Putting A Purpose Behind Lyft’s Wheels

This interview with Lyft VP of Marketing, Melissa Waters, is worthwhile reading. She describes a future built on drivers providing hospitality experiences: “We will continue to have drivers and people servicing vehicles. We think in the frame of hospitality and customer service.”

It’s when she dives into the challenge of building the Lyft brand that the clear gap in experience appears. Note the importance of the customer engagement, which will ultimately rely on the quality of the app and driver interaction. Lyft has described vehicles as rolling offices, hotel suites, and as other hybrid personal service/mobility experience. The people in the driver’s seat are the ones providing the human service/

Waters: High-growth tech marketing is often focused on growth marketing, which was previously known as performance marketing and direct response. It’s the nature of high-growth companies who are looking for added growth and need discipline. While all that is true, it’s fairly short term and is a function designed to deliver short-term returns. Not all young, high-growth companies have brand marketers who can think big picture and long-term early enough in the company’s lifecycle. They do a disservice by delaying brand building and general marketing principles to later on in the life stage of a company.

Soure: Forbes.com.

Ford’s Hypothetical Autonomous Car Test

Ford is testing autonomous vehicles with delivery service Postmates in the Miami area. The catch is, the cars’ automation is merely simulated to gather feedback from customers about the experience. A driver is hiding behind tinted glass.

The reality is Ford is testing car configurations. With three lockers, the Ford vans in Miami will roll up and open the appropriate locker for the customer. The question is whether people will be unnerved by driverless cars, but we suspect the findings will be that a three-locker vehicle will be hard-pressed to operate efficiently. Since customers must leave their house and walk to the van, the challenges are letting people know when the delivery is available and how quickly the van can move on to the next stop. 

The next time you order food from Postmates in Miami or Miami Beach, don’t be too surprised if you have to grab your Cuban sandwiches from what looks like a self-driving van. Ford’s latest autonomous delivery test is underway, as the automaker has partnered with Postmates to bring you goods from more than 70 local businesses. But there’s actually a driver behind the tinted windows — Ford says the Transit Connects give the appearance that they’re autonomous vehicles.

Source: Engadget.

Uber Brand Leader Bozema Saint John Out, Headed for Endeavor

Uber lost its highest-profile executive after new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as brand maven Bozema Saint John departs to become CMO of Endeavor, a new entertainment company. Hired by ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, Saint John is one of the last senior female executives at the company.

The move is not surprising, given the many executive changes at the ride-hailing company under newish CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Saint John was brought in under ousted CEO Travis Kalanick by board member Arianna Huffington, but was never made head of marketing there. Instead, she was in charge of its brand efforts, after having done similar work at Apple for its Apple Music unit.

Source: Recode.

Facebook is getting into the gig economy by bringing cleaning and other home services to Marketplace — Quartz

Everyone wants in on the high-margin gig economy. The low-margin gig economy, in which brokers of work opportunity take a more traditional brokerage fee, between five percent and 10 percent, compared to today’s 25 percent or more of each transaction, will disrupt this movement toward consolidation. If Facebook recognizes this is its opportunity to be on the user’s side, it might break through.

Home services is big business, with US consumers spending $16 billion on cleanings alone in 2017. Facebook has partnered with cleaning and services companies Handy, HomeAdvisor, and Porch to bring cleaning and other such services to Marketplace in the US. That comes after Amazon hired a crew of cleaners for a Seattle-area pilot program in March, and Walmart partnered with Handy on furniture installation and assembly. In September 2017, Ikea bought TaskRabbit to build out delivery and assembly.

Source: Facebook is getting into the gig economy by bringing cleaning and other home services to Marketplace — Quartz

Subpoenas Fly In Wake Of Gig Economy Ruling | PYMNTS.com

The expansion of gig work is well underway, and the challenges to the model will grow. This is a long-term renegotiation that needs to include retirement and health services in a solution, though not necessarily through traditional employment. What would a new form of worker union look like in this world? It might be a social safety net that bargains collectively with on-demand employers, providing forms of certification and endmenification to employers in exchange for compensation floors in each industry.

This week, Uber and Lyft were told by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera to “turn over records on whether they classify drivers as employees or private contractors, as well as records on driver pay and benefits,” according to a statement from his office.

The move comes as a result of the recent decision from the California Supreme Court that said gig economy companies can’t count workers as independent contractors instead of employees. The ruling is not only widely viewed as a blow to companies t

Source: Subpoenas Fly In Wake Of Gig Economy Ruling | PYMNTS.com

New Report To Update Decade-Old Data On The Nation’s Gig Economy Workforce – Lexology

New gig economy data coming from the BLS on June 7

How much has the gig economy changed in the last 13 years? We’re (finally) about to find out. According to Tyrone Richardson at Bloomberg Law, the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is scheduled to release a report on “contingent and alternative employment arrangements” on June 7, 2018. To put in context how much things have changed since the last time the BLS released such a report—February 2005—that was the same year Destiny’s Child split up and two years before the first

Source: New Report To Update Decade-Old Data On The Nation’s Gig Economy Workforce – Lexology

Will the future of work be a utopia or a dystopia?

The future is literally in our hands. We have a choice regarding work and the rewards it provides.

Looking ahead, West sees the American economic and political systems at a crossroads: one path leads to a utopia with a more inclusive society, more leisure time, and culture; the other leads to a dystopia with high unemployment, inequality, and no guaranteed social benefits. Avoiding dystopia will require reimagining work to include non-employment alternatives such as caregiving and volunteering, and rethinking education as a lifelong endeavor. Lastly, the U.S. will need a new social contract that separate

Source: Will the future of work be a utopia or a dystopia?

ADP’s Wisely To Speed Up Gig Economy Payments | PYMNTS.com

When and how workers are paid has become a work negotiating point instead of the company’s sole decision.

As noted in a recent report commissioned by ADP, roughly half of Generation Z (47 percent) and about a third of millennials (at 31 percent) would turn down a job if unable to choose how money ends up in their pockets. The same study found that 47 percent of millennials and 66 percent of those belonging to the Generation Z cohort have used preloaded payment cards within the past 12 months.

Source: ADP’s Wisely To Speed Up Gig Economy Payments | PYMNTS.com

A Platform Strategy Won’t Work Unless You’re Good at Machine Learning

The augmented business: Nuance, expertise without hubris, emotionally and sustainably productive customer experience are the products of machine-learning strategies. Give your people the edge by putting a world of knowledge behind their personal judgment. From Harvard Business Review:

Capability with machine learning is what distinguishes a good platform from a bad one. Platform companies exist on a continuum of curation. On one end are “wild west” companies that merely aggregate everything served up by the network, or using simple rules like up-voting to elevate content. These systems put a great deal of responsibility on their users to identify the content that they want. Unfortunately, they are too basic to deal with varied users and use cases, and they are also easily manipulated.

Source: A Platform Strategy Won’t Work Unless You’re Good at Machine Learning

TODAYonline | The Future of Work: Keeping beers cold, bananas ‘just right’, from the warehouse to the doorstep

Singapore grocer revamps processes to augment people. These are the steps every business needs to think about, whether they sell 100,000 products or one service: How to personalize and perfect customer experience.

At online grocer RedMart, it is a complex operation comprising an automated tool that helps staff members decide where items should be placed in its mammoth warehouse in Jurong, which holds more than 100,000 products.

Source: TODAYonline | The Future of Work: Keeping beers cold, bananas ‘just right’, from the warehouse to the doorstep