New Uber Protests, Amazon Faces Competition, and Starbucks Gives It All Away


Uber’s Jakarta Woes
Uber may continue to pivot toward better behavior, but its welcome in Indonesia reminds you what the company still has to live down. A protest against ride-sharing services in Jakarta yesterday ensnared the city and then turned violent (NYT). There was a Luddite tinge to the protest (demonstrators yelled “No more apps”), but it’s still a stark reminder that pioneers must live with arrows in their backs — especially when disrupting a closed and protected industry. A sign of Uber’s new approach: The company suspended surge pricing in the Indonesian capital during the protests.

Enough Cloud for Everyone
Amazon Web Services may be eating the world, to use the term of the moment, and it does enjoy a commanding 31 percent of the cloud infrastructure market, but another high-profile company is taking its cloud elsewhere. Following Apple and Spotify, which are switching some services to Google, and Dropbox, which has built its own system, Home Depot is signing up with Google (Reuters). There’s serious competition here among the players and billions at stake, but it’s far from a zero-sum game. Google is a distant fourth in the market, but it sees big opportunities: It’s opening a dozen new data centers in the next year or so (TechWeek Europe).

Starbucks Will Give It All Away
Starbucks says it will soon begin donating all its unused food to those in need (Mashable) via food banks. This is a smart, welcome move, but “begin” is the key word in that announcement. Because of the additional infrastructure needed to ship perishable refrigerated foods (the chain donates pastries already), the company estimates that it will take five years to get to 100 percent. Maybe Uber could help out?

Authentic Companies, from New York to Austin
There’s plenty new on the NewCo website today, including a profile of New York NewCo Gimlet Media and a last look at this year’s SXSW, through the prism of civic engagement.

A Detroit Mystery
We’re looking forward to NewCo Detroit on April 13, which will be full of organizations delivering services that are both practical and inspirational. That’s all well and good, people, but what if the Motor City’s woes are all due to a mythical imp called the Nain Rouge? (WSJ).

Photo: Aaron Parecki

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