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May 16, 2014

3 Reasons @uber is Safer than Traditional Cabs

Filed under: Business,Economics,Politics,Technology & Internet — Chris Chaten @ 3:50 PM

Legislation designed to mandate old school taxi regulations on ridesharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Hailo passed the Illinois Senate. The bill, backed by the taxi lobby, is problematic in that it doesn’t acknowledge the notable safety improvements inherent in ridesharing.

3 Key Distinctions

1. Recorded Events
Taxi: Users hail a cab from the street. They get in a car with an anonymous driver and no record of the trip.

Ridesharing: User records the ride on a phone. The name of the driver is tracked, and there’s a digital record of a user entering the vehicle.

Outcome: There’s a much lower risk of a bad agent acting as a driver in ridesharing. If an event occurs, ridesharing companies know the driver, and the consumer can reference the trip history. In a cab, the user can be subjected to crime/abuse and have no record of who was driving the cab, or even that the trip occurred.

2. Stored Payments
Taxi: Payment method is variable. Drivers risk ‘walk outs’. Consumers risk broken/inoperable card machines / forgotten wallets, etc. Both parties have to wait to settle the transaction.

Ridesharing: Payment is guaranteed in advanced via stored credentials. Ride ends immediately at drop off with no delay.

Outcome: There’s no walk out risk, and a greatly reduced risk of payment related confrontations.

3. Call Ahead
Taxi: Calling a taxi service in urban environments is the execption. Typical use case is a street flag.

Ridesharing: Users ‘call ahead’ in 100% of instances.

Outcome: Users avoid standing next to traffic. Also, users don’t have to wait outside where risk of robbery and other crimes is real, esp. in underserved areas where ridesharing is overrepresented.


July 30, 2013

The Chipotle Proxy

Filed under: Business,Economics,Technology & Internet — Chris Chaten @ 3:45 PM

When traveling to a new city and looking to explore, I’ll often fire up Waze or Google Maps and search for Chipotle. This usually isn’t because I’m looking for Chipotle, but I’m confident in Chipotle’s real estate choices.

This is becoming less relevant as the business expands, but I’m almost never directed to someplace I shouldn’t really be.

The lesson here for product manager types is that just because Waze’s customer (me) is asking for something (Chipotle), it doesn’t mean that’s what I want exactly.  If I could ask the map to find a relatively cool but sufficiently gentrified place that’d be better.  Alas, that’s not a current feature.


September 4, 2012

NFL Sunday Ticket App Now Available on PS3 #gocolts

Filed under: Movies / TV / Media,Sports,Technology & Internet — Chris Chaten @ 7:45 AM

As they did last year, DirecTV is releasing an NFL Sunday Ticket app for the PS3 which provides live streaming of every out-of-market game and the Red Zone channel, which features scoring plays of all games.

It is available now, just in time for the start of the season.  The cost is $299, which is a $40 price cut from last year.


Go Colts!

August 16, 2012

Sony’s Shady Online Pricing #fakesales #sony

Filed under: Business,Marketing & Advertising,Technology & Internet — Chris Chaten @ 5:05 PM

Take a look at this screen shot taken on 8/16 of the Sony webstore for NEX series lenses:

I took the liberty of pointing out a few things that’d be easily overlooked by the casual user.  The lenses on the page all have the prices in grey crossed out and replaced by a large blue ‘bargain’ price.

This style is common on the web (and in brick-and-mortar) when the store wants to highlight a sale price.  It seems Sony liked the idea so much that they decided to do this with every price on their website, including, for some reason, when they have chosen to raise the price.

This doesn’t seem to be occurring on the entire site.  I’m hoping this is an honest glitch that automates style changes after price changes.  However, it seems very shady.


May 15, 2012

Stodgy is on #Huckberry

Filed under: Clothing,Marketing & Advertising,Technology & Internet — Chris Chaten @ 9:23 AM

Just a heads up for those of you looking into Stodgy – for the next week or so, Stodgy will be on the website Huckberry at some special prices. Check them out, buy a couple, and you’ll get a great price.