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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Saying goodbye to the millennial lifestyle subsidy


I was among those folks who just scratched their heads wondering how some of the popular online lifestyle convenience services my younger colleagues and neighbors would use — DoorDash, Uber, Airbnb and others — could offer what they did at such low prices. This good read in the New York Times explains how it was part of a strategy by these firms to gain traction with users. And lo and behold — now they’re all raising their prices because investors are demanding to see some return on their money. As Kevin Roose writes: “For years, these subsidies allowed us to live Balenciaga lifestyles on Banana Republic budgets. Collectively, we took millions of cheap Uber and Lyft rides, shuttling ourselves around like bourgeois royalty while splitting the bill with those companies’ investors.” And economics have a say in what’s happening too. “Part of what’s happening is that as demand for these services soars, companies that once had to compete for customers are now dealing with an overabundance of them. Uber and Lyft have been struggling with a driver shortage, and Airbnb rates reflect surging demand for summer getaways and a shortage of available listings.”

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