14-Jun-2017 (Wed)
Wherein we're currently not doing deliveries, because Uber sucks.

We find ourselves in an unfortunate position of no longer being able to do deliveries of DNA Pizza, because Uber is flexing their monopolistic muscle in an attempt to take over an unrelated industry!

First some background:

Since we opened DNA Pizza in 2009, we've done online ordering through all of the popular online ordering sites: Eat24, Grubhub, whatever. A new service would pop up and say, "We offer exactly the same features in as every other site that does this, you should list your menu here!" and we'd say, "Ok, why not".

Sometimes people go to dnapizza.com looking for a way to order from us, but often people go to whatever ordering site they used last, and type in "pizza", so it behooves us to be listed on as many as possible.

These sites gather the order, charge the credit card, take a percentage, send the order along to us, and then we deliver it.

(And one of the nice things that Eat24 did, and none of the others do, is if the referrer on the click came from our site, they didn't take a cut -- because in that case, it's clear that we drove the traffic to that order rather than them. That was cool of them.)

For actual delivery, in the early days, we hired our own delivery drivers. This is a huge pain for a few reasons:

  • Finding reliable restaurant employees is hard enough, but now we need to find ones who also have a car.
  • If their job is "delivery driver only", you're paying them an hourly wage to sit around doing nothing during all the time when no deliveries are happening.

  • So you try to double them up, and put them to work as regular restaurant staff when they're not out delivering. This is the worst of both worlds, though, because if you think it through there are only two possible scenarios there. Let's say you feel the restaurant needs 3 staff to work properly, and now you add 1 driver. So now either:

    • You have no deliveries, and you're overstaffed, because you have 4 when you needed 3;

    • Or, those 4 staff are actually all busy, meaning you really did need 4, so whoops, now you're understaffed by one driver. (These will both happen within the same shift, and you never hit the sweet spot where you are staffed properly.)

  • And the nature of the business is that all of the delivery orders come in at the same time, right at 7pm or right at 2:15am. So for most of the day you need one driver, if that, except that for sixty crucial minutes you need twelve drivers.

Then we started using Uber:

We hired in-house drivers from 2009 until early 2014 when we transitioned over to using Uber as our delivery service. It works how you think: You tell them you have a pick-up, and they come and get it.

It worked as badly as you think, too. Because Uber has thousands of drivers, and terrible employee retention, just about every time you called one, you got someone who had only been on the job for a week and had literally never driven in San Francisco before. Customer satisfaction was, shall we say, not great. Now, to be clear, when we had in-house drivers, they were pretty terrible at their jobs too. But Uber was largely worse. At least, though, they gave us some cover, because when we apologized to the customer that the driver hadn't bothered ringing the bell, or had carried the pizza box sideways, we got to blame it on Uber, and bond with the customer over, "Fucking Uber, man."

I absolutely despise Uber as a company. They make San Francisco worse in every way. But I didn't have a better option, so I held my nose and worked with them anyway. (Foreshadowing!)

We looked around for other delivery services that a restaurant could use to outsource their deliveries, and there were only a few, but every one of them used Uber as their back-end anyway! So by using them you were just giving some other middleman an extra cut.

And here's what happened last week:

Uber just sprung on us that they are no longer offering the service of "deliveries". Now they offer the service of "integrated orders and deliveries". And only that.

That's right: if you want Uber to deliver your food, you also have to let them have your online ordering business.

And they gave us a luxurious six week deadline on this.

So Uber managed to get a monopoly in one industry -- restaurant food delivery -- and is leveraging that monopoly to eliminate the competition in a completely different industry -- online food ordering.

If that sounds familiar to you, you might have been following my work for a really long time, because that is exactly the same play that a company called Microsoft made on a company called Netscape back in 1995. They used their monopoly in one market -- operating systems -- to make competition with them impossible in a different market -- web browsers.

Microsoft did that by undercutting the competition and driving the market value of web browsers to $0. What Uber is doing is saying "your orders are no longer compatible with our cars", which isn't exactly what Microsoft did; that would have been more like if Microsoft had said, "No web browser except Explorer is allowed to be run on Windows". But the end result is the same.

In 1999, The Department of Justice found Microsoft guilty, but by then it was far too late: they had already delivered a fatal blow to the company I helped create, Netscape. (And that's why to this day I will never use any Microsoft products, or allow my business to enrich them in any way. I hold a grudge. Dear reader, don't use Microsoft products. Fuck those guys.)

In case you have been living under a rock and only have this sort of vague idea of why Uber is literally the worst company ever, I posted a round-up on my personal blog three months ago. But keep in mind, that's three months old, so lots more egregious shit has come out about them since. Like, just about every damned day. They are just a monster factory.

If you still have the Uber app on your phone, that is bad and you should feel bad. They really are the worst.

And yeah, it is not lost on me that I also allowed myself to be talked into making a deal with this devil and am now getting fucked by it. Think of it less as "hypocrisy" and more as "an object lesson".

(Lyft, by the way, is Uber Lite, and they only look better in comparison because they are less successful, so don't think that lets you off the hook in your complicity. Use Muni, BART, real cabs or a bike.)

Anyway, if you've got any realistic suggestions of how we can get our damned pizzas delivered, that would be great.

That's all horrible, but maybe mixtape 184 will help:


81 Responses:

  1. Jim Sweeney says:

    Fucking Uber, man.

    • Zee says:

      Uber is sucks only because they're not adding tips options for driver through the consumer. That's why 90% of delivery driver(rider too) have issues with uber. Hopefully they'll change this soon.

      • jwz says:

        "Only?" Seriously, that's not even in the top 50 reasons.

      • Nick says:

        "Only"?

        To be honest, I think illegally getting the health records of a rape victim to prove they were "lying about being raped" is probably a _bigger_ reason for why they suck than lack of tips.

      • LV says:

        Tips are kind of stupid. Every time you go into a new place you need to know what the local rates are, you need to evaluate the performance of each of the employees of a company (which should really be the job of the business owner), you propagate tax evasion that isn't really working and that the government now compensates for with arcane tax estimation rules that make no sense whatsoever.

        Just pay people a living wage and don't outsource management to customers. Customers voting with their feet about what establishment they like works equally well and there are plenty of countries where you get awesome service, an equal living wage without the overhead of placing a burden on customers.

  2. Ian says:

    I mostly order my delivery (in SF) via Caviar. I'm naively assuming they're just as bad as Uber when it comes to terms/cut though.

    • jwz says:

      There are a number of companies offering the customer-facing services of, "We will go to the restaurant and pick up your order for you". But oddly, none of them seem to offer a restaurant-facing service of, "we will do your deliveries". Also they're mostly hellaciously expensive compared to what people have come to expect of pizza delivery.

      But obviously this is a topic we will be investigating with renewed enthusiasm.

      • Andrew says:

        Postmates is the most expensive by far. Maybe you get more of a cut? Anyway, try them, someone will surely want a $55 Carnivore.

    • kbrem says:

      It looks to me like Caviar delivers food (not just taking orders online) and based on their hiring page and some blogposts on driver sites, they do hire their own drivers. Their website is sparse on details but has a contact form. They also appear to allow/like bicycle courier deliveries which makes me personally inclined like them. They have several pizza restaurants on listing currently, (screenshot) http://imgur.com/Dh92b0p which makes it seem possible that they would be useful to you.

      https://www.trycaviar.com/for-restaurants
      http://ridesharedashboard.com/2016/12/06/deliver-caviar-courier/
      http://www.courierhacker.com/2015/11/16/how-much-money-can-you-make-driving-for-caviar-on-saturdays/
      https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Caviar/reviews?fjobtitle=Delivery+Driver&fcountry=ALL
      http://therideshareguy.com/caviar-delivery-review/
      Here are the key differences that we found between Caviar and other delivery platforms:
      There is no rating system. Drivers, you may now rejoice!
      Couriers are paid on an “effort-based” algorithm (don’t worry, we’ll be putting this to the test!).
      There is now in-app tipping on Caviar.
      The details of your order (including how much you will be paid) are available before you accept the order. And they will not punish you for a low acceptance rate.
      No carrying around a Pex card or cash. You only work with partner restaurants where you are expected by the staff. You confirm a secret code (kind of like James Bond but for delivery) and they hand you the food. That’s it.
      Their delivery areas are generally smaller, and I found that this results in less deadhead miles.
      Parking Ticket Reimbursement Program (!). https://trycaviar.app.box.com/s/rz8vfc0bic6dnm4wrziub6umgbrvm96l
      The overarching theme with Caviar delivery is that they have built a system around making things less stressful for their couriers. It seems like they are really trying to address a lot of the pain points that couriers face while out doing deliveries with this set-up.

  3. RyanKC says:

    Postmates, caviar, Grubhub, eat24, Amazon eats. Are all of these using Uber?

    • jwz says:

      Eat24 and Grubhub do not do deliveries, they just pass along the order. Their member restaurants are responsible for delivering. For Caviar, see above comment.

      • Tape says:

        Grubhub is doing deliveries now.

        https://get.grubhub.com/delivery/

        • Ceren says:

          Verified. I'm at GrubHub/Seamless now, as an Ops / SRE and yes, we do have both a fleet and we work with local delivery-focused companies. Ping me.
          girl who's danced away many nights at the DNA

          • Arlo Kirschner says:

            Well, this is shockingly helpful. Score one for the internet!

            • Ceren Ercen says:

              Well, even so, it's still up to them to decide if they have the human cycles to deal with Seamless/GrubHub as their delivery partner. I won't lie, I know it adds some operational overhead, and it's not an easy "Yes!" for all restaurants. (Even us tech people do deliveries sometimes to face a reminder of what parts of our tools need improvement.)

              It's not like I don't have some personal skin and interest here. But anywhere I can do something to help keep the DNA & adjacent ventures alive and supported, I'll offer my time.

              (... though I may beg for the middle-of-the-night pagerduty pings to be limited to a small number. plz.)

              I am really curious, though,how we left y'all with the idea that we don't wrangle delivery logistics, or when. I don't expect a specific day and message, but we clearly have some updates to communicate better.

          • yDNA says:

            Sunshine, hope, glory. Can it all be true? The stars have aligned.

  4. Jake Nelson says:

    I've been ordering from DoorDash, which recently moved in here. They do both the online ordering and delivery with an Uber-like app for drivers... is there a reason you're not using them?

    • Jake Nelson says:

      Apparently there are 37 pizza places they have delivering to DNA Lounge's address with delivery fees ranging from 0.99 to 7.99... wow. Here, I don't think there's 37 places total of all types, and nobody's over 6.99...

    • Jake Nelson says:

      (apologies for multiple comments)
      Apparently they have a backend delivery service: DoorDash Drive, I guess?
      FYI, I'm not connected to them in any way, and have no idea what they're like on the other end, but I've been happy with them as a customer, for the most part.

    • J. Peterson says:

      DoorDash has been a thing in the South Bay for a while. In my experience they're second-rate for Pizza delivery, because the drivers have no insulated box to keep the pie warm. Other than talking the occasional lost driver over to our house, they've been reasonably reliable.

      • Aatheus says:

        The drivers have to buy their own bags, T-shirts, et cetera. Most people start out with the small bag, which is just about good enough for three boxes of Chinese delivery. The big box is 3x as expensive. So unless you're driving full-time, then it's not worth getting.

    • Aatheus says:

      I've driven for DoorDash. It's a decent system. They definitely have an Uber-like interface for the driver: go online, and you get a 'go to here, and pick up X to take to person at Y' interface.

      I've both gone to pick up ready-to-go orders for the customer, and also sometimes paid for the orders. They give the drivers a debit card (the "Red Card") to pay for the non-partner orders that haven't been paid for already, and pass the delivery cost on to the customer. Not sure that they charge the restaurants for the "partner restaurant" treatment.

  5. saxbophone says:

    Yeah, I've had the same feelings about Uber in London since they arrived here. They're simply abusing their monopoly to drive down prices and severely hurt their competitors, whilst running a service with a very detached/virtually nonexistent relationship with their actual drivers.

    So many people just look for the lowest price (and I can't blame them too much in that respect) but seldom think of the actual cost in those £££s that were knocked off.

    Also, glad to see you rocking the BART :D I hope to explore the rapid transit of your city one day! :)

  6. Simba says:

    Uber sucks, but if you're a pizza place that isn't doing delivery there are other reasons.

    There is no reason you can't have drivers and sell your deliveries only on your own site. If your food is worth eating the customer will come to you.

    Pizza joints have been doing this since before the Internet and well after the internet. I worked for some of them. So fuck Uber, but fix your problems too.

    • jwz says:

      Thank you for your detailed business insight. Would you like to run the restaurant for me?

      • Simba says:

        Thanks but I've got my own business to run.

        Frankly you are whining. Listen to yourself. "It's too hard!" Nobody has ever been successful in business by bitching about how difficult it is. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm trying to be helpful.

        Those sites are a ripoff, you think it's better to be listed on them, but how much of your profits are they taking from you? If you're not doing enough sales to need drivers all night long then obviously you shouldn't be wasting your money on those stupid middle men. None of the really successful places do, it's all the little guys who think they can't afford to do it themselves.

        I worked for a number of pizza places in Ann Arbor Michigan which had 1 or 2 locations at most. I know all the things you spoke of in your article first hand. And yet those places still managed to afford to make deliveries. Pizza joints are about deliveries. I'm just saying man, you stop delivering pizza and I think it'll hurt you.

        You know better. I don't know anything about the region you're in or the sort of customers you serve etc. But IN GENERAL, pizza places are about deliveries. Speaking as a customer of pizza joints, I get pizza when I want pizza delivered. That's the only time, otherwise I just buy those half-baked ones at Walmart and make it myself, because it's cheaper and always the way I want it.

        Stop whining tho, seriously. It's embarrassing.

        BTW I do website design and technology consulting for small businesses, maybe I can help you reduce your costs with hosting or website maintenance, I know I have some low-cost solutions for self-hosting delivery features with online ordering and print-to-store. Feel free to E-mail me if you'd like to talk more. I won't be offended if you don't. Good luck. The world needs more indy pizza joints :)

        • jwz says:

          I don't know anything about the region you're in or the sort of customers you serve etc. But IN GENERAL, pizza places are about deliveries.

          Well, ours isn't. Our business is about putting pizza in the faces of nightclub patrons. We do also have delivery, lunch, breakfast and cafe business, but all of those are a fraction of our core business, which is selling slices in person at 2am.

          Obviously growing those other aspects of the business is a goal, but they have historically been a relatively small slice. (See what I did there)

        • MattyJ says:

          ... but how much of your profits are they taking from you?

          My guess would be approximately 0% of the profits.

        • Pavel Lishin says:

          I don't know anything about the region you're in or the sort of customers you serve etc

          You should have led, and finished, with that.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      "after the internet" ha, no. The Network isn't one of those fads like cars or pants that cultures grow tired of. The Network is meme and artefact bound together, you've got more chance of the word dying out than the Network, let alone pizza.

      But to your real point, sure a good pizza place doesn't need all this, but I don't think our host was claiming to own such a thing. The place I buy pizza doesn't have delivery, or open early, or late, or at all three days a week, it doesn't take cards, or sell anything else except pizza. They do really well because they're selling the best pizza in the city. But they aren't a side venture. Making pizza is literally their entire business.

  7. Mark says:

    Why is Lyft so bad? The founders invented rude sharing to create urban community, then uber stole the idea. They screen their drivers personally. And they have a people friendly corporate culture. Seems unfair to lump them with uber.

    • jwz says:

      Lyft is just as abusive to their employees as Uber is, by refusing to admit that they are "employees". Both of these companies are essentially a tax dodge to avoid the payroll taxes and insurance that a real transportation company would have to pay. That's why they refuse to admit that they are transportation companies and want to pretend "we're just a web site".

      Going by press scandals, Lyft may well have a less toxic corporate culture, but they have exactly the same business model, and that model is "shift all of our business costs onto our employees, who we won't admit are employees".

      Lyft saved $126 million by refusing to classify drivers as employees:

      According to newly published court documents, Lyft would owe its drivers $126 million in reimbursement expenses for the last four years if the ride-hail service classified them as employees rather than independent contractors. The court documents provide a rare glimpse into the huge amount of cash that companies like Lyft and Uber save by refusing to classify its drivers as employees. [...]

      Both Lyft and its much larger rival Uber face class action lawsuits from drivers challenging their classification as independent contractors. Lyft recently settled its lawsuit, agreeing to shell out $12.25 million in compensation to its drivers, while maintaining the right to classify them as non-employees

      • Claude says:

        That may be your view, however as a driver I make alot more than any minimum wage earner in the city. Combined with the flexibility and write offs at the end of the year... I prefer not being labeled an employee. Chances are I would've been fired ages ago for not being on time. Don't tell drivers what they want or need, it's very Uberesque.

        • MetaRZA says:

          You seem to have become so acclimatized to [edited] employment standards that "anything better then minimum wage" is good employment. It isn't and shouldn't be.

          As others have pointed out - Uber only costs less then a taxi because they are using their VC's money, their employee's money and the government's money to lower the cost.

    • jwise says:

      I like that! "Rude sharing". It is a good way to describe the kind of sharing that isn't actually sharing at all, but is instead underpaying someone to do something that they wouldn't ordinarily do. It is kind of rude, isn't it?

    • George Dorn says:

      In addition to treating drivers like crap, they share the same business model as Uber:

      Use VC money to subsidize ride-hailing, to artificially drive down the price for customers, to destroy traditional ride services, to gain a monopoly, to use that monopoly to destroy competition in adjacent markets, to use the resulting multi-market monopoly to remove the subsidies and turn a profit.

      There's a whole lot of evil in there.

      • MattyJ says:

        I'd say the 'for a profit' part of that remains to be seen. Uber loses billions and billions per quarter.

  8. Kenny Hight says:

    Loved Netscape! Brilliant browser back in the day compared to that crap Microsoft put out

  9. SF Pizza Lord says:

    Welp, Patxi's is way better anyways, and not dickheads who are still butthurt that Netscape was the worst browser ever.

    • Carlos says:

      1995-era Netscape is a terrible browser by today's standards. But if you believe that it was terrible compared to 1995-era Internet Explorer, you are fucking deluded.

      Were you even alive in 1995? I tried IE - it wasn't even included with the base Win95, you had to buy the "Plus Pack" to get it - and then found it was basically just Mosaic with a light reskin. Netscape Navigator was light years ahead of IE.

      C.

    • MattyJ says:

      Ironically, Patxi's deliveries got better and faster when they started using Uber.

      • Goofus says:

        Besides the fact that they both sell bread covered with sauce, cheese, and party platter fodder, Patxi and DNA are quite different businesses. Location, diner experience, actual product they serve, money on each receipt, peak hours, customer decision making process to end up there - all quite different from each other.

        I have no actual data on these, but my general purpose amateur business interest allows me to make these speculations.

        Point is, what is good for the goose may not be good for the goose-billed micro giraffe.

    • Goofus says:

      Pizza Edgelord?

      I like DNA better than Patxi's. That's because I'd rather walk up and get a slice or two of cheese toast within 5 minutes, than stand around for an hour to order a whole bread pie.

      Fuck bread pie.

  10. gga says:

    I spent some time a couple of years ago trying to help a London-based fast food chain launch a home delivery service. It ultimately failed. But here's some stuff I learnt.

    There are a bunch of companies that will sell you restaurant food dispatch software. A lot of it is pretty horrible, Windows desktop stuff that obviously isn't going to meet your requirements. There is some newer better stuff (like GetSwift.) This might help with scheduling and rostering your delivery drivers.

    That chain was using Seamless for deliveries. Now owned by GrubHub. Looks like they do ordering, dispatch and delivery now. Might be worth seeing if they still just do delivery.

  11. t says:

    Have you considered calling a cab company and asking them if they'd like to sideline in food delivery? Presumably they have the appropriate resources, as long as they could be convinced to deliver for non-insane cost.

  12. Noah Halbfoster says:

    So let me get this straight... you are trying to use ANOTHER company to make you money, and you want to complain that it wants to make money off you.... oh fuck off with this liberal everybody owes me bullshit... hire fucking drivers you god damn cheapskate... and as far as netscape.... cry me a river god damn whiny bitch

  13. Gabe Kangas says:

    I'm just assuming all of these negative comments are written by Uber Corporate at this point. They probably have a "retaliation team".

  14. Liz Jones says:

    I did the bad thing. I read the comments. Jeez, you deal with a lot of unhelpfulness and trolling. Good luck with that and the delivery situation.

    • Doctor Memory says:

      (Hi Liz!)

      This one is for some reason particularly bad. I assume it got posted to hackernews or slashdot or reddit or some other pit of despair. Or maybe people just really care deeply about pizza delivery?

  15. MrEricSir says:

    I worry that comparing Uber to Microsoft just gives Uber more credit in the bizarre categorization in that they're somehow a "tech" company. Meanwhile in reality, Uber is a bunch of people driving people/food around, in a fashion one might call a "taxi" or "cab" company.

    • Paul Anderson says:

      Aka Uber the $70 billion temp agency. The board bros have to go full Entourage overdrive to pretend they're worth that much. Microsoft at least has products that won't completely prevent you from getting a document written.

    • Wut says:

      What IS a 'tech' company then? A key to their business model is technology, after all. If you do not categorize Uber as a 'tech' company, I think you are in the extreme minority.

      • MrEricSir says:

        Huh? Why would you label them as tech companies when what they're selling isn't technology? Besides, pretty much all companies rely on tech these days -- I doubt many people would call Safeway a tech company, but each of their stores has a server rack in the back, and they even have gasp an app... just like Uber does!

  16. Concerned Citizen says:

    I usually enjoy reading what you write but as a former delivery driver this post pissed me right the fuck off. You pay the hourly to have the driver available to you when you need them. Not even places like Domino's make idle drivers do restaurant work (although they might cut their shifts short on a slow night.) It is true that you will not operate at 100% efficiency this way, and that you will extract less value from some of the hours of labor that you pay for than from others. This is an unfortunately reality of working with humans; maybe in a few years you can buy some drones to do delivery.

    TLDR: I'd tell you to just hire some drivers but maybe they'd be better off if you just contracted with some other gig economy shitlord.

    • J Greely says:

      I worked for Domino's back in the 30-minutes-or-free days, and at every store I've been into, then and now, idle drivers were handling phones, working ovens, folding boxes, cleaning, and, yes, working the make line if they were any good at it.

      There were nights when the manager was right there next to us on every one of those tasks, because he liked being profitable.

      My best urban pizza delivery experiences have been in Japan, where every store has scooters with hot boxes. Never mind parking them, you'd never get a car through the traffic in time to satisfy the customer. I did get some tasty DNA pies through Eat24 when I was in SF last April, so fingers crossed for a workable solution to the problem.

      -j

  17. brie says:

    What about Skip The Dishes? I don't know where they operate though.

  18. Rasa says:

    Fuckin Uber, man! I'm currently dealing with a dispute because Uber is taking money out of my account without my permission. I've only used Uber three times.They are absolutely glossing over my email requests by sending back general emails that say the case is closed without even acknowledging and resolving the issues. I am now taking the case to a higher level.

    • Anonymous says:

      Presumably you're already in contact with your bank about the disputed charges. Just have them issue you a new card and cancel the old one.

      Alternatively, go to 7-Eleven and buy a pay card and put—say—$10 on it. Then change your payment method in the Uber app to use the cash card rather than your bank card, and continue using your bank card as normal elsewhere. Make sure your bank card is completely removed and unavailable as a payment method entirely. After you've switched over, use that $10 to buy groceries or gas or something.

      • Rasa says:

        Thx! I actually already tried that method with two different cash gift cards and Uber wouldn't take it. I'll try to go to 7-11 thx!

      • Rasa says:

        Thing I is Uber shouldn't be doing this and I shouldn't have to go thruoigh all this.

      • Rasa says:

        THing is I should t have to go though all this And Uber shouldn't be doing this in the first place.

  19. ST says:

    "Real cabs" == Microsoft IE ("monopolistic muscle").

    Uber == Google Chrome (new kid on the block with less than honorable intentions).

    Lyft == Firefox (less successful cousin of the previous one).

    Sidecar == Opera (RIP).

  20. Khris Loux says:

    Yes * a billion on Netscape and the comparison to Uber et al. Fwiw, Amazon is the new Microsoft cloning great selling products sold on their site and killing the original manufacturer. Copy + Prime = checkmate.

  21. B says:

    I feel 100% of what you wrote and really want you to succeed. You sort of addressed the irony but I feel compelled to point out: you want to run part of your business off of Uber, because it's the only way it makes economic sense. And it only makes sense because Uber is a horrible, horrible company. If Uber was 2x as expensive (which it should be, payroll tax etc) you would probably hire someone full-time. And if no one offers this service it is probably because it doesn't make sense - you'd have to be a bad person (i.e. Uber). Now I don't understand Uber shutting down the existing operation - seems dumb to me, just do both. Is it really that different? But you goal is to pool resources and drive you costs down - laudable, but it seems like a cop-out to be angry at Uber and not unhappy you can't afford a driver when delivery is a tiny fraction of the business (vs. Dominos where that's the whole business).

    • jwz says:

      There's really nothing more gratifying than anonymous trolls expounding on their deep understanding of economics to mansplain to you how you're doing it wrong.

      You know what's harder than telling someone else how obvious in hindsight the status quo is? Literally everything else ever.

      Go away.

  22. Doctor Memory says:

    Neither here nor there, but it's worth pointing out that just deleting the Uber app off your phone doesn't send any sort of signal to them: your account is still live in their systems and they can still claim you as a user in their shareholder reports.

    Actually cancelling uber for real requires logging in to help.uber.com and navigating down to the "close my account" link (which is "helpfully" un-bookmarkable). They'll ask for a reason: it's an opportunity to get creative!

  23. Line Noise says:

    Here in Australia Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats seem to have the market share in the food delivery outsourcing business. All use the "gig economy" "race-to-the-bottom" model. I'm not aware of any pizza places that have their own drivers any more (other than the big chains like Domino's, Pizza Hut, etc) but as I'm a pizza snob and haven't ordered a delivered pizza for as long as I can remember, my sample size is small.

    I'm blown away by the snark and vitriol from a lot of the commenters here. Anyone would think you'd posted something about cyclists!

  24. Kris says:

    I agree with your Uber sentiments.

    I worked at MS-Redmond in the mid-late 90s (including some time on an IE browser component) and I can confirm that many projects only got funded because they represented some threat to MS platform hegemony. I also personally disliked their embrace/extend/extinguish treatment of developing open standards.

    That said, I think history has proven integrating the browser into the OS was correct from a pure engineering perspective. The HTTP protocol and HTML display functionality are best factored into library components that can be reused by many apps for many purposes, instead of being imprisoned inside a monolithic browser app. They really are ‘services’ in an OS sense, and shipping them with the OS and building functionality like HTMLHelp on top makes total engineering sense. The modern examples of this are the WebKit/Blink/Gecko HTML engines which are not attached to any particular browser and can be used by anybody. So, while it might have made MS’s platform-hegemonist mgrs overly gleeful, ‘putting the browser in the OS’ was the correct thing to do and not some purely evil move.

    By the way I've been to DNA dozens of times in the last 13 years so DNA has been getting dirty rotten tainted Internet-Explorer money, LOL (I expect to be banned from the club now :)

    • Anonymous says:

      > building functionality like HTMLHelp on top makes total engineering sense

      Nah. It makes more sense to just put that shit on the Web. I already have something for browsing content—it's called my browser and is already configured for how I use it. I don't need a crippled, site-specific browser that ignores my preferences and forces different interaction methods on me.

  25. Thomas Lord says:

    This is why San Francisco needs an extensive system of wide-bore pneumatic tubes throughout the city, with terminals at about about 2/3 of the intersections.

  26. zaba says:

    Welp, Patxi's is way better anyways, and not dickheads who are still butt-hurt that Netscape was the worst browser ever.

    That's amusing. Clearly, someone has never used Lynx. I'm guessing someone also does not understand the lineage of NCSA Mosaic to Netscape to Phoenix to Firefox, of which jwz was kind of instrumental in developing.

    Internet Explorer would not have existed were it not for NCSA/Netscape making the first graphical browser (and Tim Berners-Lee proposing HTTP standard and on and on and on...)

    For one to claim Netscape was the worst browser ever is most likely too young to have actually used the first browsers or doesn't remember the history. Does the OP not remember IE from versions 3-6 (I'm being very generous in those being the only bad versions)? They were beyond bad. They were well worse than what Navigator (the actual browser. Netscape was the company) was and that was in the height of the "browser wars".

    Speaking of, Netscape never gave us ActiveX.

    Pretty bad troll on your part.

  27. Matt Ghali says:

    It's an interesting coincidence how many friends/coworkers/ex-coworkers have popped up on this thread. Hi! Also best of luck Jamie. I was working in the old twitter building a couple of years ago now, and tried to get pizza for lunch a few times, but our schedules never synced. Then four months later, the startup imploded anyway. Yay sf tech work.

  28. Joe Luser says:

    speaking of deals with the devil ... eat24 is yelp.

  29. frymaster says:

    My pet hate about uber is that somehow they've convinced people that what they do is called a "rideshare service" and not a taxi-ordering service, and so even although they look, feel, and operate exactly like a taxi service - the ones in my city have had phone apps for years, for example - somehow they're supposed to be exempt from taxi regulations.

    I get that some places have horrific taxi regulations (medallions? why on Earth are you able to sell a license?) but the solution is to change the regulations, not pretend they don't apply to one company just because you can't call them on the phone.

    My "favourite" argument was someone who said that treating Uber like a taxi company would be like treating people who listed on airbnb like they were a hotel... except airbnb's website actually says that you might have to comply with hotel regulations in some places...

  30. AoSeaMilk says:

    It really does help. I like that Cajsa Siik song a lot, I completely stopped what I was doing to check who the artist was.