Interview Transcript

How do you see this shaking out on a competitive standpoint? Driver utilisation is key to this business, and the many strategies you highlighted in terms of driving that up. Is there going to be one winner in this market?

I don’t think there can be a winner. This whole notion of “winner takes all” is wrong. Most markets will have a 70-30 situation between one and two. You don’t need more than two apps doing the same thing. It’s not a very interesting or complicated service. In most places, you’ll have one and two and that’s it. If you buy number two, then there will be a new number two, and you will have the same thing again a year later. It’s too simple a product and too easy to enter an existing market.

You’re saying the leader will remain around 70% because of that higher utilisation—therefore, lower price and bigger scale?

Yeah, scale helps to a certain degree, and once both players reach that scale, there’s not much upsell anymore. If you get to half a million trips in most cities, it doesn’t matter anymore in a smaller city.

So, it’s just about concentrating on drivers and maintaining that scale. What about the driver situation? Clearly, it’s very different by region, but looking at this whole story around contractors versus employers, what’s your view on how this shakes out?

I pray that it shakes out in terms of people staying contractors.

Let’s say they become employees. Clearly, they’ve got to pay out potentially higher wages, potentially not—definitely different benefits. Will that kill the economics of the business?

Yeah, it’ll be good for taxis because the prices for Uber will go up. In the end, the customer will pay for it, so there will be less customers, less growth, less jobs, less opportunities. It will be less interesting to drivers because they can just get a normal 9-5 job where they can’t take time off. It’s not beneficial for the whole system. What Uber should be trying to do is help people make better decisions, save up for retirement, that kind of thing. Aside from that, it’s not good for the ecosystem.

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