The original idea behind Uber (after it stopped being a simple black cab business) was cynical but clever: let the drivers bear all the costs and simply rake off a percentage of each fare. If they'd stuck to that model, perhaps a real and sustainable company could have been created. But... Uber had such grand ambitions it needed to suck in billions of naive VC capital. This in turn required ever-grander stories to justify. And so Uber, like so many "unicorns" found itself on a treadmill: it needed to keep raising capital to keep spending on ever-more moonshot projects, all of which destroyed its fundamental model by adding in more and more costs. The idea that autonomous vehicles will "solve" this problem is hilariously wrong. Uber's entire problem is that they've become ever-more capital intensive. Adding yet more capital requirements (those autonomous vehicles, even if one day they become a possibility, will be horrifically expensive to acquire and maintain) doesn't solve Uber's problem: it exacerbates it further.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.