Friday, March 21, 2014

Sean O'Sullivan: Carma and Ridesharing

Some years ago, in the previous century, I worked for Sean O'Sullivan when he was president of MapInfo. He's since gone on to do this and that. Richard Grigonis at Newsmax interviews him about his latest venture, the ride-sharing app, Carma:
A cab company must charge a few dollars a mile — that’s what the Ubers, Lyfts, and Sidecars do too, because you have to pay wages and be at the beck-and-call of people.

But when you’re just sharing a ride to the same area, you don’t have to detour and so you can just share costs. The economics thus change completely and it becomes very attractive.

I take Carma into work myself every weekday. People who use Carma more than a few times tend to get addicted to it because it supports a much higher quality of life where you don’t have to drive all the time. When you use the app, you spend a half an hour with one or more human beings in the same car. By sharing time with somebody else, you don’t feel that time is as wasted as when you’re sitting alone in your car stuck in traffic. There’s no more social an activity you can do with an app than actually physically meet up with people.

With Carma, commuting is no longer downtime, but a quite nice social activity.

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