Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Uber's Newest and Strongest Competition

Juno, an app soon to be released, will be Uber’s worst nightmare, but drivers and riders alike will rejoice. Juno will provide a service similar to Uber, through an app interface, providing a ride to those requesting one. This app is reaching out to drivers of other apps with higher ratings, to ensure the best drivers.
What is different about Juno, and incredibly significant, is that their focus is on the drivers. As program manager, “Stanard added, ‘Juno is for the drivers’” (Hawkins).  They are not going to take as large of a percentage from the drivers profit as Uber currently does. In fact, they will only take “10 percent compared to Uber's 20 to 25 percent —for at least the first two years of operation” (Hawkins). In addition, they will earn a weekly base salary just for keeping the app on, and they will earn shares of the company. Currently the main problem with Uber, are the people leaving the company due to the ever-lowering fares, leading to the salaries of the drivers rapidly decreasing. That results in fewer drivers, and therefore higher surges, that occur more frequently. With Juno, there will be more drivers, making it more convenient for those who quickly need a ride. Individuals will be more encouraged to drive for the company, due to Juno’s focus on their satisfaction. In addition, surges will not be a problem: ”The startup says it won't have surge pricing to start out, but it will pay drivers ‘a surge fare’ during periods of peak demand” (Hawkins).  This benefits both the riders, as well as the drivers. The riders will not have to be paying an increased amount, and the drivers will still be making what they deserve. Besides pulling in more drivers in general, they are looking to pull in the best drivers: “The startup is trying to recruit as many Uber drivers with ratings of 4.75 and above before it launches in New York City sometime this summer” (Hawkins).  If they are only pulling in highly rated drivers, Juno’s service will be better; an individual would be more confident that they will be getting a good, reliable driver. Beyond good service, they will know the ride will be safe. A person traveling alone would not have to worry about getting a driver that would harm them, for most likely a dangerous driver would not have a good Uber rating.
A vague aspect, not talked about in the article, is are they only pulling in drivers from apps with good reviews? In other words, can people who have never been a driver before become a driver for Juno. Also, how long will they be able to go paying the drivers more during a busy time, without introducing surges. Not having a surge charge is a major attraction for those switching from Uber. Finally, they will not be able to provide shares of the company to all employees forever, so how long will this benefit exist? 

Hawkins, Andrew J. "Juno Wants to Woo Uber Drivers with a More Ethical Ride-sharing App." The Verge. N.p., 29 Mar. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <>.


  1. Could this also mean a benefit for the company, "Lyft"? Does Juno also plan to completely overtake Uber in the future? It would be interesting to see a company as new as Uber completely overshadowed by new competition, basing its projected takeover on driver wages, after such a short life span. Do they think that Uber might compete with Juno by lowering their profit to the same margin or lower? Like a means of starving out the competition?

  2. Uber has been all over the news lately but not always for good things. The app Juno seems like a new and improved versions of Uber and is looking to be very successful. Since Juno is recruiting some of the best drivers from Uber and offering to pay them more money it is no surprise that Juno will be some competition for Uber. Although Juno is an app for the drivers and willing to pay them more, I wonder how the prices will compare for customers. If customers have to pay more to use Juno than Uber it is unlikely that the company will have a lot of customers. However, if Juno is able to satisfy both the drivers and customers they could completely take over the market. I think it is pretty cool that Juno is providing some of the shares of the company to the drivers. However, I agree that how long will Juno provide shares because they cannot do that forever? If Juno is able to accomplish everything they want to I believe they will be very successful. The big problem I see for Juno is whether they are able to get enough customers to even compare to Uber. It will be interesting to see what happens with this company.

  3. Juno's business plan is intriguing and will draw significant attention of current Uber drivers nationwide. Numerous Uber drivers that I have driven with have mentioned how frustrated they were that Uber took away up to 25 percent of their earnings and how the price of a ride continues to be falling with the introduction of other competitors entering the market such as Lyft. My biggest hesitation with Juno and its ability to take over the market and destroy Uber is how, while paying their drivers more without taking a serious percentage of their earnings are going to thrive and compete with Uber's prices. It is catching for potential consumers to hear that there will not be any surge prices and that may draw consumers to switch from Uber to Juno, but what was concerning to me is that they are going to increase the driver's earnings during surge times without raising the rates which cut heavily into their profit margins.
    Another foreseeable problem for a company like Juno entering the market would be the large infrastructure that Uber has and the availability of Uber both nationally and internationally. Will a start-up company like Juno be able to maintain their goal of only hiring the best rated Uber drivers and be able provide their service in the same demographics? Overall, I think it is a good business plan that holds their employees' values high and provides them a better environment than their competitors. It will draw employees to their company from their competitors, but my biggest problem is whether or not they will be able to sustain and maintain their plan.

  4. Emily, this is a very interesting article. As a college student in a small city, myself and many others are frequent users of Uber. However, lately I have started to use it less and use the app Lyft more. This is due to the high surcharges and poor drivers with Uber. Juno is very intriguing in the fact it is a new app that is attacking Uber's weaknesses. The only thing that is seeming to put Juno behind the eight ball is that they have small market share and there are a number of competitors entering the market now. I would love to see a cheaper, better quality service take over this market instead of Uber, and it seems as though Juno is focusing a lot on this aspect. This new market seems to have a lot of problems that seem to be difficult to tackle if the main objective of course is to maximize profits and usage of their apps.

  5. When Uber first became to become popular at my university last year, it seemed that this app had no flaws. It was more reliable, cheaper, and safer than calling a cab. It seemed with the introduction of a smart phone application that allowed college students to receive rides quickly and cheaply, cabs would eventually become extinct. With every good thing, comes a time where its flaws are discovered. The news has released many stories of Uber drivers driving unsafe and harming their passengers. Surge prices have become the norm for college students and at times it has become cheaper to take a cab than to order a 5.0 surged Uber. Emily presents some very valid points with the introduction of Juno. This new driving application will pay drivers more and not put a surge pricing on Ubers for riders. The article discusses the various steps they will take to ensure their drivers are the safest one available, which is meant to give peace of mind to riders. Juno also boasts that their drivers will make significantly more than Uber drivers and if there is a high demand for Junos, then the drivers will receive a surge in payment. It seems that this new driving service has the same "too good to be true" qualities that Uber had when it first became popular. Emily raises some excellent questions in her final analysis of the article. No business, especially a new ones, can go on being successful by paying their employees such a large sum of money. There must be a point where Juno will no longer only take 10% of all earnings and not have a surge charge for riders. While these promises are great to attract customers and drivers, from a business standpoint the company will be bankrupt if it continues for a long period of time. It would be wise for Juno to release their plans for the service five years down the road. Will their policies change? Questions like these are what customers want to know before relying on a new service which provides so many grand promises.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.