Uber's everything-app makeover

Monday, September 30, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Engineering eye for the app guy

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
26,820 (-0.43%)
S&P 500
2,962 (-1.00%)
7,939 (-2.19%)
$8,033 (-20.09%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

Too early to consider Taco Bell Halloween costumes?

While the UN met in New York and impeachment chatter hit DC, markets dipped for the final full week of September — It's political uncertainty season.

1. Uber unveils an app merge/facelift at a crucial moment

Nice job avoiding the cliche "Amazon of (blank)"... Uber announced changes to its app on Thursday — it's all designed to make the mobility company the "operating system for your everyday life." Sound fancy. Here's what you'll see when you open the new app:

  • Food and rides now get equal treatment: Right away you have to select "Get a ride" or "Order food." Less thinking. The Uber Eats bachelor era as an independent app is over.
  • Safety. Safety. Safety: Uber's adding features to help you and your driver verify it's really Jesse behind the wheel. It'll also let you report problems mid-ride, not just after.
  • 2 wheels, 4 wheels, 8 wheels: Continuing Uber's inclusive fairness, it's more clearly featuring scooters and bikes, and nudging you to take buses or subway when it makes sense. San Francisco, Mexico City, and Paris get a new transit feature.

1-Star. From everyone... Uber's facing hate from Wall Street, regulators, and politicians. So it's also making some friendly non-design moves, like adding allergy-friendly filters to food delivery in case the gluten in that pad thai will ruin your night. It's also helping drivers honestly estimate how much money they'll make because knowing that's kinda important.


Silicon Valley needs a win... Uber's stock price is down to $30, way below the $45 it IPO'd at (which was already underwhelming). Many of its 2019 tech IPO classmates are also unprofitable and also down:

  • SmileDirectClub, Lyft, Slack — all dropped since their IPOs
  • Even Peloton fell 12% in its 1st 2 days on public markets (listen to our 15-minute IPO-day interview with the COO of Peloton here).
  • WeWork and talent agency Endeavor have both postponed/canceled their IPOs.
  • Uber's the valedictorian of this class, hoping to lead by example.

You workout?... Nike shares hit an all-time high after a cinderella story earnings report with a come-from-behind story: Nike is beating the trade war. A quarter of Nike goods are made in China and a sixth of them are sold there. Even though its biz was tossed in the middle of the trade war, its overall profit surged 25% last quarter. Buckets.

Amazon pulled an Oprah... dishing out new gear at its Apple-ish new product event. The theme was sticking Alexa voice-activation everywhere so that you're always Amazon-connected. Echo Studio ($200 smart speakers), in-car Alexa (with Samuel L. Jackson voice option) via General Motors, Echo Buds (AirPods knockoffs), Echo Frames (smart glasses), Echo Loop (smart ring). Check out this "ranking by creepiness."


The Cuba Treatment... According to Bloomberg, President Trump wants to dish it out to Chinese stocks: The idea is to limit Chinese companies from listing their shares on US stock markets. That would basically cut off American $$$ from Chinese firms. It's why investors sold off Alibaba (the Amazon of China), Luckin Coffee (Starbucks of China), and Baidu (Google of China), and Tencent (everything-tech-ish of China) before the weekend.

Update the LinkedIn profiles... 3 major business chiefs ducked out last week.

  • WeWork's Adam Neumann was replaced by co-CEOs after a WSJ report that he smoked weed on private planes and wanted to live forever (didn't help the IPO plans).
  • Juul's CEO Kevin Burns quit cold turkey as concerns about teen vaping and vaping-related deaths led more states to consider/implement e-cigarette restrictions.
  • eBay CEO Devin Wenig departed since he and the board aren't on the same page about how to make money off the website you don't use anymore.
What else we’re Snackin’
  • Work: "HIPOs" (high potential employees) — 4 signs your company thinks you're one of the few
  • Life: 24 email sign-offs to avoid — and what to use every time (with regards, your Snacks team)
  • Money: 4 financial goals for the final 100 days of 2019
  • Venture: WeWork is using Co-CEOs since its single CEO stepped down last week — here are 6 Co-CEO'd companies
  • Crypto: Pizza to jewelry to space tourism — retailers that actually accept cryptocurrencies today
Snacks Daily Podcast
  • Talent agency Endeavor was supposed to IPO last week. Then it canceled the day before. We look at why.
  • AT&T wants to end its NFL Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV — even though the program is a loyalty leader
  • And Rent The Runway isn't taking new customers until mid-October — blame a major software issue that the IT guy can't fix
This Week

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own stock of Luckin Coffee, Alibaba, and Amazon.

ID: 966642

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