Enter discipleship

today uber and lyft drivers are striking and of course those companies are trying to tempt you and the drivers to scab so please don't fall for it, and show solidarity!


Y’know, someone should have hacked together a temporary website/app thingy that connects striking drivers and passengers. Basically, a quick and dirty competitor. That would have scarred the crap out of them.

@suetanvil you know what if there was like, a federated version of uber and lyft where people just run their own websites and got all the money :blobhyperthink:

@anna @suetanvil This would be a great idea to try. But I do wonder how much money there is to made in this business. Drivers make a pittance — less than minimum wage — and the companies themselves operate at a loss. So where’s the money going?

I have a feeling their real customers aren’t passengers or drivers. Effectively, Uber and Lyft are consultancy placement firms. They’ll go bankrupt once the money funnel goes dry and someone will be running off with a bag of cash...

@gozer @anna @suetanvil

well both were designed to get lots of VC money so that they could destroy the existing market, have a monopoly, and then raise their prices

@gozer @anna @suetanvil

but yeah the business model does not make money

most of the time drivers are paid less than federal law requires people to be compensated just for mileage, (which is on top of working hours if you're driving somewhere as your job)

@mal @anna @suetanvil I have heard this theory before. I don’t know how fact-based it is.

@gozer @anna @suetanvil

well I mean it's the story they've told shareholders so *shrug*, obviously they could be lying but that's one of the few places rich people can get in legal trouble, fucking over other rich people

it's a pretty common business strategy tbh, operate at a loss to kill competition then raise prices

@mal @gozer @suetanvil this is why i wonder if a federated version that isnt there to soak up VC but just run at cost basically could actually end up with drivers getting paid more (since they'd get more or less all of it) while actually being cheaper, though the problem with ANYTHING competing with uber/lyft is that they will use the bottomless VC money to undercut costs if they're threatened

@anna @gozer @suetanvil

I mean, that's one of the big reasons they were able to compete with more traditional services to begin with

by undercutting costs both w/r/t drivers and also just taking a loss using VC money

@mal @anna @suetanvil If their plan was that taxis would be driven out of business, based on my non scientific look around town, it doesn’t seem to be working...

@gozer @mal @suetanvil they've literally made lyft/uber illegal in some places so that helps

@anna @mal @suetanvil Yeah. If this was even their thing, I dunno how good the plan of “let’s drive a low-tech, state-protected, service industry out of business and then and only then will we have a chance to make money” is...

@anna @mal @suetanvil But billionaires habitually throw handsfull of cash into furnaces so I don’t think we have to ponder too long about Why? Billionares make bad plans because billionaires make bad plans. It’s like asking why a robin eats a worm. They just like it okay?

@gozer @mal @suetanvil the most oppressive thing in the world is government regulation :blobcatgooglytrash:

@mal @anna @suetanvil People have wondered for years why the KLF did it. The answer may be that when you become a millionaire, the natural urge is to set it all on fire. m.youtube.com/watch?v=i6q4n5TQ


The thing uber et. al. bring to the table is that they (sort of) vet the drivers. A federated clone would allow bad actors to spoof good reviews.

I’m thinking turnkey FOSS infrastructure that (e.g.) a co-op of former Uber drivers could just deploy and use.

@suetanvil yeah like it would be difficult to bootstrap, to say the least. it might even necessitate authenticating against uber/lyft until better infrastructure is in place to do vetting, and figure out proper web of trust shit standalone

it'd be a big problem to solve, theres a reason that people who do all that effort want to chase unicorns, but damn it'd be cool

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