Thank you for the interesting article. I strongly agree with you that Uber has the responsibility as the industry leader to set standards high, because I think that one of the greatest threats that Uber faces is being regulated out of cities. By growing as fast as they have they have angered many municipal governments, and I don’t think that Austin will be the last city to kick them out.
I would argue that Uber should focus on improving the quality of the contractors they hire. For example, too many drivers are content to block traffic to pick-up/drop-off riders, and this poses a significant safety risk. I have personally been in an Uber when it has been in an accident 2 times. I wonder how long they will be able to afford to insure their drivers, if they do not find a better way to screen/train them. I also think that if they focus on hiring the right people, they will solve many of the other issues you noted.
I think that the question you raise about the differences between urban and rural populations leading to slower adoption of online shopping is a very interesting one. One thing in particular that sticks out to me is that Amazon has somehow avoided the stigma that Wal-Mart has in small town America for killing local business. For some reason, people will fight tooth and nail at city hall to prevent Wal-Mart from opening a store in their town, but then go home and order off Amazon.
While I don’t think that Wal-Mart can get around this stigma and effectively enter towns where they are prevented from having a physical presence, I would agree with you that pushing customers to order online and pick up in store can help defend their market share around existing stores. Training customers to order this way could also have the side effect of improving the quality of existing Wal-Marts by cutting down on wait times, congestion, and keeping the stores cleaner.
Great read. I used to go to the movies all the time growing up, but as the PVOD has become more and more accessible I have definitely seen my attendance decrease. While I would agree that PVOD has the potential to disrupt companies such as AMC, it seems counterintuitive to me that major studios are buying into this distribution channel.
While I have been known to binge watch Netflix from time-to-time, most of the time I buy a movie to watch on Amazon or Vudu, I am with a group of people and we watch it together. Because its impossible for these companies to charge me for each person in the room, they (and by extension the movie studio) lose out on the revenue from all the other people in the room that are watching. I would imagine that as studios allow their movies to be released for rental online, they will eventually reach the point where the lost revenue from movie tickets greatly outweighs the money they can make from online distribution.
Thank you for the interesting read. All the talk of autonomous vehicles over the past few days has reminded me of an initiative that Amazon started recently to address the low margins in last mile deliver: Amazon Air. This delivery system uses unmanned drones to fulfill orders in 30 minutes or less.
While this method currently has many limitations, such as weight, range, and weather conditions, I think that this might eventually cause the death of these one-stop delivery apps. Should Rappi follow suit and invest in UAV technology to address the challenges you raised?
Thank you for the interesting read. While I agree that Chipotle should be worried about the growing trend of on-demand food delivery services, I wonder if attempting to compete head-to-head with companies like GrubHub or UberEats is the best idea. Delivery is far from the core competency of a food service company like Chipotle, and I think that simply hiring delivery drivers is an extremely inefficient solution.
UberEats, being able to rely on the existing Uber platform and driver base, seems to be the best equipped to handle this growing demand. Why not partner with them and allow both companies to operate in the areas they know best? Exchanging of information between the two companies would allow for accommodations to be made for many of the issues.
Fascinating article. While I would agree that on the surface, the current outlook on data storage supply vs. demand implies that there will be a large opportunity for a hardware storage, this projected gap could shrink dramatically with innovations in data compression.
For example, researchers in the area of clinical genomics have struggled with the high costs of data storage, because the large size of human genome sequence files. Further complicating matters, the privacy of this data is a significant concern. To combat this issue, researchers developed a new method of encrypted data compression known as SECRAM that, at the time of its development last year, improved upon the existing primary compression method by over 30%.
 Huang, Z., Ayday, E., Lin, H., Aiyar, R. S., Molyneaux, A., Xu, Z., … Hubaux, J.-P. (2016). A privacy-preserving solution for compressed storage and selective retrieval of genomic data. Genome Research, 26(12), 1687–1696. http://doi.org/10.1101/gr.206870.116