Note — Sep 02, 2018

Uber’s Bundles

Seen in → No.47

Source → stratechery.com/2018/ubers-bundles/

Uber “plans to focus more on its electric scooter and bike business” (BBC), Ben Thompson explains some of the thinking around that decision, how it works according to his bundling theory and how Lyft, Google, and self-driving fit in that picture.

During rush hour, it is very inefficient for a one-tonne hulk of metal to take one person 10 blocks…We’re able to shape behaviour in a way that’s a win for the user. It’s a win for the city. Short-term financially, maybe it’s not a win for us, but strategically long term we think that is exactly where we want to head. […]

With Uber that is easy: just pick up riders (Uber drivers can drive for just Uber, just Uber Eats, or both). In other words, Uber has more and more ways to monopolize a driver’s time, to the driver’s benefit personally and Uber’s benefit competitively. […]

That makes Uber uniquely suited to bundle self-driving car service with traditional Uber car service, as well as all of the other transportation services it plans to offer to consumers. This “bundle” will allow self-driving technology to come-to-market gradually when and where it makes sense, while still giving riders the confidence they can get from anywhere to anywhere.