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Old 09-26-2015, 02:08 PM   #1
suckerpunch
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Can Uber be stopped?

59 countries. 330 cities. Investing $1B each into China and India. In China, local taxi-hailing rivals Didi and Kuaidi, backed by Alibaba, Tencent and Softbank, merged this year to better take on Uber. Seems like if any country could restrict/regulate Uber out of the market, it's China, but Uber continues to gain ground:

"In just nine months, three Chinese cities (Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou) have each already accounted for more rides than New York."

From: http://www.fastcompany.com/3050762/t...-you-love-uber
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:18 PM   #2
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Only way to stop it would be to ban cars or ban cell phones. It's like trying to enforce a ban on downloading music.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

They stopped it in Las Vegas. They are trying to stop it by forcing their contractors to become union employees.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:42 PM   #4
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Aren't they not even profitable yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janabis View Post
Only way to stop it would be to ban cars or ban cell phones. It's like trying to enforce a ban on downloading music.
It's not peer-sharing or secret internet sites that nobody can track down the owners of. The local or larger governments can say "um no we don't want people without a special license providing a taxi-like service" and that's about the end of it.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Seems like a government mafia shake down. This to me seems very simple, consumer and service provider both reach an agreement.

If the mafia tried to stop it or take their cut it'd a be shakedown. This agreement seems so simple I don't see a need for the localities to horn in but I guess the taxi union isn't happy so they have to.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimore Jones View Post
It's not peer-sharing or secret internet sites that nobody can track down the owners of. The local or larger governments can say "um no we don't want people without a special license providing a taxi-like service" and that's about the end of it.
Well it isn't quite that simple. "Taxis services" are typically regulated one way, and private cars for hire another way (or not at all). Taxis are traditionally given
"street hail" privileges with signage on cars ("medallions"), and the company with the license to do that is employing the drivers. Uber doesn't employ any drivers. They are all independent, and Uber just provides a network and service to connect customers to drivers. They also are not in the actual jurisdictions, so it's really the drivers that are more exposed to local regulation.

These and other reasons make it trickier than you describe. Nevertheless numerous jurisdictions are creating new regulations for services like Uber and for drivers who use the network for reservations. But outright banning this kind of private enterprise simply isn't going to happen in the U.S. or most other countries.

Creating reasonable rules towards customer safety, including driver standards and registration, is agreeable to all parties generally, but onerous rules only aimed at stifling competition just aren't going to fly.

Last edited by NewOldGuy; 09-26-2015 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:20 PM   #7
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

I thought I just got an email saying they are in Las Vegas now
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiDhere View Post
Seems like a government mafia shake down. This to me seems very simple, consumer and service provider both reach an agreement. If the mafia tried to stop it or take their cut it'd a be shakedown.
Medicine, law, psychiatry, taxis are all government backed cartels/monopolies (and we pay the huge prices for poor & self-interested service as a result).

It's the way of the world. The question is whether governments want to stop it. They can if they want.
Quote:
This agreement seems so simple I don't see a need for the localities to horn in but I guess the taxi union isn't happy so they have to.
A lot of revenue comes from taxis, so governments have an incentive to stop Uber. Taxi licenses go for a million+ in some places. Can they stop it? Of course. Will they stop it? Maybe in a few localities, but otherwise probably not. Uber are doing threat management well with background checks, etc, removing most pretexts for legislation.

On top of that it's a surveillance dream for governments, which they like (a reliable centralized database of passenger movements which surpasses anonymous taxis).
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:33 PM   #9
suckerpunch
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Wrong link in the OP. Here's the article:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3050250/what-makes-uber-run
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
...Can they stop it? Of course. Will they stop it? Maybe in a few localities, but otherwise probably not. Uber are doing threat management well with background checks, etc, removing most pretexts for legislation...
This sounds about right. Several cities and countries have banned Uber, at least for now. This link is from April 2015, so it's not up to date (e.g. it's now allowed in Las Vegas except at the airport:

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres...e-world-2015-4

I'm surprised China hasn't shut them off. Didi Kuaidi sounds like they provide a taxi-hailing service which they don't even charge for, and Uber is obviously a direct threat to their current near-monopoly. There's serious Chinese money behind Didi Kuaidi, they're even throwing cash at Lyft to protect their market share. It just seems so counterintuitive.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:15 PM   #11
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylephilly View Post
I thought I just got an email saying they are in Las Vegas now
Thanks for the new info. However, what use is it if it can not be used at the airport? Then, it comes down whether drivers are considered independent contractors or employees that must receive a wage and benefits.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:27 PM   #12
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

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Originally Posted by Baltimore Jones View Post
Aren't they not even profitable yet?
They operated at a loss of $550M last year.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:23 AM   #13
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Some TAXI pump here

http://www.thestreet.com/story/13294...you-think.html
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:31 AM   #14
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

The biggest threat to Uber is that they don't pay their drivers enough of an hourly wage once all their expenses are factored in, and some of their drivers are starting to figure this out. However, I would argue the average consumer is willing to pay more for uber than taxi because the service is so much better (outside of areas that have actual cab lines), so they should be paying their drivers more to compensate for their superior system.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:03 AM   #15
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

US DOL will decide whether they are contractors or employees.

It shouldn't cause an increase in price because it would simply shift some of the costs that the drivers bear as contractors to the employer.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:59 AM   #16
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Drivers are a temporary problem.

The real money will be in logistics. Ride sharing is just the beach head to a multi trillion dollar market.

How people don't understand these two basic facts is mind blowing.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:22 AM   #17
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhouse View Post
They are trying to stop it by forcing their contractors to become union employees.
This is the most efficient way to attempt stopping them.
Make it more expensive and inefficient to operate. Things governments sorta excel at.

And the contractors may just lap it up because no one else is "standing up for the small guy."
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:47 AM   #18
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

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Originally Posted by Mihkel05 View Post
Drivers are a temporary problem.
This is like saying "workers are a temporary problem", because robots are going to do everything humans do. Well sure, but not yet. Labor still matters to any real company.

Quote:
The real money will be in logistics. Ride sharing is just the beach head to a multi trillion dollar market.
The problems of logistics businesses don't suddenly get turned on their head because drivers aren't there. All the backup and support systems still need to exist. You still need marketing and market share and all of the rest. The driver or lack thereof, although a large expense, is perhaps the least important determinant of success of a logistics business.

Quote:
How people don't understand these two basic facts is mind blowing.
Every man and his dog understands that autonomous transport going to be big.

The non-idiots also understand that there's an uncertain time frame until the first autonomous transport exists (somewhere from 5 years to 20+ years depending on what problems come up), and the ones that'll be around to leverage their foothold into autonomous logistics need to first make it there. Which involves dealing with laws and drivers and unions.

At this stage you don't even know if autonomous logistics is going to be profitable. At the moment, a major source of differentiation between companies (and the reason Uber survives at all and gained market share) is that there is a pay differential and a legislation differential. Uber can pay their drivers far less and avoid paying the government money by getting around taxi legislation. They pocket some of this difference and pass the rest on to consumers. The murky legality also discourages competitors.

What happens when the pay differential and the legality differential disappears with autonomous cars? How do Uber have an edge over taxi companies or other corporates who enter this space?

In other words, you're rather retardedly putting the cart way before the horse. What matters is how Uber deals with the real world, right now and in the near future.

Even if we accept that autonomous driving is coming in 5 years, who will own the first software? Will it be ultra high-resolution, ultra-reliable-map dependent for the first 10 years of so, as is the current direction of technology (since object recognition is insufficient with current sensors)? Who will make and own these maps? Will they license to Uber? Car companies? Or use them for their own profitable ventures?

This is all just pie-in-the-sky bull****. What matters right now is drivers and regulations and competitors. Making out like there's a "beachhead" to driverless logistics and that it's the biggest issue, is just stupid.

For the long term I'd actually be far more inclined to bet on someone like Amazon to own the logistics space, rather than an Internet app maker with no hardware, no warehousing, no local presence, and no clue about anything other than driver background checks and app making.
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:28 AM   #19
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihkel05 View Post
Drivers are a temporary problem.

The real money will be in logistics. Ride sharing is just the beach head to a multi trillion dollar market.

How people don't understand these two basic facts is mind blowing.
If/when driverless cars are a thing, why is Uber in a better position to capitalize on this than UPS or FedEx?
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:56 AM   #20
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

If he's talking about deliveries that's even more silly. Deliveries require drivers for everything from security to handling to verification. Warehousing and back end systems and distribution chains matter far more than simply removing a driver.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #21
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazana View Post
This is the most efficient way to attempt stopping them.
Make it more expensive and inefficient to operate. Things governments sorta excel at.

And the contractors may just lap it up because no one else is "standing up for the small guy."
In what country does the government get people to join unions? In what country do unions get run by the government? In what country are contractors even permitted to unionize for collective bargaining?
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:54 PM   #22
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

I talked with a guy that drove a taxi, then switched to Uber, and is now back in a taxi. He said he went back because bearing the costs of car maintenance and depreciation were much greater issue than he had thought. He thought that new Uber drivers were not thinking long term on the wear and tear of their personal vehicles. Eventually Uber drivers may learn it is not worth it. With taxis he got to lease a car from the company at a lower rate than he could privately and the company took care of the car. I don't know enough about the business to say if something like this will eventually slow Uber up or not. Also the taxis in my city have recently developed a cellphone app that is something like Uber's but meant for taxi service, so the novelty of digitized service may no longer be unique to Uber.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:22 PM   #23
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Ride-hailing markets have strong winner-take-all effects:
  1. The more drivers serve an app, the better its user experience (shorter wait time; and higher supply => lower prices).
  2. The better an app's user experience, the more people prefer it.
  3. The more customers an app integrates with, the more drivers sign up to serve the app.
  4. See 1.

There is another scale advantage, namely that the quality of the logistics and smart routing behind an app will depend on the number of data points its algorithms can learn from. So widely-used apps will improve faster than apps with smaller customer bases.

For such reasons, ride-hailing markets follow a "law of increasing returns". Hence Uber's mad dash to penetrate markets as fast as possible.

Last edited by Subfallen; 09-27-2015 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:44 PM   #24
Mihkel05
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

What is the valuation of Uber's ride sharing business compared to its valuation of future logistics income?

Again, the driver issue is a transient problem and their current model isn't sustainable, nor is it expected to be sustainable.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #25
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Re: Can Uber be stopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
I talked with a guy that drove a taxi, then switched to Uber, and is now back in a taxi. He said he went back because bearing the costs of car maintenance and depreciation were much greater issue than he had thought. He thought that new Uber drivers were not thinking long term on the wear and tear of their personal vehicles. Eventually Uber drivers may learn it is not worth it. With taxis he got to lease a car from the company at a lower rate than he could privately and the company took care of the car. I don't know enough about the business to say if something like this will eventually slow Uber up or not. Also the taxis in my city have recently developed a cellphone app that is something like Uber's but meant for taxi service, so the novelty of digitized service may no longer be unique to Uber.
They just need a steady supply of new drivers.

The same (or similar) app exists in Vegas.
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