Uber’s ‘Preposterous P.R. Stunt’ bigtechnology.com

Alex Kantrowitz:

Like every tech company, Uber is adjusting to the end of zero interest rate policy, and its focus on drivers is partially a result. When interest rates were near zero — and growth mattered more than margin — Uber could fix a subpar driving experience by luring drivers in with bonuses. In 2021, for instance, Uber announced a $250 million ‘stimulus’ to get more drivers on the road. But now, due to market conditions, the company has less cash to throw around. So it has to focus on whether drivers actually enjoy working with it.

[Dara] Khosrowshahi’s appearance in the Wall Street Journal therefore seemed to address two audiences. 1) Wall Street investors who worry Uber can’t attract drivers without cash bonuses. 2) Drivers who might drive more via a better product experience.

For some investors, the article landed with a thud. […]

Apparently, Khosrowshahi was paid about $24 million last year. You know, when he and other executives tried using the product from a driver’s perspective — that is to say, the perspective of the people who make Uber a functional service.