Keep an eye on current driver invite incentives. It will let you predict many dry spells quite accurately. Why? Well, most of the drivers are pretty dim (and will be immediately downvoting this post upon reading this sentence, hehe), while most of the wannabe drivers are even dimmer. The best way to incentivize a dim person is a “get rich quick” promise.

Here’s an average lifecycle of an ant:

  • Uber’s cloud god computer determines that your area needs more saturation and ups the invite incentive. I’ve seen “Earn up to $100 for inviting new drivers” jump to $1000 for a few days, then roll back when a sign-in quota has been reached.
  • Invite incentives come with a certain time frame, usually 30 or 90 days.
  • The market becomes momentarily oversaturated, especially on weekends and (to a lesser degree) weekday evenings.
  • 80% of new drivers never make it to 30 days, 80% of those who made it drop out shortly after.
  • Market desaturates and stabilizes with the number of drivers Uber wanted.

In short: every day, before going online, check the “Invite” tab for any changes. If you see a spike in reward, expect a dry spell for roughly 2/3 of a duration of the incentive.

‚ĶBut what if dry spell happens without any incentives? Well, that’s an organic oversaturation. Other than schools going on a summer/winter breaks, these are much harder to predict. Keep an eye on local news: a factory laid out a ton of employees? Expect an immediate market oversaturation.

Oh, and most importantly… always have a backup plan. Uber is oversaturated? Drive Lyft. Days are oversaturated? Switch to nights. Airport oversaturated? Switch to that bar cluster in the burbs, etc.