Posts Tagged: Uber
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The Gee Whiz Train

The thin, fragile, and (oft unfairly) maligned conduit between Brooklyn and Queens is shutting down for five weeks so that the MTA can repair lingering damage from Hurriance Sandy. This has provided occasion to air out moldering anxieties about the G train and the area it serves, one too ripe for Uber to resist exploiting: While the MTA does their thing, we’re here to bridge the gap with one free transfer between the Nassau Av and Court Sq G train stops.

The MTA's "thing" is maintaining vital physical infrastructure. Uber is beloved by its investors precisely because it does not perform that kind of costly work, but [...]

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The Uber Diaries

I'm not supposed to drive or bike anymore, so when I discovered rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, my life became much easier. I usually try to talk to my drivers. Here are a few of their stories.

Abram. Wednesday night.

Just before nine o’clock on Wednesday evening is the most stressful time of the week. Easy to feel un-buoyed. Abram had been smoking in his car. That, or he just hopped into the driver’s seat, mid-cigarette, as soon as he got my call. He was maybe sixty-five, seventy tops. Mostly bald, with thick glasses and shadowy eyes. His English was not great; he spoke with a heavy slavic [...]

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The Great Laundry War

This is actually happening: The company needed to make a move, one that showed the tech community who the alpha laundry company was. In early October, Washio opened up shop in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, the area around Silicon Valley was already awash in laundry disrupters. In addition to Prim, there was Laundry Locker, along with three other locker-technology-enabled businesses: Sudzee, Drop Locker, and ­Bizzie Box. There was Sfwash, which offered ecofriendly cleaning on top of pickup and delivery. There was even, briefly, a service called Your Hero Delivery, whose driver-founders dressed like superheroes. (“At the end of the day, did we really want to spend our whole lives [...]

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New York City Cordially Invites Uber to Innovate, Disrupt Our Taxis

"It is one of the great ripoffs of the public any place I've ever seen" Mayor Bloomberg on the structure of the NYC taxi industry.

— Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) December 14, 2012

Good! New York City will begin a year-long pilot of working with taxi-hailing apps starting early next year. The program will be pretty restrictive, but lots of the hard tech work is to ensure that the app systems work with the taxi meters. So that, you know, we don't get ripped off. That wasn't so hard, petulant, pouty, Ayn Randian startup boys, now was it!

Also apparently Mike Bloomberg went crazy about taxis this [...]

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The Uber Bomb Detonates in New York

Have you been in a New York cab recently? Sometimes prompted but more often not, drivers will want to talk to you about Uber. If you're in a yellow cab or a livery car, you will hear about Uber the virus, Uber the interloper, Uber the merciless invader; if you're in an Uber cab, or an Uber-adjacent green taxi, you'll hear about Uber the inevitable, Uber the strange, Uber the great (for now). It's been a boom time for untethered drivers—a magical stretch during which they could take advantage of high fares, high demand, and low barriers to entry all at once. It was acknowledged, rarely explicitly, that the arrangement [...]

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What Was Money, Part Infinity

Uber, the most valuable bro startup in history, has been valued at $18.2 billion. Crazy, right? Or is it? asks Andrew Ross Sorkin. "But here’s another way to think about Uber’s whopping valuation: It is still too low."

After all, he notes, "consider the 'smart money' that plowed $1.2 billion into the company before its recent valuation, only 10 months after it was valued at only $3.5 billion: Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Wellington Management and Summit Partners." This is true: not one of these venture firms has ever contributed to the wildly inflated value of a [...]

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A Government Official at the Tap of a Button

Testimony from Ashwini Chhabra, Deputy Commissioner of Policy & Planning at NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, in 2012, on the question of hailing taxicabs with apps like Uber:

“It is not the rightful function of government to protect one segment of an industry from competition from another segment. So long as passengers win and the industry over all wins, our goal to be to encourage innovation and forward movement.”

So it will not surprise you to learn that he is becoming Uber's first head of policy development and community engagement. I'm sure someone told him, in a sing-songy voice "Why reg-u-late when you can inn-o-vate? Also here is [...]

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How Exactly Is Uber "Disrupting" an Industry?

@daveg lesson is diplomacy and patience as it is a big change. Calling them antiquated and stupid cant/won't help the cause

— Om Malik (@om) October 17, 2012

"For the first time in 30 years, New Yorkers could get a cab without going to the street and putting your arm out," startup Uber wrote yesterday, in the course of admitting they are shutting down their NYC pilot program. (Also, this is only true if you mean yellow cabs; in most of the City, people been calling for car services their whole lives.) Don't worry, you can use Uber in "more innovation-friendly cities," they snidely [...]

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The View from Tom Friedman's Next New World

Last week, Susie Cagle went to Thomas L. Friedman's Next New World conference with "leaders drawn from the C-suite, government, education, think tanks and other fields for a "compelling forum on how growth is generated and how the workforce needs to be educated to acquire the skills necessary in the 21st century." This is what she saw.

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The Bros Who Inherited the Earth

Here's the guy who runs Uber, which has raised over $300 million:

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says he was not getting any ladies when he was previous startups were tanking. “It’s great now!"

— Nicholas Carlson (@nichcarlson) May 28, 2014

And the guy who co-founded RapGenius, which has raised over $15 million because it's the darling of two of the most influential investors in the world:

(Previously: "I'mma rape you in your mouth")

And finally, this is the guy who founded Snapchat, writing in 2009: Bro, these three samples were collected from this week alone: This isn't a fluke! This is who wins [...]

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What Was Money?

What was money?

A medium of exchange; a system by which tokens were assigned value by a central authority for use within a regulated system of commerce.

What was money for?

Acquiring things that you needed to live or believed you needed to be happy.

What happened to money?

"Uber Technologies Inc. is seeking to join the $10 billion-plus club. The San Francisco-based startup, which makes a mobile application for car-service booking, is in talks to raise new financing in a round that may value it at more than $10 billion, according to people with knowledge of the situation. That would almost triple the company’s [...]