Uber, Black Cabs, and the Sharing Economy as a lesson in development.
Recently, in response to Uber's tidal wave increase in popularity, black cab drivers brought the streets of London to a stand-still in what was referred to as the 'go slow' protest.
Uber's meteoric rise is, presumably, the result of its ease-of-use with the digitally minded. The transport app simply lets you book and pay for taxis.
Whilst the idea isn't genius, it does solve a lot of issues we've all faced and put up with when trying to hire a cab. Having to describe your location over the phone. Having the correct change. Wondering where your taxi is. Not being able to make a complaint to a driver.
All of those problems, which we've all experienced, are irradiated in a single app with the power of The Sharing Economy
(The same approach that brought Air BnB success through it's rent-a-room model).
It's only after seeing the new model that we realised how broken the old one was. Now you can pay by card, request a car to any location you find yourself in, watch your car arrive on a map, and rate your driver after the trip.
Unfortunately the 'go slow
' protest held by the cab drivers didn't hinder Uber's success. It only bolstered Uber's profile, and led to an 850% increase in app downloads. This is a valuable lesson in staying current. Particularly in the industries we recruit for, getting too comfortable with the-way-things-are can be fatal.
New technology and software mean tidal waves of change are likely to happen in lots of industries without much notice. Uber saw an opportunity to progress a fairly stagnant business model, and they took it.
Whether you own a business or are just starting your first job, it's more important than ever to be optimistically asking the question "what can be improved?" on a regular basis.
When faced with new demands of any description, will you react by metaphorically bringing the streets to a stand-still, or developing a better more resourceful approach that we never even knew we needed?
Which approach works for you? Are you an early adopter or prefer tried-and-tested? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Passionate about Orchard, business, technology, and my two little men.