digibyte: Labor Day Musing - the Uberization of everything is BS

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy September 6, 2015
Summary:
What does the 'uberization' of something really mean? Not much if you want to use 'uber' as the verb.

A report in the Australian Age would have you believe that Uber is bringing imminent catastrophe to the Sydney and Melbourne taxi business. This is not news. It is just one more example of how the Uber model disrupts a sloppy business. Even then Uber is hardly a real disruption. Think about it.

The current state of the art in the taxi business has not changed one jot. As a consumer I still need a car, a driver and that combination to go from point A to point B in reasonable safety. What has changed?

  1. Uber doesn't play by the established rules, it skirts, ignores or breaks the rules. The taxi companies are in a no-win situation there until legislators catch up. If that ever happens.
  2. Uber markets the crap out of itself, which it can by virtue of having convinced finance types that it is worth an insane amount of money. It has the cash to pour into convincing the rest of us that it provides a better service.

That's it. Nothing more. Uber does nothing fundamentally different from the taxi companies other than operate at massive scale. Yes, I get a receipt for my ride - easily replicated. Yes, I know when the car will arrive - easily solved. Yes, I get a driver who is usually personable - not sure about that one...Yes - UberX is cheaper than a taxi - but only because Uber shaves cost by not playing by the established rules, not because it has changed the business of getting from A to B.

Next time someone talks about the 'uberization' of something just sit back and ask yourself - what really changed, if anything?

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