The Lede, Friday, May 4, 2018
By David Royse
Happy Friday. May the Fourth Be With You
In honor, check out this: there’s a company called Onnit that makes Star Wars themed workout equipment
Speaking of the cinema, the trailer just came out for the new Robin Hood movie coming out in the fall and I’m pretty stoked. Imagine if the medieval English had somehow learned how to fight with arrows from the guys in Chinese Kung Fu movies. Fantastic. Can’t wait.
This is the Uber of Newsletters
Did you know that a company tried to start the Uber of private airplanes? Basically, you’d look up a pilot who happened to be going your way, and hitch a ride for a small payment. The FAA shut them down – said, essentially, they were basically creating commercial flights.
There’s a proposal to change the common carrier law that could fix that. It’s mentioned in this opinion piece in Real Clear Policy, basically arguing ridesharing in planes should be legal.
That model envisions hitching a ride with small, general aviation pilots, guys who aren’t paid charter pilots.
The paid private charter jet model, of course, is allowed, and involves professional pilots and therefore a lot more cost. Incidentally, there’s an app for that, too. The private jet charter industry has an Uber-like app, thanks to a Russian University of Florida grad who saw an opportunity, and to rapper Jay Z who is a big investor in the company, called JetSmarter. More on that from CNBC
The Uber of Everything Else
More than 5 million truckers in China are using a “truck hailing” app that lets shippers find empty trucks nearby that could be hailed to haul a load. It’s called Manbang, and often also called the Uber of trucking. And it’s drawing some investment interest from some really big players, including SoftBank.
An Indian shipping company finally hit on what shippers should have figured out a long time ago – it can match ships up with senders via an Uber-like app. More from India’s Business Times.
All right, I know you may not believe me, but I HAD THIS IDEA about a year ago. This app is the “Uber of bathrooms.” (The way I got the idea is actually kind of funny, I think. I was walking into a public restroom and I actually saw a guy looking at his phone as he walked toward the same bathroom. When he got right in front of it, I heard his phone say, “You have arrived at your destination.” I thought, GENIUS!) So I guess the truth in bladder control is the same as in starting a company when you have an idea: You gotta go, or you miss your chance and it’s kind of uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, there’s also a company that wants to be the Uber of everything. It’s called Uber.
The Lyft of Ridesharing
So while everybody else is trying to Uberfy every industry, Uber’s competitor in its original business, ridesharing, is just out there being Lyft.
Oh, and it’s giving rides to the public now in driverless cars in Las Vegas.
Wait – What?!
There have been all these stories about how Uber and Lyft were working on driverless cars so that soon – but still one day in the future – they’d be sending a car with no driver to pick you up.
And while you were waiting, it started happening. Quietly (you know, what happens in Vegas…), and in a limited way, but it is happening. You can take a driverless Lyft from a few places in Vegas to a few other places.
I wonder if there’s an app where horse owners can say they’re going to have a horse in a race, and jockeys without a mount can check it every once in a while and hail a ride?
The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place tomorrow in my hometown of Louisville. The old home city isn’t exactly a giant in the tech world, but the city is trying. The ‘Ville is using mobile alerts to keep Derby-goers safer and more informed. More from StateTech
NOTES FROM THE AGE OF DISRUPTION:
Has quietly added a payments feature. Get ready to start buying things through Instagram. TechCrunch
Has hit an all-time high after announcement of Buffett buy-in. CNBC
Sees more to Amazon deal than junk in the trunk. Detroit News
New restaurant in Boston is staffed by robots. Engadget
Inspiration For Your Day
One story about triumph in the face of everything seeming to fall apart.
This former college basketball player had his dreams taken by a disease. But he’s doin’ all right.