Quantum Taxi Service
While gassing up my car I met a fellow gasser next to me who turned out to be a clever entrepreneur who was so proud of his innovation that he revealed his discovery to me. He gave me permissionto write about his “secret sauce” but would not let me take his picture or give his name. He did give me his story.
I noticed that he had a brand new shiny white sedan with the Lyft logo on it and asked how he liked working in the shared economy as a Lyft driver. He said it was great; worked for himself, set his own hours, made decent money, and Lyft allows drivers to receive tips. “How about competition from Uber,” I asked. He replied casually that he got their fares as well and I asked how that worked. He pointed inside his car at two apps on his dash board-one for Lyft and one for Uber. His car shows up on customer smart phones for both.
I said, “You are the ‘quantum taxi-on-demand,’ dude. You can be two things (or more) at the same time to double (or more) your chances of getting a fare! What inspired that idea?”
“Necessity and recognizing the truth makes it happen, man. After working for 15 years as a senior security guard for Johns Hopkins, they decided to increase their dependence on technology and fired me a result; I have been working for myself since then.
“When you get paid to work for others you sell your soul; that’s the way it is man, no matter the pay. Once you taste the fruits of self employment you don’t go back. People complain too much. If you were scratching for food and water to stay alive – then you would have something to complain about.”
“Before Uber and Lyft, I organized and produced music and entertainment events, and still do. They are seasonal though. When the “Ubers” came along I figured how it really worked and made it work for me. I understood apps and already knew Baltimore and its transportation patterns cold. Then Lyft financed my new car so it was a cinch idea.”
This is an example of a beneficial (for this mystery entrepreneur) unintended consequence of the digital drift towards a Frictionless Society.