I’ll start today with an anecdote.
When I went to college for my undergraduate in Electronics Engineering, few of us had cars, especially because in the town I went to school, most people were admitted to college before they hit the legal age for driving. Buses were a pain in the you-know-what, and they ran few and far in-between. Many of us resorted to hitchhiking. But there was something particular about the method.
On the way to campus, people would have a pre-made sign with the letters “U.S.B.” (no, not the plug, but “Universidad Simón Bolívar”). To catch a ride, they would stand, holding the sign, by a major intersection, or close to the on-ramp of the highway. If there was someone going in that direction, they would stop, and offer a ride.
Sort of an Uber without GPS, 5G, and well, FREE.
On the way out, instead of having everybody hold up signs with their destinations and get lost in the cacophony, a different method was devised. People in need for a ride would stand at the “designated area”. Yes, just stand.
Anybody driving by, who would “feel” compelled to give a ride, would just slow down, roll down the window, and yell out their destination. Whomever found it convenient, would wave and jump into the car. It was the complete reverse. What may be even more interesting, is the fact that the method, the area where people would gather, and even the social custom of stopping and offering a ride, was entirely self-organized.
This made for an extremely optimized process. On the way to campus, there was many origins, and only one clear destination. On the way out, one origin, and many destinations. But there was also the possibility to catch a “partial” ride that would get you closer to your destination, you could decide.
There may be more than one way to solve a problem, and the way you do things, may be the most efficient one way, but not necessarily on the way back.