Why Uber is the Revenge of the Founders
steve blank
4.2K16

32 years in technology. This business has changed from focusing on customers to focusing on return for the VCs, founders and stock holders. I have a cookie shop today that is using technology (i.e. my own website) to implement delivery. This in the face of all the food delivery (yet another article) startups — Grubhub, eat24, postmates, blue plate, etc and now Uber Eats and Amazon Restaurants (soon to be expanded with their WholeFoods acquisition). Grubhub is profitable, none of the others are. There pitch to me (they call me all the time) is that they can increase my revenue by x%. All I need to do is sign up and pay 30% of every order to them — BTW: I have to charge the same on their site as I charge in the store and I can’t advertise my own web site. I can’t (and most resturants) can’t make a profit (in fact I’ll be losing money) giving them a 30% cut. Their sales people don’t understand why I would ‘t want to increase revenue — i.e. they are so indoctrinated into the startup culture that’s its all about acquistion/revenue without any thought of profitability that they don’t even have a pitch for how this could turn into profitability for me besides some lame comment about the people ordering online will come to my store at some point. Not only that, postmates and uber eats offered a delivery only option for sites like me up until May of this year. They both pulled the service at exactly the same time saying the only way I can utilize their delivery service is to be on their restaurant service.

This is just my industry. Don’t get me start on Elon and his “used car salesmans” ability to get people to give him their money to spend. The bottom line is that their is too much VC dollars available. Those $ came from previous exits (a.l.a. Netscape). Living in Silicon Valley, this has create a set of worker zombies and rich techies that from my perspective offer zero value to the greater society. They are here looking for the next gold rush. They aren’t building sustainable value for customers and the employees who serve those customers. But this is the US and capitalism in whatever form is applauded. The mayor of San Fran — Ed Lee — is encouraging this in one of the places that use to be totally opposed to that type of capitalism.

I used to love the technology business because I could take innovate ideas and help people solve problems including business and consumers. Very little of the “technology” business is help people solve problems any more. Its focus only on creating wealth for the founders, VCs and investors.

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