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Old 03-03-2017, 10:22 PM   #51
thenewsavman
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
Yep, right now Uber has a free fleet of cars that drivers are subsidizing for them. I'm actually not sure if driverless cars would end up being cheaper compared to how little they are paying their drivers compared to what it would cost to own, operate, and maintain their own fleet of cars.
lol.

show your work.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:27 PM   #52
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Good article on Reason, new app called Grayball to solve a gray market in respectability of Uber employees.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/03/wh...-help-uber-avo
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:41 PM   #53
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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$200 for a 40 hr week? lIs he driving in Lost Springs, Wyoming?
Many Uber drivers drive with no plan and as such make little to no money. Many drivers are, on average, much more desperate than your average Joe. They tend to have less education, meaningful work experience, etc. Many have average to low credit scores, and would not be approved for a car loan through 'traditional' lenders. As such, they sign on for horrible lease programs through Santander and other shady lenders (being pursued in court btw). These lease programs typically charge people 3-4x the going rate for a sedan. Drivers will pay $800 a month for a Toyota sedan.

They do this because they fail at math. As a result, they chase every ping/request at any base rate (.90 cents/mile...72c/mile after Uber's cut in L.A.). With cars that cost these people roughly 65 cents a mile (because of the lease). I have been driving for 3 years. I have been a "surge only" driver ever since they reduced prices below $1.25/mile in Los Angeles. You can make $35/hour before expenses, at the right times (read:surge 2x+only).

At the moment, Uber subsidizes rides nationally for the passengers. Prices are set artificially low, below market value. There's a source out there (too lazy to google) that recently came out stating Uber subsidizes, on average, 40% of the of a ride/fare's total cost. they do this by incentivizing drivers to drive "boost" zones at certain places/times. these are zones where any fare will be paid at X times the base fare (say 1.5x or 2.1x). Also, Uber has "quests", such as driver 20 trips, make $40 extra. the latter incentives are an unprofitable trap that many idiot drivers fall for.

Uber funds this in two ways: through their booking fee, which is the same price for every ride, regardless of distance (because of this Uber's cut on short Minimum fares is 52% in L.A.). They take the money from these booking fees to redistribute to other rides.
The other, more disastrous way they fund the passenger subsidies is through Venture Capital, which will run out soon. Investors are getting antsy, and the last loan Uber got was a 1 billion dollar line of credit through more traditional lenders that usually only lend to profitable, established companies. Regulators are looking into that last loan.
Finally, Uber is just a middle man; an app.some would argue it's a brnd-name, but so are its other future competitors. No car company wants to make a deal with them, and essentially give Uber the car/transportation market. They don't NEED Uber. Uber asked Tesla for "100,000 electric/semi-autonomous vehicles by 2020", to which Musk did not respond. Why would he give Uber the market?

The dominant ride share company of the future will not be Uber. It will be whoever has manufactured a CHEAP, semi autonomous vehicle fleet. This will be google, tesla, apple, ford, etc. One or two of these. NOT Uber. Uber's screwed.

Finally, Uber's prices should naturally (read:market forces, priced in wear/tear) be 2-3x the current prices. When the dominant ride-share company of the future will have semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicle fleets running around, you can bet your bottom dollar prices will be 2-3x current rates. For now, wear and tear is not priced in, because lol who cares about the drivers.

I do not need this gig. My wife's bonus last year was more than my annual take home. Uber is evil, but that is not why I say this. My conclusions are just on point.

That is all.

Edit: And Uber's losses are growing. they told their investors in 2015 they would be profitabe by Q2 2016. This has yet to happen! /rant

Last edited by Derp!; 03-03-2017 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:48 PM   #54
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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The dominant ride share company of the future will not be Uber. It will be whoever has manufactures a CHEAP, semi autonomous vehicle fleet. This will be google, tesla, apple, ford, etc. One or two of these. NOT Uber. Uber's screwed.

That is all.
I think you're correct. Uber's an app that will never be a real company. Dominos can even do this in the next ten years.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:01 PM   #55
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

The naziesque name should have been a tipoff that things would eventually collapse.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:27 PM   #56
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Originally Posted by thenewsavman View Post
lol.

show your work.
They are currently paying their drivers barely more than it costs to operate a car (when including the dead miles between pick ups). There could be potential for very small savings at this point.

Say Uber can eliminate that expense. They will also be adding:

The cost of purchasing their own cars (and will they buy enough to still provide good service during peak times)
The cost of maintaining their own cars (including gas and all other repairs)
The cost of having a place or multiple places in each city to store and dispatch cars
Additional security and operations staff to maintain the fleet and respond to any incident that might happen
The cost of cleaning their own cars and dealing with lost items. Do the cars know when someone pukes in it or does the next passenger get welcomed by it?
Could be others I'm not thinking of

All that could add up to a little less than what they are currently paying drivers but I don't think it would be much as there is already very little room to lower rates more than they already have. You are correct I do not know the exact numbers nor am I sure how you would expect me to.

Last edited by Shoe; 03-04-2017 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:28 PM   #57
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Originally Posted by leavesofliberty View Post
I think you're correct. Uber's an app that will never be a real company. Dominos can even do this in the next ten years.
lol at people who think Ford is going to dominate this field because "all they gotta do is make an app." they can't even make a functional radio interface. Ride scheduling and routing is not even close to a core compentency for auto manufacturers, they have no clue what to do in these sorts of markets.

Dominos, though, is actually closer to Uber than Ford. Logistics firms like FedEx or UPS are more likely to defeat Uber than Ford.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:55 AM   #58
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

So my Lyft CC was expired and Uber was down or something. I was like Oh ****! Then I realized there was a line of taxis a block away. The ride home cost about the same as my Uber ride there.

I was in Colombia last year with a bunch of millennials who literally had no idea how you go about hailing a taxi or using one.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:50 PM   #59
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Suzzer is all set for the doomsday scenario where all forms of communication fail except for rotary phones
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:37 PM   #60
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Uber isn't great with the PR but they have no choice but to force their way into a city because they entrenched interests wouldn't allow it. But consumers overwhelming want it. The monopoly of taxis for so long made them so disliked. And they got away with it because there was no other option. That is why we need Lyft.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:15 AM   #61
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Pretty good article a coworker sent me about the Google-Uber lawsuit, pieced together from filings in the case so far: https://danielcompton.net/2017/03/14/uber-bombshell

Cliffs: there's compelling circumstantial evidence suggesting that Levandowski intentionally stole this IP from Google with the intention of leaving and forming his own company (Otto) to get acquired by Uber, with the arrangement possibly worked out with Uber when he was still working at Google.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:15 AM   #62
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Yeah, Uber is screwed and will be paying $50M for Google's legal fees when it's over. Judge Alsup is pretty technical and can program in java, he'll get into the weeds. There's also a new federal trade secret law passed last year that hasn't been litigated much. It will be in this case.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:17 PM   #63
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Originally Posted by goofyballer View Post
Pretty good article a coworker sent me about the Google-Uber lawsuit, pieced together from filings in the case so far: https://danielcompton.net/2017/03/14/uber-bombshell

Cliffs: there's compelling circumstantial evidence suggesting that Levandowski intentionally stole this IP from Google with the intention of leaving and forming his own company (Otto) to get acquired by Uber, with the arrangement possibly worked out with Uber when he was still working at Google.
Lol. How did he expect Google not to notice that he downloaded that stuff from Google Drive before leaving?
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:28 PM   #64
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

My first job in LA was at a completely dysfunctional startup. And I don't mean a normal dysfunction for a startup. I mean bat**** insanity. Women used to leave the boss's office in tears. I'm pretty sure they only existed to siphon money off the parent company and into leadership's pockets.

Anyway one day after I'd recently gotten into it with the psychotic boss, the PM came up and asked me to walk him through what I was working on. It was the first time he showed any interest in that topic in 3 months.

I had a pretty strong suspicion something was up so I FTPed all my code to my personal website (this was like 2000 - way before google drive and dropbox). Sure enough they called me into the office at the end of the day. They were going to put me on probation or something. But I just quit on the spot. I already had another job lined up, just waiting to make sure I passed the drug test.

The one thing I asked was if I could go on my computer real quick as I had some personal stuff I wanted to remove. I had the old Netscape Communicator email client - which had a ton of emails of me bitching about the psycho boss. They refused, so I left. Another guy there said they spent hours that night pouring over my **** looking for something damaging.

They never found out about the FTPed code (which like almost all old code for a previous project was completely useless to me) or thought to look in Netscape Communicator.

Anyway Lol at the idea that stolen code can ever be that valuable. If you created it once you can create it again. If someone else created it, you'll probably never understand it well enough to do anything with it. Code is basically just an involved common sense implementation of an idea.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:43 AM   #65
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Here it's apparently not so much code as the underlying hardware, circuit designs, and underlying technology. I mean Google's open sourcing it's tools, like tensorflow, aggressively, it's not paranoid about secrets in a general sense.

Startup sounds crazy, where's the boss now?
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:54 AM   #66
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Hard to say - his name is Rob Williams. Not the easiest name to google.

Lol here's an interview with him.

Quote:
NO MORE COWBOYS

The make-up of ClickAction's work force is also changing. To acquire the hottest skills before, Williams often had to resort to computer cowboys, independent contractors who commanded wages of $75 to $125 an hour.

"Now I'm telling recruiters not to send me any contractors," he said. "I'm only hiring full-time programmers with six to seven years of experience."

And U.S. passports. When IT employees were scarce, ClickAction and other employers turned to workers from other countries who are here with H-1B visas -- special visas that allow foreign workers with special skills to work in the United States for a limited time. The number of such visas are regulated by Congress.

"It's a melting pot," said Williams. "Out of 32 developers, I have programmers from China, India, Russia, France, Vietnam, Korea and Australia." But, Williams said, filing paperwork on all those visas is a hassle and though workers are plentiful, ClickAction's new hires will be U.S. citizens. While some employers contacted say they will continue to hire H-1B's, others, like Williams, now plan to seek workers without visa restrictions.
LOOOL Computer Cowboys. LOOOL at 6-7 years experience in 2001. 32 developers for a vaporware product - ROFL.

Gee why did you need to keep hiring people so often Rob - for a product that never got off the ground and didn't need more than a handful of programmers? The product was basically an email-campaign manager that was supposed to bolt on to Weblogic Commerce Server - another product that never got off the ground.

Rob spent months in his office listening to Napster at ear-splitting decibels and pretty much refused to give any guidance on what we were supposed to be doing. Everyone had their own slightly different Oracle schema and weblogic.properties file. There was no coordination whatsoever and any inquiries to get some was met with open hostility. Then like two days before the demo to BEA - he came around in a complete panic trying to cobble something together. Needless to say the demo was a complete and utter disaster (but my stuff worked dammit!). I left soon after so I can't even imagine what they worked on for another year - other than the real job of stealing money from the parent company.

The guy from Australia, who I'm still good friends with, probably wrote 80% of the entire code base (I was only there 5 months and basically learned Java on the job from him). One day he called in sick and Rob docked him $400 cash - because he was working under the table (w/o an H1B) and had no recourse.

That money probably went straight into Rob's pocket. We had some guy in NYC who had top of the line equipment and never produced a line of code. Pretty sure that was some scam job to siphon off more money.

My first day on the job was interesting. I had to drive down from SF to LA on Monday morning, with the last of my moving stuff in my car - due to a friend's funeral that weekend. More or less normal workday. Then the DBA and 3 lead programmers asked me if I wanted to get sushi for dinner. Sure. The entire sushi meal was nothing but them telling surreal horror stories about Rob and how ****ed up the company was. First day. I was like wtf did I just get myself into?

Quote:
New ClickAction employee Amy McLaughlin, for example, used to work for Internet high-flier Razorfish. Today, the Java developer said she's earning less and was just glad to find a job in her field.

"Employers are definitely hiring for less money," said recruiter Stevens. Sign-on bonuses are gone and public companies are reducing the stock options they offer.
This was after my time, but based on previous women working there, O/U on Amy's employment tenure was about a month. I used to describe Rob to a combination of Captain Bligh and Mr. Smith from lost in space. I have also said you could probably live several lifetimes and never run into as psychotic of a boss.

The internet is like 95% bull****. Twas always thus. This is why if you meet someone who can actually deliver on what they say - you hold on to them for dear life.

Last edited by suzzer99; 03-19-2017 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:25 AM   #67
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Also lol Razorfish, we hired them at my next job and they charged a bajillion $$$ for some web template thing based on their own proprietary custom framework that was impossible to work with. ZOMG tabs! Must use opaque custom framework based on annotation for tabs - no other way.

I remember in SF, when I was still trying to break into web programming, meeting a guy who worked for Razorfish at a party. He told me how they were showing a different website to search engine web-crawlers vs. the one they showed to regular users. I thought he was a voodoo wizard of the highest order.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:24 AM   #68
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

I worked for one of Razorfish's sibling companies. 75% of our work was for one massive client (they had something like 20 agencies under contract in some capacity; writing off $million projects was nothing to them). I sometimes did bits of work for other clients, and when we were over budget for them, they told me to bill my time to Big Client.

I ended up getting laid off (round 3 of 5), and had to threaten to sue them to get my severance.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:50 AM   #69
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
My first job in LA was at a completely dysfunctional startup. And I don't mean a normal dysfunction for a startup. I mean bat**** insanity. Women used to leave the boss's office in tears. I'm pretty sure they only existed to siphon money off the parent company and into leadership's pockets.

Anyway one day after I'd recently gotten into it with the psychotic boss, the PM came up and asked me to walk him through what I was working on. It was the first time he showed any interest in that topic in 3 months.

I had a pretty strong suspicion something was up so I FTPed all my code to my personal website (this was like 2000 - way before google drive and dropbox). Sure enough they called me into the office at the end of the day. They were going to put me on probation or something. But I just quit on the spot. I already had another job lined up, just waiting to make sure I passed the drug test.

The one thing I asked was if I could go on my computer real quick as I had some personal stuff I wanted to remove. I had the old Netscape Communicator email client - which had a ton of emails of me bitching about the psycho boss. They refused, so I left. Another guy there said they spent hours that night pouring over my **** looking for something damaging.

They never found out about the FTPed code (which like almost all old code for a previous project was completely useless to me) or thought to look in Netscape Communicator.

Anyway Lol at the idea that stolen code can ever be that valuable. If you created it once you can create it again. If someone else created it, you'll probably never understand it well enough to do anything with it. Code is basically just an involved common sense implementation of an idea.
We're talking about system design, hardware design, firmware design, schematics, firmware source code, and such. You are making an apples to oranges comparison.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:13 AM   #70
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

Let's make this the official startup horror story thread. Content is excellent rn
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:06 PM   #71
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

When it started the rides were much higher quality. I remember taking Uber in 2013 and the rides were always nice. Over the last year or so most of my rides were smelly people who couldn't drive. That defeats whole point of not taking a cab. They often times take the long way and have zero sense of direction.

I lived in LA for a year and had a better sense of direction than most of my uber drivers, idk how you can be so clueless when your job is to drive around the city.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:35 PM   #72
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

If you were riding in 2013 you were taking Uber black. Uber X is definitely a step down from uber black, but it's a ton cheaper too.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:14 PM   #73
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

I drove for a couple months a year ago when I was in between jobs.

The biggest problem I thought was that there was a humongous disconnect where no one realizes the operating costs to drive people around. There is a reason taxis are so much more $$ than Uber, and tips are expected in top. Cause that is what you need to charge to make any $$ at all, for both the company and driver.

When I was driving, I was probably making 2X-3X what the passengers were paying, due to incentives, bonuses, etc. and after expenses it wasn't even very much $$. so it always amuses me when the passengers complained how expensive Uber had gotten. Most of them really think that they should be able to take a private car an hour across town for $15.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:16 PM   #74
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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When it started the rides were much higher quality. I remember taking Uber in 2013 and the rides were always nice. Over the last year or so most of my rides were smelly people who couldn't drive. That defeats whole point of not taking a cab. They often times take the long way and have zero sense of direction.

I lived in LA for a year and had a better sense of direction than most of my uber drivers, idk how you can be so clueless when your job is to drive around the city.
Cause by the time you get good you realize what a horrible job it is and you quit. Turnover is super high and retention is low so many of the drivers are brand new and don't know how to use the uber app/ navigation software efficiently, in addition to not knowing different parts of the city that well.

When I started driving I had been living in Los Angeles for 7 years, but much of my driving was in areas I had literally never been in, such as Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Mount Washington, and Downtown. So it took some time driving to get comfortable with the areas.

Last edited by Ammanas; 03-19-2017 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:43 PM   #75
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Re: Is Uber Doomed?

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Cause by the time you get good you realize what a horrible job it is and you quit. Turnover is super high and retention is low so many of the drivers are brand new and don't know how to use the uber app/ navigation software efficiently, in addition to not knowing different parts of the city that well.

When I started driving I had been living in Los Angeles for 7 years, but much of my driving was in areas I had literally never been in, such as Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills, Mount Washington, and Downtown. So it took some time driving to get comfortable with the areas.
Fair enough. My last driver in LA weighed probably 400 pounds, and leaned back all the way in his seat while he drove. He was fully reclined and had all the windows down. He was driving a beater as well. It was the most miserable ride of my life.

I mean I get it, LA is a hustle but it doesn't look good on Uber.
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