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@JMRubino @alanhuynh I am actually quite familiar with those transportation platforms but they still do little to provide an end goal of a good user experience. 

The quote "and when you are disrupting an industry that hasn’t seen much change, technology, or innovation, not everyone understands the rules of engagement," might have been a little rushed on Mr. Carney's part, but I think you're singling the tree instead of the forest.  I think Mr. Carney is trying to discuss the disruption in customer service that so many taxi companies have neglected over the years.  

Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, etc. use technology to improve the end-user experience, while those technologies you mention aim to help the cab company/cab driver that is usually the culprit as to why the cab experience may be so bad to begin with.     

I don't personally use Lyft, Uber, or Sidecar because it seems like it's better technology, I use it because its a better experience.  These services have an attractive app, that don't require me to speak with anyone, instead I use the app to notify that I want a ride, I see where the driver is they show up exactly at the right location, I jump in, speak with them, they can give feedback about certain route advice I offer during high traffic hours, I can pay without taking out my wallet, and most importantly the drivers are friendlier (most of the time) and the price is a lot more reasonable than the typical cab fare (or in the case of Uber, it's just a better and more spacious ride).  

Instead, when I call a cab I speak to a dispatcher that is on a low quality telephone that needs me to constantly repeat myself in telling them where I'm at, afterwards the cab driver call me later only to be on the wrong side of the street or a block too far away and will seem very disgruntled about having to come to where I'm located, only to then sit in a cramped vehicle that often times smells awkward, and then see the cab driver purposely take a route with more traffic/longer in distance and not respond when you provide a suggestion, and finally as you leave you have to go thru the whole payment dance that is only convenient when you pay with cash.  

Because you used the restaurant analogy, I thought we were on the same page here with regard to how critical the end user experience is, but I guess we're not as you're just more concerned about taxi technology to make life easier for the cab companies and drivers, instead of where the cash actually is...the end user. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Driver dustup at Uber’s LA office illuminates the difficulty of moving offline industries online


@JMRubino I assume you've never taken a cab in LA because, they've created a very expensive framework to preserve their jobs and livelihood except this framework doesn't ensure or provide a halfway decent experience for the end user.  That's the problem.  

To go back to your analogy...the taxi system cant be compared to the top 10-12 because taxi systems anywhere are never in the top options to get anywhere...they've been artificially pushed to the top due to this system you've talked about.  

A more accurate analogy is that you have a restaurant that is serving mediocre (at best) to terrible food and is only allowed to stay in business because there is a system that prevents it from getting shut down because there is a government framework that is constraining the supply. 

Services like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, etc. are by no means perfect, and we all have our own complaints about them, instead those services are reminding end users that there are alternatives to shitty taxi services.  

If the taxi industry was serious about competing they'd tear down their asinine framework that you mention and re-tool it so that it provides the best experience to the end user.  

1 year, 11 months ago on Driver dustup at Uber’s LA office illuminates the difficulty of moving offline industries online


Totally  agree with all the points here, except cars and roads are a byproduct of our terrible government system.  Look at the amount of lobbying dollars from Firestone and GM spend each year to ensure that these archaic technologies (roads, cars, etc.) remain the primary method of travel in America.  We need to innovate government and public engagement before we can tackle the car problem.   

2 years, 12 months ago on Let’s Build a Future Without Cars



Sorry, I made a bad analogy.  I was just trying to say that...if CNN was making "game of thrones" standard news reporting or journalism then I can understand the need to have 9 people working on their shows.  


The analogy to heroes season 2, which was a tv show that also had a very big budget was to compare and contrast the quality.

Once again...bad example. 


From my perspective it seems that the quality of their news reporting and journalism at CNN isn't that great.  I mean...they have these "your 15 minutes are up segments," "political buzz," and "face time" segments that just become fodder for the Daily Show. 

I mean do you really need 9 people for that or those segments? 

3 years ago on It’s Time to Stop Talking About the Death of Big Media


"Like them or loathe them, CNN also invests a lot in their product. I watched part of a rehearsal taping for Amanpour’s show, and there were nine people in the control room concentrating solely on getting the production just right – cueing audio, fixing the teleprompter, calling camera angles, nailing the timing, chattering incessantly, tapping away at keyboards, and twiddling dials. And that’s to say nothing of the cameramen, the make-up crew, the guest-hunting and coordinating, the editorial process, and looking after the anchor. Just a rehearsal. Let’s not even start on the marketing."


I think you hit the problem right there with "big media."  They spend their money ineffectively.  Do you really need all those bodies to accomplish what they're doing?  Does having 9 people give you a product that is worth whatever the cost is to pay those individuals?  Could you get a product of similar value with just 3 people and better technology?  Maybe just 2 people and awesome technology?  Do the camera crew unions need to exist and charge the rates they do?  


I watch a lot of CNN, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, etc. and their product isn't that great.  I have no doubt their employees work hard...but they're focusing in the wrong areas. It practices "business as usual" too often, and business as usual is what is killing them.  If CNN was producing something that was on the quality of Game of Thrones then it'd make sense...but they're not...they're producing things that are more on par with Heroes Season 2. 


The moment CNN, MSNBC, etc. gets those 9 people to either produce "game of thrones" quality news reporting or scale it so that they start breaking news again...whether that is creating an entirely new news platform or scaling/leveraging existing networks...then you're absolutely right.


Sadly though, I don't think Ted Turner cares that much about innovating...but rather is more focused on present value profits. 

3 years ago on It’s Time to Stop Talking About the Death of Big Media


 @vivekpreddy You forget the most basic part of innovation.  Real artists ship.

3 years ago on The Problem with Google’s Concept Video


 @justinbenson I think if a city is using its tax dollars responsibly and displaying its value and worth to its residents than...that's a fair argument.  But if the city is using that money (the money generated from the taxes off these businesses) irresponsibly then it needs to fix this problem before demanding that tax revenue.  The housing and hoteling problem in SF is broken...and there are stupid regulations like the one discussed above that do not help to fix the problem...rather keep the system broken...only because its profitable for the City.  If the city wants to tax AirBnB like a hotel, it needs to fix its more inner fundamental problems before demanding for more tax dollars. Everybody is running leaner these days...and cities should too.  They should be doing more with less, because these past 3 years if anything has proven that it is extremely possible to do so.  Cities need to realize that now more than ever they need to provide an A+ quality in service before demanding more money from the people.  The jobs and extra discretionary income made by the residents who benefit from AirBnB and reinvest that money into the city by spending that money at local SF businesses (who then collects its 10% in sales tax) is more than enough.  Because it makes the city attractive for local shop owners, which will provide more permitting fees to the city and the city is getting more general fund money from the sales tax. 

3 years ago on Airbnb Faces Off Against 40-Year Old San Francisco Hotel Laws


@MisterArcher...tragedy of the commons in what sense.  The commons being innovation and governments and their failure in trying to regulate it?


I think this more of an example of City Government trying to stay relevant.  In many ways a SOPA on the local level. 


Some cities are slowly, but starting to realize like Old Media monarchs that while innovation is good and great it's taking away a sizeable chunk of their tax base and funding.  In a city like SF, where tourism is a major income supply for the city, City Govt is trying to make sure it still gets it's cut.  


Services like AirBnB are replacing the patronage that has had to routinely occur for new and small businesses whenever creating any new sort of physical business in a city.  Payouts to accelerate the permitting process, side deals with certain council members for favorable deals, etc.   In the past if you wanted to make a new hotel, you'd have to grease the pockets of numerous city departments and donate quite a good chunk of change to an elected official for a favorable land deal.  The taxbase provided from this project also continues to feed the City coffers and allows for that particular district to get the necessary funds to beautify its area. 


A startup like AirBnB is great for the consumer because its totally bypassing this patronage process, which is bad for the City Govt coffers and a respective city council members old conduct of "doing business".


While I applaud Ed Lee for everything he is doing...he is facing a giant beast and this is an excellent example of why there are so few metropolitan areas that have been abale to leverage innovation as well as SF has been able to with Silicon Valley. Because most cities don't have Mayors who are championing innovation and fighting these hard battles in trying to have City Government understand that technology is slowly eroding those past "business as usual" practices.

3 years ago on Airbnb Faces Off Against 40-Year Old San Francisco Hotel Laws