Thursday, April 21, 2016

Is Mish Tech-struck?

Calm down Mish... many a slip twixt the cup and the lip... today Mish reports Uber has over taken rental cars:

Since 1st quarter of 2014, Uber’s percentage of ground transportation business booked on Certify, the second-largest provider of expense software in North America, has soared from under 10% to 43%.
Taxi usage plunged from over 35% to a mere 14%
Rental car usages dropped from 55% to about 40%, making Uber the leader for business travelers.

Mish knows from sampling and trends...  is Certify a valid population from which to survey?  Something tells me it is biased toward young hip smartphonies (people with smartphones have no idea what they are missing.)  Let's have demographics, plus how much of the total market are we talking here?

Next, a one-quarter one off does not tell us much.  All this Mish knows, but he is seduced by the automation trend, but I think I see his blindspot - the human action dimension.

These hip young false economy folks expense off all of the car expenses, and UBER can cost far more than a rental car, especially if like me a rental is multi-destination.

In the two main cities I visit, SF and LA I rent cars for $25 a day, all in.   I am picked up at the curb if during 9-5 MF biz hours, otherwise I can pick up cars and drop them off after hours. No hassles, because the owner now knows me. I found this company because I got tried of paying the massive taxes (often more than the car rate and standing in line to do so.

The dotcom boom wrecked SFO OAK and SJC, once charming and efficient airports.  They are now ugly stalags, where people are lined up to be convenient targets.  They built monstrous car rental collectives where it takes forever to get through, after a dreadful bus ride.

The same malcredit that allowed the ruin of car rental at airports spins off extremely cheap used cars in which a young man can make $$$ renting cars at $25/day just off the airport.

UBER is another intel gig, like google, facebook, etc.  (Is is not interesting the primary chip maker for all this intel self-reporting is called Intel?)  It is wrecking cabs which is largely based on non-reporting income to smartphones and rides by people who could really care less what the ride costs, since it is expense account anyway.  What happens as he false economy continues to fade?  I think Mish knows better, but he is tech-struck.

Maybe it doesn't matter.  Being self-employed in organic real economy work is full of human alternatives.  The question is which will win out, false economy or real economy?  Everyone is watching as to how the false economy will end, so they can play it right.    Can't be predicted, can't be played right.  You can only be in the right place when the time comes: self-employed.

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