There have been lots of threads around pros/cons of Uber. After this post I am signing out for good.
To win the future of ride sharing requires:
1) consumer brand and trust
2) L5 autonomy
3) operations expertise with physical assets
Google has 1 and (soon) 2. They will have to develop/acquire/partner for 3. My guess is that they either partner or acquire. They have already made investment to get an inside track. I am not convinced Lyft is the right acquisition as Lyft doesn’t have physical operations expertise.
Amazon has 1 and 3 and are world class in both. If you are following Amazon, they have been working on 2 for years, but not shared much publicly. Autonomy will be important as they are also one of the largest players in logistics.
Uber has 1. And would need to develop/acquire/partner for 2 or 3. The failed acquisition of Otto set the company back about 2 years. AL was a total mess. Also, don’t underestimate the complexity of owning and managing a fleet of cars.
I talked through with TK. He agreed and I decided to leave because I didn’t want to invest any more of my time in Uber given the odds.
The senior team knows this which is why so many top people are choosing not to re-up. This is unnatural for a company that is supposedly heading to a world class IPO. It is also why they are having a hard time filling top positions (notably CFO).
There have been lots of threads around pros/cons of Uber. After this post I am signing out for good.
- Twitter OnceadayThis is why Uber and Lyft RSUs should be counted as a grain of salt when calculating TC. You never know when these companies will IPO if they even IPO or get bought out. You could end up holding a bag of paper shares worth nothing after 4 years of hard work. In that 4 years of time you could have made a million dollars working at a FANGT company.
- 1. L5 is at least 3-5 years away.
2. By then most Uber employees are long since cashed out so you are not talking to people who give a crap about predicting the market 5 years from now. However...
3. Uber has extensive GLOBAL data (even from markets it exited) that is highly valuable. Nobody else in the world does.
4. Amazon move incredibly slow. Amazon Go was in development while I was there 8 years ago and all that does is remove a cashier - L5 autonomy is a whole different thing.
5. Waymo cannot build their own ride sharing network based off autonomous only. That’s 10-15 years out. They have to acquire or partner. Lyft simply does not offer them the scale a major acquisition should. Waymo acquiring Uber is far more likely OR even more so using the Uber platform.
I also believe Uber has tons of brand and trust. Outside of Bay Area nobody listens to the anti Uber nonsense.
Finally, you are forgetting that Uber is becoming the most diversified transportation platform. This offers even more insight than other competition will have.
- Amazon / Eng RCMMTWaymo is already driving driverless cars in Phoenix and has agreed to purchase 20000 cars :
99% of the market can be satisfied by l4 so it doesn't really matter that l5 is that far off
- Those same purchase stories exist about Uber too (not saying they are true or false). Uber doesn’t have to satisfy all of its driverless a missions with its own tech. It’s a platform and as long as the cost barrier to entry isn’t exaggerated (like it would be if ONLY Waymo develops L4/5 tech) then there is no reason to restrict the platform to our own driverless tech.
I don’t think this is a single player market and I don’t think Waymo will dominate even if it beats everyone else to market by a year
- Rolling out driverless cars will be very gradual. It’s going to take a decade just for the first markets to fully switch over to autonomous. Other markets will follow thereafter. You’re going to have to start with a mix of humans and autonomous and autonomous won’t be cheaper than humans for the first few years because of the cost of technology. The same way Uber uses profits from mature markets to fuel growth, it can use profits from non-autonomous markets to remain competitive in markets that are becoming autonomous long enough to catch up.
Lastly, you’re not taking into account how long it will take society to embrace fully autonomous cars. There’s a lot of ludditism and resistance to change that will take one generation to overcome (15-20 years).
Waymo’s lead is largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
- You might be right.
My experience is that people in tech overestimate the negative sentiment toward Uber. Most people have never heard of Susan Fowler.
Dara is doing the right thing to rebuild the brand. I love that he removed forced arbitration. Keep it up.
However, I don’t think he can fix the core strategic issues in time.May 19, 2018 7
- You’re missing item 0.
0. Rideshare platform.
This is all an efficiency play, it takes time to figure out how to build that software stack.
For 3, Uber can partner or purchase, same as Google. That’s a wash.
#2 - Google (Waymo) is way ahead, no contest.
#1 - Dara is fixing it for Uber, plenty of time before #2 becomes real.
#0 - Google has to buy Lyft or partner. They likely partner in my opinion, Google isn’t built for a real-world focused business. For example, see how successful Google Fiber is.
Amazon has great logistics, the market makes sense too. Not sure how they handle 0 and their 2 is a pipe dream for them right now.
Best bet for Amazon, buy Uber.
- The most telling point is the exodus of senior people and struggles to hire new ones. They have more information than the average person on Blind and there is a good reason they don’t want to be at Uber. In particular, a good CFO is going to push hard to see if this is a viable business before taking it on.
Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Google has this kind of leadership churn. This reminds me of Snap and Twitter. Both fell apart and peaked before IPO.
- Not sure what the meaning of this thread is.
OP - can we assume you couldn’t get into any of these top companies posting here?
Anytime I see New I automatically believe you work at Cerner or some no name dump in the Midwest.
- It wasn't due to the yahoo label. They didn't meet the hiring bar. Usually they had a lot of years of experience but when you talked to them, they weren't strong on algorithms and/or system design. They could have been downleveled but then we would not beat their current pay. And we hired a lot of juniors back in late 2015 and all of 2016. We more recently focus on sr engineers.
- Qualcomm DwyerAndyFantastic post.
Do you think Amazons operation expertise accounts for anything in the automotive industry?
Also, everyone agrees that Waymo is ahead. But, isn't Uber next? They have the academic expertise from CMU. The other companies in L5 like Cruise, Lyft are probably behind Uber?
Should Uber be dejected at this point?
- Operations expertise at massive scale is going to be a real complexity. Amazon is ahead of everyone there.
Amazon will also build this as a platform (like AWS) and run not only their own products: last mile, Whole Foods, ride share on it. They will also open it up to everyone else.
Being able to combine deep operations expertise with superior utilization will make Amazon a very formidable competitor.
They can also enter late since they can start with their existing products before getting into ride sharing.
- What do you mean by L5 autonomy? L5 employees having autonomy to make decisions?
- Uber has 1 and 3 and a very good chance of being 2nd or 3rd player in 2.
- Bits are very different than atoms. Xchange Leasing was a first attempt to get involved more deeply on the asset side. It did not go well as you may remember ...
Amazon is light years ahead of both Google and Uber. Google may be even more clueless than Uber in this regard.
- Exchange leasing was done naively to support ridesharing instead of managed as a business unto itself.
As companies with expertise in fleets like Enterprise and Hertz continue to lose share value, you’ll see their best hired by Uber to build and manage fleets. It wouldn’t take but 2-3 years to learn and scale. Just look at Eats, which is now the largest food delivery service after three years.
- I don’t think ridesharing/shared mobility is a winner take all market and it has taken uber and lyft the greater part of the decade to garner customer trust (1) and operations expertise/presence (3). Case in point: Even now Android is a distant second in terms of profits though the google phone came out less than a year or so after the first iphone did. Lets not get carried away here. Yes waymo is still miles ahead in self driving.. but whoever thinks they are at L5 is not knowledgable of what autonomous driving will take. Even waymo’s own top dog, Chris Urmson, left his role to start his own self driving startup. Cruise automation is also already pretty close to where Waymo is and considered to be a close #2. To reach where waymo is doesn’t take much time now since the algorithms are known (google it.. even sacha arnoud, their head of sw agrees) and data is all you need for those algorithms to work right which in that case uber/lyft/tesla have lots of, maybe even more than waymo. Achieving scale is what’s needed.. and yes scale in atoms not bits.. then maybe tesla/gm might be closer than waymo. Uber/lyft have scale of their own as far as real rideshared cars on their network..
- He’s actually implying lyft/uber can loose their drivers and market (customers) the moment someone gives a better deal to both.. not sure if that can happen overnight or within a year or two..
- I’d be more concerned about their existing business being disrupted by competition than whether or not they can become an autonomous car player. They have barely any technical moat and their drivers/users would gladly jump ship if a competitor can provide better value.
- Uber snddnOne of Google's largest international investment is in GoJek: Indonesia's version of Uber (but much more than just ride sharing) which plans to expand soon. It's the best way for Google to understand operational expertise.
- Being an investor is not carte blanche for gaining the insights you need. They would have to acquire a ridesharing company to get unfettered access to insights. They are also investors in Uber and Lyft. Their largest ridesharing investment in terms of dollar value is still Uber.