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Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage

themargins.substack.com

There is such a thing as a free lunch. The myth of future glorious efficiency has gotten many of us to believe that Uber rides, Amazon orders and Thai meals delivered by app are low-mess and have no consequences. The companies behind these services have encouraged this idea because it sounds great to both their investors and their customers. But internet services that operate in the real world can’t be perfectly efficient because they involve people, not just pixels.

Details that DoorDash disclosed for its planned IPO shows that, the company is growing quickly particularly during the pandemic but is mostly wildly unprofitable. DoorDash’s costs for each delivery have on average exceeded the sales each order has generated.

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