TL:DR Uber will IPO and I will buy some stock once all the profit taking is done. This is not investment advice, and my personal view. It does not reflect the opinion of any company I may be affiliated with in the past or present.

Uber’s S1 was released recently. It’s a long  read, and most of the good stuff is buried in footnotes. I want to take a different perspective, and that perspective is one of a user who is been using Uber for thousands of trips for the last five years.

I started using Uber mostly when I would travel out of the city and found it way better than dealing with taxis.

Fast forward to today I don’t have a car, and Uber is my car. Because I don’t need to pay for parking or insurance or worry about oil changes and I have a driver, usually a water bottle and a charging cable that I can summon with the press of a button.

Uber is 10 times better than the typical taxi medallion service, if you don’t believe me take a trip to the city that is still resisting Uber.

I was once ejected by a taxi driver in London, because I was going to the Google office, and he said they work with Uber so I will not take you there. It was akward, but respect for his view to do something

Uber would have been well served to offer taxi drivers free programming lessons, as that would have done amazing for their PR efforts. They could have just raised another billion dollars 🤪

Just last month I paid €20 just to go 2km in Antwerp because it was late at night, cold and I didn’t have any other option but to walk with a suitcase.

Taxi guys in various cities have driven off with my phone, driven around a city in circles, charged higher fares, because its unlikely you will see them again

in comparison

I forgot a backpack with an iPad in the trunk of a Careem in Pakistan, and the captain (driver) found it for me, traced the last trip and came to meet me to return the backpack to me

In another instance, a french uber driver came back to return a hat my kid had dropped in the back of a van

Once I had to pay $200 to the last taxi cab in Vancouver airport after I landed at midnight, and realize that the airport closes at night, and there is no Uber there. And this guy reminded me at least 5x that he did me a huge favour

Today’s Uber primary product’s (everyone’s private driver) competitor is the car in our home. When my car renewal came up I did the math. Uber won, by a large margin. In my case, I travel often and have options to take public transit.

And there there is Uber Eats (which is great), and Ride scooters (which are fun) and quite awesome although I’m not certain about their future.

I think Uber is going to do well over the long term, and I’m not a stock market analyst and this is not investment advice. This is my view as a consumer of the product

From my perspective it’s a company that’s managed to disrupt my transportation modes, and that’s worth more than most car companies combined to me. Their current position is going to help them deliver self driving cards, food and pretty much anything else that needs to be moved around.

I’m going to be making a small investment in Uber sometime this year, when the market is done with all the short-term stuff (profit-taking from bankers, investors, employees etc), they’ve all waited long enough and I expect the stock to drop in the first 6-9 months of trading.

I didn’t invest in Lyft because I dont use their product, primarily because I dont need to use it. I downloaded their app at the height of the Travis K saga, and used it a few times but then went back to Uber after they dealt with the issue. Their new CEO seems like the sort of guy I’d like to go work for, which bodes well as I look at the future of the business.

Only one quick statistic, Uber has paid out $78 Billion to drivers since it started. Thats insane, and at bare minimum it has become a way for people to earn money from their time when they want. Which is another benefit. I’ve asked nearly every driver why they drive Uber vs. other gigs. The consolidated answer is ->

They provide me with extra money, and I can work whatever hours I want, whenever I want. All I have to do is push the driver button and I’m in business

The valuation of the shares today, is likely quite high but overall in the next 10 years Uber will be a great company that literally moves the world.

We’ll find out in ten years if that’s a good or a bad move.

disclaimer: this post is my personal view, and does not reflect the opinion of any any company I may be affiliated with in the past or present. It’s definitely not investment advice, please Do Your Own Research