people know me as a successful businessman, a powerful influencer, a bon vivant, and a deliverer of unsolicited advice.
some of those are true. but the thing that im most expert at is uber, lyft and all things ride share.
as you may know, Uber lost over $1 billion last quarter, which is nearly impossible to do when you are such a darling in the market that no matter how bad your PR team is or your leadership, people still use your services in droves.
it’s also hard to blow that sort of change when, in theory, your overhead should only be software engineers, customer service reps, and paying off politicians.
uber however has figured out ways to burn money via fines, robot car technology, and lawsuits. but as you can see from this example from an Uber Express Pool I drove yesterday, they also lose money by offering ridiculously low rides while paying the drivers what amounts to $37 an hour.
Uber needs to knock it off and charge the correct amount.
the experiment is over. people love ridesharing. they liked it from the very beginning when they were paying half what a cab cost. but for some reason Uber wanted to charge a quart of what a cab costs. they wanted to compete with busses. they wanted to then compete with their own drivers via automated cars. all of that has sent their profits spiraling down down down deep into the hole.
there needs to be real minimum fares of $6 for X and $12 for Select. they need to reward frequent passengers with a free $12 ride for every 6th $12 ride.
they should reward tipping by giving a 50% discount to every 10th tipper. they need to have a button that allows passengers to see if their favorite drivers (those who they have tipped) are nearby and let them select them for a slightly higher price (which would be split between uber and the driver). they need to have an option on the app that says I LOVE YOU I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU BUT PLEASE DONT TALK TO ME IM SLEEPY OR SHY OR JUST WANT QUIET.
they need to reward drivers who have a high rating with trips that they prefer. for example, I prefer long trips, some prefer short trips, I prefer trips to DTLA or LAX, some prefer trips to the Valley or the OC. if i am in Santa Monica and a request comes in for DTLA and i am close to 5 other available cars but i have a higher rating, I should get that call. because WHY WOULDNT YOU WANT YOUR HIGHER TICKET RIDES TO GET MATCHED WITH YOUR BEST DRIVERS?
there should be an option for what sort of music you want to be played. or what news station you want on the radio.
Uber has fallen into the trap that poor salesmen fall into: only believing that price price price is what is appealing to all customers. no, my friend, features, benefits, personalized tastes are the little things that people will pay a premium for.
how about i am a woman who likes to take Uber Pool, perhaps theres a button that says “please only match me with other riders who are female”? Uber swears they are a tech company not a transportation company, so then excel at the tech part.
partner with advertisers to partner with full time drivers to wrap their vehicles with ad wrap. then offer passengers a discount if they take rides in these vehicles. that way the passengers dont feel dumb in a Coke Adds Life car, and Coke gets their message out more.
but the biggest thing i would do is i would pay the drivers 75% of the ride no matter what. the quality of drivers has dropped year after year because part time drivers just cant afford to drive their cars into the ground for peanuts. yes i can figure out how to make it work for me, but many drivers cant. weirdly uber has failed at figuring out how to benefit from those ignorant drivers, but maybe that shouldnt be their business model.
maybe they should start hiring smart veteran uber drivers to run their company instead of these bros who wouldnt drive an uber express pool to save their lives, thereby never learning that you can make just as much on pool as you can on select if you do it right.