Taxi !!!!!!

To pick a random topic.

Before we get into it … last week was the second part of the ‘skills’ topic which resulted in an email to me …

“You can be all those things, John, but you better be some of the ‘old fashioned’ things like hard-working, driven, results-oriented and relentlessly customer-focused. A lot of these future/current attributes are the ‘how’ part. The ‘what’ part will always be there.”

Couldn't agree more … all of this is additive to what we already know is essential to a successful career.

Photo: Atharva Whaval on Unsplash

And so to where it all started … Jobs. (And yes - it’s going to be more than jobs - but I’ll get into that in a later issue.) Here’s my worry … most people predict what the job market is going to look like in ‘the future’ and then drop the ball … all over the field.

When ‘they’ talk about the jobs that are going …

  1. Existing jobs are constantly reduced to transactions.

  2. No allowance is made for how the world is changing.
    - Let alone the world around that job.

  3. No thought as to whether society will allow the job to go away.

  4. The focus is usually about countries in ‘The West’.

  5. That all said … some jobs should go


As for ‘jobs arriving’ …

  1. The identified jobs of the future are so specific in nature that you wonder how many of them there will be.

  2. How confident are we that our cultures will allow the job to be introduced. (Organ harvesters anyone?)

  3. Some new jobs will be deemed essential to help society adapt to new tech.

Take Taxis

If your view of a taxi driver is someone who drives you from A to B - that job is certainly in danger. But not dead. To borrow a Mike Maples concept, the Taxi industry will need to pivot. In fact, it has already started.

Bottom line, despite the fact that in the past 7 years we have been taught to think of a taxi as something on the other side of an app … and cheaper than those guys without one … not every traveller wants a faceless, expressionless driver with no personality who doesn’t know where they are going (and yes - there are exceptions).

If travellers stopped to think about it, even though they seem to be paying less, they probably don’t think about the effect of the wealth extraction play that is going on. In round terms, wherever you are in the world $3 of every $10 that you spend with that service is going back to a corporation on the other side of the world. With a local taxi, 100% of that money stays circulating in your community! And when the cars become self-driving - it will get worse … because there won’t be a driver to pay locally. I won’t even get into everything else that is wrong with this ‘solution’. (Important - it gets worse when you call one of those global delivery companies to deliver your Pizza.)

So let’s get to it, if you thought about the taxi industry in relation to the world’s trajectory and stop throwing your arms up in the air saying taxi driving is dead - the future is coding … what could we come up with? Caveat - how these kinds of roles play out, is dependant on how our future develops, and that we don’t know.


On the other side of COVID, with vaccination and everything ‘back to normal’ (it won’t be), consider this;

We are already seeing large percentages of the population enjoying the idea of working from home. If you are working from home, then you don’t need a car to commute. If you aren’t commuting, do you need a car? Maybe you do - but do you need the second? Take the total cost of owning your own car and work out how many taxi rides and car hires you could do. It might be worth it. And if that occurs in large numbers - taxis are in for a growth period. I mean - they are so convenient and while public transport is great - when it exists - you still have to get to that pick-up point.

That’s just one attribute. Now think about shopping. Now consider drinking and driving and the effect that is already apparent to Restaurants and Bars. Start ramping that effect up as cannabis gets legalized. If not already, it will be added to the list of substances that you can’t use and then drive. So why drive at all? And if you aren’t driving to work, the store or the bar/restaurant - even more reason not to have a car - and more requirement for someone/thing else to do that for you.

So What Are The Job / Business Opportunities around Taxis?

First job; open your mind and extend the business model.

Immediate thoughts;

  • What about real ride-sharing. (That might have to be a separate newsletter, but to remind we still don’t have a ‘sharing economy’, it remains a ‘shareholders economy’.

  • Stop thinking that a taxi is about moving people and know that it is also about moving packages … and food. (I’m not crazy - why else did Uber Eats spend $2.65Bn to acquire Postmates?)

  • When booked, why not offer the ride with - or without - the driver?

  • Why are taxis just short term, single journey, why not long term, multiple journies?

Some might say but this takes you into the realm of ‘car rental’, which is not the same as a taxi at all. To which I answer … really? Why? As an organization like Hertz files for bankruptcy and lets 16,000 staff go, while the CEO pockets over $9 Million - is that not an opportunity to change the focus of your business?

Solve the problem I have, don’t sell me the solution you have.

  • Don’t limit the business to just people - add in food and packages. (Yes - I know that Uber Eats et al are doing this … why aren’t local companies?)

  • Localized app-specific services.
    (book your car - and your guide/valet at the same time.)

  • Cab Cooperatives.
    (providing Uber-like service at a local level, but
    - ‘community support’ built-in and
    - keeps ‘the money’ local)
    - a great example in Austin, Texas.

  • Connect your car with local businesses.
    (loosely connected partnerships; bars, restaurants, doctors, spas ….)

  • Offer a local rideshare business - why are they only available to airports?

  • Keep in mind that the difference between car rental and taxi is who’s driving.

  • Most industries are bifurcating into high end and low end … as the ‘pile-em-high-sell-it-cheap’ model works at one end of the spectrum, so too the luxury high-end experiential market works. The taxi industry is no different.

And then as self-driving vehicles begin to appear

  • offer ‘ride-along’ guides and valets
    (yes - I want a human to entertain me)

  • last-yard delivery
    (the cars might be autonomous, but how are the packages and food getting in and out of the car?)

So - what do you think? Sticking with ‘Taxis’, what other related jobs could emerge in the future?

That’s it for this week - and just to add - a warm welcome to all the new readers that have joined our journey this past week.

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