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Local On-Demand

Revel in the details of Travis Kalanick’s fall from Uber

I think Uber’s past is well known and don’t generally revisit the issue unless significant new transgressions are uncovered. Plenty of small transgressions are still emerging, but let’s move on. But then, this description today of Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick’s response to the release of videotaped verbal abuse of an Uber driver: […]

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Local On-Demand

Goodyear takes tire maintenance to on-demand market

Goodyear faces a double challenge. The tire company must address consumer’s growing expectation that services should come to their home or office and it faces a change in vehicle ownership as autonomous shared vehicles take over from personal automobiles.  It has a strategy and it makes sense: “As shared mobility continues to grow in popularity, […]

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Local On-Demand

Instacart Adds Retail, Couponing, and Voice Services

Instacart is dramatically expanding the services it can offer retailer customers with its $65 million acquisition of Unata, a Toronto-based developer of retail software. Bloomberg and TechCrunch cover the details of the deal. Why does it matter? On-demand companies traditionally focus on the last-mile, putting people to work delivering and providing services to the home. […]

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Local On-Demand

Marketplace Fees Under Pressure: Uber Settles With Drivers, Again

Uber headed off a class action lawsuit by 2,000 New York-area drivers this week, with a promise to pay $3 million to end a dispute over the fees it imposes on those drivers. It is evidence that marketplaces will see more pressure to lower fees in order to retain workers.  The ridesharing company has settled […]

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Local On-Demand

Tax Bill Lowers Taxes For On-Demand Workers, If They Incorporate

Several articles (New York Times, Bloomberg, and Lexology) in recent days have examined the potential for gig workers to cut their taxable income by 20 percent. There is, however, a trade-off. Workers must incorporate to gain the tax cut. Incorporating voids the argument that giggers are employees. Corporations are not employees; they operate based on […]

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Local On-Demand

Didi diversifies with Bluegogo

Here’s the problem with building a purpose-specific marketplace, such as a consumer mobility platform like Uber, Lyft, or Didi Chuxing: Once the platform is saturated, it’s necessary to diversify. In the case of China’s Didi Chuxing, the ridesharing company is adding management of a bike-sharing service, moving into an adjacent, though painful, market with its […]

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Local On-Demand

Google Assistant announces new hardware partners

In-home on-demand services will turn on voice, phone, smart TV, and PC interfaces. As reported yesterday, Google trails Amazon and Apple in installed branded hardware base. Today, Google announced new hardware partners in automotive, home appliances, cameras, and other industries. JBL, Lenovo, Sony, LG, Altec Lansing, iHome, and others joined the ranks of Google Assistant-compatible […]

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Local On-Demand

Ford & Postmates tackle local business services

Ford today announced a partnership with Postmates to expand on-demand services for small business at CES. Postmates reports that SMBs joining its network see “4X revenue growth” and claims it has the most extensive on-demand delivery fleet in the U.S. A variety of companies will enter this space in 2018, among them HERE Technologies which […]

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Local On-Demand

HERE Introduces Open Mobility Marketplace

HERE Technologies today launched its Open Mobility Marketplace service at CES in Las Vegas. This announcement is significant for the on-demand market because the Open Mobility Marketplace allows transportation services providers — from driving and delivery to organizing regular commuter bus rides — to list and compete through a searchable API, from a site, in […]

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Local On-Demand

The Cryptocoin Boom Could Choke Off On-Demand Services

Jon Evans at TechCrunch raises a troubling issue with cryptocurrencies: They are so popular that the underlying blockchain technology has failed to deliver low-cost transactions at scale.  The coins that have generated vast fortunes, such as the $59 billion in wealth Ripple XRP co-founder Chris Larsen realized on the rapid run-up of the currency he […]