Shower Thoughts on Where to Focus Energy in the Gig Economy

Jun 07 2019

I recently read this article about tips on Uber/Lyft. And based on the sample of 50 rides, one driver got a range of $0 - $6, averaging just under $1 per ride. It really made me question what a driver should be focusing on during their trips.


So you can do everything possible to try and maximize tips. You can do analysis and figure out for each demographic in your car how to best maximize your chances of getting a tip. But the data is pretty clear - the tips are small. And you are putting in a lot of extra effort to get that tip.

My point is you can probably make more money doing something else with your extra capacity while driving. Instead of sweating over a conversation, or staying quiet because you’re hoping that’s what the passenger wants and that will lead to a tip, find another way to monetize.

A few ideas that come to mind are getting a dash cam and making stock footage or youtube videos from the stuff you see. Additionally, maybe come up with interesting questions to ask your riders and start a vlog, blog, series, etc. about the answers. Buy candy, water, soda and sell it to them - companies like Cargo exist for this sole purpose. Collect inresting data from your riders and log it carefully and you could try to sell it.

I’m not going to say these ideas will all generate more money, be accessible to everyone, or are even allowed by Uber/Lyft’s terms, but I’d like to think some of them would. Of course some people are also driving just casually make extra money and they do not want the stress of a side hustle. But for those really working to make the extra few dollars count, I urge you to think about other ways to pick up money besides tips. You can make a better ride for you and the the rider.

I will not pretend that I have driven for any of these companies, but I approach most of my rides as an opportunity to learn about their experience driving (the cash they make, how often, the strategies, etc.). It’s not much authority on the subject, but hopefully it paints a picture.