Commodity Wars — Ridesharing’s Race to the Bottom

Ever heard the business motto “Always compete on price”?

It’s what Uber, Lyft, Grab, Gojek, and numerous other ridesharing startups have been doing for the past eight years. Based on the recent performance of these companies in the public markets, it doesn’t seem like a winning motto in ridesharing.

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Uber’s rocky road since IPO

How did the smartest people in the room get a fundamentally flawed business model so wrong? The formula was wrong:

Lack of Infrastructure

The idea behind competing on price isn’t new. It’s what made Walmart the largest retailer in the USA and how Amazon became the behemoth of online commerce. But aside from retail, I can’t name a company that has succeeded with such a strategy, especially a technology company. …


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Yes, it’s true. From Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 all Gokada pilots will be off the roads and the Gokada app will be shut down.

Increased competition, regulatory hurdles, and operational issues have forced us to make this decision. We thank all our loyal users and are truly sorry for this inconvenience.

Fortunately, WE’LL BE BACK ONLINE MONDAY, AUGUST 26TH, 2019 BETTER THAN EVER.

That’s right. A little bit of clickbait to wake you folks up! Sorry, what can I say I’m a prankster.

Gokada is shutting down but not for the reasons you think. It all started with…

Stuck on the side of the…


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This is the story of one of the most out there things I’ve done. This is the story of how I started Gokada.

It was the Summer of 2017, right on the heels of Pathos's multi-million dollar Series A funding. The company I had co-founded and had invested in was now worth nearly $100MM. I had always attributed raising capital as a distant achievement that would take more experience to obtain. But here I was at thirty-years-old — with shares in a three-year-old company that were worth more value than all of the revenue I had generated in my past thirteen-years of entrepreneurship. …


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The current bus system comprises of a full time ticketer seen hanging outside the door

Adventure Capital is proud to announce its pre-seed investment in Jatri, a ticketing app that seeks to bring sanity to Bangladesh’s bus market.

Cheaper than motorcycle taxi but faster than riksha, these buses are widely used in Bangladesh as an affordable and pragmatic means of transport. Unfortunately, since their introduction to Dhaka roads little has changed in terms of quality, transparency, and safety.

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Jatri app tracks bus location live

Jatri plans to change that. Through its innovative app, customers can now book their seat in advance, saving them from battling countless passengers vying for the same seat on a crowded bus. Users can also view the location of the bus, allowing an estimate of when they should leave for the bus stand. Ticketing is also done electronically through secure digital payment and verified through a clever “sound authentication” method during boarding. …


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Today there are many transportation options in Bangladesh including rikshaw, CNG, motorcycle, car, and bus. Each of these fit into different categories:

Long Range Travel — car, bus

Medium Range Travel — CNG, motorcycle, car, bus

Short Range Travel (last mile) — walking, rikshaw

Bicycles are also used here and there but they haven’t gained much popularity in Dhaka understandably. The roads are filled with potholes, the weather is too hot, and people are just lazy! Yet bicycles have flourished in other more modern economies, so why not Bangladesh? …


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So, you’ve managed to build a successful business.

You’re in the black and profits are steadily increasing. The company culture is happy and healthy. Investors are pleased.

But what’s stopping it from all suddenly crashing down?

Probably not as much as you’d like to think. The cold hard truth is that you never know when a new competitor will arise and edge aggressively into your market share. Or a copyright infringement lawsuit will take a big bite out of your budget. Or a co-founder suddenly has a change of heart and departs, sending your company’s leadership into disarray.

Entrepreneurship is inherently risky and unpredictable, but there are ways to mitigate these risks. You need a “moat” — essentially, a barrier that can protect your business from potential encroaching forces. …


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You may have a great idea, but that doesn’t make you a successful entrepreneur.

With the idea, you’re about 1% of the way there — because a successful business is only 1% idea. The other 99%?

  • Assembling a great team
  • Researching and fully understanding your market
  • Marketing better than everyone else in your market
  • Obtaining ample funding
  • Putting your company in a sustainable position
  • Getting timing right

And many other factors.

In other words: execution.

Amazing execution can make an ok idea great. A great idea with poor execution will go nowhere. …


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I first entered the world of entrepreneurship as a 16-year-old website developer.

Since then, I’ve moved onto bigger enterprises, like founding Adventure Capital, a venture fund and incubator that starts businesses in developing countries.

But to this day, I still do many of the things that helped me succeed as a teenage entrepreneur.

And while I’ve gained a world of insight along the way, those strategic foundations I developed while I was only in high school still serve me well — millions of dollars in revenue later.

Whether you’re 16 or 61, every entrepreneur should be doing these four things.

1. Outsource lower-value tasks.

Freelancers can be your best friend. …


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Starting a business anywhere in the world is a daunting undertaking.

In the United States and Europe, especially, certain markets are starting to feel saturated. Do American consumers really want another ride-sharing app, besides Uber and Lyft? Could your personal finance app really compete with Venmo or Paypal?

This doesn’t mean you need to give up your dreams of creating a successful business and living the adrenaline-powered entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Instead, you may just need to look for a market elsewhere in the world.

In developing nations, this type of untapped potential abounds. Consider that your business idea may be one-in-a-million where you live, but one-of-a-kind in a developing nation. And, not only this, but business models that simply would never work in the U.S. …

About

Fahim Saleh

CEO, Gokada

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