Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal


105 bookmarks. First posted by drewish 14 days ago.


Nådeløst. «Uber’s path of destruction».
from twitter
18 hours ago by nedregotten
Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal via Instapaper http://bit.ly/30uOAsB
IFTTT  Instapaper  longreads 
yesterday by chetan
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
yesterday by banderson623
Uber is important because it also illustrates that propaganda techniques can be just as powerful in corporate settings as they have been in partisan political settings. Despite nine years of disastrous financial results, and exposés of bad behavior that would have destroyed most companies, the press refuses to reconsider its narra­tive valorizing Uber as a heroic innovator that has created huge benefits for consumers and cities. The mainstream media doesn’t even acknowledge that Uber manufactured these narratives. Inves­tors will surely recognize what Uber has accomplished here, and will attempt to create corporate value by applying these same techniques in many more cases.
business  economics  uber 
yesterday by libbymiller
Long, sobering, souring read on the negative impact of Uber
from twitter_favs
2 days ago by jwtulp
Uber’s most important innovation has been to produce staggering levels of private wealth without creating any sustainable benefits for consumers, workers, the cities they serve, or anyone else.
economics  urban  technology  politics 
2 days ago by agfa8x
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
2 days ago by frog
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
2 days ago by oli
In the early 1990s, a coordinated campaign advocating taxi deregulation was conducted by a variety of pro-corporate/libertarian think tanks that all received funding from Charles and David Koch. This campaign pursued the same deregulation that Uber’s investors needed, and used classic political propaganda techniques. It emphasized emotive themes designed to engage tribal loyalties and convert complex issues into black-and-white moral battles where compromise was impossible. There was an emphasis on simple, attractive conclusions designed to obscure the actual objectives of the campaigners, and their lack of sound supporting evidence.

This campaign’s narratives, repeated across dozens of publications, included framing taxi deregulation as a heroic battle for progress, innovation, and economic freedom. Its main claims were that thousands of struggling entrepreneurial drivers had been blocked from job opportunities by the “cab cartel” and the corrupt regulators beholden to them, and that consumers would enjoy the same benefits that airline deregulation had produced. In a word, consumers were promised a free lunch.
business  tech  startup  politics  commentary  capitalism  economy  money 
2 days ago by inrgbwetrust
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. via Pocket
Pocket 
3 days ago by funkatron
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market.
3 days ago by AnthonyBaker
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
3 days ago by stevenbedrick
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
3 days ago by loganrhyne
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. via Pocket
Pocket  toread 
3 days ago by traggett
Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major… June 12, 2019 at 04:52PM http://bit.ly/30uOAsB
instapaper 
3 days ago by ewancarr
"In reality, Uber’s platform does not include any technological breakthroughs, and Uber has done nothing to “disrupt” the economics of providing urban car services. What Uber has disrupted is the idea that competitive consumer and capital markets will maximize overall economic welfare by rewarding companies with superior efficiency. Its multibillion dollar subsidies completely distorted marketplace price and service signals, leading to a massive misallocation of resources. Uber’s most important innovation has been to produce staggering levels of private wealth without creating any sustainable benefits for consumers, workers, the cities they serve, or anyone else."
capitalism  technology  failure  economics  business  gametheory 
3 days ago by basemaly
An examination of Uber’s economics suggests that it has no hope of ever earning sustainable urban car service profits in competitive markets. Its costs are simply much higher than the market is willing to pay, as its nine years of massive losses indicate. Uber not only lacks powerful competitive advantages, but it is actually less efficient than the competitors it has been driving out of business.
uber  business  economics 
3 days ago by dcrall
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
3 days ago by nimprojects
"ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. But the widespread belief that it is a highly innovative and successful company has no basis in economic reality.

An examination of Uber’s economics suggests that it has no hope of ever earning sustainable urban car service profits in competitive markets. Its costs are simply much higher than the market is willing to pay, as its nine years of massive losses indicate. Uber not only lacks powerful competitive advantages, but it is actually less efficient than the competitors it has been driving out of business.

Uber’s investors, however, never expected that their returns would come from superior efficiency in competitive markets. Uber pursued a “growth at all costs” strategy financed by a staggering $20 billion in investor funding. This funding subsidized fares and service levels that could not be matched by incumbents who had to cover costs out of actual passenger fares. Uber’s massive subsidies were explicitly anticompetitive—and are ultimately unsustainable—but they made the company enormously popular with passengers who enjoyed not having to pay the full cost of their service.

The resulting rapid growth was also intended to make Uber highly attractive to those segments of the investment world that believed explosive top-line growth was the only important determinant of how start-up companies should be valued. Investors focused narrow­ly on Uber’s revenue growth and only rarely considered whether the company could ever produce the profits that might someday repay the multibillion dollar subsidies.

Most public criticisms of Uber have focused on narrow behavioral and cultural issues, including deceptive advertising and pricing, algorithmic manipulation, driver exploitation, deep-seated misogyny among executives, and disregard of laws and business norms. Such criticisms are valid, but these problems are not fixable aberrations. They were the inevitable result of pursuing “growth at all costs” without having any ability to fund that growth out of positive cash flow. And while Uber has taken steps to reduce negative publicity, it has not done—and cannot do—anything that could suddenly pro­duce a sustainable, profitable business model.

Uber’s longer-term goal was to eliminate all meaningful competition and then profit from this quasi-monopoly power. While it has already begun using some of this artificial power to suppress driver wages, it has not achieved the Facebook- or Amazon-type “plat­form” power it hoped to exploit. Given that both sustainable profits and true industry dominance seemed unachievable, Uber’s investors de­cided to take the company public, based on the hope that enough gullible investors still believe that the compa­ny’s rapid growth and popularity are the result of powerfully effi­cient inno­vations and do not care about its inability to generate profits.

These beliefs about Uber’s corporate value were created entirely out of thin air. This is not a case of a company with a reasonably sound operating business that has managed to inflate stock market expectations a bit. This is a case of a massive valuation that has no relationship to any economic fundamentals. Uber has no competitive efficiency advantages, operates in an industry with few barriers to entry, and has lost more than $14 billion in the previous four years. But its narratives convinced most people in the media, invest­ment, and tech worlds that it is the most valuable transportation company on the planet and the second most valuable start-up IPO in U.S. history (after Facebook).

Uber is the breakthrough case where the public perception of a large new company was entirely created using the types of manufactured narratives typically employed in partisan political campaigns. Narrative construction is perhaps Uber’s greatest competitive strength. The company used these techniques to completely divert attention away from the massive subsidies that were the actual drivers of its popularity and growth. It successfully framed the entire public discussion around an emotive, “us-versus-them” battle between heroic innovators and corrupt regulators who were falsely blamed for all of the industry’s historic service problems. Uber’s desired framing—that it was fighting a moral battle on behalf of technological progress and economic freedom—was uncritically ac­cepted by the mainstream business and tech industry press, who then never bothered to analyze the firm’s actual economics or its anticompetitive behavior.

In reality, Uber’s platform does not include any technological breakthroughs, and Uber has done nothing to “disrupt” the eco­nomics of providing urban car services. What Uber has disrupted is the idea that competitive consumer and capital markets will maximize overall economic welfare by rewarding companies with superior efficiency. Its multibillion dollar subsidies completely distorted marketplace price and service signals, leading to a massive misallocation of resources. Uber’s most important innovation has been to produce staggering levels of private wealth without creating any sustainable benefits for consumers, workers, the cities they serve, or anyone else."
huberthoran  uber  carsharing  taxis  transportation  2019  economics  technology  technosolutionism  huxterism  propaganda  regulation  disruption  innovation  scale  networkeffects  amazon  facebook  venturecapital  siliconvalley  latecapitalism  capitalism  exploitation  labor  growth  lyft  china  startups  cities  urban  urbanism  productivity  traviskalanick 
3 days ago by robertogreco
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
4 days ago by artlung
Uber’s Path of Destruction
uber  economics 
4 days ago by stevesong
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
4 days ago by dudup
Lots and lots to unpack in this one. But in short Uber has generated a huge amount of wealth for investors while publicly damaging the transport infrastructure of the cities in which in operates, all while being hugely unprofitable.
uber  technology  americanaffairs  journalism  longreads  capitalism 
4 days ago by UltraNurd
"The market power of companies like Amazon and Facebook was the result of their size, industry dominance, and immunity from new competitive threats. It was not created by their user interfaces" From Uber’s Path of Destruction https://buff.ly/2I8cHoH
IFTTT  Buffer 
5 days ago by mrj0e
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market.
IFTTT  Pocket 
5 days ago by garrettc
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. via Pocket
Pocket 
5 days ago by tonyhue
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
5 days ago by aburgel
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
6 days ago by sethde
Remember when hungry entrepreneurs could pick up bundles of VC if they called their ideas “the Uber of X,” where “X” was everything from tiny office tents to $600 motorized juice packet squeezers? And now, as it turns out, Uber’s fundamentals have been unsound this while time. Sand Hill Road should be called the Emperor’s Saville Row.
business 
6 days ago by shaylor
“The private wealth it has created comes entirely at the expense of the rest of society.”
from twitter
6 days ago by dinomite
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. But the widespread belief that it is a highly innovative and successful company has no basis in economic reality.
business  economics 
6 days ago by ssorc
Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal

S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
Articles 
6 days ago by Raymond1974
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
6 days ago by kerim
Hubert Horan:
<p>Most public criticisms of Uber have focused on narrow behavioral and cultural issues, including deceptive advertising and pricing, algorithmic manipulation, driver exploitation, deep-seated misogyny among executives, and disregard of laws and business norms. Such criticisms are valid, but these problems are not fixable aberrations. They were the inevitable result of pursuing “growth at all costs” without having any ability to fund that growth out of positive cash flow. And while Uber has taken steps to reduce negative publicity, it has not done—and cannot do—anything that could suddenly pro­duce a sustainable, profitable business model.

Uber’s longer-term goal was to eliminate all meaningful competition and then profit from this quasi-monopoly power. While it has already begun using some of this artificial power to suppress driver wages, it has not achieved the Facebook- or Amazon-type “plat­form” power it hoped to exploit. Given that both sustainable profits and true industry dominance seemed unachievable, Uber’s investors de­cided to take the company public, based on the hope that enough gullible investors still believe that the compa­ny’s rapid growth and popularity are the result of powerfully effi­cient inno­vations and do not care about its inability to generate profits.

These beliefs about Uber’s corporate value were created entirely out of thin air. This is not a case of a company with a reasonably sound operating business that has managed to inflate stock market expectations a bit. This is a case of a massive valuation that has no relationship to any economic fundamentals. Uber has no competitive efficiency advantages, operates in an industry with few barriers to entry, and has lost more than $14bn in the previous four years. But its narratives convinced most people in the media, invest­ment, and tech worlds that it is the most valuable transportation company on the planet and the second most valuable start-up IPO in U.S. history (after Facebook).

Uber is the breakthrough case where the public perception of a large new company was entirely created using the types of manufactured narratives typically employed in partisan political campaigns. Narrative construction is perhaps Uber’s greatest competitive strength.</p>


He then rips apart its economics; you'll be happy to take an Uber (well, perhaps; it's putting taxi drivers who make a profit out of business) but certainly avoid the shares.
uber  business  economics 
7 days ago by charlesarthur
If Uber’s growth had actually resulted from superior efficiency, there would be ample evidence that it could provide taxi service at significantly lower costs than traditional operators. The opposite is true; Uber has higher costs than traditional operators in every cate­gory other than fuel.

The cost structure of any urban car service company has four components: vehicle costs (typically 18 percent of total, including acquisition, financing, maintenance, and licensing), corporate costs (15 percent, including dispatching, advertising, overhead functions such as IT and legal, and returns to shareholders), fuel (9 percent), and driver compensation (58 percent, including benefits).
techculture 
7 days ago by zryb
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
7 days ago by disnet
Uber’s Path of Destruction by via Comments on: Uber’s Path of Destruction http://bit.ly/30uOAsB
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7 days ago by acdha
Uber’s Path of Destruction - American Affairs Journal https://t.co/i38gp64Iiv

— Greg (@modern_ema) June 7, 2019
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7 days ago by greihing
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
7 days ago by jasenpheffer
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
7 days ago by theory
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
7 days ago by jxmc76
Since it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major share of the urban car service market. But the widespread belief that it is a highly innovative and successful company has no basis in economic reality. An examination of Uber’s economics suggests that it has no hope of ever earning sustainable urban car service profits in competitive markets...
economics  business 
8 days ago by jellis
note footnote 15 -- in the 1980s some cities deregulated taxi service and it failed
cities  fishing  transportation 
8 days ago by clew
S ince it began operations in 2010, Uber has grown to the point where it now collects over $45 billion in gross passenger revenue, and it has seized a major…
from instapaper
8 days ago by louderthan10