There's a lot of confusion about UberEats, GrubHub, et al. Skeptics point to the fact that restaurants are a very low-margin business with huge built-in fragility and customers are reluctant to pay much for delivery-to-the-doorstep. This is why UberEats, GrubHub, et al lose money on every delivery. Therefore, regardless of who ends up with the most traffic, there's no point. This, however, overlooks the real intent: UberEats, GrubHub, et al are actually systems for converting venture capital into practically free food delivery to the home. WebVan had an identical model and was equally successful in its ability to take billions of dollars and spend its way into oblivion. Today the "unicorns" have access to many more billions that poor old WebVan ever did and so they will burn through a great deal more cash before going out of business. But that's really the only difference. The VCs, of course, hope they can offload these turkeys via IPOs and so pass the catastrophe onto some other set of naive investors. We shall see if that turns out to be possible.

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.

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