Anyone in the ICT startup industry can agree on that a Me-too startup sucks. Either your a really early into a segment/vertical/functionality or you are the best, even better if you are both. The "Me-too's" are just trying to become valid for a) investments b) acquisitions c)exits d)mediapromotions and that is just... bad.
I've met so many startups the last couple of years that is into ride sharing. Haven't they done their homework? Can there be +3 in every country? How to stick out in a jungle of choices?
Then I got this new info that Ants is out there. Well that wouldn't be the first time my name is on the agenda but this time it's bad, really bad. Because it's a ride sharing service app provider. I don't like.
Because they are using my name on something anyone can do.
I don't like.
So let us get down on this one; what is ride sharing about?
It's about hooking up with people that needs to fill the seats in their car to cut costs of driving and that is neat.
But it's very difficult to do in a competent way. You need to mix both social with smartphone reach (ie folks need to have the app and on) and intelligent algorithms to calculate who can benefit the most from getting into a ride that might just be a fraction of a ride for the driver and then calculate the cost and bill it instantly to the passenger while riding plus that you need to have ratings on the driver (don't want to dwell on that subject as I suck as a driver..) and mix that into a seamless service. I don't think that 9 out of 10 in this niche is good at that package.
That is fouling everything and it means that the whole idea of ride share gets into problem. It's not simple to repair damage done after using a service that has stood you up, raped you or even worse...
So let's pretend that it is a perfect world.
Then this would be assured by authorities so that we have legal protection and quality assurance, insurances and lot's of examples on how good it is. Lord and behold, I'm advocating a public service!
I've been against public services since... well a long time. We even founded a political party on the matter (the June List if anyone remembers) and it's against my whole body that I admit that a public service can bring safety to this shitty industry of hooking drivers and passengers up.
The big reason to all of this is the price of fuel that is based on political incompetence and market domination by the oil industry which have created an enormous pressure on the consumers that still needs to drive to work or elsewhere because the imbalance between taxation for environment (not really) and the big shift that needs to come someday (far away).
But it feels like the only way to do it because now it's a jungle and jungles tend to kill people. Which I find unnecessary for traveling from A to B.
So kill the Ants;) and the other sucky ones by making the best of the breed the EU approved service for ride sharing and make it fast otherwise it will be proven by death statistics that this wasn't a good industry segment.
Btw, my favorite team is Flinc:-