Aug 20, 2019 Apple's Goldman Sachs credit card is now available for all (iPhone-owning) Americans Read More "Hover"... That's the non-swipe verb Apple envisions you motioning with your new Apple Card, the digital-native payment method it announced in May last year. Welp, it's finally available to all (in the US), and you apply through the Wallet app on the iPhone. If you're approved, you get:
Hoverability: Apple Card's natural habitat is Apple Pay, the contactless payment method built into the Apple Wallet app.
Privacy: The card doesn't even have a number. It's witness protection program approved, and totally encrypted, generating a new digital number with every transaction.
Rando coolness: When you first get your card, it exists on your phone in a blank-slate white hue. Then it changes color based on what you buy (restaurants = orange).
3 is for me... People ❤️ points. So Apple's giving you 3% cash back when you make Apple purchases or pay for an Uber. If you pay through Apple Pay on your iPhone, you get 2% cash back. But there's also a physical brag-worthy titanium card — Apple only gives 1% cash back when you pay non-digitally. It's subtly incentivizing iPhone-dependency via points.The Takeaway:Apple Card is access to iPhone Nation... CEO Tim Cook wants Apple Card to become a status symbol. He knows that, and is offering up membership to what we're calling "the 3% Club": merchants that will offer Apple Carders 3% cash back. Here's why we expect more companies to ask Apple to join the deal and exclusively accept Apple Card:
What merchants pay: That cash back you get comes from somewhere — the store pays it.
What merchants get: The loyalty from iPhone Nation — if you get 3% off every Uber ride, are you really gonna take Lyft?
Aug 7, 2019 Lyft shares jumped, but 2 other stories revealed its "de-wokeing" Read More "Use code EARNINGS to get 15% off your 1st ride"... Lyft jumped on word that revenues surged 72% to a new record high. But because those discount codes it dishes out to drive growth are getting expensive, we noticed its growing loss.
Last year’s 2nd quarter = Lyft lost $179M
This year’s 2nd quarter = Lyft lost $644M
The good news: That loss was huge, but Lyft thinks 2019 is its "peak loss" year — losses will shrink from here on out (and hopefully/eventually become profits).
But then we noticed 2 other stories... and both looked less good on Lyft. Together, they highlight a couple major issues that de-woke Lyft's previous wokeness.
It's not handling harassment well: If a driver bothers you, Uber's got a panic button that takes just 1 click to report – The Washington Post notes that it takes a bunch of clicks to reach Lyft's safety team (and their responses haven't been satisfactory).
Congestion — it's a problem: Uber and Lyft commissioned their own report on traffic. Turns out a whopping 14% of vehicle miles traveled in San Francisco are ride-hails — and ~40% of driver time overall is spent cruising around without riders.The Takeaway:Lyft had one advantage over Uber... Reputation. Uber owns more of the ride share market, offers more services (like Uber Eats), and has more big bets (like UberFreight). Lyft had a #DeleteUber reputation advantage that helped it gain market share last year. It can't afford to waste that. Jul 23, 2019 Uber launches a membership service fueled by its core advantage over Lyft Read More Hungry and lazy?... There's an app for that. Uber is piloting a membership service in San Francisco and Chicago. For $24.99 a month, users will get a fixed discount on each Uber ride, free delivery on Uber Eats, and 30 minutes of JUMP bike-share and scooter rides per day for free.
Variety gets 5 stars... Technically, Lyft has a monthly subscription too (an unlimited pass called "All Access"). But Uber's competitive advantage is all the logistics options for a variety of daily needs packed into one monthly charge. Lyft doesn't have that. Need to drive far? Uber's membership covers it. Just need to scoot around the corner? It's covered. Want a gyro STAT? All included.The Takeaway:"Prime-ification" is happening... Amazon brought the club concept to a mass audience with $119/year (or $12.99/month) Prime. Uber's pulling the same move because it knows that once you commit, you're a sticky customer. Already paid the month's Uber membership fee? You won't even open Lyft (unless Uber's surge pricing is crazy). Membership programs thrive on that guilt — and the recurring, consistent revenue they drive may get more business models Prime-ifying.
PS: What will get "Prime-ified" next? Tweet your guess @RobinhoodSnacks. Jul 17, 2019 Domino's earnings reveal cracks in its delivery dominance Read More Emphasis on the "no's"... Shares of Michigan-based Domino's (mozzarella is stretchier in the Midwest) fell 9% on word that sales growth slowed to just 3% for restaurants in the US (it was even worse internationally). Domino's tech-savviness helped it get pizza to people faster and shot the stock up over 3,300% in just 10 years. But now new technology is attacking it.
"Aggressive activity from 3rd-party delivery aggregators"... The Domino's CEO gave DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and GrubHub the Voldemort treatment — He dropped "3rd-party aggregators" 19 times in the earnings call with analysts yesterday. Instead of even mentioning the Big Four food delivery apps, he bemoaned the promotions they're all giving away to entice orders.
The Big Four have democratized access to delivery from McDonald's to Chipotle to Sweetgreen to Shake Shack to a bodega.
Domino's is trying to be more like the Silicon Valley darlings — it just added "track my pizza" with GPS.
The Takeaway:Domino's isn't a pizza company — it's a delivery company... And the delivery competition is on its A-game. In the past, we were typically limited to pizza or Chinese when it came to staying in and ordering delivery. Now, the Big Four delivery apps have deconstructed that, and Domino's faces delivery competition from any place with a stove and plastic to-go containers. May 22, 2019 A leak just revealed "Uber Eats Pass" (aka unlimited free delivery) Read More Sauce on the side... forever. Turns out Uber's food delivery app wants a seat at the subscription table — Uber Eats is working on unlimited food delivery for $9.99 a month. “Uber Eats Pass” will waive the typically 15% delivery fee on your evening enchilada ritual, but still require that order minimum. And Uber Eats already cooks up good numbers:
It makes up 13% of Uber's total revenues (according to the IPO paperwork).
And while ride-hailing revenue grew 33% for Uber last year, Eats surged 149%.
Now Uber Eats is the biggest food deliverer on Earth outside of China.
One thing tastes better than this story... It's how it went down. Jane Manchun Wong is a “reverse-engineering specialist”: She looks through code hidden in apps, puts two-and-two together, then tips off TechCrunch with a juicy story. She discovered not-yet-announced images for "free delivery" and the other deets that make up this story.The Takeaway:Subscriptions are all about “guilt” loyalty... Competitors DoorDash and Postmates already have the same monthly commitment passes. But if you're an Uber Eats Pass-er, you'd hate yourself wasting money on delivery fees with other apps. Loyalty leads to habits — And once Uber Eats enables your Monday maki roll routine, Uber could raise prices in the future.