Uber fucked

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Mo
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Uber fucked

Post by Mo » 19 Feb 2017, 22:48

The odds that Kalanick only just now learned about the situation at Uber is pretty close to zero. Perhaps he did not know about these specific allegations, but either he is a completely negligent CEO, knows about it but ignored or was willfully ignorant. All of those are really bad. This HN thread pretty much outlines that this wasn't exactly a secret.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Highway » 19 Feb 2017, 23:16

No way it's a secret, and even though this thread is the first I've heard anything about the management at Uber, given their public stance on, well, everything, it's certainly something that's completely believable. I've never heard of a situation, political or customer facing, where Uber as a company didn't act like a bag of dicks.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 20 Feb 2017, 03:04

The best thing that could happen to tech is another major SF earthquake.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Shem » 20 Feb 2017, 03:27

The more I read, the more sure I am that the next big bubble to burst and tank the economy for a while is going to be the fall of the tech company VC model.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Painboy » 20 Feb 2017, 11:50

Shem wrote:The more I read, the more sure I am that the next big bubble to burst and tank the economy for a while is going to be the fall of the tech company VC model.
I don't know if you read that article that Mo posted a little while back but it was a good look at how Uber isn't really a VC tech company given its overhead. It acts like one but there are several major ongoing costs most startups don't have to bear when they mature. It's unlikely Uber is going to keep things going as they are.

This isn't to say people won't see it as VC tech failure, but if it goes under that model really isn't what does it in.

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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 20 Feb 2017, 13:29

That's true of lots of VC tech companies, though. Twitter hasn't ever been in the black, and there's no way for their costs to drop without revenue dropping as well, since the only way is fewer people using it.

Many like Twitter hope to get bought as their exit strategy, and I don't know if Google would want them for the tie in with Waze and self driving cars.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Mo » 20 Feb 2017, 16:59

There's a huge business model disconnect in trying to apply software growth models to inherently physical business models. Amazon pulled it off because they were able to get to scale before the VC spigot was cut off. Uber's model requires a strong network effect for them to get appropriate margins. The problem is that switching costs are so low that network effects can't lead to a high margin business.

As for getting bought by Google, I can't imagine they bring anything to the table that Google doesn't already have. Maybe their user base, but I feel there's no brand loyalty and it's a purely transactional relationship.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by thoreau » 20 Feb 2017, 17:07

Doesn't Uber also owe a lot of their initial growth to being early in finding a regulatory work-around for a very specific service?
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Warren » 20 Feb 2017, 17:52

thoreau wrote:Doesn't Uber also owe a lot of their initial growth to being early in finding a regulatory work-around for a very specific service?
They owe their initial growth to burning through piles of cash paying drivers to drive for them.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 20 Feb 2017, 20:21

Warren wrote:
thoreau wrote:Doesn't Uber also owe a lot of their initial growth to being early in finding a regulatory work-around for a very specific service?
They owe their initial growth to burning through piles of cash paying drivers to drive for them.
A little from column A, a little from column B.

My point is that all tech companies go through tons of VC cash in that model, and Uber's physical part is only semi-unique. Lots of others not only have low margins per user but acquisition costs that exceed the lifetime revenue from each user.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Kolohe » 20 Feb 2017, 22:55

I don't think a class action EEO suit is going to be the end of Uber.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Number 6 » 21 Feb 2017, 02:50

Why is Uber so much more recognized than Lyft? Is it just a market penetration thing? Name recognition? Both?
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 21 Feb 2017, 08:11

Number 6 wrote:Why is Uber so much more recognized than Lyft? Is it just a market penetration thing? Name recognition? Both?
Both, plus first-mover advantage. (One could argue "due to" first-mover advantage.)
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Mo » 21 Feb 2017, 08:38

Kolohe wrote:I don't think a class action EEO suit is going to be the end of Uber.
Alone? Most assuredly not. But Uber, more than any other company with the exception of AirBNB, is reliant on customer goodwill to barrel through regulatory and legislative hurdles and with investor goodwill to keep setting money on fire. If ride/customer numbers go down because of the drip drip of shadiness, then investors won't keep investing at nose-bleed valuations. And if the CA self-driving car situation is a harbinger of how little they can currently get customers behind them to flout state regulations, their ability to succeed as a regulatory hedge evaporates.

If this had happened at Facebook, Google or Snap, it would be bad PR, but NBD.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Kolohe » 21 Feb 2017, 08:57

Stuff I believe but can't necessarily prove -

- customers really don't give a fig about corporate culture,
- only maybe half the time corporate culture filters down to the customer service experience (for good or for ill),
- Uber's business model insulates its corporate culture from the customer service experience more than most businesses (and again, that can do both ways)
- Uber's customer service experience is still competing with the legacy taxi cab industry's and so still only needs to be merely adequate for the indefinite future,
- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Highway » 21 Feb 2017, 09:00

Uber was much more willing to say FU to local authorities, daring them to shut Uber down rather than negotiate with them about disruption issues. Lyft has always seemed more interested in being a good neighbor style of company and far less disruptive.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by thoreau » 21 Feb 2017, 10:28

Kolohe wrote:Stuff I believe but can't necessarily prove -

- customers really don't give a fig about corporate culture,
- only maybe half the time corporate culture filters down to the customer service experience (for good or for ill),
- Uber's business model insulates its corporate culture from the customer service experience more than most businesses (and again, that can do both ways)
- Uber's customer service experience is still competing with the legacy taxi cab industry's and so still only needs to be merely adequate for the indefinite future,
- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
All of this.

Sent from a phone so their may be speling errors and autocorrect snafu's.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 21 Feb 2017, 10:38

Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 21 Feb 2017, 14:24

Sandy wrote:
Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
Where "often" = "always" and "rarely" = "never."

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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Warren » 21 Feb 2017, 14:42

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
Where "often" = "always" and "rarely" = "never."
So much this. The "corporate culture" is very different once you get below upper management. Enforcement of sexual harassment policies has been a priority since the late 80's. I remember the Tailhook scandal back in 91 being universally reported as Military culture or Navy culture and I was all, nowhere in the half dozen commands I served. But I never brushed up against naval aviators, a most decidedly elite rating.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Jadagul » 21 Feb 2017, 14:59

Sandy wrote:
Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
I think a lot of people would argue that this is a good example of HR failing to protect management.

Quick edit: oh, I guess you'd argue that this is protecting "management" at the expense of the company, and that's what you were talking about?

I misread you, because the usual line is that the HR is there to protect the company and not the employees.

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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Mo » 21 Feb 2017, 15:00

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
Where "often" = "always" and "rarely" = "never."
I've seen HR much more focused on protecting the company rather than management. Granted, my employers have been on the larger side, so management is less tied to the idea of the company. And HR is never there for the employee, they are there to protect the company. Granted, there are company's that see providing a healthy work environment as critical to the company's success and act accordingly*, but there are some where they are purely there to prevent the company from getting sued. The former is far preferable to the latter.

* There was a time at one of my former employers where you could appeal your review and there was a very fair process where you and your manager made a case (separately) and it was judged by your peers. I ended up winning that. Not sure if it's a career limiting move as I left the company a couple of years later
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 21 Feb 2017, 15:09

In my experience, HR can and does protect any level of management that can adversely affect HR and no level below that. Moreover, I doubt most people in HR can distinguish between the company and the company's senior executives or would if it could. Unless, of course, an even higher authority (the board of directors, a court order, that sort of thing) directed them otherwise.

As Jadagul notes, the usual line is that it is the company that must be protected. Fiduciary duty and all that jazz. In real life, though, the decision to spank a senior executive never comes from HR because HR likes getting a paycheck.

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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Sandy » 21 Feb 2017, 15:58

Jadagul wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Kolohe wrote:- we've been hearing all our adult lives that businesses need to stop it with bro culture, and especially tech businesses need to stop it with tech bro culture, less they lose customers and/or capital funding-and it still hasn't happened
- the market (pbui) isn't as good at regulating moral behavior as I would like it to be.
Also, this culture is not exclusive to tech. Terrible HR can be everywhere, including nonprofits. Often it exists to protect management rather than the company as a whole, and rarely does it include protecting the employees except as doing so coincides with the interests of management or the company. I am not speaking hypothetically here.
I think a lot of people would argue that this is a good example of HR failing to protect management.

Quick edit: oh, I guess you'd argue that this is protecting "management" at the expense of the company, and that's what you were talking about?

I misread you, because the usual line is that the HR is there to protect the company and not the employees.
Yes, the latter is what I meant. I've seen organizations where even mid-level managers were protected, even if it caused the organization to shell out large settlements multiple times.

That being said, I'm pretty sure they were following the focus of the CEO, consciously or unconsciously.
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Re: Uber fucked

Post by Mo » 21 Feb 2017, 16:27

Counterpoint

Also, not sure why HR gets called out for doing what's best for the firm/management. That's what every department does. It's not like customer service gives two shits about what customers want if management doesn't care.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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