Why Companies like Lyft, Uber, Postmates, Instacart etc Will Never Be Profitable.
Seyi Fabode

Spot on.One of the best write up on the “on-demand” market. Appreciated the clarification regarding Amazon. So many startups are trying to mimic Amazon on different areas (or at least taking it as an example to justify loss lead growth).

I’d add a few points, at least on the transport sector:

  • The fundamental challenge of “on-demand physicaly supply”, before even the business model, is just basic friction. Delivering a car with a driver, a meal that needs to be prepared etc …involved a lot of non trivial tasks compared to simply pushing a button on the demand. The Telegraph brought a brand new, frictionless infrastructure that horses could not rival. The mobile phones brought a new, frictionless infrastructure on the on-demand side but there is nothing of that scale on the supply side. May be driverless cars and drones delivery will help but for now, expect losses and clashes with drivers
  • There is also another avenue in the business case that none has seriously explored: offline Ads. Transport, to me, is to the offline world what search is to online businesses and brands. There is a way to connect and monetize those millions of riders to local businesses at destination…which we all know, rely a lot in foot traffic. This somehow how Google made it (vs charging for the direct search traffic). I beleive the future of this market is more something like that than taking 20% on drivers daily lives revenues.
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