Which one of these two devices works best?
See how Uberpreneuring can turbocharge your TNC's profitability
Why marketing instead of innovation drives this industry
Today's ridesharing was invented in 1981. Robert Behnke's excellent idea was way ahead of its time because the smartphone technology needed to implement it wasn't yet available. His 20-year patent has expired so, in theory, anyone with a modest amount of IT resources is free to startup their own TNC and start competing against the likes of Uber, Lyft and Didi.
This CNBC analysis explains why the lack of patent protection is a big risk factor for the big TNCs. Specifically, Uber has very few patents and none of them have broad enough scope to prevent newcomers from entering their market. Since drivers provide virtually all of the labor and capital used to transport passengers, getting a 20% sales commission, simply for electronic match-making, is a sweet business proposition. So, since the software technology needed to startup a new TNC is easily accessible, new competitors should be popping up everywhere. That's not happening
In practice, newcomers are being shut out of this business because it has become Uber-expensive to compete against the established TNC giants. In order to gain quick market dominance, the major players are spending huge amounts on marketing. They "compete" by subsidizing passenger fares and paying their drivers a big enrollment bonus. Big investments (such as this one and this one and this one) were needed because success in this industry depends more on big-budget marketing than it does on inventing a better product.
"Uberpreneuring" is a fundamental innovation
Forbes explains why: "It's a genius way to start a business". "Uberpreneuring" is indeed an ultra-efficient new business model because it enables rideshare drivers to earn two revenue streams from the exact same investment of capital and labor. Passengers pay their base salary for transporting them however they might also purchase a product that's on display in the car. Sharing their space creates a perfect sales environment and the results are amazing. By augmenting his rideshare driving income with sales, Gavin's gross revenue skyrocketed from $3K/month to $18K/month. To understand why his business took off, watch him in action. Or learn more about how he does it in this interview.
Gavin Escolar was ideally suited to becoming the world's first Uberpreneur because he is also an accomplished jewelry artist who could display and sell his own product. Jewelry is an acceptable product for Uberpreneuring because people are OK with seeing it on the car's dash. But more importantly, the sales pitch for it must not interfere with a passenger's supreme right to privacy: nobody wants a driver hustling them to buy stuff because that would spoil their ride.
Gavin quickly learned that the only sales pitch that works is no sales pitch at all. Curious passengers must always initiate the process so the product can quietly sell itself. We call it Gavin's Golden Rule.
Why GoPad is the optimal product for Uberpreneurs
Since all drivers use a smartphone app to run their business, passengers expect to see some sort of "mobile device" mounted on the dash. Watch this rideshare expert explain why using a tablet instead of a smartphone is a must-have hardware upgrade for drivers. When it comes to touchscreens, bigger is better!
Seeing a Gopad+GoCar on the car's dash will make perfect sense to passengers and some of them will become curious. That's why no other product can match the GoPad's suitability for Uberpreneuring. Since it's a driver-tool that enhances the ride, it has perfect product placement that invites curiosity.
It's the convenience of the process that makes it work
Closing a sale could't be easier. All the passenger needs to do is ask: what's that? All their driver needs to do is answer questions and give out their business card at the end of the ride... it's that simple! The driver automatically receives a 20% sales referral commission and the passenger get a 10% discount if and when they buy online.
It's the most cost-effective way to grow your network
Enabling your drivers to earn a second revenue stream is a powerful marketing strategy for TNCs. Since the GoPad is patented
Exclusivity is easy to enforce because VTI will only pay drivers their sales commissionsyour rideshare app. That's a simple tweak to your driver payment software and the most cost-effective business decision you can make.
So, if you happen to work for a TNC and you're looking for a powerful new growth strategy; let's talk about how we can work together.
Happy loyal drivers are the key to a TNC's success
Now even a startup TNC can afford to compete with the UberGiants
Our proposal to TNCs and its business strategy
So to grow their network, TNCs must compete for driver loyalty with subsedies
History is instructive. In 2001, the Segway was also an innovative new transportation technology and (like self-driving cars) we were told that it would transport us all to a brighter and safer future. That didn't work out quite as planned because people stubbornly continued to use a more affordable, useful and common-sense transportation technology... the bicycle.
Fast forward 15 years to 2016...
Apple, the globally worshiped tech giant, has sold millions of smartphones that can bend in our pockets. Their arch-rival Samsung, another paragon of high-tech virtue, went on to leapfrog Apple with even smarterphones that can explode in our pockets.
And now teams of Industry Experts and Government Planners have concluded that, even though self-driving cars are immensely more complex that a smartphone, are totally unproven in challenging traffic conditions and are potentially far more dangerous and fault-intolerant; self-driving cars are going to be so reliable and so immune to making errors that perhaps we humans should be legally forbidden from driving cars ourselves. Big Brother will keep us safe because we can no longer be trusted to operate our dangerous vehicles; we must urgently replace them with newer, safer and smarter robo-cars that couldn't possibly bend like an Phone or even consider exploding like a Galaxy. If you're skeptical then watch this.
The Segway's valuable lesson is that UberTech transportation proposals can indeed result in cool things but we have to be realistic with our expectations. Anyone who has used a Segway will agree that can be an excellent tool when used appropriately; but that, for a variety of good reasons, it cannot possibly replace the bicycle. The Apollo lunar missions provide another good example. Moonshot R&D provided us with these very useful spin-off benefits; but notice that transporting all humans to live on the moon was not one of them.
So with that historical context, let's consider a few simple ways that today's high-tech could be used to make cars safer and more useful.
EDIT from here...
First let's consider some simple and inexpensive ways that cars can be made more safe. Texting while driving is a huge contributing factor to the growing "distracted driving" is a one major cause accidents and voice recognition software is a wonderfully effective high-tech solution. *******
However, their wide-spread use only make sense if it respects human values and doesn't waste our precious resources!
Human drivers already own over a billion perfectly usable cars and many owners are ready, willing and able to share their car with other people (we used to call it hitchhiking). Replacing human drivers (and their multi-trillion-dollar investment in rolling stock) with self-driving cars will be Uber-expensive (and ultra-profitable for shareholders) so it remains to be seen if it's a viable or cost-effective solution. Before getting married to these RoboCars, we need to stand back and ask a few questions. Are there more efficient technology solutions than turning the entire car into a robot?
There's a human roadblock to robo-cars most people love to drive!
Do you remember the first time you drove a car? The first car you owned? Cars have always been a symbol of power and personal freedom. People love them because cars are the most useful tool we own and driving them is fun. Will you love sitting in a car watching a robot do the driving for you? Is that really such a time-saver or such an essential "safety-feature" that you'll want to give up driving? Do you really want to send ♫♥♪ Your old friend ♫♥♪ to the junkyard?
Nobody asks consumers or taxpayers if we want or need self-driving cars. They are being touted as saving lives however that's a dubious argument; just the radiation effect of their radar sensors is bound to cause health problems. Factor into that, the inevitable increase in accidents that will come from mixing robots and humans in the real world of long suburban commutes and bad weather; the safety benefits that we keep hearing about can be turned upside-down.
In reality, the government's zeal to protect us by cramming us robo-cars is a boondoggle of epic proportions. Our limited resources can and should be spent on solving more important social problems. Some of the Uber-rich might be able to buy their very own self-driving car as a status symbol; but it won't come equipped with this Uber-cool-tool. So instead of saving up to buy their shiny toy, why not save the money and spend it on better things: like better food and shelter?
Self-driving cars are indeed just around the corner and some will undoubtedly be deployed in a few places where they make sense; in the City of London, perhaps on Wall Street, definitely in Disneyland. Like the number of Segways and the number of bicycles, the market will determine the proper proportion of self-driving cars to "regular" people-powered ones.
But what are the chances of robotic cars replacing the 1.2 billion cars that are currently being driven by humans? How long would that painful transition take? It's a classic "Segway versus bicycle" rematch and again, the most probable outcome is that the vast majority of people will choose to keep using the simplest and most affordable vehicle: their old friend the human-driven car.
So, if you happen to be the owner of one of those billion+ human-powered cars; why not sign it up with a people-oriented TNC so you can share your old friend with like-minded people? Doing so will turn your old-fashioned jalopy into a lucrative micro-business; and that will keep you smiling all the way to the bank. You'll also have fun and meet new friends along the way... : )
The social cost of robo-cars
Eliminating human rideshare drivers can only exacerbate the social problems that gave rise to the need for ridesharing in the first place. People everywhere are in desperate need of jobs so sharing their car to start a micro-business is something that's inherently beneficial to society. For all its faults, ridesharing is still the most innovative and efficient way to optimize the use of cars and help people earn money. Eliminating those jobs with automation will reduce our already shrinking freedom and quality of life.
Like all automation, self-driving taxis will offer cost-savings to their owner. But ridesharing shouldn't be just about bigger quarterly profits; it can and must also be fun and life-sustaining for the drivers and passengers who make it all happen. Their social interaction is an important part of the rideshare experience; and TNCs that don't respect that social reality do so at their peril.
Can you tell a self-driving car to "Pull over by that lady in the blue hat"? How will it respond to "Please step on it or I'll be late for my flight"? Can it listen to you complain about the weather? Can it laugh at your joke, tell you its life-story or carry your bags at the airport? If a robo-taxi is delivering your pizza, will it ring your doorbell and hand it to you? Of course not: only human drivers can provide excellent customer service and it's those happy customers who pay for everything. They are far less likely to give their business to a global network of greedy robots than to support a driver-friendly TNC that can give them people-oriented service!
The Bottom Line for your TNC
VTI offers your TNC a patented product and a driver-oriented business-model that gives customers what they want. Becoming the exclusive provider of that service can be yours for the asking; everyone will be happy... except your competitors!
Transforming each driver's micro-business also opens up this opportunity to transform your TNC's competitiveness. By partnering exclusively with us, only your drivers will get the benefit of becoming Ultra-Uberpreneurs (because only your software will be able to pay them). Only your TNC will be able to offer drivers two businesses instead of just one. All your competitors will be able to offer the world is their robo-car pipe-dream or single-income rideshare slavery.
It's an Ultra-competitive business strategy and exclusivity is yours for the asking. I invite you to get in touch so we can send you a pre-production sample. I guarantee that once you and your drivers have tried using it, you'll both want to come aboard and help make this happen!
Self-driving cars might perhaps replace human rideshare drivers
But doesn't making human drivers happy make a lot more sense?
7 minute read
Are self-driving cars a better way to go?
Unhappy rideshare drivers are an expensive problem for TNCs so the big ones are teaming up with big auto-makers to promote the use of self-driving cars. Replacing their network of human contractors with a global fleet of company-owned robo-cars would indeed solve the TNC's unhappy-driver problem. But is that a good thing?
Self-driving cars might someday be technically feasible for some applications however using them for ridesharing is a fundamental departure from the rideshare business model... what happens to the benefits of sharing? Dumping human drivers for robots would create a brave new world of centralized power that's fraught with technology challenges, huge capital costs and general social upheaval.
Below is a different perspective on self-driving cars you won't find in the mainstream media. I explain why human-driven cars will remain a more cost-effective option and offer several suggestions for using high-tech to make human-controlled cars safer and more suitable for the rideshare application.
Oops, we forgot about these
Watch them "Work"
Innovation trumps money... it's like bringing a gun to a knife fight
Selling the same IT service to all drivers creates a commodity market!
In exchange for performing the data-processing services needed to calculate and deposit VTI’s 20% sales referral commissions directly into each of your driver’s accounts (as per our agreement with each of them), VTI grants your TNC exclusivity for offering our "Dual-income Sales-support Service" to drivers in your local markets.
What accepting this proposal will do for your TNC
Subsidizing drivers to grow your network is a huge start-up cost that’s simply not sustainable. Our proposal is an alternative strategy; one that is far more cost-effective because it enables you to pay your drivers this second income. That's a compelling financial incentive for drivers because it's “the gift that keeps on giving”.
Granting “exclusivity” means that no other TNC in your local market will be permitted to offer our loyalty-perk to their drivers. Offering drivers a "Sales Support" service-perk is a uniquely cost-effective and proprietary way for you to attract new drivers and keep them happy.
The reason VTI can offer and enforce exclusivity is that we have robust patent protection for GoPad; it's the only product that’s optimized for both Uberpreneurs and their passengers.
A silver lining for one car manufacturer
My analysis above lampoons the myth that self-driving cars are about to create a tidal wave of sales for manufacturers and a bonanza for Big Government. Common sense will eventually prevail and citizens in need of food and shelter will revolt (hopefully with their wallets and not with their 2nd amendment rights).
MORE EDITING NEEDED TO COMPLETE HOW GOPAD'S CAN HELP A CAR-MAKER TO GROW THEIR SALES OF NEW CARS
How GoPad+GoCar can also add value to an auto-maker’s product
VTI's first-generation GoPad was sold into enterprise markets. The latest GoPad is a platform for accessories that give it broad consumer appeal. It now supports killer-apps for: fashion-lovers, camera-buffs, drone-pilots, touch-typists, movie-watchers, eBook-readers and car-drivers. We’ve also designed an OEM version that appeals auto-makers.
Imagine a different style of GoPad that’s built right into a future car’s dashboard; the driver can pop it out and wear the car’s infotainment system as shown in my video. It’s a modular mobility concept that blows its competitors away.
That modular design concept might not not be nearly as sophisticated an upgrade as robotics that drive the car for them, however; many car-buyers will find that it’s a more useful and affordable alternative buying a self-driving car. That’s particularly true for car-shoppers who would also like to wear a device with a large touchscreen or for people who actually enjoy the freedom of driving a car.
Our proposal to TNCs
How we made this dual income business model transparent to passengers
Enabling drivers to earn a second income is obviously an attractive perk for them; however, the privacy and comfort of their passengers must always be kept paramount. Those are two conflicting interests: all drivers want to earn more money but no passenger wants to get into a car that turns out to be driven by someone who tries to sell them something. That was the problem we faced when designing this business tool.
An important feature of our solution is that we actually forbid driver-partners from even mentioning the GoPad on their dash unless a curious passenger has initiated the conversation. A question such as “What’s that?” is needed in order to trigger the process. Answering those questions and possibly giving out a coded business card to an interested passenger at the end of their ride is all our driver-partner has to do in order to complete their work and earn their 20% commission. The balance of the sales process is fully-automated by data-processing done by their TNC as a value-added service. Completion of a sales referral takes place if and when a passenger eventually makes a purchase in our online store.
The other main feature of our solution is that all passengers expect to see some sort of touchscreen on the car’s dash. Seeing a GoPad there is as natural and comforting to passengers as seeing the steering wheel in their driver’s hands. That’s why passengers will never experience the discomfort of suspecting they might be bothered by some sort of sales pitch or forced conversation when all they want is a pleasant ride with undisturbed privacy.
The combined effect of GoPad's natural appearance in the car and our driver-partner’s non-existent sales pitch is what creates the ideal environment for both drivers and passengers.