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Sorry, but I have to disagree. R&D is the life blood of a tech company. Some problems are hard. Hard problems take a lot of time and money to solve. If they spend $2B solving a problem that allows them to make $10B in revenue long term, I would say that is a worthwhile investment, wouldn't you?

Frankly, the R&D spend is the least of their worries. They recently trimmed some fat from their marketing department[1] but the subsidized rides problem continues to be the biggest issue they face financially.

[1]: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/technology/uber-job-cuts....




I'm suggesting that ride sharing doesn't have to be a tech company. I just want to get across town, there's no requirement that the company that does this has to fund flying car research or have fancy offices around the globe.


I travel across Asia Pacific for work. The global nature of ride hailing apps are convenient in this context in a similar way to MacDonalds (fast, convenient and you kind of know what you’re going to get).

Try hailing a cab in Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia. They will ask your destination and quote you 5-10x meter fare. Use a ride hailing app and you get approximately the meter fare.


Speaking for Thailand, the ride hailing apps are usually 1.5x - 2x the price of the meter.


That's fair but the vast majority of cabs I hail refuse to use meter (sometimes quite aggressively).


> R&D is the life blood of a tech company.

Uber is not a tech company. It’s a taxi-company with a fancy app.

There’s literally no reason their operating expenses should be this big.




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