Monday, January 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM

What's wrong with surge pricing?

I don't get it. Not joking.

Imagine you're standing outside in the cold. It's snowing. You have to get somewhere. You need a ride. Of course more people want a ride when it's cold and snowing. So you wait and wait.

Now, tell me, really, while you're waiting for a ride that's never going to come -- does this thought never cross your mind -- I'd pay more just to get a ride now?

That's what surge pricing is about. When there aren't enough cars to meet demand, the price goes up. Price-conscious people take public transit or a fixed-price cab. And presumably more drivers head over to where there's a greater demand, so they can get rides, and make more money. I guess if Uber really wanted to do it right, they'd let people bid on the price. So you could get a ride at the normal price. But only if someone wanted to provide a ride at that price. That would be the total VRM solution.

Surge pricing isn't a great name for what it is, a market.

Last built: Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM

By Dave Winer, Monday, January 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM. We don't need no stinkin rock stars.