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(CNBC)   Uber's CEO would like you to know it's now a "privilege" for you to use your own vehicle and wear-and-tear as a taxi for his profit   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Free cash flow, Cash flow, We Are the World, investor sentiment, Market trend, Uber boss, latest tech company, post-pandemic  
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748 clicks; posted to Business » on 09 May 2022 at 7:35 AM (29 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



19 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-05-09 7:42:30 AM  
That sucking sound is the sewer you are being flushed into.
 
2022-05-09 7:46:27 AM  
Uber is not a ride sharing service.  It's an illegal taxi scheme.  Period.
 
2022-05-09 7:57:11 AM  
Fari Uber. You'll waste so much time and gas driving for then you'll lose money unless you live in a city of 100,000+. They deserve to have their business model punted into the sun.
 
2022-05-09 8:14:14 AM  
The Taxi business is cyclical. It's a super tough business. They thought they could just keep going on investor money until ???? Profit.

Not likely. Bye Bye poorly run companies.
 
hej
2022-05-09 9:00:53 AM  
It seems like anyone who is familiar with Uber knows that being a driver sucks, yet people continue to do it.
 
2022-05-09 9:05:17 AM  

hej: It seems like anyone who is familiar with Uber knows that being a driver sucks, yet people continue to do it.


The same reason people get into things like Herbalife and all that other crap... they PERSONALLY think it will be different for them. And then they find out.
 
2022-05-09 9:10:03 AM  
FTFAUber will now focus on achieving profitability on a free cash flow basis rather than adjusted EBITDA, he added.

Translation: Uber has been running at a massive loss this whole time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future by any acceptable accounting. Even if it achieves positive free cash flow, it is not remotely close to servicing it's debt* let alone delivering a return to investors.

BTW, "adjusted EBITDA" is code for "there is no remotely respectable accounting principle that can put a shine on this turd".

Also FTFA: a "seismic shift" in investor sentiment

Translation: Investors are wising up to just how deep this money pit is.


* $9.3B, which is up 23% on a year ago, and 63% from two years ago.
 
2022-05-09 9:22:38 AM  

NewportBarGuy: The Taxi business is cyclical. It's a super tough business. They thought they could just keep going on investor money until ???? Profit.

Not likely. Bye Bye poorly run companies.


That "????" was purported to be "...until driverless cars take over for human cogs and are within our total control."  Uber wanted to pull a Netflix - start out with an existing delivery mechanism, get big, switch to new mechanism, profit.

If you recall a few years ago, we were juuuuuuuust around the corner from making that a reality.  Listening to the hype machine back in 2018, we should now all have the ability to fark around on our phones in the back of a Johnny Cab on the way to wherever we're going.
 
2022-05-09 9:42:13 AM  

valkore: That "????" was purported to be "...until driverless cars take over for human cogs and are within our total control."  Uber wanted to pull a Netflix - start out with an existing delivery mechanism, get big, switch to new mechanism, profit.


Yep. In an analysis I did a couple of years ago (which I don't think has materially changed), there is no fare at which an Uber ride can be satisfactory to the passenger, the driver, and Uber itself. There simply is not enough money to go around at prices customers are willing to pay. Unregulated taxis ride-sharing is the new railroads.

Although to be pedantic, Netflix did not plan on streaming when it started out; it expected to be profitable on its original model. And it probably could have been given that its model was not based merely on delivery but also on managing inventory far more cost-effectively than the traditional rental model.

So unlike Uber, Netflix did not plan on running at a massive loss until (a) it had driven competitors out of the market and (b) a technological miracle lowered its costs dramatically.

FWIW (i.e. absolutely nothing), I have been saying for years that getting to 90% of a self-driving car is relatively easy. That last 10% is damned hard, and will not happen until the AI community accepts that deep learning alone will not get them there; they need to combine it with explicit models with embedded expert knowledge.
 
2022-05-09 9:49:09 AM  
Uber should be able to be profitable if all it did was focus on being the unregulated and unlicensed taxi app that it's become. Once the app is good, it can literally sit there and take in its 30% or whatever that it takes off the top of every fare. It doesn't have vehicle infrastructure costs or employee costs for drivers or the like. While the common take is "Investors are subsidizing rides", Uber isn't paying the drivers more than the fare, and as long as Uber isn't paying the driver more than the fare, the ride isn't really being subsidized. The maintenance costs for the app and backend are minimal.

Where investor money is going into a pit of despair is in marketing, expansion, and to all the self-driving car stuff, which has been sucking away billions and yielding zero return, and they aren't any closer to replacing humans with Johnny Cabs.
 
2022-05-09 9:59:21 AM  

HugeMistake: Although to be pedantic, Netflix did not plan on streaming when it started out; it expected to be profitable on its original model. And it probably could have been given that its model was not based merely on delivery but also on managing inventory far more cost-effectively than the traditional rental model.

So unlike Uber, Netflix did not plan on running at a massive loss until (a) it had driven competitors out of the market and (b) a technological miracle lowered its costs dramatically.

FWIW (i.e. absolutely nothing), I have been saying for years that getting to 90% of a self-driving car is relatively easy. That last 10% is damned hard, and will not happen until the AI community accepts that deep learning alone will not get them there; they need to combine it with explicit models with embedded expert knowledge.


You are correct - Netflix kind of lucked into the timing to transition from optical media to streaming.  By "pull a Netflix" I specifically meant the change of delivery mechanism, not that Netflix necessarily planned from the get go.  Hell, I'd bet weekend brunch that Uber never considered driverless cars as part of its original business model, only that black car and taxi services mostly sucked and there was an opportunity to take over a big portion of that business.

And they were right.  I've been in DC since 2003, and cab service back then SUCKED.  No meters, just a zone based system that was used by drivers to exploit hapless tourists.  The required map posted behind the driver's seat was impossible to read: it had the district titled at a disorienting 45 degree angle, landmarks were not clearly labeled, and drivers would not explain where they were picking you up and dropping you off.  They would intentionally drop off and pickup a block outside one zone so they could collect a bigger fee.  They would drive off if you tried to plan out ahead of time and insist on a drop off spot.  Getting cabs at night to destinations outside of where the driver could do a subsequent pickup was nearly impossible.  And going between DC to MD or VA?  Even more nebulous on pricing.

And this was in a city of 500k + people.  The experiences in suburbia with private cab services were even worse.  It's easy to hate on Uber for a number of reasons, but you gotta remember where things were beforehand (minus outside of places like NYC and Chicago).
 
2022-05-09 11:43:10 AM  
I've never understood why anyone thinks Uber could ever be profitable.  I don't see how they are doing anything that can't easily by copied by competitors if the model ever turns profitable.  But maybe I'm missing something.
 
2022-05-09 12:14:07 PM  

G. Tarrant: Where investor money is going into a pit of despair is in marketing, expansion, and to all the self-driving car stuff, which has been sucking away billions and yielding zero return, and they aren't any closer to replacing humans with Johnny Cabs.


Don't forget the "Executives wildly overpaying themselves while competing to build the largest empire of middle management monkeys as proof of their power and importance". That can be very expensive to a company with poor cost controls.

They also have a lot of expenses in lobbying, paying off regulators, spying on competitors, and intimidating critics.

And also, don't underestimate the operating costs of their infrastructure. It is a long way from "nearly free" even if the maintenance is (or should be) pretty low.
 
2022-05-09 12:22:19 PM  

valkore: And they were right.  I've been in DC since 2003, and cab service back then SUCKED.


All this is true, and especially the bits about taxis. I lived in San Francisco for a few years, and phoning for a cab was a complete lottery. Maybe one would come, maybe not. I suspect that the problem was the business model: the drivers leased their cabs from the dispatchers, and consequently the dispatchers didn't give much of a crap how many rides the drivers were able to pick up. Uber at least has a stake in it's drivers getting fares.

In other places, the medallion system is utterly corrupt.

The reality is, the cab and limo businesses themselves created the environment in which customers were willing to overlook a few minor inconveniences like uninspected cars, questionable insurance coverage, and an absence of driver background checks.
 
2022-05-09 1:15:15 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


I had a pretty good week
 
2022-05-09 1:26:27 PM  

valkore: NewportBarGuy: The Taxi business is cyclical. It's a super tough business. They thought they could just keep going on investor money until ???? Profit.

Not likely. Bye Bye poorly run companies.

That "????" was purported to be "...until driverless cars take over for human cogs and are within our total control."  Uber wanted to pull a Netflix - start out with an existing delivery mechanism, get big, switch to new mechanism, profit.

If you recall a few years ago, we were juuuuuuuust around the corner from making that a reality.  Listening to the hype machine back in 2018, we should now all have the ability to fark around on our phones in the back of a Johnny Cab on the way to wherever we're going.


Yeah, it is was supposed to be Tesla providing them. Not really working out so far for them.
 
2022-05-09 2:01:40 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Uber is not a ride sharing service.  It's an illegal taxi scheme.  Period.


Drunk Uber passenger vomited ALL over my car!!!
Youtube 4LJDFV-7QRM
 
2022-05-09 4:27:19 PM  
I've said before that Uber should just license the app for use to every cab service out there. The usage data alone would be worth it, but then license fees could likely pay for the entire infrastructure. Stop trying to be a taxi service. Just be usable tech...until the Johnny Cabs are prefected, anyway.
 
2022-05-10 12:32:04 PM  

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Uber is not a ride sharing service.  It's an illegal taxi scheme.  Period.


Currently, it's operating quite legally.  I don't disagree with your point about it not being a ride sharing service.  It's absolutely a taxi service.  We've just decided - as a government and a society - to say "ok, whatever".
 
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