side - today they might be in making say $X from 3-4 places serving steamed rice. But tomorrow as you pointed out this might reduce down to $x/3 because all 3-4 can band together to pay for the same delivery. It will affect the food delivery app's bottom line.
So, the question remains is - how do food delivery apps deliver long term profits from this?
What we've seen across a range of creative industries is a transformation of incentives from those who are able to run the best business into those who are able to make the best product.
Take Youtube for example. Prior to Youtube, creatives had to figure out how to create compelling videos, where to market them to attract the most eyeballs and then how to monetize the ensuing attention. Those are three disparate skillsets that are rarely found in the same person.
Now with YouTube, while possessing the skills to market and monetize are beneficial, they're no longer essential. Instead, what you can do is purely focus on producing the best damn videos possible (where "best" is defined by whatever Youtube algorithm of the week is optimizing for) and Youtube will put your videos in front of the right eyeballs, grow your audience for you and monetize that audience (in exchange for taking a hefty cut and locking you into the platform).
We're seeing the same thing happen with Medium in blogging, AirBNB in accommodation, Facebook with news etc.
Right now, most restaurants fail, not because the food is bad, but because restauranteurs rarely make good businesspeople.
There's a compelling value add to chefs to offering them a platform where all they need to focus on is making the best possible dish for a given price point and customers naturally are delivered to them. At the same time, there's a compelling value to consumers where an app can look at my past purchase history, use machine learning, and add a free sample sized portion of a dish it think I will like to any delivery I order in order to expose me to new restaurants.
Any app that manages to insert itself into the middle of that transaction is going to redefine the food industry. That's why everyone is so hot for delivery right now. Even though the short term game has horrible unit economics, delivery is a natural choke point by which you can own the customer relationship.
In reality, in the US, this is really Yelp's game to lose. Yelp's stranglehold on reviews gives it a natural leverage point to pivot into this space. It's only Yelp's horrible executional ability that has opened up the space to so many well funded competitors.
Which is precisely why no restaurant worth its salt limits itself to a single delivery app...Delivery is an add-on value for restaurants. People who assume it's just about the food fundamentally misunderstand why people go to restaurants in the first place.
Sounds like this is OP's first startup.
Not unlike how Uber drivers did.
As for Didi vs Uber, I think there were some 'government' realities that made it a bit more skewed compared to the rest of the world, much like many other non-chinese companies in China.
Then when the author revealed the innovative business they were most excited about, it was pretty difficult to process. Really? This is the exciting innovation you want in life? Take out delivery?
Every day I have to remind myself everyone is different.
This is why people hate tech workers.
Having a popular blog is that much appreciated nowadays that he'd have significantly more income than his peers (without blogs)?
I don't think he's really done the math to figure out maintenance and fuel costs, but presumably he's coming out ahead in any case. This is a major issue in developing countries where institutional wage increases have not kept pace with the "gig" economy. So a skilled and educated professional can make 3x to 5x the local wage by working as a virtual assistant or an Uber Driver.
This pulls educated professionals out of the labor pool for things like medical and drags down the quality of care. Medical facilities in the Philippines can be really nice, but many doctors and nurses are recent grads and quite frankly completely clueless about anything but the most basic issues.
I think most of the VC money are used on the "war" to gain dominance. Tech, marketing, lobbying, and such.
What industries would you consider stable today...?
They are all burning through cash of course, as each attempts to increase market share of drivers and reduce prices for users.
I think Yegge suffers from the same affliction that actually afflicts Google: a reward structure for new launches, not for perfecting what already exists. Google's problem is often not innovating, it's trying to hard to do something innovative, rather than the boring stuff that actually matters to a lot of customers. I think Google Photos is a perfect example of innovation focused on solving the boring stuff. You can say it's an iPhoto clone, but photo storage and backup is a commodity, it's organization and maintenance that's the real consumer pain in that regard.
And as many noted, the irony of the complaint about copying competitors and lack of innovation, and then a feverish, almost religious pitch for yet another O2O gig-economy clone, like the numerous that already exist in China.
What are the bold innovations to come out of Facebook, Google, Microsoft over the past decade or so that haven't been acquisitions? With Facebook, you have a bunch of work on better targeting ads. Oculus and Instagram are both acquisitions.
Amazon is the exception. With Amazon, you have AWS, Alexa, Fresh/Prime Now, while also breaking into new geographies and verticals etc.
Welcome back to the real world, man, hoping we see more blogs from you in the future!
If not, this whole space is otherwise a race to the bottom and a question of who can raise the most money. The fact that money from Softbank and Alphabet is allocated to competitors illustrates that it is very unclear how these companies differ from one another.
Steve, I can't think of a better way to satirize the gestalt at Google. Genius! Or maybe sandwich genius, where crowds can critique whether cheese goes over or under the meat.
Purely advertorial for me :)
I always kinda assumed that Google were paying him to write his essays for internal consumption only — not just making him stop blogging completely. Hopefully this means that we'll be hearing more from him in the future.
I'm still thankful for him getting me (and thousands of others) pumped up for the Common Lisp renascence of the mid-2000s, and I keep on hoping the world will cotton to its advantages (or — even better — develop something better yet). No dice so far, though.
Or in this case, someone's first startup job.
also, riders don't get compensation for parking fee
so most riders avoid crowded resto and [tall] buildings (have to park and take elevator -- more unpaid time)
also, money spent on internet and phone calls are not compensated
so u get random whatsapp messages from grab/gojek riders ... and sometimes sms (still costs little money tho), but rarely a phone call
I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. As if such things as hygiene regulations didn't exist and you can just open a restaurant by hanging a sign out and telling someone to deliver whatever you just produced in your kitchen.
Well, probably in some part of the world you can. In some part of the world people die of food poisoning all the time, in other parts we learned the hard way that sometimes you need this thing which bothers startups to no end called regulation.
He argued that these kind of establishments were safe to eat at because their entire livelihood is dependent on their reputation among locals. Looking around at all the competition along the street we just walked down, it kind of made sense.
In my north american city if a shop fails inspection they are closed down for 48 hours, after which they can open back up and operate until next inspection. In Bangkok if a vendor makes some one sick the news spreads via word of mouth and their business is DONE.
I was able to enjoy an amazing meal after calming down.
Also, the GI tracts of people in developed nations are more susceptible to some pathogens than people who have been exposed to those pathogens from an early age and have survived those pathogens in their foodsource.
At the end of the day, I think it always remains the case that "killing your customers is bad for business".
But one of them is that SF doesn't have the storage and refrigeration that a fixed establishment does. The other is throughput. Combined, food doesn't stick around long enough to go bad. I have gotten sick in Vietnam, and it was at the fanciest restaurant on the entire trip. Most likely it was something kept under bad refrigeration for way too long.
But I remember when I laughed similarly at AirBnB and Uber, because regulations, safety etc.
I remember when Uber riders, drivers, AirbnB hosts got screwed because the other party turned up to be a criminal (remember #uberdelhirape ?)
But, sharing economy is the new buzzword and regulations have been too much of a pain, so people are willing to take a risk.
There was a startup in Britain that was killing it with mom cooking and Dad doing the deliveries. But health authorities cracked down and the company cratered.
The customers loved the service but even with the help of an executive chef doing inspections the government wasn't satisfied.
Just think of a food truck business minus the food truck / cooking on sight, you deliver to parties and receptions instead with a-la-carte cooking ahead of time
A bodega on a corner is a software company?
A shoe shine guy is a software company?
> ..a software industry ( which based on profit margins is a toddler )
I thought software has higher margins than most industries.
A few counter-examples that illustrates my point:
1. Having a trade secret that allows only you to manufacture a good exclusively with high margins. The best known example is Coca Cola. They enjoy average gross margins of 60%.
2. Intel enjoys a near-monopoly in the hardware industry selling server CPUs. They enjoy 63% margins on ~$16b in quarterly revenue.
3. Professional services. I believe this one is self-evident because you can mostly get away with charging value-based prices instead of cost-based prices that is predominant in industries like manufacturing.
IBM Global Services contributes more than 60% of IBM's revenue which allows them to enjoy about 50% gross margins even though IBM GS has only been around since 1991. If industry maturity were truly a dominant factor, 26 years is more than enough time for their industry to "mature".
Very few foods can be processed outside of a licensed cannery. Usually only items that don't require refrigeration to stay fresh, for example dried foods or preserves that don't have large pieces of low-acid fruit.
And despite regulations to the contrary, for the entire 7 years I lived in Chicago, not a single cab driver ever accepted a credit card (this was a ways back).
Not to say that regulations are bad or that I’m against regulations. Just that they are not magic. Further, due to the centralized enforcement mechanism, most regulations are difficult and expensive to enforce. This can often result in being seldomly enforced.
If the uber-ization of food preparation comes with an uber like rating system, my guess is that the efficacy of that distributed rating system will rival or surpass centralized regulations in preventing food poisoning.
Did you wash your hands before you ate?
Usually if a restaurant is to blamed, there are multiple cases of illness outbreaks.
personally I find that to be a sad commentary on the state of "Free" societies when we are regulated to the point where you can not even cook for other people with out government permission.
Really highlights how much freedom has been lost and that most people view that as a good thing. Falsely putting their faith in government health inspections often which only occur once every several years and are often highly corrupt, as the reason eating in restaurants are "safe"
Preach it, brother, preach it! Can I get an "Amen" here???
We keep telling ourselves, and each other, that we are "Free" when we are so far from "free" that it's laughable.
To get a better idea of what the proper role for government should be limited to, I suggest everyone read "The Law" by Bastiat.
As Bastiat says:
And what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties — liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade? In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism — including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?
LA County, for example, is very strict with enforcing these rules for kitchens, and publishes monthly lists of restaurants that have been shut down for violations.
Good luck to Steve!
This guy's report is biased, he is simply apostate from Google.
Something like - Let's all spend 5 years studying hard sciences and then go to work on important, world changing problems.
The war metaphors and the Uber problems space caught me off guard.
Quite, me too. It may be deserving of a serious & respectful critique, but not having time or inclination for it, a few sentences of ad hominem dismissal can be tempting. Best resisted.
Maturity comes with losses and gains: amongst the latter is understanding (and becoming content with) one's limitations.
We've seen for decades that the typical Western approach of throwing money at the elites of a poor country really doesn't help improve life for the impoverished; it's when we create opportunities for them that their lives become measurably better.
Contra the racists, there's no inherent reason for an African, Indian or Chinese peasant to be worse off than a German. They're not genetically inferior: they just had the bad luck to be born in a developing country. But if we can give those countries the same uptick in prosperity that Europe had from about 1812 to 1914, then approximately a billion people will be raised from poverty to something approximating a decent standard of living.
That'd be amazingly impactful.
Better food options? Is there a better food option than something locally grown with sustainable agriculture?
How exactly does VC-funded motorcycle and car taxis burning fossil fuels "impact poorer half of mankind positively"?
>"We've seen for decades that the typical Western approach of throwing money at the elites of a poor country really doesn't help improve life for the impoverished;"
Which has given rise to alternatives in the form of NGOs, PVOs and micro-finance initiatives. Do you really believe that some VC firms on Sand Hill Road is going to help lift the world out of poverty?
It's easy to forget that poor people are still people -- they have base needs like the rest of us: they need food, drink, clothes and of course shelter regardless of their financial situation. Some are currently able to meet those basic needs by holding multiple jobs, taking out loans or putting up with someone else (relative, friend) that is economically well-off. Regardless of how they do it, these basic needs translate into economic activities for whoever is able to fulfil them at a price they can afford.
Of course to break even, your business model needs to factor in the fact that it will take longer than the average to see any return on invested capital.
Anybody... and I mean anybody can already cook for other people in their own kitchen, and serve food to others with absolutely no special legal regulation whatsoever. It's called "invite a bunch of people over for dinner". Or "take a dish to the company pot-luck". Or "take a dish to game night at the local hackerspace". Etc.
This is nothing but an extension to what people can already do. And while accidents can always happen, the bottom line is that anybody tempted to take advantage of the
"When this idea inevitably takes off, people are going to be able to order take-out from their neighbors, from anyone in the city who wants to cook their family recipe. It will change cuisine forever."
bit is almost certainly not interested in killing their customers.
Example: If I am having people over for dinner and accidentally leave out shellfish for too long, I can toss the expensive ingredient and just order pizza or anything else. If I depended on that shellfish to make a living, I would almost certainly risk using it.
But yes, most of the time most people care enough.