Ok we’re a couple weeks late with this but better late than never! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a full Rideshare Guy year in review – actually, the last time I did a year in review (2014 Year in Review) like this was just before I left my engineering job to run RSG full time – oops! After six years of running The Rideshare Guy and five years of running it full-time, it’s definitely time to look back on 2019 and see how far RSG has come.
But before I continue, I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s read the articles, watched the videos, subscribed to the podcast, bought courses (and my book, The Rideshare Guide) from RSG and to those who email me! I always enjoy hearing from readers (even when we disagree) and at the end of the day, I hope it’s clear that I’m trying my best to help drivers make more money, be happier and find success in life after rideshare.
At the end of the day, this is a business for me though so I am also trying to make money – have you noticed the ads? 😉 But I always look to strike a balance: the three things I keep in mind at all times are helping my audience, making money and working on interesting projects. So hopefully that comes through in the content, the advertisers we work with and the projects we take on.
Want to keep supporting RSG in 2020? One of the best ways you can do so is signing up for our newsletter!
Expanding the RSG Team
As the years have gone by, I’ve found it more and more important to hire a diverse array of drivers – full timers and part timers, male and female, young and old, you get the point. This year, we added three new writers:
- Gabe Ets-Hokin, our car expert. Check out one of his most popular articles, The Best Cars for Rideshare Drivers, here.
- Sergio Avedian, a California driver whose nickname is Surge-io and is always looking for ways to drive smarter. Check out one of his most popular articles on how to defeat flat rate surge here.
- Chonce Maddox-Rhea, who does a lot of our driver interviews and post updates. Here is one of her most popular articles on how much you can make as an Instacart shopper.
We still have our long time writers, including Jay, John, Dash Bridges and relative newcomer (2018) Paula, plus a cadre of part-time writers. In addition to writing, several of our authors also produce YouTube content for RSG, like Jay and Gabe. Speaking of our YouTube contributors, we have several fantastic video creators like Joe, Ezra, Cecily, and Elijah. If you haven’t checked out our YouTube channel yet, be sure to subscribe here!
RSG has truly become a business for me, and I appreciate the amazing team we have to keep RSG producing daily content here. Special thanks to our editor, Melissa, who’s been working with me on RSG since 2014 (full-time since 2017). She helps keep us all on schedule!
Of course, that’s not to say we’re done hiring writers! RSG is always requesting contributors (whether as a source or as a writer) from states outside of California. If you’re interested in being a source or writer for RSG, make sure to read more about our contributor process here.
The Top Five Most-Viewed Articles on The Rideshare Guy in 2019
- How to Contact Uber Fast – We update popular articles like this as frequently as there are new updates, and this article is no different! We updated this perennial favorite in October 2019, and it’s always been one of our highest trafficked articles.
- The Best Free Mileage Tracking Apps – Another one of our favorites, this article usually surges in popularity right after tax season, when drivers realize they should have been tracking their miles all along. Why not get a jump start and download our favorite mileage tracking app, Stride, before taxes are due?
- The Best Car Rental Options for Uber and Lyft Drivers – It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular articles of 2019, given how quickly the availability of rideshare cars seems to change. The toughest thing about this article is availability – while several of these companies are easy to find in California, for example, you’ll have to go further down the list if you’re looking for rental options in a place like Arkansas, for example.
- DoorDash Tips and Tricks: Maximizing Your DoorDash Income – DoorDash continues to be one of the most popular delivery companies out there, for good reason. DoorDash is available in most cities at this point, and it’s easy to get started with DoorDash. We had Dash Bridges update this article for 2019 and it remains one of our most popular.
- The Ultimate Guide to Charging Electric Scooters: Becoming a Bird Charger – One trend I’m proud of myself for finding early is the electric scooter trend. When I first realized Bird was the real deal, I jumped at the opportunity to cover it and make a video with RSG contributor Ezra. It immediately became one of our most popular articles and remains so today!
The Rideshare Guy Podcast Still Going Strong
In 2019, I recorded 30 podcast episodes (including one on January 1, 2019 with Payam Safa of Bellhop and one on December 31, 2019 with Meera Joshi on regulating Uber and Lyft). And on a more technical note, The Rideshare Guy Podcast got a new intro song so hopefully you don’t miss the hard rock guitar intro.
I don’t write and record videos as consistently as I used to but the podcast is one area where I’m still going strong. We don’t have as big of a following here (compared to the blog and Youtube) but it’s a great opportunity for me to learn about interesting mobility topics and develop relationships with new people. I’m focusing the podcast more these days on rideshare and mobility from an industry level but we still have drivers on from time to time.
One of the reasons I’ve shifted my podcast to a more industry level view is that our senior contributor, Jay Cradeur launched his own podcast called The Rideshare Dojo, which is a podcast exclusively for rideshare drivers. You can check out Jay’s latest episodes here, but most episodes you’ll find Jay chatting with a driver, analyzing their driving strategies, and talking rideshare ‘shop.’ The podcast has been very well received by you, the listeners, and we’re glad to offer you another way to get your rideshare fix while on the road!
Rideshare and How It’s Shaping Society
One of the most fascinating things I’ve been able to do with The Rideshare Guy, and particularly the podcast, is interview people in various fields about how rideshare is shaping our world, both domestically and internationally. While I started The Rideshare Guy initially to help other drivers understand the in’s and out’s of Uber and Lyft, I would be remiss to ignore how rideshare and ‘Uber-for-everything’ companies have exploded and fundamentally changed society. Some of my favorite podcast interviews on this topic include:
- RSG115: Meera Joshi on How Cities Can Regulate Uber and Lyft – It seems fitting that on the heels of AB5 potentially bringing tremendous changes to rideshare (and independent contractors in general) drivers that I interviewed Meera Joshi on December 31, 2019. Going into 2020, cities will have to address the elephant in the room (Uber and Lyft) – they can’t bury their heads in the sand any longer and expect disruptive companies to regulate themselves. This interview gives us a perspective on how cities can best regulate companies without making it too burdensome for workers or new investment. If you’re interested in learning more about regulation on rideshare, check out this interview with Bruce Schaller on why too much Uber and Lyft is bad for cities.
- RSG100: Nicole Moore on Fighting for Drivers with Rideshare United – One of my most commented on podcasts episodes of the year was this one with Nicole Moore of RDU. In this episode, we covered the beginnings of RDU, how difficult it is to organize drivers, and what the RDU is advocating for. If you’re interested in learning more about RDU’s fight or about AB5, make sure to check out this interview with Alex Rosenblat on what AB5 means for the rideshare industry.
- RSG113: Morgan Herlocker on Mobility Data and Privacy Concerns – Going into 2020, we should all be concerned about data privacy. Who has access to our data, what data is out there, who is it being sold to and how is it being protected? This interview with Morgan Herlocker was in-depth, but very interesting if you’re concerned about data privacy in 2020 and beyond. If you liked that episode, make sure to check this one out with David Zipper on what data can do for cities and companies.
- RSG111: Alison Griswold on Why Juno Failed – If you’ve ever wondered why a driver-friendly company hasn’t jumped in to compete with Uber and Lyft, this interview with Alison Griswold will answer that question. Why did Juno fail? What could it have done differently? This episode is a must-listen if you were curious as to why a driver-friendly rideshare alternative hasn’t succeeded!
- RSG106: Virtual Kitchens With Matt Newberg of HNGRY – One trend I think we’ll see more of is ‘virtual kitchens’. Basically virtual kitchens are like pop-ups of your favorite restaurant, but they’re only available for delivery. If you are wondering how technology will disrupt food in the US, you’ll want to check out that episode with Matt of HNGRY.
The Rideshare Guy in the Media
This year, I had the privilege of being interviewed on several media outlets, but one of the things I am proudest of this year is my opinion article in The New York Times: Uber Drivers Just Want to Be Free.
Published in September, I outlined California Assembly Bill 5 and why some drivers are against it. I shared my thoughts on how AB5 has the potential to turn driving into just another job, and take away the flexibility that brought many of us into rideshare driving in the first place.
In addition the The NYTimes Op-Ed, I was featured on CNBC on making money by charging electric scooters, on CBS Los Angeles regarding AB5, Marketplace on the Uber/Lyft drivers strike ahead of Uber’s IPO, and AirTalk on LA’s proposal to increase minimum wage for Uber/Lyft drivers to $30 an hour.
I’ve worked hard over the years to become an expert in the rideshare field, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to be featured by these influential media outlets. I hope I represent the drivers well – a unified, cohesive front will serve us all better in 2020 and it helps the media and non-drivers understand us better if we speak from a place of experience and authority. I hope I’ve represented drivers well over the last year and look forward to doing so in 2020!
Wrapping Up 2019
While we’re already into 2020, I wanted to do justice to this year in review. After all, the last time I sat down to this was in 2014! I can’t say it enough, but thank you to everyone who has read, watched and supported The Rideshare Guy over the last year. Without you, I couldn’t continue to make interesting, informative and impactful articles, videos and podcasts. Thank you for your continued support!
Which articles, videos or podcast episodes were your favorite in 2019?
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-Harry @ RSG