Kevin Kwok posted this really interesting tweet about the divergence between active users for Lime and Bird.
There is a real divergence happening between Lime and Bird in active users— Kevin Kwok (@kevinakwok) April 21, 2019
Hot takes on scooter industry should only be read if they include viewpoint on this decoupling pic.twitter.com/sFtIzAc1sB
Looking at the graph, you can clearly see the divergence point — December 2018. It was purely coincidental that I happened to have just looked at a route on Google Maps and had just seen Lime Scooter as a route option, and that triggered something in my memory.
It was also in Dec 2018 that Google announced that they were teaming up with Lime to add Lime scooters as a mobility option in Maps. That was a huge boost for Lime, and I waded into the conversation with this viewpoint.
The divergence starts Dec 2018, which is also when Google started showing Lime scooters in Maps https://t.co/L4z9jxWNOh— Rishi Athanikar (@ARishi_) April 21, 2019
Many other factors could be at play, but the timing is curious for sure. Would love to hear your take
I thought I had made a decent observation – at least I had tried to add more color to the divergent numbers for WAUs. Having the power of Google Maps behind it would of course have given Lime a leg up in terms of visibility and thus, increased usage.
Then came this response to the original tweet —
Bird started requiring preloads in Dec for fraud reasons, so your chart is only half the story. You also need the avg txn value per user, see attached. pic.twitter.com/KiMtvFrMH2— Travis VanderZanden (@travisv) April 22, 2019
That ATV (Average Transaction Value) for Bird 🤯
Classic half-hearted analysis mistake from me. I had acknowledged that there might be other factors at play, but I did not know just how crucial the other piece was. There is so much more nuance to analysis than scratching just below the surface - as I had done.
I take it as a learning opportunity — of where I am currently with research and analysis, and where I want to be.
There are of course, even higher levels to go. Here's an observation made by legendary investor Bill Gurley way back in December regarding scooter usage metrics
One more issue that falls in the "obvious in hindsight" category. The business is remarkably seasonal. Looking at 3rd-party credit card data, overall US weekly sales are down 35-40% for both companies in a few weeks. Austin down 60%+, colder Portland and St Louis 78-92%. https://t.co/X6528un139— Bill Gurley (@bgurley) December 10, 2018
It is uncovering obvious insights like these, which cause people to go "Aha!", that I want to work towards.