Summer time means: Backyard barbecues, hitting the beach, lazy afternoons that stretch into lazy summer evenings, concerts in the park. A lot of us are out and about. That's why summer is a great time to become an Uber driver. You have record numbers of folks getting out there having fun - give them a hand getting where they're going.
Use your car to make extra cash, and enjoy your summer even more! Head over to
my signup page here,
Sign up and start cashing in. Have a great summer! And a profitable one!
I’ve been involved in rideshare driving since the first days of Sidecar back in the summer of 2012. Since then, I've worked for Lyft, Uber X, UberSUV, delivered food for Caviar, did errands for Exec, and worked with at least twenty other startups and established companies as well as starting my own limo service. I guess 4 years of this makes me an old timer but I've always found a way to make it work! I actually drove a cab for a few months before all that, so it really seems like I've done it all.
About 2 years ago I wrote an article on The Rideshare Guy about going from a low paid cab driver to making $10,000 a month as a high paid UberSUV driver, which a lot of readers were interested in at the time. A recent commenter on that article asked Harry what I’d been up to since then. And Harry asked me to elaborate so here I am and here's what I've been up to over the past two years.
Thuan Pham, Chief Technology Officer at Uber Technologies, Inc.
It was in 1979 that Thuan Pham left on a refugee boat from Vietnam, a country torn by a two-decade long war. On the 60-meter boat were 10-year old Thuan, his mother, a young brother, and about 370 other people, with no life jackets.
When they landed in Malaysia, Thuan and his family were rejected as refugees. Unwilling to go back to war-ravaged Vietnam, Thuan’s mother decided to take her two kids on another boat, to the island of Letung in Indonesia, where they spent 10 months.
The young Thuan used to swim to the nearby town to buy candies. His mother would then sell those candies in the refugee colony to earn bread for her kids.
VUNG TAU , VIETNAM – APRIL,1975: Refugees from north of Saigon, pour ashore from navy barges at Vung Tau, south of Saigon.
“We used to make 10 cents of profit a day, and that would be a luxury. We could buy fresh fish,” recalls Thuan, who is now the chief technology officer of Uber. We met in Delhi, where he was meeting entrepreneurs as part of an UberExchange program.
Going back to the story of how he made it out of Vietnam, Thuan says there was just a 50:50 chance of survival in those boat journeys across oceans. During the journeys, Thuan and his family were pirated twice.
“We would not panic. In fact we would be calm and surrender ourselves. That’s the way a startup journey is. Even if you lose all one day, you can build all over again if you retain your calm.”
Playing with bullet shells during warThuan says his life spent as a kid in Saigon erased his fear of death and he takes everything, which includes building Uber, as a learning experience. “We would close our windows and spend nights, under a table, whenever there was an air raid.” In the sunny mornings, Thuan and other kids would go out and play with hundreds of bullet shells, exchanged during the night.
“It taught me that life is ephemeral. I advise young entrepreneurs to treat their startups as a learning experience. Even if it all fails you can rebuild it again. You’re in a free world,” he adds.
Even if you lose all one day, you can build all over again if you retain your calm.From Indonesia, Thuan’s mother applied for asylum in the US. The family’s application was approved and they landed in Maryland, where his mother worked as a ledger keeper at a gas station during day. In evening, she would work as a grocery packer at a supermarket.
Thuan was enrolled in a school. On weekends he would work at a car wash station. “I strongly encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to educate themselves, even if they don’t wish to graduate. College education opens doors for you,” he says.
Women and children crouch in a muddy canal as they take cover from intense Viet Cong fire, about 20 miles west of Saigon, during Vietnam war. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
Thuan was admitted to a bachelor’s program of computer science at MIT in 1986, and graduated in 1991, when the internet was just emerging. From MIT, the boy from Vietnam went on to work at HP Labs, Silicon Graphics, DoubleClick, and VMWare. He joined Uber in 2013, when the company was present in 60 cities and employed about 200 people. Now, its present in about 400 cities.
“I am against spending precious years of your life doing a PhD, unless it contributes something to human lives. Instead building a startup can add value,” he says.
Thuan’s father, a soldier turned teacher in Saigon, had stayed back in the country. Thuan could meet him only after a decade when he completed his education, and became a legalised citizen.
When Uber crashed across the worldIn its early days, Thuan has seen the Uber app crash multiple times just because of a coding error by a single engineer or a bug in a single machine. “Now we don’t crash, because we have done that in our early journey. Entrepreneurs should fail fast in the early days.”
At Uber, Thuan has rebuilt its architecture in such a way, that even if something goes down somewhere, the platform will still run.
The Uber CTO is introducing a hybrid scalability model for the taxi app company. Uber is building its own server farms as well as relying on third party vendors such as Amazon Web Services to manage the load.
For some countries such as China, the requests are bounced off local servers, which makes the app more responsive.
Solving a planet level problem at UberUber this week launched a technology center in Bangalore. It aims to solve India-specific problems such as correct location mapping, cash payments, and making the app work on low bandwidth.
The company is also adapting to introduce new services such as UberEat.
Uber is thinking at a mega scale. “We envisage a platform for on-demand consumption at the planet scale. It excites me to build a platform that can bring anything to you within minutes,” he says.
Tips for startup entrepreneursDuring his India visit this week, Thuan Pham also took time to mentor a few startups as part of an UberExchange program.
Here are some tips from him for entrepreneurs:
With recent fare cuts across the board many drivers have been bemoaning their relationship with Uber. However, at least one driver, Aaron (not his real name), seems to be doing better than ever.
Aaron is a hustler. Like I've mentioned many, many times in the past, being a hustler with some business savvy is really what it's going to take to earn well doing rideshare / limo work.
One thing about Aaron I think you should know. He's not on Uber Black, like I am. Over the last year to year and a half, Uber has rolled out newer program called Uber Select. That's the product that Aaron drives for. You don't need a limo license to get on Uber Select. And as far as I know, Uber Select is open to all comers, unlike Black/SUV.
Uber Select is a mid level product, priced between Uber X and Uber Black. Not all cities have it, but more are adding it all of the time. My city, San Francisco, just added it a few months ago. Uber Select cars are newer, upscale luxury vehicles. We are talking, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes, Lexus, Lincoln, Infinity, etc. As a driver you'll need a rating of at least 4.7, and to have completed 50 trips. A complete, current list of the requirements and rates for Uber Select (for San Francisco) can be found here. The requirements and rates will differ for different cities. In San Francisco, the rate is $2.75 per mile. That's a pretty decent rate, especially if you work hard and stay hungry.
Chrylser 300, An Uber Select Qualified Vehicle
So, the reason I'm impressed with Aaron is that he "gets" it. I like to see someone succeed, so that's why I'm profiling him today.
I don't know a whole lot about him, but this I can tell you a couple of things I know for sure, from posts I've read from him on his Facebook Driver's Group.
Aaron has a good attitude
Aaron is customer service centric
He finds driving strategies that work for him
He rises very early and attacks the day head on
Aaron sets goals, puts in his time and works hard
Aaron profits from "inefficiencies" in the market
Frequenting the various rider boards as I do, I have taken note of Aaron's posts for many months, perhaps even a couple of years. He's got a great attitude, which, I believe is an absolute must in this business. You have to make your own breaks. But if you're willing, Uber has a business model that supports you.
Aaron is up well before the sun and is on the road at 4. That's 4 a.m. Now, from my experience, some of my riders still consider this night time. Oh well! So be it. This is my strategy as well. A 30 year cab driver, who owned his own company, and was pretty successful once told me, "You make your money in the morning". I never forgot that. It only makes sense. This is when you have your highest concentration of airports. This is when you have your highest concentration of long commutes. Once the day is in full swing, at about 10:30 am, people are essentially where they are going to be for the day. The short hops take over. If you get up early, you will always do better. Now if you work nights, it can be busy, especially on weekends, but you have the whole alcohol thing to deal with, and that makes life so much more difficult. If you are an early riser, you'll deal mainly with upscale business travelers, commuters, etc, who don't cancel on you, won't make a mess in your car, and won't stink up the joint with alcohol, cigarettes and perfume, or worse. Believe, me, it's so much easier.
Aaron is a smart worker. He's figured a lot of things out. For example, to constantly use the passenger app to locate other vehicles, and move away from them and work the perimeters of the territory so that his request radius widens. Think about that strategy. It's so simple but so effective.
To start your application with Uber, click the "Partner With Uber Now" button above.
Aaron had a good week this week. He got up early Monday morning, set a goal of $400 a day, and nailed it. He put in some long days, but now he'll rest up and relax all weekend, go out and recreate, and enjoy life. Isn't that what life's supposed to be about? Aaron works for himself, and works how and when he pleases. He meets interesting people all day long, and has the self respect and confidence that being a successful small business owner provides. I believe, and have always believed, that Uber gives a hustler one of the best earning opportunities around. All you have to do is want it. They provide the clients. Check out Uber. Many cities still offer signing bonuses of $300 to $500, once you complete 30 trips.
Go to the Blue Button and sign up right now. Once you're in the system, there are other ways to earn, including new driver and new passenger referrals. Check it out:
All right then. So you're a driver. Doesn't matter if you drive for Lyft, X, Black, SUV, a limo company or a cab company. Or all of the above. If you drive, you've got a big problem. And that's that you sit too much, and probably don't eat right. Pizza on the run. A burger at the drive through. Whatever. So what happened this year? Put on a few more pounds? I thought so.
Well, there's an app for that. But that doesn't matter. Because apps don't burn fat. And neither do New Year's resolutions. This year, you say, I'll get a Fit Bit. Tech will solve this problem. This year, you say, I'll join my local gym and things are going to change! Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not, unless you have The Secret Weapon. More about that in a bit.
Gym owners love this time of year. They sign up a lot of new members, way more people than they actually have room for. And the gym does get busy in January. You might even have to wait for equipment. But come the end of February, there won't be any waiting, because almost everybody that signed up in January will be long gone. They'll still pay their bill for a few months more. And that's because they tell themselves: "I'm going back, as soon as I get time."
Right. Sure, you will.
It's human nature to want to desire better things for yourself. Human nature to want to look sexy for the ladies. Much harder is actually doing it. So, you need that secret weapon. The kind that destroys all the excuses, that provides the time needed to work out and eat right. This secret weapon is so secret that no one can see it, touch it, taste or smell it. Why? Cause it's 100% inside your brain - and your body. I'll call it by it's name: Passion.
If you want to lose fat and build muscle, you're going to have to grab hold of some passion.
If you want to look better in your clothing and have a lot more energy for everything, you are going to have to harness the power of excitement and enthusiasm.
You are going to have to get stoked, my man.
So, how to do it? Well, it's very easy. Nike told you. Just do it! Tell yourself how stoked you are right now about integrating gym workouts, ultimate frisbee games, dancing, hiking, mountain biking, and weight lifting into your life. And you know why you can? Because you are a driver that makes his own schedule. Hell, if you can't do it, nobody can!
Tell yourself how stoked and pumped you are about drinking a lot more water, and eating healthy meals like big salads with lots of raw fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts. These raw fats will make you feel full, while helping to burn fat in your midsections and throughout your entire body.
Remind yourself how proud you'll be of yourself and how confident you'll be when you reach your target weight or your target muscle mass. When those love handles disappear. When those abs start to show up again. When you have energy to spare.
But you need, passion, guys. All the good intentions in the world aren't going to get you there.
You need to get stoked, pumped, jumped and ready to rocket.
And one of the best tools in your arsenal will be a daily log of your activity and food intake.
With that log, you'll see in black and white the facts of your life. You'll see if you worked out or not. You'll see if you ate junk or healthy. You'll track trends. It's invaluable. And as soon as you see yourself getting off track, that's the signal to get back on. Simple.
Back to the secret weapon, and why it will blow away every other method. Passion.
Let's look at some definitions:
Ardent love or affection
Intense sexual love
A strong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc: A passion for poetry
Let's take a little bit closer look at these three:
Ardent love or affection. We all know that one, right? You feel, or felt that way about your girlfriend or wife. But do you feel that way about yourself right now? Getting in shape is a powerful form of self love and affection. That's right. How about falling in love with yourself, my friend? Once you rediscover the love your feel for you, you'll want to do the things that will make you feel fantastic. And working out does just that, I can assure you.
Intense sexual love. Let's just say that when you are fit and strong, you will be more attractive to whomever you want to be more attractive to. Healthy is sexy. You'll have more love to give, and more ability to receive. The two are inextricably intertwined. Need I say more?
A Strong Affection or Enthusiasm. Ok. let's take a very close look at this one. A strong enthusiasm. What do you feel a strong enthusiasm for right now? Do you love watching football or basket ball. Do you love making money? Do you enjoy coaching young people? Lovingly restoring an old project car? What do you feel a strong enthusiasm for right now. Feel the feeling your feel when you see the object of your affection. Now, imagine feeling that way about your own body, your own energy levels, you sense of self discipline and confidence. That's the kind of passion I want you to feel for yourself.
And how does that happen? By taking the actions, consistently, that you have been avoiding like the plague, because you don't even realize how fantastic you'll fee when you start taking them consistently.
You see, the reason you are not already doing what you need to be doing is that you forgot how amazing you felt when you were taking great care of yourself.
You forgot how much energy you once had when you were a little younger and exuberant play was just a part of your life.
Now I am going to urge you, no matter your age, to get out there and get physical once again. You are going to start by moving. You need to get to at least 80% of your max heart rate, and keep it there anywhere from 10 - 60 minutes, depending on your current level of fitness. Do this at least 3 - 4 times a week for the first two weeks. Then increase that to 4 - 5 times a week. You can do speed walking, jump rope, bike riding, treadmill, soccer, basketball, the list goes on and on and on. But get up, get off your ass, lose the remote and the mouse, and the phone, Get up and get going.
If you need a job that let's you create your now schedule, so that you've to time for all of this passion to play out, then click here.
Then let me know what happens.
Isaac Alfandary is an entrepreneur and a limo service owner who also drives for Uber and Lyft. He blogs about the app based transportation industry in the blackcarguy.com
He also is a raw food chef, workout enthusiast, husband and parent, and all around good guy. Reach him at email@example.com
This article first appeared in www.theblackcarguy.com
by Isaac Alfandary
While much of New York was pondering its beach getaways, Mohrer, Uber’s general manager for the state, was leading a multimillion-dollar political assault on Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies in the New York City Council. Legislators wanted to cap Uber’s growth in the name of studying congestion in the city. Mohrer’s team smelled an existential threat. June 30 found Mohrer on the steps of New York’s City Hall in a black Uber T-shirt, backed by sign-bearing Uber staffers, calling for members of his small audience to “make your voice heard to your elected leaders.” In mid-July, Uber struck again with a “DE BLASIO” setting on its app that showed 25-minute waits to get a car in Manhattan and no service whatsoever in the outer boroughs; “what Uber will look like in NYC if Mayor de Blasio’s Uber cap bill passes,” an ominous pop-up read, inviting users to “TAKE ACTION” and “EMAIL NOW.” Off the City Hall front lines, Mohrer was monitoring another clash in East Hampton, where Uber had ceased operating to protest local regulations earlier in the summer and where some two dozen drivers were now facing jail time.
“July sucked,” Mohrer says, “and you can fucking quote me on that.”
All that’s behind him now. It’s a late September morning, and Mohrer is stretched out on a gray denim couch, feet up on the table. Above his head is a vintage New York subway sign for Columbia University’s 116th Street Station. We’re sitting in a small conference room at Uber’s office near Hudson Yards in Manhattan, fresh off a tour of the 52,350-square-feet facility, which Uber moved into in February. The office is quiet, and Mohrer, in black jeans and a blue-checkered shirt, is Bueller-like in his nonchalance. “It’s going great,” he tells me. “This is my favorite time of year.”
The summer’s political battles had given way to a busy but otherwise placid fall and, with four months left in the year, Uber was coasting. New York City is Uber’s biggest market in the United States, its most tightly regulated, and by far its most profitable. Nearly five years after first arriving here, officially in May 2011, the company’s growth has yet to plateau. Thirty thousand new users are trying their first Ubers every week. After Labor Day, total weekly ride volume had spiked to 1 million trips, two or three times what it was a year earlier. Or something like that. “There’s some emotional happiness there, I guess,” Mohrer says. “Like, it’s a round number!”