Uber for Everything – The New York Times

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One of the big stakes of the technology industry is that once a company is good at transporting a thing, it should be able to do so for anything.

Companies, including Uber and Instacart, are starting to branch out of a region – transporting people or groceries to their destination – to serve food to restaurants, prescription drugs, household appliances, pet food And Convenience store item. In that vein this week, Uber Bought a lot, Which avoids liquor shops.

You can imagine the potential if courier services delivered almost anything under the sun. But will it work, and is it a good thing?

It is impossible to predict whether a one-stop delivery will be a behemoth pan or what a ripple effect can be – both helpful and harmful. But we must pay attention to the steps of these companies and think critically about the stakes for small businesses, our wallets, our communities, and the American workforce.

First, Uber’s promise for everything and then some complications.

It can be awesome. If they can pick up passengers, Barritos can deliver and leave beer cases. Selling more types of goods can cause damage to app-based companies such as Uber and DoorDash. And it’s easy for those who like to shop from their couch. Win-win-win.

It can also be good for local businesses and our communities. Imagine if a local toy store or grocery store could easily serve both the person and those around who loved delivery. Our favorite business can be a second life without competing against Amazon or breaking shipping orders hundreds of miles by mail.

My colleague Kate conger I was told that the epidemic has shown that many of us are eager for home delivery of everything, and this has led to more tech industry watchers believing that app-based companies can successfully deliver one-stop delivery machines. Can be made.

It is also possible that the Uber model will not work for anything, or if it does it will affect the worst aspects of delivery-by-app companies.

In Uber’s restaurant food delivery and moving people to talk about their beautiful dual businesses, they are wildly different. Customers can overlap, but signing the restaurant and making them feel satisfied is a different game than moving people.

In addition, each new type of distributed goods – groceries, convenience store items, home improvement goods and liquor – has different operations and logistics. Can a normal person be good at them all?

Also worth noting: Many restaurants have stated that app-based delivery services Is rude. Will business in other industries look the same?

If one-stop delivery companies are not viable, it could hurt shoppers who trust them, businesses that have pledged on them – and especially workers who are the lowest in the gig-economy hierarchy.

If you hang around Silicon Valley for a long time, you will probably hear a line stolen from Ernest Hemingway Change is often gradual and then abrupt. One order of chatos and beer at a time, we and app companies can remake our habits, communities and labor force.

In 2015, my colleague Dai Wakbayashi reported for The Wall Street Journal that Apple was working on an electric vehicle. And today, the company can still be At least half a decade away Hitting the streets with your cars.

I am excited at the prospect of an Apple car. More electric cars, yes! But Apple’s history shows that it is not easy to be a car newcomer. And Apple may have unique disadvantages that make its brand of car no sure thing.

The latest news is that manufacturers of Hyundai and Kia cars are in talks to eventually make Apple vehicles at a Kia factory in Georgia, QBC informed of on Wednesday. It is probably necessary to team up with an experienced car manufacturer.

Apple has been here before. About five years ago, the company worked on car engineering Magna International in Canada. It went nowhere, as Apple’s car project has been a shabby situation.

The company has replicated its car initiative, Changed my mind about my strategy And drove out a bunch of people. Apple went back and forth to try for completely driverless cars, and whether to manufacture the car or design the technology for it. Driverless technology Apparently back.

Never count Apple. But I wonder if the company’s dieting reflects inherent and unforgivable problems. And Apple has a cultural disadvantage here. Steve Jobs surprised and hoisted the iPhone around the world, but its prejudice to the company’s privacy and happiness is not or should not be on driverless cars.

Driverless cars have to be rigorously tested on public roads and win the trust of regulators and the public. Apple has to join an army of allies on its product road map – something it does not do to the same extent with its gadget partners. (Apple has done a driverless car road test, but much less than the others.)

I hope it works. but GM’s entire fleet may be electric Before Apple gets a single car off the factory floor.

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