Cartoon: Dynamic Surge Pricing Innovation (?!?)


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Author: Rajesh Naik

I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me, I am also available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite.

14 thoughts on “Cartoon: Dynamic Surge Pricing Innovation (?!?)”

  1. Lovely depiction. Captures the inequality and hypocrisy prevalent. Free market for the ASSED Apps like Uber and Ola. And controlled prices for Autos. Either make it free for everyone to list a surge and cap it for everybody is my call.

    1. Shankar – thank you for your comments.

      Additionally, I think the auto-rikshaw guys have a superior algorithm that they instinctively use. Here are some parameters which are additionally deployed by the auto guys:

      1) Whether the customer is local or not
      2) Confidence/ desperation of the customer
      3) Perceived paying capacity of the customer
      4) Whether the customer is pleasant, boring, gossipy, or grumpy
      5) The destination – how far; and whether the driver wants to go in that direction
      6) Timing – whether the driver can reach in time for a meal at home or join his favorite mates for a chat
      7) And maybe many more….

      I think the Uber / Ola team will eventually build all of these in their app, but until then the dynamic pricing used by the auto-rikshaw guys is much, much superior 🙂


      1. Good One Rajesh!
        The issue is what all should govt control and what not! should govt tinker with the demand supply matrix?

      2. Thanks, Niraj.

        Govt. control limits are an issue.
        However, even general public seems to use different yardstick for different service providers.



  2. I think the public gets “ASSED” experiences due to surge pricing models in other aspects of day to day life too:

    1. When you shop for vegetables in the market and you complain about the high prices, the vendor says” what to do saar, there is a shortage in the market”.

    2. Auto drivers demand a premium over the meter or just a no- meter fixed price. if you are either their 1st passenger for the day ( “boney saar” is the Bengaluru expression) or their last passenger on a rainy day (“i need to go empty all the way back, saar)

    3. Onions and now tomatoes are known to surge up their prices during the festive quarter in India every year (rainfall shortage/ heavy rainfall is the stated root cause year on year)

    4. While supermarkets do what looks like “anti-surge promotional discount campaigns”, consumers experience a surge in overall spend as they shop and hoard all things unwanted or beyond requirements, excited by the discounts on offer. Assed is the feeling they get after they see their credit card bills

    I feel we you should take this concept further and open up a website assed (dot) com with a banner “Do you feel Assed today? Tell us your experiences”

    Hopefully knowledge sharing by others will help us derive sadistic pleasures and feel less assed about ourselves:)



    1. open up a website (dot) assed (dot) com with a banner “Do you feel Assed today?”

      Good idea – why don’t you do that? I am sure you will get a lot of funding – many investors like to get themselves ‘assed’ anyways.


  3. Hi Rajesh,

    This is very well captured. Your illustration shows our mental biases in the guise of value creation.

    Hope to see more of this 🙂


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