No, Rental Cars Aren’t About to Disappear


That’s … less than stunning. It shows big changes in business-traveler behavior (and by extension in consumer behavior in general). But rental-car companies appear to still account for a 70 percent share of ground-transportation spending by Certify users, more than twice that of Uber and Lyft combined. Which makes sense: If you’re traveling to anywhere but a city center or other densely packed neighborhood in the U.S., renting a car for a few days is still usually more convenient than trying to get by on ride hailing, transit, walking or, well, scootering.

The complete article

Justin Fox — Bloomberg

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Think Uber’s Problems Stop at Its Management and Culture? Think Again.

Uber drivers protest against working conditions outside the company's office in Santa Monica

A critical piece on Uber, written June this year.

Recent criticism of Uber is undoubtedly a good thing, but as this list demonstrates, its problems extend far beyond the individuals that run it or its corporate culture. With these problems, the fundamental question should not be whether Uber can reform its workplace culture, or whether Kalanick should stay on as CEO, or if he is overly important to the company. Rather it should be whether Uber, and companies like it, should be tolerated at all. In Uber’s case, it is unclear whether it is any better than regulated taxis broadly. Individuals might like Uber’s service — and that’s fine, and also to be expected, considering their rides are all subsidized by Uber’s investors — but policy should not cater what certain segments of the population want, especially if they don’t understand how the company operates.

The complete article

Kevin Cashman — The Minskys

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Nice analysis of Benchmark Capital suit against Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

That almost assuredly changed Benchmark’s internal calculus when it came to filing this lawsuit. Does it give the firm a bad reputation, potentially keeping it out of the next Facebook? Unquestionably. The sheer size of Uber though, and the potential return it represents, means that Benchmark is no longer playing an iterated game. The point now is not to get access to the next Facebook: it is to ensure the firm captures its share of the current one.

The complete article

Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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How Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy Attracted Their First 1,000 Customers


Getting the first believers is the most difficult part. Fellow bloggers can surely identify with the challenge of bringing the first 1000 readers on their blog.

As Teixeira reports in a new HBS case, Airbnb, Etsy, Uber: Acquiring the First Thousand Customers, all three platforms concentrated on getting the service side of the equation first, customers second. But there’s a catch. “It’s not just the chicken and the egg, you also want to select the right eggs,” explains Teixeira. “If you acquire the wrong eggs and ostriches come out, then you are in trouble. The chickens will run for the hills.”

The complete article

Michael Blanding — HBS

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Guess What Uber’s Promising Now: Flying Cars


An interesting video today. Flying cars might not be that far into the future.

Forget self-driving cars, Uber has a new one for you… flying cars. The company calls it Uber Elevate and within a decade it’ll be a global network of on demand urban electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.

The video


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The Uber Killer: The Real Story of One Night of Terror


This needull looks at what happened when Jason Dalton, a driver with Uber went on a killing spree. Everyone tries find motive when a mass shooting happens. Till the time a clear reason is identified, it bugs everyone. This is one such shooting where the motivation of the killer is difficult to decipher.

On a Saturday evening in February, a 45-year-old Uber driver and father of two named Jason Dalton got into his car, left his home near Kalamazoo, Michigan, and began shooting people. But the strangest, most unfathomable thing about the night that Dalton killed and killed again is what he did in between.

The complete article

GQ — Chris Heath

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