In this book, I share an amazing collections of stories from my three years as an Uber / Lyft driver and the countless ways that we all are trying to adapt to a world in which freedom of time, thought and attention are now the scarce commodities in life. Meet Danielle, the young lady on a booty call to meet her Tinder match. She openly admits that she's in it for the sex and she doesn't have time for romance any more because she has to work 60-70 hours a week. Meet the passenger who was so wasted he thought nothing of getting into the back seat naked. We get a lot of naked looks at people in this book. Then there's the woman being rushed to the hospital because of a bleeding wrist - and the creep who's so wasted he didn't recognize it when he was delivered home - or the witch who brought her father back to life by administering CPR - and the street hustler who successfully posed as my Guardian Angel at my moment of great need. How all these people and many others ended up in the back seat of my 2002 Volvo V70 is still a mystery. But might have something to do with about the role of chance in our lives. This book is a testament to the power of Serendipity and its kissing cousin, Serendigity - a blend of fate and digital technology. Over my 69 years in this gig they call life, I've learned to totally give into the power of both Serendipity and Serendigity, especially when it yields such a rich treasure chest of stories like these. The rideshare revolution with Uber and Lyft leading the charge, is arguably the biggest business story in recent history. It's an amazing tale of bravado and disruption. From it's inception Uber has been in a street brawl - with angry taxi drivers, frustrated regulators, formidable competitors, harassed employees, upset passengers and an army of increasingly pissed off drivers. Uber has raised over $15 billion from investors (and rumored to be on track to raise another $10 billion), but drivers are getting wise. They're increasingly aware they're not making as much, after expenses, as advertised. With lowered fares and higher commissions, Uber now takes more and more money out of driver's pockets. One Uber executive was caught off guard when an offhand comment to investors went viral. "We take 20% commission, but we can raise that to 25 or 30 percent ... or more. Why? Because we can. Because we can ... That's both tag line for this story of bravado and the rallying cry for the skeptics who see Uber as the villains of this classic tale. It's a succinct statement of the Uber mindset - a bold attitude that explains the success of a small group of visionary entrepreneurs, executives and investors. They believed they could do it. ... and they did it. But wait? How much sharing is going on when the CEO is worth $5 billion and the drivers struggle to make car payments each month. Okay, Uber made urban transit cheaper and more efficient? Okay they created $69 billion of paper wealth out of thin air. Okay they provided hundreds of thousands of drivers with a flexible income stream. Okay, they created a trusted mode of social interaction between strangers in the intimacy of the car. Okay, it's a triumph of determination and an ingenious technology over bureaucratic inertia and long standing inefficiencies. So then, why are so many people so angry that the bad boys of tech? That's what you're about to find out - sitting in the front seat of my 2002 Volvo XC70 - the Brown Bullet - sharing thoughts with our imaginary GPS companion - in our Travels with Vanessa.
Travels with Vanessa: An Uber / Lyft Driver Tries to Make Sense of It All
av John F. Ince
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