Vertical Integration

Fortune runs with a story about Lyft and Uber and the merits and demerits of vertical integration:

“From a purely technical perspective, it’s unlikely that Uber’s in-house mapping efforts will be able to compete with the massive scale of Waze’s crowdsourced information. Waze is something like the Wikipedia of mapping with, as of last year, almost 300,000 editors worldwide contributing regular updates — all for free.”

Of course this is to some extent a matter of options. Uber has raised enough money to at least attempt building its own features, whereas Lyft is more cash-constrained.

But, as Malcolm Gladwell will tell you, sometimes being smaller comes with surprising advantages.

Originally published at on February 1, 2016.

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