NY Times – Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable Commodities

NY Times - Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable CommoditiesThe NY Times continues to offer outstanding coverage of the on-demand, networked economy in ‘ Uber and Lyft Have Become Indistinguishable Commodities’ by journalist Farhad Manjoo.

In a clash of two excellent management teams, both Uber and Lyft are fast innovators and fast followers, resulting in the lower prices for their services.  Both company’s are in the trenches, aggressively competing to build their supply (e.g. recruiting drivers).  The most “salient distinction between an Uber ride and a Lyft ride is whichever app the driver has on right now”.

Interestingly, prices are being driven down as commoditization sets in.

Two Paths to Becoming an Enduring Tech Brand

“For promising tech companies, becoming a commodity is never good news. There are generally two ways to become an enduring tech brand.”

  1. “Build a natural monopoly, often through network effects — the economic dynamic in which the more that people use your product, the better your product becomes, leading to a happy upward spiral.”  E.g. Microsoft and Facebook.
  2. “Create a product so much better than the alternatives that you cement enduring loyalty.”  E.g. Google’s search engine and Apple’s iPhone.

Interestingly, in on-demand networked business models, companies like Uber and Lyft have “to create and defend” their networks everywhere.  Consolidation via acquisition at some point, is something that many expect.

To read the full article on the New York Times web site, click here.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

Intelligent Response specializes in operationalizing Predictive Analytics, Cause Marketing and Digital Advocacy in Washington DC.


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