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What Uber Tells Us About Where America Is Heading

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How does a glorified taxi service with its own app cause such a stir in the marketplace?

The answer is complex and multi-faceted and within it is the key to how this country is changing forever.

Uber’s uber-cool name certainly makes it uber-cool. It’s got the gizmo, it’s got the newness, it’s got the design, it’s got the community manager and the social media accounts.  That will account for why hipsters use it after they’ve had too much to drink, but it’s not why Uber is taking over the world (please don’t add the “…Alles”).

The reason Uber is on a path to reinvent the taxi is because taxi services are hidebound companies and closed shops ripe for “disruption”. The Limousine Commissions, the badges, the licensed drivers, the “knowledge”, the old school protectionism of the past, is about to go bye-bye. It’s taken too many liberties with the liberated customer for too long. Every self-respecting City boss the world over is looking for ways to break the grip that cabs have over his town.

And there are other factors too. Uber represents the new working world. Cranking up your startup but need some cash to buy Ramen? Uber! It’s TaskRabbit with a steering wheel. If you’re tired of being a barista, drive peeps around instead. Uber is cheap labor with the veneer of techno-cool. Uber is genius.

And to complete the point there’s this. Uber represents the new divide between technologically hungry, and technologically deficient. If you’re into apps you’re into Uber to hire your wheels. If you’re not. then you can wait for that dusty old cab. The latter old-skool cohort are a dying breed, more hidebound, and not at all influential any more. In twenty years time they will be gone.

And in the meantime, Uber will grow. In short, it’s precisely Uber’s quotidian foundations that make it so influential.


Written by coolrebel

December 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Posted in startup, taxi, Uber

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