For the past week, Naked Capitalism has run a series of articles by transportation industry expert Hubert Horan on the economic shenanigans of Uber, which cooks the numbers it shows investors, drivers and the press to make it seem like something other than a black box that uses arrogance and lawlessness to make a bet on establishing a monopoly on transport in the world's major cities.
Horan started with four articles on Uber's economics: Understanding Uber’s Bleak Operating Economics; Understanding Uber’s Uncompetitive Costs; Understanding False Claims About Uber’s Innovation and Competitive Advantages and Understanding That Unregulated Monopoly Was Always Uber’s Central Objective -- today, he finishes (?) up with a fascinating Q&A with the commentators who've followed the series.
To simplify just a bit, the Uber strategy was to (1) jumpstart rapid growth with driver pay premiums that would get lots of drivers to switch from traditional operators; these premiums were real but not as large as they seemed because drivers hadn’t figured out how to properly deduct vehicle costs to determine true take home pay, and by willful falsehoods (our drivers make $90,000) (2) gradually cut back driver pay once Uber was clearly a large established play by eliminating incentive programs and increasing the percentage of fares Uber retained; but drivers can’t do anything about pay cuts because they’ve locked themselves into car payments (3) At some point—and according to the study quoted in the second article in the series, it may have already happened—true Uber take home pay (after vehicle costs) is no better or slightly worse than what Yellow Cab paid before (4) Uber achieves industry dominance, drivers have no alternatives, and take home pay falls to (or even below) minimum wage level.
Whether it's paying for burying dedicated power-lines for data-centers, winning below-cost sweetheart deals on electricity rates, or securing tax-breaks and incentives to set up shop, Amazon Web Services has proven time and again that it is the nation's best cost-shifter, enjoying billions in tax-funded gifts for operating data centers that employ almost no one and […]
Evan Greer from Fight for the Future writes, "At this moment in history, it's just not okay for tech companies to support government agencies that are openly violating human rights. But while Salesforce's executives have been speaking out against US immigration policies, the company is maintaining a multimillion dollar contract with US Border Patrol. We […]
PepsiCo is buying SodaStream for $3.2 billion. SodaStream’s products, marketed as a healthy alternative to sugary sodas, fit Pepsi’s goal of “making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint,” (Pepsi CEO Indra) Nooyi said in a statement. “Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable planet.” (CNN)
With little more than a microphone and a bright idea, just about anyone can start their own podcast, but only a handful ever make it to “Serial”-level success. Featuring insight from a host of podcasting experts, the How To Start A Podcast Bundle Feat. John Lee Dumas breaks down the anatomy of a successful podcast, and […]
Drones are undeniably cool, but not all of us have the Top Gun-level piloting skills required to fly them—unless you’re using TRNDlabs’ new Spectre Drone. Designed new and expert pilots alike, this drone is loaded with fly assist features to make piloting easy, all the while you explore using its built-in HD camera. It’s available in the […]
Whether you’re set to give the toast at your best friend’s wedding or a presentation at work, you’ll be relying on those public speaking lessons you slept through during high school. Scary thought, right? Thankfully, the Public Speaking Bundle is loaded with hacks, tips, and techniques that will get you speaking more naturally and with confidence, […]