May 7, 2020
Photo: Philip Pacheco/AFP via Getty Images
Good morning! This Thursday, Lambda School's CEO on what mass unemployment means for the company, Uber's got an airport problem, and Google employees want to expense their meals. Want Index in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.
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Remote education startup Lambda School has an interesting business model. It teaches students how to code without charging them upfront tuition, taking a percentage of their paychecks when they graduate as part of an income share agreement (or ISA). To finance that, Lambda gets external investors to cover some of the upfront cost, giving them most of the ISA payments in return. In boom times, that's all well and good. When unemployment's soaring … maybe not so much?
It might be the perfect time for a product like ISAs, in fact.
We spoke about much, much more, including Allred's fears that this crisis will "force a reckoning" across education: You can read the full profile on Protocol.
Ride-hailing yesterday was a tale of two companies. Lyft had a glorious day, defying all expectations with a 23% year-on-year rise in revenue. But don't expect the same from Uber later today: The larger service is in a much trickier situation.
And while Uber Eats should have been a lifeline, heavy discounting in such a competitive market is putting margins under threat.
An important thing in business is to manage expectations. It's always better to underpromise and overdeliver, after all. That's a lesson Google could learn. After years of free food in offices, employees apparently need to be told that they can't expense their meals at home, according to CNBC. I've also heard that years of free food have left many tech workers unable to cook, making the problem even worse. The world's tiniest violin plays on.