Photo: Mario Tama (Getty)

Look at them up there in the pic—Lyft CEO Logan Green, President John Zimmer, and a whole bunch of other employees that Getty wasn’t interested in naming—on the day their company officially debuted on the Nasdaq, with an oversubscribed IPO and a share price well above initial estimates. That was a month ago! And in that short time, there’s no nice way to say: the ride-hailing platform has veritably eaten shit.

In the company’s first earnings call since becoming a publicly-traded company, Lyft, which went public at $72 per share and hit highs of $87.24 on opening day, has since collapsed below $58 in after-hours trading. No great surprise: it was obligated to stand in front of a firing squad of very rich goons and announced what was already apparent—its share price had bled out more than 20-percent.

Advertisement

Analysts are also spooked about tomorrow’s massive international driver strike, which is timed around Uber’s own IPO but is set to affect all ridesharing platforms. In its S-1 filing before going public, Lyft noted that driver dissatisfaction, increased regulation, and reputational harm all present potential barriers to the business ever becoming profitable.

Is Lyft making more money per rider and, however slightly, overshooting revenue estimates? Is it still attracting more users and more or less keeping its (considerable) losses mostly flat? Sure. But the stock market is less a means for diagnosing the health of a business than it is an enormous confidence game run almost exclusively by rich, amoral lunatics who have the power to destroy the livelihood of millions.

Advertisement

What does this mean in the long-term for Lyft? Probably very little, except as a studied reminder that there are forms of legalized gambling regular idiots like you or me will thankfully never experience the thrill of.

Corrected to accurately reflect when Lyft went public

Advertisement