Tag Archives: Uber

Is it time to Uber-size your outsourcing business?

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Uber is always in the news
Every time I go online, I see news about Mark Cuban, Startups, Apple, Uber, Richard Branson, Innovations, and more. People either love Uber or they hate them. In the Notary industry which I am heavily involved with, there is a company called Snapdocs which used an Uber-type model to run their business. They have Notaries all throughout the United States who get text messages whenever there is a local job available. The Notaries can accept the job or barter for better terms. Snapdocs has somewhat transformed the Notary industry in the United States — and it will never be the same.

Can your BPO use Uber thinking?
But, how can your outsourcing or BPO company apply Uber-type principles to better running your operation? In some ways you can. Most outsourcing companies have between five and fifty people in a particular location. Or, some of them might work from home. Uber operates on a nationwide or worldwide level. If a job is inputted into the system by a customer, any service provider who is close can claim the job. Outsourcing is geo-specific, as you function in a particular area, but — you cater to the whole English speaking world.

Job Offers
Uber operates on the principle of having small jobs taken care of quickly at an affordable price and in a nice way. If you deal in huge programming contracts, the Uber model might not be appropriate for you. But, if you dissected your huge jobs into smaller parts, you might be in business. If you have ten people who answer inquiries all day and all night long on a commission basis, they could answer inquiries as fast as Uber drivers pick up customers. Your reps could answer questions, give quotes, and advice too, all in real time (within minutes.) Smart companies offer samples or smaller jobs at reasonable prices to gain the confidence of new clients. Small jobs could be dispatched, priced, and finished overnight using Uber modes of operation.

Call Centers
Smaller call center contracts could be sold the same way. If a smaller client wants service for one day per week, this small order could be fulfilled well using Uber type principles. Many small businesses have a horrible time finding good call centers who are responsive to small clients. Most do not take an interest in small clients and don’t return calls. If yours is the one that is responsive, you might dominate the small-client market and clean up!

Think Small
Uber type principles are good for small jobs. But, how can you make money doing small jobs? First of all, if you accumulate a lot of small jobs, you can make a lot of money. Secondly, small jobs might pay higher per hour than large jobs giving you a better margin. Third, small jobs can turn into regular clients if you take care of them well — which most companies do not as most companies are only interested in big jobs.

How Do You Do It?
Just have an online system where clients can put in their work requests. Make sure that a team of people is around to answer requests on a first come first provide service basis. Once the request is handled, work goes on just like any other job that you are taking the old fashioned way.

Should You Do It?
If you have a really cool modern system, and it catches on with good marketing, you could become a huge company overnight. Most other companies are very sluggish about offering quotes or getting back to people. If you are the one that is effective, polite, and does good work fast — you could conceivably take over!

You might also like:

Is Amazon too tough on their workers?

When you slow down, I slow down

Good business karma or bad business karma?

America invented & forgot about customer service

What if you got your business advice from Yoda?

You don’t get to the next level in business by being in a hurry


Is it safe for women to take cabs in India?

Categories: India, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I keep reading more on this topic. Apparently, I am not the only one concerned with women’s safety. They are not concerned with my safety though — but, that’s another issue.

A fleet of pink cabs!
A new cab service in India has opened with pink cabs that are designated for women. I thought of a similar idea years ago that was for pink rickshaws. The vehicles would be driven by women, and the stops would have security, and the vehicles would be pink in my idea too. I thought of this first by the way!


Pepper spray & panic buttons
This cab company with the pink fleet offers pepper spray and panic buttons. One woman in India was raped by an Uber driver recently, and this is a huge reason why women need to take precautions. But, over the last few decades in India, women have not been safe, and taking more precautions seems like the best step to take.

Taking a photo of the cab
I read another article where a woman says that you should not get into a vehicle unless you take a photo of it with your mobile phone and perhaps send it to someone for safe keeping. Once in a while, drivers will take you to an undisclosed location and rob you. It doesn’t happen that often, but women, and foreigners need to be vigilant.

Registered cabs from airports are safer
As a foreigner, I don’t know which cabs to take in India. I normally take rickshaws and deal with their tricks and bad manners. I have a few tricks too which they don’t like which include getting out of the rickshaw when they try to bill me for a 20 minute stop at a gas station. But, airports normally offer the possibility of getting in a registered cab, and you can inform your friends or family what the cab number is just in case.

Martial arts are a good idea!
Indian women are not known for their acumen at violent sports. Neither are the guys for that matter. But, ladies who I know in India are routinely harrassed in parks, and by rickshaw drivers. It is a serious problem. In addition to pepper spray, women need to know how to defend themselves from a headlock, grabbing, or an oncoming bully. If enough women know how to defend themselves, the bullies will be afraid of everyone! Having a good command of Karate or Tai Quan Do is an excellent idea. Long ago I heard a story of a short Chinese lady who was attacked by three huge thugs in New York City. After about 2 seconds, the thugs lay lifeless on the ground. This tiny lady took them all out in the blink of an eye because she was a deadly martial arts master. In addition to Veena & Tabla lessons, some Kung Fu might not be a bad idea.

Plain clothes protectors
Conditions are so bad for ladies in India that they need separate cars on trains, and separate cabs, just to avoid being molested. Additionally, the government doesn’t provide clean places for ladies to go to the bathroom in public which is a huge problem. But, what if there were unmarked guards who roam around parks, railway stations, and roads to protect women from harrassment and other dangers. So many men go around India bothering women, that after a few months, these guards could arrest tens of thousands of these troublemaking rowdy gundas!

It is not safe for women to take cabs in India, or even go for a walk in the park, or down the street. However, women need to go to work, go shopping and get around. So, taking the right precautions makes sense. And I wish you luck. Just remember — use your newly found Karate skills on the bad guys, not on me!

More San Francisco Startups

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Here are even more San Francisco Startups. We published a list a few days ago, and here is the sequel.

Product Hunt
Product Hunt helps buyers to identify some of the hottest new products. This company started being a newsletter for products and evolved into a big company.

Gigster helps programmers get connected with companies. The unique factor is that Gigster will analyze the request and output a guaranteed price for a specific and well specified request. The computer program Gigster uses is self-learning, so it learns to be better at estimating jobs the more it does it.

HackerOne is a marketplace for bug fixing companies. They will find some hackers to identify and fix your site’s weaknesses and in exchange take 20% of the payments.

Why Shyp, just take a picture of what you want to send. A driver will come and pick up your package without all the hype. Shype comparison shops to find you the lowest charge for shipping and then adds on $5 to your cost. All I can say is that I hope the Shyp drivers carry bottled water and snacks like the Uber drivers do.

Eero uses blue tooth and mesh networking to optimize your web connection for flawless wifi.

Eaze helps you find medical marijuana and get it delivered to you without leaving your desk. Now you can get high without dealing with any shady medical marijuana dealers or getting arrested. Now, it’s as “Eaze” as 1, 2, wow, like look at that door… I just noticed that… It’s just — there…. It just IS there… I never saw that door that way before. Oh, what was I talking about? Oh, right. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Eaze turned the cannabis trade into a canna.biz!

Postmates lets you get anything you want delivered in less than an hour. They can go shopping for you, pick up food, foot cream, kung pao chicken (easy on the pao, please) or more whenever you want it.

Sano helps diabetes patients to no longer need to prick their fingers by using a patch.

Medium is a publishing medium where anyone from a publisher, political activist or house mom can publish whatever they want. However, Medium has some major new competition from a company called Large.

This company has a gluten tester that helps people find out what is in their foods. I hope they can tell you if the gluten is genetically engineered or not as well. Perhaps that will be the next generation of machines — and by then they’ll have genetic engineering for machines and for the humans that create them.

Shift wants to reinvent the wheel when it comes to selling used cars. This system will include photographing and price setting. Shift will also have someone bring the car to you to test drive. Sounds like a plan to me.

Operator helps you book flights, buy flowers, pick Christmas presents and more. Take the work out of shopping with Operator and operate like a pro!


My psychic told me to partner with a recent grad for startups

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I had a 12 hour session with my psychic broken into four meetings. We discussed dozens of business topics that have been difficult for me over the last several years. One of the most interesting topics was growth. I wanted to know what the best ideas for growing my online directory business. We channeled spirits of deceased great business people, and tuned into the consciousness of management departments at some of today’s best corporations like Google, Toyota, and Uber. Although there is no way to prove that those organizations would really recommend what my psychic picked up on, the exercise was fascinating and the results were nothing short of amazing.

Find a partner, but who?
One of the tips we got was when we channeled Warren Buffet. He is so “in demand” that the chance that I’ll ever get to talk to him in depth is slim, but you never know. If he took an interest in me, then he might give me some time. But, for now we’ll have to settle for channeling with Walter the psychic who is excellent — no complaints! The suggestion we got was to partner. But, with who?

Should I partner with a company?
I thought about partnering with social media companies since I am so active on social media. One of the entities we channeled actually did suggest that idea. I thought about partnering with programming companies as I am so reliant on their work. Someone else recommended that idea as well. But, when we channeled Warren, the suggestion we picked up on was to partner with someone fresh out of college. Perhaps someone from a family with a strong work ethic. Perhaps an Asian-American who really wanted to get ahead and wasn’t afraid to work for it. The next thing we picked up on was that the kid would need to have a father who was very influential in his life. If the father told him to do something — that he would do it. Kids are fickle at age 22, but if they are subservient to pushy parents, it’s a lot easier to work with them as the chain of command isn’t broken.

History repeats itself
I remember back in high school, I had a friend from music school. He had never had a job. His father talked to me one day after music school. He wanted his kid to have some work experience. I was doing landscaping in those days. I know it’s hard to picture an amateur cellist doing lawn mowing, bark mulch, and digging ditches for plants — but, I’m a born entrepreneur, and that was the one business that I could easily start as a kid and succeed at. Incidentally, this family was also Asian-American, and they did not allow any slacking off for their kids. The kid I worked with turned out to become a Pediatrician after he finished school. So, basically, the suggestion we picked up on from Warren was history repeating itself — one of the few incidents in my history that actually turned out reasonably well too!

Partner with a college grad
So, I would need to network and find some college grads who want to build a new business with me. Startups are a popular topic on Twitter, and the subject matter does interest me. But, in real life I deal with startups in India regularly and see people falling on their faces in the United States as well. I just read that startups in Greece can barely afford wifi. The truth is that if you don’t have intense drive, money, experience, and management skills, your startup has only a slim chance of succeeding. I started my business in 1999 and started two more web directories around 2004-2007. I didn’t have the time to promote my other web directories until recently. Now, I’m doing the work and it is really time consuming. Getting a web site to be popular requires dealing with programmers, social media, finding good content to put online and more. It is an overtime job! So, if I found a kid who would do the legwork for me, I would have to provide the wisdom and cash to get the operation moving. It is an interesting thing to think about.

What if the partner quit?
If you have a partner, the chance of them quitting is quite real. You need to have a backup plan of who is going to take over the venture if they quit. You need to know how to train people to gain the necessary skills. Unfortunately, in my business it takes time to learn all the skills you need. There are so many skills, and each one takes years to master. So, if I get someone new, they won’t make money in the beginning as they are learning. But, with me as a mentor, they will get an interesting business education. It would be far less erudite than sitting in on Harvard Business School lectures, but a lot more practical and hands-on.

Learning the ropes
If I chose a partner, they would have to be willing to learn the twenty or so types of skills necessary to run a web business. I would be creating a mini-me in a sense. Sounds kind of creepy when you phrase it like that. I would teach them to be just like me. But, should I choose a business grad who wants to learn to run businesses? Or should I choose a tech grad who is interested in business but who can also program. If you hire outside programmers, they never give a damn and the bills are always sky-high! Or do I hire a social media fanatic. To do well in my world, you would ideally be all three wrapped into one human body. But, is it possible? We’ll find out!

Wish me luck & wish my future partner luck too.

Uber’s security record undermined from a Michigan driver!

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Uber used to pay their drivers well. Then around a year or two ago, they suddenly slashed their prices and also what they gave the drivers. To me it was not fair, and didn’t seem like a reasonable business practice either. Businesses need to live in balance with the universe. Too cheap or too expensive can cause trouble. Too expensive and you lose your clients. Too cheap, and you encourage screw ups that could lead to lawsuits

A Michigan based Uber driver passed the background screening, and then after 100 Uber trips (or rides) he gunned down eight people. Uber was sued for $28,000,000. It seems like a much better policy to have drivers you can trust and pay them a fair market value rather than getting the cheapest drivers, having them quit, getting new drivers, and not knowing who they are.

Meanwhile in the StartupVerse, many ride sharing companies are sprouting up in urban areas. Although none are quite as large or famous (infamous perhaps) as Uber, they are catering to real needs in a safe way.

HopSkipDrive — caters to people who need rides.
Shuddle — in San Francisco caters to kids and seniors chauffeuring them around.
Kango — caters to babysitters and they help schedule babysitters

I am personally excited because I have been wishing that private industry or the goverment would wise up and create ride-share programs that are easy and don’t require driving to some parking lot in the middle of nowhere. My dream seems to be coming true. I hope that in the long run, none of us need to drive anywhere and we can rely solely on ride sharing programs and experience zero traffic in places like Los Angeles. Ride sharing companies are beginning to develop set routs and get very techno-saavy. I hope this trend becomes hot and continue.

Meanwhile in India, I had a dream nine years ago that they would have a line of pink rickshaws for women clients who wanted the safety of a female driver. Well, they have it now, but it is pink polka-dotted cars, not rickshaws. Am I psychic? Did I predict this or wish for it?

In any case, the world is becoming a much better and more interesting place because of technology. I just hope that there will be an app that will help me find people who actually want to talk to me and have similar interests. With my recent good luck in a few months we will…