“I am following the GPS”

imgresThere are so many things I love about the new economy.  One of the most amazing things is how so many people have been able to become their own bosses or make extra cash on the side.

Etsy was the start.  A marketplace of makers.  Some of these makers have created large businesses while others are just happy to make their wares and sell a few pieces here and there.  It is not only an outlet for creativity it is a place where you can build your own business.

Airbnb.  I never thought that people would be so hot to lease out their own homes for short term to strangers.  Talk about a discovery on consumer behavior that never existed before.  Anyone can make some side money leasing out their place to travelers.

Postmates.  On demand delivery of anything from your favorite spot.

The ultimate has been Uber.  There are many off-shoots of Uber including Lyft, Sidecar and even Hop Skip Drive.  They all make sense.  They are all filling voids in the market where there is a need for transportation.

The downside of Uber is the GPS systems.  Nobody seems to know where they are going.  In London you have to pass an exam to prove that you know the roads inside out.  Taxi drivers in NYC used to have to take a test too.  Now you can just hop in your car, register as an Uber driver and follow the GPS.  It is insanely frustrating.  Many, well most, of these drivers have zero idea where they are going.  You have to pay attention or you will end up sitting in traffic or taking twice as long to get there.

Not sure what the answer is but I know I pay more attention now when I get in an Uber.  If one more driver gets testy with me and says “I follow GPS” I might scream.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Geoff

    Maybe get them to use the Waze app πŸ™‚ so they have the GPS and the traffic hold ups. Although in NYC it’s probably all one big jam. πŸ™

    1. Gotham Gal

      All of them should be on Waze

      1. ErikSchwartz

        It seems like Waze data is now built into the android versions of google navigation.

  2. Brandon Burns

    “Airbnb. I never thought that people would be so hot to lease out their own homes for short term to strangers. Talk about a discovery on consumer behavior that never existed before.”Actually, what was smart was that this consumer behavior actually already existed — on Craigslist — and AirBnB saw that, made the experience better, safer, gave it more cachΓ© and, thus, made the behavior more popular.There are still so many behaviors on the web around which the experience could be upgraded and, in effect, sprout new, big businesses.

    1. Gotham Gal

      many to come!

      1. Brandon Burns

        You might even see one of these “making existing behavior better” products from me in the near future. πŸ˜‰

  3. William Mougayar

    Funny that without the smartphone and GPS, UBER wouldn’t exist, yet it’s an annoyance as you point out if the driver follows it blindly.

  4. ellen sing

    massachusetts is going to make it bit more difficult for uber drivers in the future. It took the bad behavior and raping of a passenger to start to make some regulations.Etsy is fantastic. My friend’s daughter quit her job and sells on etsy full time. I do not like their search engine though. has some bugs and makes me crazy.Some towns in Massachusetts are also trying to regulate airbnb. Some people have bought single family homes in residential neighborhoods for the soul purpose to rent them out on airbnb. Against the zoning laws in some areas. No one wants their neighbors’ home to be a mini motel.It is sad with every new and wonderful idea someone abuses the intent of that particular idea.

    1. Gotham Gal

      there is always an advantage taker.

  5. pointsnfigures

    Dabble.co is like that. (hate shorthand) but it’s an Etsy for people.

  6. BillMcNeely

    as an Uber driver you really have to use the GPS as a guide. An experience driver will be able to tell when it’s giving funky directions such as putting you a highway during rush hour.I used GPS during the initial Iraq invasion with a military map overlay and I can’t tell you how many times I avoided the bad areas of Baghdad knowing if I was going north or south.Personally I use Scout over Waze. Choice of 3 routes in addition to turning off the highway option and going back roads.