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 thought that comes to mind is selling dash cam footage on royalty websites. For what it’s worth many Uber drivers have gotten them simply to prove that their driving is satisfactory in the case of a bad review.

More importantly however, this spare capacity seems like an opportunity for Uber/Lyft/etc to step in and provide additional ways for drivers to make money. They could take calls inbetween drives to help people practice interviews for example.

Of course, this has to be weighed against providing potentially a lower quality service, but ultimately it seems that if more value can be created for the economy, it should be.