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Cars-as-a-service, Alibaba and ridehailing, mental health, and the future of financial services

By Danny Crichton

The future of car ownership: Cars-as-a-service

It’s Mobility Day at TechCrunch, and we’re hosting our Sessions event today in beautiful San Jose. That’s why we have a couple of related pieces on mobility at Extra Crunch.

First, our automotive editor Matt Burns is back with part two of his market map and analysis of the changing nature of how consumers are buying cars these days. Part one looked at how startups like Carvana, Shift, Vroom, and others are trying to disrupt the car dealership’s monopoly on auto sales in the United States.

Now, Burns takes a look at how startups like Fair and premium automakers like Mercedes are disrupting the very notion of owning a car in the first place. Rather than buying a car or leasing one, users with these new services are asked to subscribe to their cars, giving them the flexibility to get a car when they need it and to get rid of it when they don’t. Fair has raised $1.5 billion in venture capital, so clearly the space has caught the eye of investors.

“In simple terms,” co-founder and then CEO [of Fair] Scott Painter, told TechCrunch following its recent raise, “for every dollar in equity we unlock $10 in debt, and we borrow that cash to buy cars.”

Fair works much like a traditional lease with more options. Users can drive the vehicles as long as they’re paying for them and can switch to a different one whenever. This is different from a traditional lease where the buyer is often locked into the vehicle for two to four years. The model makes Fair an excellent option for Uber and Lyft drivers, and in the last year, Uber sold fair its $400 million leasing business to accelerate this offering.

Meituan, Alibaba, and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, our China tech reporter Rita Liao takes a deeper look at the quickly changing tides of the ride-hailing industry in China. It’s a fight between intermediation, disintermediation, and who ultimately owns the ride-hailing consumer. As transit in China and the rest of the world increasingly becomes multi-modal, who owns the gateway to figuring out the best method and paying for it is increasingly in the driver’s seat:

Understanding mental health in Silicon Valley, with professional coach and former investor Jerry Colonna

By Arman Tabatabai

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos recently sat down with VC-turned-professional coach Jerry Colonna for a chat about founder mental health, his less than predictable career path and his new book Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.

After years as a successful venture investor, Colonna found himself confronting his own personal struggles with mental health. As a result, Colonna shifted his focus towards coaching founders and executives through the tensions that exist between personal happiness, mental health and traditional leadership practices.

In his book and in his conversation with Connie, Jerry discusses how one’s previously developed standards of success can impact their ability to lead and realize fulfillment from their work. Jerry elaborates on why many Valley executives encounter mental health pressures as their careers evolve, and details advice he gives to his own clients to help them re-engage with themselves.

“First, to unpack that ambition itself, is not a negative. It’s just ambition. But when we don’t understand the context of that ambition, what is it that’s driving us forward? Is it fear? Or is it excitement and enthusiasm about what’s possible?

Generally, it’s about both, right? When our ambition is primarily unconsciously driven be our fear, the likelihood is high that we’re going to drive the people who work for us crazy. Because nothing that they do, is ever going to make the fear go away. No matter how successful our ambition makes us.

Because the underlying motivation is fear. I am looking to become safe by what I’m driving towards. Now, if we were to flip it and say the thing that is really driving the ambition, is dreaming of a world that is possible. “I can’t imagine how cool it would be if this company were X.” Well, I may still act in a way that’s driven, but I don’t necessarily have to drive the people around me crazy.

And so by understanding the complicated nature of that word ambition, we get to, as I say, dial up the positive aspect of it and release a little bit from the less healthy more negative aspects of it.”

Jerry and Connie dive deeper into how media coverage impacts founder psyches and how it has evolved amidst an increased awareness around mental health. The two also discuss how external pressures are changing for younger generations of founders, as well as how society as a whole can truly tackle widespread mental health issues.

For access to the full transcription and the call audio, and for the opportunity to participate in future conference calls, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 

Connie Loizos: Jerry, it’s a pleasure to be talking to you. We’ve been talking for many, many years. I’m afraid to say how many years…

Jerry Colonna: It’ll reveal how old we are.

Loizos: I know exactly. But I do remember you starting Flatiron, with Fred Wilson, many, many years ago and then going on to JP Morgan and I know that many of the listeners on the phone right now probably have traced your story because you are one of those characters of great interest in Silicon Valley. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided to leave venture capital and become a full-time coach?