Inside My Brain

Thoughts about startups, tech, sports, and life

Uber vs. Lyft – My Experience with Both Ride-Hailing Platforms

Until a few weeks ago, I was always an Uber rider and never tried Lyft. But in light of all the bad crap that has happened at Uber over the past few months, I decided to give Lyft a try. Here are some thoughts about my experience with both platforms.

Mobile app user interface

Both apps offer similar-looking screens, but the experience certainly differs. Here are the initial screens for both apps, captured on a Monday morning:

Uber_Lyft_Comp

My first impression is that while the Lyft app tells me that there’s a driver only one minute away, I don’t see any cars on the map. On the other hand, there are plenty of Uber drivers close by. This may be because Lyft’s map is zoomed in a bit more. Regardless, this visual is an important aspect of the interface that gives me a feeling of comfort that Uber has more cars on the road. Seeing fewer cars on the Lyft app is a pretty common occurrence, from my experience.

The next thing that I notice is that Lyft makes it easier to request a driver. The primary call-to-action is “Request Lyft,” and all you have to do is tap that button and a driver will be summoned.

Uber, on the other hand, has a few more options on the screen, and its primary call-to-action is “set pickup location.” It takes an extra step to hail a ride but gives you some options before you raise your hand. After setting your pickup location, you are sent to the confirmation screen:

Uber Confirmation Screen

Here you’re able to get a fare estimate, which you can’t do with Lyft. This is a nice feature that helps you make a decision on whether you ride an Uber or spend a little less money by taking Metro. You can also enter a promo code before booking a ride.

After the ride is over, both apps have similar screens where you can tip and rate your driver. Not much of a difference there.

In-ride observations and informal driver surveys

I learned a good deal during my Lyft rides by observing the driving environment and chatting with the drivers. I’ve only taken seven Lyft rides in the last few weeks, so the sample size is small. This certainly wasn’t a statistically significant experiment, but it gave me good insight into both of the ride-hailing companies.

During my rides, I noticed that all but one Lyft driver was also an Uber driver, and the one who wasn’t said he applied to Uber but didn’t get accepted. Interesting.

I asked all of the Lyft drivers who also drove for Uber what they thought about driving for both companies and which they preferred. Again, this isn’t a big sample size at all, but here are my survey results:

  1. All of the drivers said that Uber gives them more business. They mentioned that the number of rides that Lyft provides is growing, but Uber is still ahead by a big margin.
  2. All of the drivers also said that Lyft treats them better with respect to driver support and culture.

I believe that the overall rider experience is a bit more seamless with Uber, but the difference isn’t enough to foster any kind of loyalty. Because of Uber’s recent bad behavior, I’ll likely check Lyft first the next time I need a ride.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Guest Post for Thorn Technologies – The Week in Tech: T-Mobile lets you stash your data, Blackberry launches Classic, and more

legere-tmobile-data-stash

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: T-Mobile lets you stash your data, Blackberry launches Classic, and more.

Today we highlight T-Mobile’s Data Stash program, Blackberry’s Classic, and the repercussions of the Sony hacking. Enjoy!

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Image courtesy of tomsguide.com

Overhear and Hustle

overhear

I recently had coffee meetings on consecutive days and in both meetings, I was approached by people sitting close to me who overheard my conversations. While sometimes this can be disruptive, in these instances, valuable connections were made and products were actually sold. I really appreciate the hustle of the people who overheard my conversations, so I wanted to write about them.

First, I met with someone who was interested in helping out with ribl. We met at Starbucks to get to know each other and toss around some ideas. During our conversation, we stumbled upon the topic of fashion and technology, and at that time, a guy sitting next to us overheard us and started talking about how he’s trying to grow the fashion ecosystem in DC by building District House DC and invited us to upcoming events. We all traded contact information and pledged to keep in touch.

hustle-everydayThe following day, I had coffee with a local venture capitalist and we discussed startups that were interesting to us. We started talking about content and publishing companies, and immediately a man who goes by the name DanielDaPoet walked up to our table and talked about how he spent a few years in jail and was now rebuilding his life by publishing memoirs. He pitched to us a $5 pamphlet of poems that he wrote about his time in jail, and the VC and I each bought a copy. He also asked whether we would help market his products, and we traded contact info. I appreciated and am inspired by the hustle of Daniel.

Meeting and working in public spaces like coffee shops can foster serendipitous encounters. Your conversation may be overheard and people may interrupt, but sometimes these interruptions can be helpful and inspiring. One day, you might be that person overhearing another conversation and benefitting from it.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photos courtesy of Wayvs and Danger Zone Beatz

 

Guest Post for Thorn Technologies – The Week in Tech: Obama codes, Uber gets banned, and more

Obama codes

Check out my latest guest post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Obama codes, Uber gets banned, and more.

Today we cover Obama’s computer program, Uber getting banned in many places, and Apple and IBM’s first mobile apps.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Guest Post for Thorn Technologies – The Week in Tech: Cyber Monday sales breaks record, major hacking of Sony, and more

Cyber Monday

Check out my new guest blog post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Cyber Monday sales breaks record, major hacking of Sony, and more.

Today we highlight the Cyber Monday sales record, the major hacking of Sony, Girl Scout cookies online, and Uber’s big raise.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photo courtesy of alila33 on Flickr.

Contrarian Thinking for Startups – Recap of Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One”

zero to one

I recently finished reading Peter Thiel’s book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, and it’s a must-read for anyone working on a startup or any product in general.

Peter Thiel was the founder of PayPal, co-founder of Palantir, an early investor in Facebook, and runs Founders Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm. Needless to say, the dude knows his stuff about startups.

His viewpoint is quite contrarian to mainstream thinking, which is a big factor why he is so successful. Some interesting questions and points that Peter makes in his book include:

  1. What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
  2. What valuable business is nobody building?
  3. Competition should be avoided.

Let’s dig into each of these a bit more.

What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

The most contrarian question of all is likely the hardest to answer. The point isn’t to purposely think the opposite of what the crowd thinks; rather, it’s to understand how you can think for yourself and be different than everyone else.

I think Pandora is a great example of this. Back in the early-to-mid 2000s, iPods and MP3 players were ubiquitous and Apple was reinventing music with iTunes. Who would have thought then that people wanted to just listen to music streamed to your computer that some algorithm selected?

What valuable business is nobody building?

This is the business version of the first question. If you can answer question #1 and build a valuable business out of it, you’re going to be successful.

The key word Thiel highlights here is “valuable.” In order to build a valuable business, you need to both provide and capture value.

Let’s go back to the Pandora example. While the company certainly created value for its users, whether it could capture any value was in doubt for a long time. High music royalty fees nearly toppled the company, but Pandora was able to strike deals to pay musicians fairly and sell enough advertising to capture value. It’s now a thriving public business, pulling in over $239 million in revenue in the 3rd quarter of 2014.

Competition should be avoided.

This tenet is directly related to a business’ ability to capture value.

Thiel compares the airline and search industries to make his point. Airlines, like United and American, provide a lot of value (they move many people from place to place) but captures very little (they make a paltry margin, if any). Google, on the other hand, creates much less value but captures much more (it’s worth 3x more than all the airlines combined). And the reason for that is that they’ve basically achieved a monopoly in search.

For startups, competition sometimes is considered to be a good thing, as it sort of validates your concept and shows that the customer demand for your product is high enough for other companies to want to build it.

Apparently, Thiel is thinking contrarily again.

If you found this recap interesting, you’ll certainly want to pick up the book and read it entirely. For anyone interested in products, startups, or just a different way of looking at things, it’s an easy and interesting read.

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Guest Post for Thorn Technologies – The Week in Tech: Facebook at Work, Snapcash, Uber’s evil thoughts, and more

FB at work

Check out my new guest blog post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Facebook at Work, Snapcash, Uber’s evil thoughts, and more.

Today we cover Facebook at Work, Snapchat’s partnership with Square, Uber’s hatred of journalists, NYC’s hotspot network, and what Apple wants to do with Beats Music. Enjoy!

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

Photo courtesy of GCAI Online.

Guest Post for Thorn Technologies – The Week in Tech: Obama calls for net neutrality, YouTube launches Music Key, and more

Check out my new guest blog post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Obama calls for net neutrality, YouTube launches Music Key, and more.

Today we highlight Obama’s push for net neutrality, the launch of YouTube’s Music Key, Yahoo’s purchase of Brightroll, and Amazon and Hachette burying the hatchet. Enjoy!

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.

When was the last time you thought deeply about something?

David-thinking

In today’s world of mobile devices, constant connectivity, and 140 characters, it’s tough to take time to think deeply about things.

When was the last time you read an interesting article, thought about it from your point of view, then had a conversation about it with a friend? Many times I’ll read something online and away it goes, never to be thought about again. Or I’ll take some notes in Evernote and forget I even did that.

I find that I think most deeply when I’m disconnected from the digital world. My mind better focuses on the topic at hand when I’m reading a physical magazine or listening to talk radio.

If you take the time to think deeply, that’s awesome. If not, take a walk and think about something besides work. Meet up with a friend, have a drink, and talk about your interesting side projects. Or take a digital sabbath. You may find that it clears your mind and helps you relax but stimulates and motivates you at the same time.

And yeah, I know that this article is kinda meta, as I’m thinking deeply about thinking deeply. :)

Guest Blog Post on ThornTech.com – The Week in Tech: Microsoft Office now free on mobile, Verizon and AT&T are tracking you, and more

microsoft-office-mobile-xl

Check out my new guest blog post on ThornTech.com titled “The Week in Tech: Microsoft Office now free on mobile, Verizon and AT&T are tracking you, and more.

Today we highlight how Microsoft Office is now free on mobile, Verizon’s and AT&T’s spying tactics, and how email addresses were stolen in the Home Depot hack. Enjoy!

I hope you found this interesting! If so, please connect with me on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn for future updates.