DoorDash, Uber Eats — and Tony

A photo of a delivery man styled to match The Vergecast.
Image: Alex Parkin / The Verge

Delivery apps seem like a good idea, and it’s obvious why they’re handy to have around. It’s also often unclear whether delivery apps actually work for anyone involved. They make your stuff more expensive, often in hard-to-see ways. They take huge fees from restaurants that need it to survive. Drivers don’t get the pay or benefits they should. And in many cases, even the apps themselves don’t make any money! What are we doing here?

Into that messy equation comes a man named Tony Delivers. Tony Illes has become something of a folk hero in the Seattle area by advertising a much simpler and more human strategy. With a bunch of simple signs and a $5 delivery fee, he’s starting something of a delivery revolution from the seat of his bike.

On this episode of The Vergecast, Will Poor goes on a delivery run with Illes and tries to figure out why he’s become such a viral sensation — and whether he can turn it into a business.

After that, we talk with Andy Hawkins about Rivian, the would-be next big thing in electric vehicles. Fresh off the much-praised launch of the R2 and R3 a couple of weeks ago, we ask: what’s the deal with this company, anyway? Is Rivian the next Tesla, or is it the next startup with too-big ambitions and a too-small bankroll, destined to be overrun by bigger players?

Finally, we answer a hotline question about foldable phones, big hands, and the merits of a months- or years-old smartphone. Because, on this podcast, we love big screens.

If you want to read more on all the stories in this episode, here are a few links to get you started, beginning with Tony Delivers:

And on Rivian:

And on foldable phones:

Source: The Verge DoorDash, Uber Eats — and Tony