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What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave.
March 13, 2019 | The New York Times | By Erin Griffith.

......“There are just not that many places to find people who have seen that kind of scale,” said Ryan Graves, Uber’s former senior vice president of global operations and a member of the company’s board.

Each city that Uber, Airbnb, Lyft or Postmates expanded into created a new set of operational, regulatory and business challenges. Regulators balked. Rival business operators resisted. Neighbors protested. And people abused the platforms, over and over.

Uber managers ran each city like a mini-start-up. “If you were the general manager of San Francisco or of Atlanta, you were the C.E.O. of your region,” ..... “It led to a really entrepreneurial approach from everyone.”......
Airbnb  alumni  Andreessen_Horowitz  gig_economy  IPOs  networks  new_businesses  on-demand  scaling  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Uber  vc  venture_capital 
march 2019 by jerryking
Ghost kitchens : the next disruption in the restaurant industry ?
8 Jan, 2018 | intotheminds | Posted By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab.

(1) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/operations/ubereats-nudges-operators-toward-virtual-restaurants
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/28/deliveroo-dark-kitchens-pop-up-feeding-the-city-london#img-3

ghost kitchen make perfect economic sense : margins are thin in the restaurant industry, driven by high employees-related costs, rent, expensive equipment and variability in demand. Setting up a restaurant is a bet with a 5 to 20-year time horizon depending on myriad factors : your positioning, the location, and many exogenous factors out of your control. Eliminating all those risks seems like a logical move :

how to make a restaurant less location-dependent ?
how to adapt quickly to demand ?
how to reduce fixed costs (renting and equipping a place) ?
The bright sides : 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens

**The 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens are their answers to the 3 problems listed above :

the restaurant is not location-dependant anymore. If there is an event likely to generate massive flow of potential customers, you can move
ghost kitchens can adapt quickly to demand : the standardized kitchen unit just has to be multipled, which is not possible with street food vans unless you own several of them (which brings us to the 3rd advantage).
ghost kitchens, because they are rented from online platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, transfom fixed costs into variable ones. This is great to test your idea and is a cheap way to do market research and test traction on a market.

** The dark sides of Uber’s and Deliveroo’s ghost kitchens
1. Why would one still rent a place to operate a restaurant ?
Good question indeed. If all hurdles and risks of operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant can be removed, why would you still want to rent a place (fixed costs), buy the equipment (fixed costs), hire employees (fixed costs) and wait on patrons to come in (variable revenues) ? If a platform like Uber or Deliveroo can provide you with customers’ orders, the need to have a brick-and-mortar place would vanish.
But if every single restaurant owner adopts that posture, how will city centers look like on the long run ?

2. Dependence towards platforms
What happened with the hospitality sector may well happen on the middle-term in the restaurant industry too. Uber eats, Deliveroo have disrupted the way we consume food. This is a new societal change that is most to be felt in Europe (urban Americans use already to get food delivered to their homes, most restaurants in US cities proposing at home delivery) : it has become easier than ever to get food delivered at home.
If enough restaurant owners make a significant percentage of their revenues through those platforms, they will eventually become dependent on them and will struggle like hotels are now struggling with Booking.com. Using platforms is a wise strategy to grow revenues but it can also become a very dangerous one if your dependence to them increases.
beyond_your_control  disruption  fixed_costs  kitchens  platforms  restaurants  variable_costs  Deliveroo  Uber  asset-light  event-driven  experimentation  test_marketing  pop-ups  cold_storage  on-demand  dark_side  virtual_restaurants  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2019 by jerryking
Platform companies have to learn to share
August 19, 2018 | Financial Times | Rana Foroohar.

Algorithmic management places dramatically more power in the hands of platform companies. Not only can they monitor workers 24/7, they benefit from enormous information asymmetries that allow them to suddenly deactivate drivers with low user ratings, or take a higher profit margin from riders willing to pay more for speedier service, without giving drivers a cut. This is not a properly functioning market. It is a data-driven oligopoly that will further shift power from labour to capital at a scale we have never seen before......Rather than wait for more regulatory pushback, platform tech companies should take responsibility now for the changes they have wreaked — and not just the positive ones. That requires an attitude adjustment. Many tech titans have a libertarian bent that makes them dismissive of the public sector as a whole.......Yet the potential benefits of ride-hailing and sharing — from less traffic to less pollution — cannot actually be realised unless the tech companies work with the public sector. One can imagine companies like Uber co-operating with city officials to phase in vehicles slowly, rolling out in underserved areas first, rather than flooding the most congested markets and creating a race to the bottom......Airbnb...often touts its ability to open up new neighbourhoods to tourism, but research shows that in cities like New York, most of its business is done in a handful of high end areas — and the largest chunk by commercial operators with multiple listings, with the effect of raising rents and increasing the strains caused by gentrification. On the labour side, too, the platform companies must take responsibility for the human cost of disruption. NYU professor Arun Sundararajan, has proposed allowing companies to create a “safe harbour” training fund that provides benefits and insurance for drivers and other on-demand workers without triggering labour laws that would categorise such workers as full-time employees (which is what companies want to avoid).
Airbnb  algorithms  dark_side  data_driven  gig_economy  information_asymmetry  New_York_City  oligopolies  on-demand  platforms  public_sector  Rana_Foroohar  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  safe_harbour  training  Uber 
august 2018 by jerryking
Insurance and the gig economy - Your policy is arriving in three minutes
Apr 5th 2018 |

In the longer term insurers face a more fundamental challenge: disintermediation. Airbnb, a platform for booking stays in private homes, has offered a “host guarantee” against theft and vandalism since 2011. Although it works like insurance, no specialist firm is involved. Airbnb makes payouts itself. Curtis Scott of Uber boasts that the firm is “perhaps the most educated purchaser of insurance ever”. It does a lot of the calculations for pricing and underwriting its insurance risk, and has a potential sales platform in the form of its app. For Uber and its peers, the next step could be to expand their gig offerings into insurance.
Airbnb  disintermediation  gig_economy  insurance  freelancing  Uber 
july 2018 by jerryking
While other regions look to the future of transit, Toronto is lagging behind - The Globe and Mail
R. MICHAEL WARREN
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

What’s the future of public transit?

A 2017 MIT study found that all 13,000 New York taxi cabs could be replaced with 3,000 ridesharing cars used exclusively for carpooling. The average wait would be 2.7 minutes. The whole ridesharing system would be 20 per cent faster.

Already transport network companies like Uber and Lyft are driving the taxi industry off the road around the globe. They are doing it with a series of clever algorithms and without owning any cars.

Private ride-sourcing is growing. Ridesharing is coming. Driverless cars and trucks are less than a decade away......The impact on traditional mass transit is not clear. The lines between public and private transportation are being blurred.....Uber and Lyft say they want to complement public transit. But that’s not happening so far. .......TTC ridership has stalled at about 535 million rides annually since 2014. They acknowledge existing travel alternatives like Uber and Lyft have been siphoning away ridership at an increasing rate (responsible for a 6 per cent transit decline in some U.S. cities). Driverless, ridesharing vehicles are poised to steal even more of the TTC’s future market share........the Metrolinx board approved the final draft of the 2041 Regional Transportation Plan. It sets out the regional vision, goals and strategies for the next 25 years.

Only six pages of the 200-page plan are devoted to “preparing for an uncertain future.” Metrolinx concedes that “autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically change how people and goods are moved.” But the plan lacks a sense of urgency.

The plan says all the right things about embracing the new mobility opportunities: establish partnerships with providers like Uber; develop regulatory tools; test and evaluate new services and technologies; develop a regional big-data strategy.

However, this is all in the future. Other transit systems are already implementing these ideas. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has incorporated private ridesharing into its mobile ticketing app. Passengers checking train schedules can click through to Uber, Lyft or Zipcar to get to their station.....Preparing for this future means learning from other jurisdictions, integrating current private ride-hailing services into the public system and experimenting with driverless vehicles.
public_transit  transit  Toronto  GTA  Metrolinx  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  laggards  Uber  Lyft  future 
may 2018 by jerryking
From zero to seventy (billion) - Uber
Print edition | Briefing
Sep 3rd 2016 | SAN FRANCISCO
Uber  Pittsburg  sharing_economy 
may 2018 by jerryking
Gig economy is not watching out for the wellbeing of workers
"There is no utopian world where the gig economy provides for the worker, where everyone can magically create their own software, or where the government provides benefits to gig workers -- as if getting Congress to pass such controversial and costly reform can be done at the snap of Mr. Harford's fingers!" ...."He encourages everyone to be a "supermodel", using Linda Evangelista as a poster child for stating that she would not "wake up for less than $10,000 a day" when most of the workers he is talking about hardly have an autonomy or stability whatsoever."...."Uber's high revenues do not translate to drivers' earnings"......Without an employer providing benefits and watching out for an employee's wellbeing, both mentally and financially, gig workers are leaving their families and their futures exposed"
letters_to_the_editor  Tim_Harford  gig_economy  precarious  freelancing  self-employment  independent_contractors  employee_benefits  Uber  Pablo_Picasso  inconsistent_incomes 
august 2017 by jerryking
Fast-Food Chains, Upscale Restaurants Want to Bring You Lunch - WSJ
By Julie Jargon
Updated June 1, 2017

Restaurants are no longer treating lunchtime delivery as an afterthought.

With online-ordering apps proliferating and many customers cutting down on eating out for lunch, the industry—from fast-food chains to upscale restaurateurs—is looking for ways to bring food to patrons without compromising their eating experience.......“Restaurant delivery is a $100 billion dollar market, and it’s exploding,” ......But enticing customers to order in at lunch, which has been a tough spot for burger chains in particular, remains difficult. McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook told investors on Wednesday that 60% of the chain’s delivery orders come in the evening and late at night. Getting burger delivery right—keeping the patty warm and juicy, while preventing toppings from getting the bun soggy—is notoriously tricky.....Even upscale restaurants are joining the delivery bandwagon. Some are so confident they are even eschewing tables and chairs.......Delivery only accounts for 3% of restaurant purchases nationwide, but it is growing fast. Non-pizza delivery purchases have risen by 30% in the past four years, according to market-research firm NPD Group Inc.....The exponential growth of delivery comes with a new set of challenges. Some restaurants are struggling to figure out how to properly staff their kitchens to handle both in-store demand and delivery orders......Working with third-party delivery services is an expensive proposition, because many of them charge restaurants a hefty fee—usually a share of order sales ranging from 17% to 30%—to participate and the restaurants lose out on high-margin sales like alcohol and soft drinks that people tend to order when they are eating on the premises.......delivery is the future: “As driverless cars and drones become the norm I think we’ll all be emailing Amazon and getting a drone delivering a sandwich.”
restaurants  fast-food  fast-casual  Uber  UberEats  McDonald's  upscale  lunchtime  delivery_services  in-store 
june 2017 by jerryking
Google vs. Uber: How One Engineer Sparked a War - WSJ
By Jack Nicas and Tim Higgins
Updated May 23, 2017

Anthony Levandowski started outside tech companies while working for Google, which alleges he took driverless-car secrets to a competitor.....Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Uber are embroiled in a legal fight over driverless-car technology, with Mr. Levandowski playing a starring role. The two firms, along with several other companies, are locked in a race to automate cars, a contest that could affect the future of transportation......Google’s approach [i.e. encouraging entrepreneurship amongst employees] helps it create new businesses, it also can spark disagreements between the company and its employees over who owns certain technology......Alphabet accuses Mr. Levandowski of stealing its trade secrets around driverless-car technology and bringing it to Uber, which he joined as its head of its driverless-car project last year after earning more than $120 million at Google. Alphabet has filed two arbitration claims against Mr. Levandowski and is suing Uber for allegedly conspiring with him.....
Google  Uber  automotive_industry  autonomous_vehicles  litigation  conflicts_of_interest  side_hustles  employment_contracts  intellectual_property  noncompete_agreements  start_ups  talent  Alphabet  trade_secrets  entrepreneurship  engineering 
may 2017 by jerryking
How Technology Will Solve Cities’ Parking Nightmare - The Experts - WSJ
By JASON BORDOFF
Apr 21, 2017

as Prof. Donald Shoup has explained in his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, city officials dramatically underprice public parking relative to its market value, leading people to drive when they might otherwise have taken mass transit, walked, cycled or carpooled. San Francisco in 2010 had nearly 450,000 parking spaces, over half of which were free street spots. Free or low-cost street parking, either metered or permitted for residents, effectively subsidizes driving.

Underpricing parking not only leads to more car use, but also to more driving as people cruise around looking for parking, contributing to pollution, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. .....The coming revolution in autonomous cars can accelerate this trend. As Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden recently explained at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, displacing the need for drivers will make it far more economical to move about with self-driving shared cars than to own a car—and that does not include the opportunity cost of driving, as riders will be able to use time en route to work, read or sleep.

Technology can also make carpooling far more efficient by better connecting riders going to and from the same place, further reducing cars on the road. Roughly 50% of Uber’s rides in San Francisco and 25% globally are now Uber Pool, according to Mr. Holden. Combining ride sharing with car sharing could cut the number of cars on the road—and that need to be parked—by 80% in major cities such as New York, according to MIT research.

With shared autonomous vehicles, there would be little need to park cars in downtown urban areas. Rather, autonomous vehicles could travel to garages on the outskirts of town to be recharged, cleaned and maintained.
parking  cities  Uber  UberPool  underpricing  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  opportunity_costs  autonomous_vehicles  high-cost 
april 2017 by jerryking
Uber Extends an Olive Branch to Local Governments: Its Data
JAN. 8, 2017 | - The New York Times | By MIKE ISAAC.

unveiled Movement, a stand-alone website it hopes will persuade city planners to consider Uber as part of urban development and transit systems in the future.

The site, which Uber will invite planning agencies and researchers to visit in the coming weeks, will allow outsiders to study traffic patterns and speeds across cities using data collected by tens of thousands of Uber vehicles. Users can use Movement to compare average trip times across certain points in cities and see what effect something like a baseball game might have on traffic patterns. Eventually, the company plans to make Movement available to the general public.
municipalities  urban  urban_planning  cities  Boston  partnerships  traffic_patterns  Uber  Movement  data  data_driven 
january 2017 by jerryking
Airbnb, Uber, Snap Aim to Show They’re More Than One Hot Product - WSJ
By GREG BENSINGER
Dec. 11, 2016

As IPO talk swirls, tech startups seek to demonstrate to investors they have a vision for long-term growth..... It's questionable whether unicorns can find new revenue opportunities that are complementary to their core business, but [which also] can help them find new customers.”
growth  Airbnb  Uber  Snap  new_businesses  product_extensions  core_businesses  unicorns  vision  long-term 
december 2016 by jerryking
VC Pioneer Vinod Khosla Says AI Is Key to Long-Term Business Competitiveness - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVE ROSENBUSH
Nov 15, 2016

“Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important,” Mr. Khosla said. “So what do you do? You don’t plan for the highest likelihood scenario. You plan for agility. And that is a fundamental choice we make as a nation, in national defense, as the CEO of a company, as the CIO of an infrastructure, of an organization, and in the way we live.”....So change, and predictions for the future, that are important, almost never come from anybody who knows the area. Almost anyone you talk to about the future of the auto industry will be wrong on the auto industry. So, no large change in a space has come from an incumbent. Retail came from Amazon. SpaceX came from a startup. Genentech did biotechnology. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter did media … because there is too much conventional wisdom in industry. ....Extrapolating the past is the wrong way to predict the future, and improbables are not unimportant. People plan around high probability. Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important.
Vinod_Khosla  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  outsiders  gazelles  unknowns  automotive_industry  change  automation  diversity  agility  future  predictions  adaptability  probabilities  Uber  point-to-point  public_transit  data  infrastructure  information_overload  unthinkable  improbables  low_probability  extrapolations  pay_attention 
november 2016 by jerryking
Technology and markets are driving employment in the right direction - The Globe and Mail
RICK LASH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

The best way to achieve higher profits is ensuring maximum flexibility in the workforce so the organization can adapt to rapidly changing market needs. Having a more flexible employee pool that you can hire and furlough depending on business demands is one way to manage risk.

If technology and new finance-driven business models are fundamentally altering the future of jobs and work, what’s a new graduate (or an older worker) to do? All is not hopeless, and in fact there is indeed a silver lining, if one knows where to look.

Companies like Uber are figuring it out, at least for now. The same technology that is replacing workers with intelligent robots (on the shop floor or as an app on your smartphone) is also being used to create new models of generating wealth. Whether you are a bank driving growth through new on-line channels, a streaming music company designing creative new ways for consumers to subscribe, or an entrepreneur raising capital online for a new invention, key skills stand out as differentiators for success.
automation  technology  artificial_Intelligence  risk-management  data_driven  silver_linings  skills  new_graduates  job_search  business_models  rapid_change  workforce  flexibility  Uber  on-demand  streaming 
october 2016 by jerryking
Why Uber Keeps Raising Billions - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK JUNE 20, 2016
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Uber  funding  venture_capital  Andrew_Sorkin  sharing_economy  deterrence  finance 
june 2016 by jerryking
The Rise of the Platform Economy - The CIO Report - WSJ
Feb 12, 2016 | WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

A platform or complement strategy differs from a product strategy in that it requires an external ecosystem to generate complementary product or service innovations and build positive feedback between the complements and the platform. The effect is much greater potential for innovation and growth than a single product-oriented firm can generate alone.”

The importance of platforms is closely linked to the concept of network effects: The more products or services it offers, the more users it will attract. Scale increases the platform’s value, helping it attract more complementary offerings which in turn brings in more users, which then makes the platform even more valuable… and on and on and on.
Alibaba  Apple  Facebook  Google  IBM  Microsoft  scaling  economies_of_scale  Uber  Salesforce  platforms  ecosystems  network_effects  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger 
february 2016 by jerryking
Chris Selley: Presto! TTC snubs seniors, students as Uber continues slaughter of sacred Toronto cows
Chris Selley: Presto! TTC snubs seniors, students as Uber continues slaughter of sacred Toronto cows Chris SelleyThursday, Dec. 17, 2015 The TTC announced Wednesday all users will soon have to use a
Public  Transport  subways  Taxicabs  Taxicab  Drivers  Uber  sharing_economy 
december 2015 by jerryking
TTC’s lawyers to examine UberHop commuting service | Toronto Star
By: Vanessa Lu Business reporter, Betsy Powell City Hall Bureau, Published on Mon Dec 14 2015
Uber  UberHop  Toronto  TTC  transit  commuting 
december 2015 by jerryking
Uber’s algorithm and the mirage of the marketplace.
July 2015 | Slate | By Tim Hwang and Madeleine Clare Elish
Uber  algorithms  sharing_economy 
july 2015 by jerryking
Uber’s advocacy strategy, scrappy lobbying and rapid growth - The Globe and Mail
SIMON DOYLE
Uber’s advocacy strategy, scrappy lobbying and rapid growth
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 20, 2015
Uber  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  lobbying  lobbyists  Toronto  advocacy 
july 2015 by jerryking
How Ubernomics can transform Canada’s legal diseconomy - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOTALA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 10, 2015

Technologists from other industries hope Ubernomics is a generalizable business model. This month, the MaRS Discovery District launched LegalX, an industry cluster aimed at promoting local entrepreneurship, driving industry efficiency and pioneering new business models. One of its first startups is a service called LawScout. Like Uber, it offers a simple digital platform aimed at connecting small businesses with local lawyers on a fixed-rate basis. Beagle, another product launched at the event, performs rapid contract analysis using a sophisticated algorithm, while providing a platform for social media-inspired collaboration among decision-making teams....Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective......We live in an absurd legal diseconomy. There is an ever-widening gap between supply and unmet demand. Following the Ontario government's tuition deregulation in 1998, University of Toronto law led the charge, raising tuition by 320 per cent under dean Ron Daniels. Other law schools followed suit and continue to do so. This year, U of T law is unashamed to charge incoming students more than $30,000 a year. Not to be left out, the Law Society of Upper Canada recently doubled its licensing fees. The legal academy is aggravating the access to justice crisis by imposing ever-higher rents on the most vulnerable entrants to the profession. A false and parasitic empiricism has evidently burrowed itself in the minds of our country's greatest legal thinkers.

Ubernomics is not a panacea for the legal sector. Rather than disrupt it, it will transform. Big firms are here to stay if they embrace innovation. Digital technologies promise more efficient work flows and higher productivity. The shortcomings of the consensus-driven decision-making structure, exemplified by the fall of Heenan Blaikie, suggests more strategic thinking, stronger leadership and a heavier investment in R&D is needed to make legal work more efficient and cost effective.........
Businesses like fixed-cost projections. The billable-hour model introduces a lot of uncertainty into the equation. Software such as LawScout is unlikely to undermine the legal industry’s biggest players, but it signals that an economic culture shift lies ahead.
Uber  law  uToronto  law_firms  disruption  arbitrage  sharing_economy  start_ups  invoicing  billing  law_schools  fees_&_commissions  digital_disruption  lawtech 
july 2015 by jerryking
The Rise of the On-Demand Economy - The CIO Report - WSJ
March 13, 2015| WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

we are seeing the rise of what The Economist called the On-Demand Economy in a recent article....Manufacturing jobs have been automated out of existence or outsourced abroad, while big companies have abandoned lifetime employment. Some 53m American workers already work as freelancers....now the sharing economy is evolving into something new. Ubiquitous communications, freelance work forces and low transaction costs are giving rise to the on-demand company, which aims to apply the principles of Uber or Airbnb to a much broader range of markets....A well-managed company strives to achieve an optimal balance between what work gets done within and outside its boundaries.

Advances in information and communication technologies are having a huge impact on the structure of companies....Where is the future of work heading in such an economy? “Freelance workers available at a moment’s notice will reshape the nature of companies and the structure of careers,”...Ubiquitous communications and very low transaction costs are giving rise to a new class of firm, the on-demand company. These firms aim to efficiently bring together consumers and suppliers of goods and services with their highly scalable platforms and innovative applications...
digital_economy  sharing_economy  Uber  Lyft  Ronald_Coase  Coase's_Law  transaction_costs  freelancing  on-demand  Outsourcing  gig_economy  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger 
march 2015 by jerryking
Will court rulings point way to an Uber-ized work force? - The Globe and Mail
IAN McGUGAN
Will court rulings point way to an Uber-ized work force?
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 02 2015
Uber  Lyft  contractors  solo 
february 2015 by jerryking
Andy Kessler: Potholes on the Uber Ride to Riches - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
Dec. 8, 2014

What should Uber do? Hiring expensive crisis managers is one option. Or do these four things that everyone else eventually figured out. Admit the mistake. Fire someone. Be transparent on the solution. Put guidelines in place to assure customers that this can’t happen again. Uber hasn’t done much of this but it should.... Those who run or work at startups are a different breed. Often computer science majors or engineers, they didn’t get invited to the cool parties. And then when they came up with ideas for products or companies, just about everyone, from parents to friends, told them they were crazy. That’ll never work, they said. Get a job at IBM like your uncle. But instead these entrepreneurs persist, usually failing a time or two. Mr. Kalanick started a peer-to-peer file-sharing company called Scour that went belly up in 2000.

Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, sometimes to angel investors like dentists and accountants with extra cash, but more often to venture capitalists looking to fund the next big thing. As a venture capitalist, I’ve been pitched thousands of times, and entrepreneurs often peddle market-size projections and future sales predictions that are creative, if not fictional.

Those who win funding wake up every day and ask what they can do to make this thing work. Hubris becomes an asset. Startup CEOs are always saying the goal is to “suck the oxygen out of the room” of their competitors. Success requires a certain bravado. That should be encouraged, but most entrepreneurs have no idea when to turn it off.
hubris  Uber  sharing_economy  ride_sharing  Andy_Kessler  guardrails  start_ups  organizational_culture  entrepreneur  torchbearers  founders 
february 2015 by jerryking
Uberization of work may be coming to your chosen profession - The Globe and Mail
FARHAD MANJOO
The New York Times News Service
Published Wednesday, Jan. 28 2015
uber  sharing_economy  Farhad_Manjoo 
february 2015 by jerryking
UberPool, Lyft Line: my car trips with strangers - FT.com
December 18, 2014 | FT | Tim Bradshaw
UberPool, Lyft Line: my car trips with strangers
ride_sharing  sharing_economy  Uber  Lyft 
december 2014 by jerryking
Is Uber finally growing up? - The Globe and Mail
NEW DELHI — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Dec. 11 2014
Uber  India  sexual_assault  taxis  ride_sharing  sharing_economy 
december 2014 by jerryking
Uber Under Attack Around the Globe - WSJ
By JOANNA SUGDEN, ADITI MALHOTRA and DOUGLAS MACMILLAN
Updated Dec. 9, 2014
sexual_assault  Uber  India 
december 2014 by jerryking
Uber Now Valued at More Than $41 Billion - WSJ
By DOUGLAS MACMILLAN, SAM SCHECHNER and LISA FLEISHER
Updated Dec. 5, 2014

the five-year-old company must prove it can turn a mobile app for hailing a ride into a significant and profitable global business. Its app, which lets people hail a car from professional or nonprofessional drivers with a few clicks and a credit card, has become a part of daily life in cities from Anchorage to Shenzhen, China....Uber also is exploring using its fleet of drivers to transport goods and services in addition to people. The company has tested deliveries of items including ice cream, flu shots and fresh meals and recently poached the head of Google ’s same-day delivery business.....Uber profits by keeping 20% of the fare paid on most rides on its service and gives the rest to its drivers, who work as independent contractors....by the end of 2015, Uber expects to be operating at an about $2 billion net annual revenue rate, which excludes driver pay, according to the person familiar with the company’s financials. Such growth is coming from a cookie-cutter global expansion, where the company moves quickly to open up shop, splashes out incentives to sign up drivers and then hires lobbyists and lawyers to gird for legal challenges from taxi companies and regulators...Uber’s strategy has been to get a foothold in a market in any way possible, whether it offers a way to hail traditional metered taxis, livery cabs or drivers without professional licenses through its ride-sharing services. The key is to get potential customers to download the app and then expand the range of services.
Uber  valuations  start_ups  sharing_economy  same-day  ride_sharing  international_marketing  Asia_Pacific  expansions 
december 2014 by jerryking
Uber’s Secret Agents: When Poaching Becomes Unethical - NYTimes.com
AUG. 27, 2014
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE

Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable CommoditiesAUG. 28, 2014 Continue reading the main story
RECENT COMMENTS

Chris 28 August 2014
The article posits this is a question of ethics. Perhaps. It may also be an example of tortious interference with contract. If the...
WimR 28 August 2014
This article is too cynical for my taste. There are also general norms of decency that rule human behavior and the reported tactics of Uber...
Vinny 27 August 2014
Good analysis, but why, oh why, choose "cricket" as an adjective. Unlike another commenter, I've lived in NY and SF most of my life and the...
SEE ALL COMMENTS
Neil Irwin
Lyft  Uber  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  ethics  poaching 
november 2014 by jerryking
Taxi trouble: Disruptive technology claims another victim - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH
Taxi trouble: Disruptive technology claims another victim Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 21 2014
Uber  taxis  Todd_Hirsch  disruption 
november 2014 by jerryking
The Ubers are destined to win the taxi wars - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 20 2014
Uber  Margaret_Wente  taxis  Toronto 
november 2014 by jerryking
Toronto officials want Uber taxi app out of the city - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH CHURCH
CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Nov. 18 2014
Toronto  Uber  taxis 
november 2014 by jerryking
A look under the hood takes some shine off Uber - The Globe and Mail
IAN McGUGAN
A look under the hood takes some shine off Uber Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 19 2014
Uber  hubris  ride_sharing 
november 2014 by jerryking
Instead of blocking progress, Toronto should encourage Uber - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 19 2014

Rather than stand in the way, cities should find ways to let these services thrive while protecting consumers and being fair to established providers like cab companies. In California, birthplace of Uber, regulators have brought in rules that permit the car-summoning companies to operate as long as they take steps such as meeting insurance requirements and having background checks for drivers. Officials are still jousting with the companies over how it will work, but it is a start.

It will be a tricky business, no doubt. To suffocate the new services in regulation would be a mistake. Strict standards on car maintenance, equipment and driver training don’t make sense for an informal exchange such as this. Competition and the lash of consumer reviews should help keep the new companies from using clunkers or sketchy drivers.

Authorities shouldn’t over-regulate pricing, either. The practice of “surge pricing” – hiking the cost of rides at busy times – is a legitimate and promising way to get the supply of cars and drivers to meet the demand from passengers.
Uber  Marcus_Gee  Toronto  John_Tory  regulation  taxis  sharing_economy  surge_pricing  price_hikes 
november 2014 by jerryking
Steve Ballmer’s New Game - WSJ - WSJ
Nov. 2, 2014

What does machine-learning mean?

MS. LANGLEY: Do you see money to be made in technology? What is exciting you?

MR. BALLMER: All the money in tech is made, essentially, in five areas. Devices; Apple and Samsung are the two most profitable companies. No. 2 is selling to IT departments, enterprise software, another asset Microsoft has built up. The third is selling telecom subscriptions. Fourth is selling to marketing departments. Google and Facebook are only two companies that make significant money selling to marketing departments. Microsoft’s probably the third-largest. Last, but certainly not least, is mating buyers and sellers. What Amazon , Airbnb and Uber do. Creating these marketplaces and taking a fee.
Steve_Ballmer  Los_Angeles_Clippers  basketball  Microsoft  match-making  Amazon  Airbnb  Uber 
november 2014 by jerryking
Disruptors are just pirates on the high seas of capitalism - The Globe and Mail
DAINA LAWRENCE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 05 2014

Often portrayed as criminal pursuers of riches, pirates don't have the best of reputations. But is there something that can be learned from them?

Jean-Philippe Vergne thinks so.

Last January, the assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School introduced a course entitled Lessons From The Dark Side Of Capitalism: How Pirates Help To Shape New Industry. The course aims to help his students see the innovative impacts these fringe-dwellers have on the marketplace.
piracy  disruption  Ivey  Uber  Bitcoin  Airbnb  ride_sharing  new_industries  sharing_economy  mobile_applications  dark_side 
november 2014 by jerryking
When Uber and Airbnb Meet the Real World - NYTimes.com
OCT. 17, 2014 | NYT | Claire Cain Miller.

Why have these companies run into so many problems? Part of the reason is that they think of themselves as online companies — yet they mostly operate in the offline world.

They subscribe to three core business principles that have become a religion in Silicon Valley: Serve as a middleman, employ as few people as possible and automate everything. Those tenets have worked wonders on the web at companies like Google and Twitter. But as the new, on-demand companies are learning, they are not necessarily compatible with the real world....The belief that problems can be solved without involving people is probably why many of these companies did not meet with regulators and officials before starting services in new cities. And it has come back to haunt them. Luther Lowe, director of public policy at Yelp, had some basic advice for Uber that could apply to Airbnb, Lyft and others: Hire a lobbyist and meet with the mayor and the city council before setting up shop....DESPITE these three major differences between web companies and the ones that bridge the digital and physical worlds, they all share another guiding Silicon Valley principle: the belief that if enough people want to use a product, the company will succeed....Julie Samuels is the executive director of Engine, which advises start-ups on policy...another principle shared by both older and newer tech companies: Regulators are little more than roadblocks standing in the way of innovation.
meat_space  Uber  Airbnb  Claire_Cain_Miller  cyberphysical  Silicon_Valley  on-demand  lobbyists  regulators  analog  physical_assets  physical_world  physical_economy 
october 2014 by jerryking
Nokia a lesson for backers of Canada’s nanny state - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | BRIAN LEE CROWLEY.

How did it all go so wrong? And what might Canada learn from Finland’s downfall?

One obvious conclusion is not to put all your eggs in one basket, but it goes well beyond that. There was a time when economic change worked slowly enough that you could get a generation or two’s employment out of an industry before it was overtaken by innovation. Detroit dominated automobile manufacturing for many decades before its own complacency and the innovativeness of European and Asian producers came into play. In a similar vein, Nokia allowed itself to believe in its own infallibility, and Finland meekly followed suit. But the forces of change are now so powerful and lightning fast that sometimes a single product release from a competitor can signal the death knell of a previously healthy company or industry....Canada is rife with industries with their heads stuck in the sand, almost invariably because they believe they can shelter behind a friendly bureaucrat with a rulebook.

Examples abound in fields as diverse as telecoms, dairy, airlines, broadcasting, taxis and transport. Could there have been a bigger farce than the CRTC’s attempt to manhandle online content provider Netflix?...The real lesson of Nokia’s demise was that there is no substitute for being driven by what customers want, which is quality products and service at the lowest possible price...Every deviation from this relentless focus on what customers actually want makes your market a tasty morsel for the disrupters.
concentration_risk  Nokia  Finland  mobile_phones  disruption  Netflix  Uber  CRTC  complacency  accelerated_lifecycles  protectionism  nanny_state  customer_focus  change_agents  Finnish  demand-driven  lessons_learned  automotive_industry  downfall  change  warning_signs  signals  customer-driven  infallibility  overconfidence  hubris  staying_hungry 
october 2014 by jerryking
James Courtovich: What Uber and School Choice Have in Common - WSJ
By JAMES C. COURTOVICH
Sept. 28, 2014 6:57 p.m. ET
94 COMMENTS

Innovation also unlocks the value in idle cars, rooms, tools and hands—and opens a channel for billions of dollars of capital to spur economic growth and create new jobs. "Money is like blood; it must flow. Hoarding and holding on to it causes sludging . . . and, like clotted blood, it can only cause damage." Adam Smith ? Try Deepak Chopra, doctor and two-time Barack Obama backer.
sharing_economy  Uber  monopolies  idle_funds  capital_flows  cash_reserves 
september 2014 by jerryking
Holman Jenkins: What the Taxi Wars Teach - WSJ
Aug. 19, 2014 | WSJ | Holman Jenkins.

"wasn't the arrival of ride-sharing apps supposed to obliterate the traditional taxi industry? It turns out the new operators have been expanding the pie more than gobbling it up, creating new rides where taxi service was scarce (such as New York's outer boroughs), luring users out of private cars and off buses, and enabling trips that previously wouldn't have been taken at all.

In Chicago, taxi medallions appear to have stopped trading amid current uncertainty but are likely to end up holding much of their value. The traditional conspicuously yellow taxi (as in New York) that can be summoned with the raise of a hand is likely to find that its highly regulated niche survives even as new options proliferate. Value still adheres to the old medallions not least because of the untapped scope for efficiency improvement, ignored till now.

America is an interesting place, a society ruled by organized interest groups where nonetheless new things can happen. It's true that taxi operators have used regulation and litigation to slow the newcomers and force compromise with regulatory edicts on insurance coverage, vehicle age and driver training.

Laws exist and can't just be ignored. Organized interests like taxicab companies have every incentive to make noise about everything, demanding concessions.

Yet despite certain tropes about our dysfunctional political system, politicians also have every incentive to avoid maximalist positions on behalf of constituents, seeking to expand the groups they can make happy."
Holman_Jenkins  taxis  Uber  Lyft  medallions  mobile_applications  lobbying  ride_sharing  constituencies  interest_groups  upstarts  politicians 
august 2014 by jerryking
What Cars Did for Today's World, Data May Do for Tomorrow's - NYTimes.com
August 10, 2014 | NYT | Quentin Hardy.

General Electric plans to announce Monday that it has created a “data lake” method of analyzing sensor information from industrial machinery in places like railroads, airlines, hospitals and utilities. G.E. has been putting sensors on everything it can for a couple of years, and now it is out to read all that information quickly.

The company, working with an outfit called Pivotal, said that in the last three months it has looked at information from 3.4 million miles of flights by 24 airlines using G.E. jet engines. G.E. said it figured out things like possible defects 2,000 times as fast as it could before.....Databricks, that uses new kinds of software for fast data analysis on a rental basis. Databricks plugs into the one million-plus computer servers inside the global system of Amazon Web Services, and will soon work inside similar-size megacomputing systems from Google and Microsoft....If this growing ecosystem of digital collection, shipment and processing is the new version of cars and highways, what are the unexpected things, the suburbs and fast-food joints that grew from cars and roads?

In these early days, businesses like Uber and Airbnb look like challengers to taxi fleets and hotels. They do it without assets like cars and rooms, instead coordinating data streams about the location of people, cars, and bedrooms. G.E. makes engines, but increasingly it coordinates data about the performance of engines and the location of ground crews. Facebook uses sensor data like location information from smartphones
Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  AWS  asset-light  massive_data_sets  resource_allocation  match-making  platforms  resource_management  orchestration  ecosystems  GE  sensors  unexpected  unforeseen  Databricks  Uber  Airbnb  data_coordination  instrumentation_monitoring  efficiencies 
august 2014 by jerryking
The Evolution of Trust - NYTimes.com
JUNE 30, 2014
Continue reading the main story

David Brooks

Companies like Airbnb establish trust through ratings mechanisms. Their clients are already adept at evaluating each other on the basis of each other’s Facebook pages. People in the Airbnb economy don’t have the option of trusting each other on the basis of institutional affiliations, so they do it on the basis of online signaling and peer evaluations. Online ratings follow you everywhere, so people have an incentive to act in ways that will buff their online reputation.

As companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Sidecar get more mature, they also spend more money policing their own marketplace. They hire teams to hunt out fraud. They screen suppliers. They look for bad apples who might ruin the experience.

The one thing the peer-to-peer economy has not relied on much so far is government regulation.
trustworthiness  David_Brooks  Airbnb  Uber  sharing_economy  peer-to-peer  P2P  reputation  institutional_affiliations 
july 2014 by jerryking
Are Airbnb and Uber changing the world? - The Globe and Mail
MARGARET WENTE
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 05 2014
Airbnb  Uber  sharing_economy  Margaret_Wente 
july 2014 by jerryking
Uber’s Real Challenge: Leveraging the Network Effect - NYTimes.com
JUNE 13, 2014
Continue reading the main story
Neil Irwin

The question for Uber as a business boils down to two words: network effects. That’s the concept in which users of a service benefit from the fact that everybody else uses the service as well. It isn’t much use being the only person to own a fax machine, or the only person to show up at a stock exchange. Things like these become more valuable the more widely they are embraced. Network effects are the key to the wild profitability of a firm like Microsoft; Windows and Office are hard to displace, even if a competitor offers a better, cheaper product, because Microsoft products are entrenched as an industry standard....The billion-dollar question is whether Uber’s model for offering transportation services has some of the same network effects as those of great information industry monopolies (Microsoft, Google), or is more like, say, the travel website business, a brutally competitive industry of middlemen.

Uber is itself a middleman, of course. On one side, it recruits drivers, who typically own or lease their cars. On the other side, it markets to consumers who may want a ride. Then it matches them up; the consumer orders a car, a driver accepts the request, the service is provided, and Uber charges the consumer’s credit card. It keeps a 20 percent commission for itself and pays the rest to the driver....The task facing Uber is not just to overcome the hurdles and make ride-sharing a multibillion dollar industry. It’s to try to entrench the advantages it has from being first: continually refining its offerings to have the best possible user experience, the best data analytics to ensure that people can get a car when they need one, and not to be greedy with regard to its commission, lest it be all the more inviting a target for rivals. It’s no easy job, but nobody said building a company worth $18 billion is.
Uber  network_effects  sharing_economy  middlemen  ride-sharing  platforms  first_movers  transportation  two-sided_markets  match-making 
june 2014 by jerryking
With Uber’s Cars, Maybe We Don’t Need Our Own - NYTimes.com
JUNE 11, 2014 | NYT |Farhad Manjoo.

Uber is anything but trivial. It could well transform transportation the way Amazon has altered shopping — by using slick, user-friendly software and mountains of data to completely reshape an existing market, ultimately making many modes of urban transportation cheaper, more flexible and more widely accessible to people across the income spectrum.

Uber could pull this off by accomplishing something that has long been seen as a pipe dream among transportation scholars: It has the potential to decrease private car ownership....There’s only one problem with taxis: In most American cities, Dr. King found, there just aren’t enough of them. Taxi service is generally capped by regulation, and in many cities the number of taxis has not been increased substantially in decades, despite a vast increase in the number of miles people travel. In some places this has led to poor service: In the San Francisco survey, for instance, one out of four residents rated the city’s taxi service as “terrible.”

Ride-sharing services solve this problem in two ways. First, they substantially increase the supply of for-hire vehicles on the road, which puts downward pressure on prices. As critics say, Uber and other services do this by essentially evading regulations that cap taxis. This has led to intense skirmishes with regulators and questions over who has oversight to maintain the safety of the blossoming new industry.
Uber  sharing_economy  taxis  transportation  Farhad_Manjoo  ownership  end_of_ownership  on-demand  accessibility  automobile 
june 2014 by jerryking
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