March 2, 2022
Image: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol
Good morning! Uber’s ambitions of being the “Amazon of transportation” isn’t just about rides anymore. I’m David Pierce, and I haven’t watched “Super Pumped” yet. But I did just start “Ozark,” and I’m obsessed.
Uber wants to be a super app. The company has never been particularly shy about those ambitions, for what it’s worth: Dara Khosrowshahi has been saying he wants to build “the Amazon of transportation” for a few years now, planning to be as ubiquitous for getting around as Amazon is for shopping.
Explore is the next phase of Uber’s super app plans.
Uber’s really not a rides company anymore. It hasn’t been for some time, actually. It now makes more money moving food and goods around through Uber Eats than it does shuttling people through the ride-hailing service. (Turns out everything’s easier when you’re transporting cheeseburgers instead of humans.)
What Uber really wants to win is local. It has always aspired to be a sort of connective tissue for cities: You can use the Uber app to get around via car or bus or train or scooter, or you can buy anything you want from your favorite local shop and have it all brought right to your house. When Khosrowshahi says “Amazon of transportation,” he doesn’t mean the company that offers you lots of taxis; he means the way that absolutely everything moves and the logistics powerhouse underneath.
But this won’t be easy. For one thing, stuff delivery is a hugely competitive and quickly commoditizing space, as DoorDash and GoPuff and Just Eat Takeaway and countless others try to get you a toothbrush and a bag of Fritos faster.
It’s really all about the home screen. Uber needs to be ubiquitous to win the delivery wars, so it’s trying to train users to open its app many times a day. That’s why Uber Eats isn’t a separate app anymore, and why Explore is built in as well. Uber wants to be a habit, not a utility. And that may have started with rides, but it ends with Explore.
So you decided to go multicloud. Now what?
It’s never been easier to use multiple cloud providers for modern tech infrastructure needs, but should you use multiple cloud providers? A panel of experts will explain the arguments for and against multicloud computing and how businesses should think about their options as the market evolves. Join us at 10 a.m. PT today. RSVP here.
Payment operations can drain time and energy from Finance, Product, and Engineering teams that would otherwise drive growth and deliver greater value to customers. Unsurprisingly, 86% of leaders are now prioritizing improvements to their payment operations. Download our report to learn the costliest payment-related challenges and how fast-moving companies are solving them.
In the State of the Union, President Biden talked about online privacy, chips, and keeping kids safe online:
Biden also talked up electric vehicles, but didn't mention Tesla, and Elon Musk is not thrilled:
Tim Cook told Apple employees the company will match donations to Ukraine, and may continue to take action in the country:
LinkedIn’s Camilla Han-He thinks more employers will accept career breaks:
Allowing longer videos could hurt TikTok’s reputation for short-form video, Skai’s Margo Kahnrose said:
Taro Shimada will replace Satoshi Tsunakawa as Toshiba’s new CEO. Shimada is taking over as Toshiba plans to split into two companies.
Amee Parekh is the new SVP of HR at Hims & Hers Health. Parekh previously led HR for Uber Eats U.S. and Canada.
Morgan McKenney joined the Provenance Blockchain Foundation as CEO. McKenney is a former Citi exec.
Instagram rolled out auto-generated captions on videos. The captions can be turned on or off.
Apple halted product sales in Russia. The company also limited Apple Pay in the country and disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine.
Google and Apple both booted RT and Sputnik from their app stores. Apple banned the Russian state-run media organizations in all countries outside of Russia, while Google did so only for countries around Europe.
Meta is offering encrypted DMs in Russia and Ukraine. The company will also demote Facebook posts by Russian state media outlets and Facebook posts that include links to Russian state media.
Google is on an audio hardware spending spree. The company has acquired at least four startups and teams in the space over the past 15 months, suggesting a bigger push into audio.
China has new rules for tech companies’ algorithms. Chinese tech companies need to tell users if they’re using algorithms to push content to them, among other rules against generating fake news and exploiting gig workers.
Chinese social media platforms are trying to stop fake news about Ukraine. Platforms like Douyin and Weibo are taking down posts and suspending accounts that spread misinformation.
David Boggs died last month. Boggs was an electrical engineer and computer scientist who helped create Ethernet.
Consumers once thought that shopping online would offer more transparency when it came to prices, giving everyone an opportunity to shop around and find better deals. But in reality, no one knows what anything really costs anymore, The New York Times reported.
Take paper towels, for example: Last year, a 12-roll pack of Bounty sold for around $30. By April, it fell to $23. In October, it bounced back up to $35, and last week it was around $28. The volatility of online product prices shows how no one really knows whether they’re finding the best deal, or whether they’re even buying the best product to begin with. And, just to compare, at the time of this writing, a 12-pack of paper towels is $33.
Scaling a company that moves money isn’t easy. Bad process, software, or luck can lead to costly errors, and worse, distract from your main priorities. Yet, many companies still struggle to build scalable payment infrastructure. Download our report to learn the main barriers companies face upgrading their payment operations.
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