Saturday, May 11, 2019


The thing about Uber is... the really do have no model for achieving profitability. The fantasy model was achieving monopoly but there was no way to do that. IP law is a bit above my pay grade and I never asked the question, but how they never managed to patent "a means for summoning a car with an app" is curious given some of the ridiculous software patents that have been out there, but apparently they didn't. So they will always have competitors. The thing about setting up a low entry cost business is that it's low entry cost and while there is some scale benefit of a network it just isn't that hard to replicate with a taxi fleet because you can do it pretty locally. Not that their competitors will make big money, either, but there's nothing preventing them from existing.

Even the earlier fantasy of having a self-driving taxi fleet didn't make any sense, unless they had a monopoly on the self-driving taxis somehow.

Lots of businesses make enough to stay in business even if they don't make The Big Money. Like cab companies.

They've squeezed as much as they can (or more) out of driver costs and... what's left? "I like Uber" seems to be the rationale for people throwing their money at them, but...