• I was an undercover Uber driver
    What is it really like to be an Uber driver? Doesn’t sound so luxurious or much different than a normal taxi driver…

    If there’s a $10 ride, $1 Uber will keep it, for insurance or safety or whatever they want to call it. [This dollar is technically called the “safe rides fee,” but yeah.] And then from $9, they will take 20 percent, that would be $1.80. So after, the driver will take home $7.20.

    If they cut the rate in half, the same ride is now $5. Just example, OK? So Uber takes $1, and then out of $4, Uber takes 80 cents, so the driver will make $3.20. And if the demand is double, then another driver will also make $3.20. So the total driver pay is $6.40 vs. $7.20 before, but customer paid same $10 — means Uber’s taking extra money.

  • Elon Musk’s Space Dream Almost Killed Tesla
    In the late 00s, Several of Elon Musk’s businesses including Tesla and SpaceX were on the brink…of bankruptcy. Here’s a look from the SpaceX angle before he found success.

    Currently, SpaceX sends up about one rocket a month, carrying satellites for companies and nations. The company can undercut its U.S. competitors—Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences—on price by a wide margin. It also offers U.S. customers a peace of mind that its rivals can’t. Where competitors rely on Russian and other foreign suppliers, SpaceX makes its machines from scratch in the U.S. Its $60 million per launch cost is much less than what Europe and Japan charge and trumps even the relative bargains offered by the Russians and Chinese, who have the added benefit of cheap labor and decades of government investment.

  • Poor Little Rich Women
    This excerpt from a new book about the wives of wealthy Upper East Side residents has a tantalizing tidbit about so-called “wife bonuses”. I bet the rest of the book is nowhere near as controversial, but this teaser does pique my interest to read it.

    And then there were the wife bonuses.

    I was thunderstruck when I heard mention of a “bonus” over coffee. Later I overheard someone who didn’t work say she would buy a table at an event once her bonus was set. A woman with a business degree but no job mentioned waiting for her “year-end” to shop for clothing. Further probing revealed that the annual wife bonus was not an uncommon practice in this tribe.

  • How Shrek went from the world’s biggest animated franchise to the internet’s creepiest meme
    I thought the first Shrek was pretty good but then it dropped off the radar for me. Who knew it has spawned a bunch of sequels and aged quite poorly? I guess at some point I’ll have to watch it again and see if the jokes are corny now and whether the references are all dated.

    Chris Farley’s Shrek centered on a teenaged ogre who wanted to be a knight, opposite a sarcastic princess voiced by Janeane Garofalo. But Myers wanted to make Shrek his own, insisting on a total script rewrite before he joined the project. After recording his Shrek in a version of his normal speaking voice, Myers was struck with inspiration: Shrek should have a Scottish accent. Per his wishes, all of his dialogue was re-recorded in the Scottish brogue — an 11th-hour change that multiple sources claim cost the project at least $4 million. (Myers disputes the figure.)

  • “What’s one thing you’ve learned at Harvard Business School that blew your mind?”
    I approached this article thinking it would be a dud but it was actually quite interesting, including this theory which I’ve seen applied by the Dragons on Dragon’s Den

    There are two primary types of pricing: Cost-Based and Value-Based. In Cost Based pricing, you figure out how much it costs you to provide a service. Then you add a mark up and use that price to sell to the customer.

    The idea behind value pricing is that there’s actually a much wider wedge between the two things:

    First, there’s the amount your Product costs to make.
    Then, there’s the amount your Product saves the other company (or how much more it allows them to sell — but basically the financial impact giving your product has).

    You should charge somewhere between those two points.