The Servant Economy

from The Atlantic

In March 2009, Uber was born. Over the next few years, the company became not just a disruptive, controversial transportation company, but a model for dozens of venture-funded companies. Its name became a shorthand for this new kind of business: Uber for laundry; Uber for groceries; Uber for dog walking; Uber for (checks notes) cookies. Larger transformations swirled around—the gig economy, the on-demand economy—but the trend was most easily summed up by the way so many starry-eyed founders pitched their company: Uber for X.

This micro-generation of Silicon Valley start-ups did two basic things: It put together a labor pool to deliver food or clean toilets or assemble IKEA bookshelves, and it found people who needed those things done. Academics called this a “two-sided market,” but to a user, it meant tapping on a phone and watching the world rearrange itself to satisfy your desires. Convenience drove consumer demand. Economic need and work flexibility drove the labor supply. At least in theory.

Now, a decade since Uber blazed the trail, and half that since the craze faded, we built a spreadsheet of 105 Uber-for-X companies founded in the United States, representing $7.4 billion in venture-capital investment. We culled from lists, dug in Crunchbase, and pulled from old news coverage. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it is a large sample of the hopes and dreams of the entrepreneurs of the time.

More here.

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16 Responses to The Servant Economy

  1. Nicholas Meyerback March 28, 2019 at 12:31 am #

    When Uber was formed in 2009 the company was extremely controversial. The idea that someone would request a ride from a complete stranger was almost laughable. Even more foreign was the idea that you could order these rides on your phone without calling. There were countless issues with the business model that ordinary people could point out. How can I trust my driver? How can I trust my driver’s car? What about tipping? Uber managed to address those problems and many more that would arise as the company expanded. By 2018 Uber reported $11.3 Billion in revenue.

    Uber started a storm that doesn’t show signs of calming. The transportation network company pioneered a new wave of startups that utilized the public as a labor pool. The surge of startups that followed was different than the dotcom boom. Instead of services that are provided over the internet, like search engines and email, the internet facilitated services that occurred apart from the computer in the “real world”. These could include various delivery services and in-person assistance. Thanks to Uber, there’s an app to have someone walk your dog (Wag) or to come to your house to assemble the furniture you ordered online (TaskRabbit).

    The internet forever changed how consumers satisfied their needs and wants. As stated above, there is a direct service for almost any day-to-day need. Therefore, the mechanisms of supply and demand have also been altered. The internet and the mobile applications that it birthed cut off the middle man in a traditional supply chain. Today, apps are the medium for seeking a service. A network that bridges an endless pool of labor willing to share their abilities and an endless source of people who seek those specialized abilities was created. The marketplace that links suppliers to demanders no longer takes place in a physical setting. Instead, the market occurs in the palm of your hand. Such explains the “sharing economy” that will dominate the future. The sharing economy can be described as a peer-to-peer model by which individuals acquire shared services on a digital platform. Goods and services are only temporarily accessed. Consumption does not take place in the traditional sense as a commodity may be employed by multiple people in the same day. By this model people put the operation of their belongings up for sale or sell a valuable ability. Uber represents a way for people to directly profit off their cars and their driving privilege, while Airbnb allows people to make use of a vacant room.

    The sharing economy revolutionized how we view employment. The shift to freelance employment comes with its faults. Uber and Airbnb don’t own their capital. The use of the cars and homes that are auctioned off are the property of the vendor. Therefore, Uber drivers don’t really work for Uber, they’re independent contractors that take advantage of Uber’s platform to generate a customer base. Although a significant amount of freedom comes with independent contracting, you work on your own terms and create your own schedule, independent contracting has its faults. Technically the driver is not an employee so insurance and medical benefits are not provided. Additionally, independent contractors do not enjoy the rights that labor laws bring, such as minimum wage. Finally, there is the issue with a consistent stream of income. The sharing economy presents an easy side-job, but not a career. As the sharing economy grows, more and more stable jobs will cease to exist and an increasing number of individuals will likely be forced to become independent contractors. This sequence of events may represent a larger problem in the future and can broaden the wage gap

  2. Daniel Gibson March 29, 2019 at 8:15 pm #

    When Uber was created back ten years ago, it wasn’t much at first. People didn’t really understand the entire concept. It took a few years until it really started to boom. At first, everyone was skeptical about just getting in a stranger’s car and I can’t blame them. Weren’t we taught as kids to do the exact opposite? Uber was constantly questioned too about the back round checks they did in hiring uber drivers. That’s what they did right though. Uber created a business in which anyone can basically work for them if their twenty-one and have a decent resume. As of 2018, uber created roughly three million jobs for people.
    One thing that also makes them so successful is that most people just use it as a part time. You also don’t have a set schedule. You basically just choose to when you want to drive and make some extra money. However, Uber drivers full time don’t make that much money in the long run. Its just meant for anyone that needs a little bit of extra money. Uber also became such a hit, because of what happened on social media and pop culture did to it. Uber is featured in many hit songs now and appears all over social media apps. Uber not only became a billion-dollar industry but opened the doors up for hundreds of other startup companies.
    Uber had the brilliant idea that many companies use now, which is personal drivers. These drivers do everything from driving drunk kids home to delivering you Chipotle. Some companies that came from Uber’s idea consist of door dash, grub hub, and uber eats. This was idea that I ever thought would happen. It changed the game for commerce. Uber will be around for a while, but eventually there will be an even better option of how we are transported.

  3. Rachel Leto March 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm #

    The idea of someone you did not know, came to your house, called you when they were outside, and dropped you off at your destination, was kind of a hard thing to grasp. Ever since Uber became so popular, people thought it was going to be very easy to remake Uber for something else. Like the article called it, “Uber-for-X”. They liked the idea that people would need a job that they could do on their time. Not to mention, the people that were taking part in these services, liked the feeling of someone sort of “working” for them. Even for the simplest tasks, like walking your dog. The major problem with this is that most of the markets that people are trying to aim for do not have many people interested in them. They keep acquiring all of this money from venture capitalists to make this Uber-for-X start up and they are losing it faster than they are getting it.
    The reason everyone likes these Uber-for-X companies is that most of the money that is being made is retained earnings to the person that made the company. For example, Uber is a car driving service that does not own any cars. They pay the drivers the minimum wage and the rest is for the owner. They do not have to pay for any bills, maintenance, or even insurance. The person driving just has to be approved by Uber to drive for them and that is it. People want to make companies like this because they are easy and they know that people want everything done for them because who does not like convenience? I can see how it is convenient for the person who is working for these companies because they can work when they want to, it is the ultimate flexible schedule. It is not demanding unless you want it to be. You can make your own hours and take off any time that you want. Uber has opened the door to a more advanced type of freelancing work.

  4. Rayzan Alarashi March 29, 2019 at 9:51 pm #

    Ever since the creation of companies such as Uber and Lyft, there has been a tremendous growth in in the economy for companies in the delivery business. These companies all have one thing in common, they run on a basis of convenience. We live in a world where people want things delivered to them at rapid rates, hence the creation of delivery services for all sorts of products. Whether I want dinner, groceries, or any sort of product delivered to me, I can take out my phone and have it arrived at my house within minutes or hours. For the most part, these services have been enjoyed by user’s worldwide, but they do occasionally cause some issues. In the instance of Uber, many taxi companies, especially those in big cities, are complaining that services like Uber and Lyft are taking away from their markets significantly. In some places around the world like Germany, uber has been removed totally for causing such issues. Not only do taxis suffer, but society in general. For those who live in big cities, such as New York city, Boston, Chicago, and many more, there has been several complaints that congestion is becoming an increasing difficult issue to handle. The surplus of delivery services has overcrowded the roads and made commuting and traveling a hassle for all. Despite the issues that some of these services bring, for the most part they are very good for the economy. One benefit they provide is employing millions of people nationwide. Virtually anyone with a car can become an Uber driver and begin making a steady income, increasing the availability of jobs tremendously. Like any great rise of an industry, follows its inevitable decline. With the implantation of so many services like Uber, Wag, Postmates, and infinitely many others, competition takes over causing prices to drop significantly. No longer can one sole company control a specific market because there are several businesses created for even one basic service such as food delivery. One common benefit shared by users of these apps is that they do make our lives very easy compared to not so long ago in the 20th century. We no longer even need to leave our house to get groceries and any product we wish to buy can show up at our front doorstep. Personally, I use these services very often and am curious as to how and in what ways they may change or evolve overtime.

  5. Ethan Bazan March 29, 2019 at 10:44 pm #

    The idea of a “sharing economy” is the future of a type economy that the world will be used worldwide. Uber was the first big successful company that succeeded from this type of economy. In fact, Uber is now considered a billion dollar taxi service even though Uber doesn’t even own one car. Before this success, Uber had very controversial feedbacks on how safe this idea would be. In 2009, the idea of one getting driven to their destination from a complete stranger was very controversial. However, Uber was thinking about the future of how technology will affect the way things work in the years to come. Uber had the idea of basically a three-way system: the passenger requesting the ride, the service it uses to request the ride “Uber”, and the driver who gets the job from Uber. As technology evolved the security issue would become safer for passengers and drivers as it has shared location during the whole trip. What makes Uber distinct is that Uber followed up with technology. This company knew how things would change as technology became a must in one’s life; hence, with thinking outside the box Garrett Camp made Uber become the world’s top car service. This idea also brought a rise of the idea of a “sharing economy”, which now is the future of all types of economic systems that will be the most successful in the years to come. As technology change the lifestyle on how consumers want their needs, companies will make the most profit in the idea of sharing economy. Just like Uber, many companies got the idea of basically a three-way system. Companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, DogVacay, Zaarly, etc have all adopted the idea of a sharing economy. Nowadays, companies that follow that system are the most successful in their fields because as technology becomes a must people want the most convenient for them. I’d say about a decade ago it would have been hard for companies to use a sharing economy. It would’ve been extremely difficult for a company to organize and connect a threeway system, but as people say technology makes everything easier. If technology never evolved as fast as it did most people would still be dialing up taxi cab to pick them up. People that live far from restaurants would have to go out of their way to get food, but now one could simply order it through their phone. Hence, as technology keeps evolving there will be new ways for people to make money. Just like Garrett Camp did, he used what he had available to him and thought outside the box to create a billion dollar company. As technology keeps becoming the center of our lives who knows how much brilliant ideas companies will come up with to make business or even a new type of economic system that will become a norm in our lives.

  6. Madyson Y. March 31, 2019 at 10:04 pm #

    Having a stranger pick you up in their own personal car seemed almost incomprehensible in the past, today it is considered the new norm. We were all taught at a young age to never get in a car with a stranger, so why is it okay that we do it now? Thanks to Uber, more people are getting to point B from point A safer and at a cheap price, just by clicking a button on their smartphones. However, in the earlier years of this company, many people in society questioned the safety of this new rideshare service. Have no fear, Uber now runs background checks on their drivers, and as well, sends employees out to inspect each and every car before someone is allowed to drive for them. Now that so many people have caught on to the trend of rideshare, Uber is now worth over $7.4 billion and has led to the creation of even more businesses.
    Thanks to the great minds behind Uber there are now apps that include at home delivery services and anytime assistance to consumers. Since 2009, the beginning of Uber’s existence, approximately 105 Uber-for-X-companies have been created to help consumers out with normal everyday activities. Branching out from rideshare services, Uber has created other apps such as Wag and Rover. Both apps help dog owners match with dog walkers in their area when they do not have the time or chance to walk their dog as much as they like, for a low flat rate per hour. Out of the 105 companies, only four have truly survived enough to make a good substantial amount of profit: DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Postmates. All four specialize in delivery service, meaning their employees are hired to deliver items like groceries to your doorstep for the total amount of your bill plus a small service fee. I guarantee that if you ask someone you know, they would tell you they have used one of these services before.
    On the downside, 47 companies are a thing of the past; with 28 of them already closing up shop, while the rest of them were acquired by other companies. While the Uber-for-X-companies have not brought in nearly the same amount of income Uber brings in, they still bring to the table a substantial amount of money in the private markets, approximately $24 billion.
    Because of Uber, many people can bring more income into their lives. Most Uber drivers did not have a job before due to conflicting hours or family needs. Now, they have the opportunity to create their own hours due to their own flexibility. Even if someone has unexpected free time, they can now make a few more extra dollars to help their family with bills or go on a family vacation that they could not afford before having this job. The moral of this story is that just by pushing a button on a smartphone, it can lead a company and its new employees to a world of success.

  7. DawnJ March 31, 2019 at 11:07 pm #

    Uber certainly changed the economy. I never really had a need for an Uber and did not even know what Uber was until a couple of years after the company was already popular and in the news. My first Uber ride was in 2013 when a friend suggested we use Uber to take us to the airport. I have to say I was not impressed. I was not comfortable with the driver and the car was dirty!

    Ever since Uber shook up the transportation business, especially for cabs, people got the idea of starting up other similar ventures following Uber’s business model and to many, it was surprising to see how successful these new businesses became. It seems that society suddenly took a leap to trust these business transactions. Deciding to summon an Uber, dog walker, babysitter, or food delivery service was very different than what people were used to doing. The digital platforms’ promise to guarantee success for the customers and service providers was enough for people to give it a go. At a time when people wanted to make extra money or even try a new career at time when the economy was trying to recover, these businesses were the way to go. There were also people who had the means to pay for the conveniences these companies provided, and one could do so easily with the tap of a button in an app.

    With all of the craze of the many, many star-ups only a handful have become household names and tend to be the go-to for many people, though the smaller, lesser known Uber-for-x companies still have a customer base and likely offer something that draws certain customers. I think the article is spot-on about how how these Uber-for-x companies have changed the labor landscape. Gone are the days when we called it the gig economy or service economy…servant economy is truly where we are and you are either a receiver or provider.

  8. Abdulrafay Amir April 2, 2019 at 11:36 am #

    The birth of Uber sparked a revolution in our society. Despite the clear hesitation from individuals to use the app in the beginning, Uber quickly took off and is a staple of transportation for many individuals today. This upgrade from the taxis that we used to ride lead to the birth of many off brand companies that do similar tasks of paying individuals to do chores and transport people. This seems to add to the reliance we have on technology in a sense for it to get us where we need to and for us to not even have to leave our house to get food when we can just press a button and have the food delivered to use in a matter of 30 minutes. Apps like GrubHub and even UberEats do similar acts like this which have been well-received by public despite being greeted by strangers who are picking up and delivering your food.
    I believe that clearly this is just the start for the different apps that will be created to help ease the tasks that we have to do in our lives that we don’t feel compelled to do. These apps definitely take advantage of the population in our society that is lazy and would always lean towards depending on these apps to get their things done for them. The fact that you have an app where you can have people get your groceries and deliver it to your house goes to show the power these apps have in our technology run society.

  9. Ryan April 3, 2019 at 2:15 pm #

    Uber was a novel idea. A hybrid blend of convenience for those employed and its customer base. Similar to other startups, funding was fierce, while acceptance of the new mode of transportation fluttered. As time progressed and word spread, employment and use skyrocketed. Convenience has always been sought after. The idea to apply Uber to other areas of daily life vastly grew, ushering in a plethora of start-ups, not all necessarily aligned with a road to success, despite possible strong funding. Over 10 years later, the market has changed significantly, with only a few notable names remaining and many others in the red, hopeful to turn things around. While I’ve always been one to take pride in doing many of the startup tasks myself, there certainly is a market for the services. As the economy shifts from physical to online sales, changes in the service industries were soon to follow. Unfortunately, the excitement of transforming a sector does not negate developing an appropriate business model and plan. Thus many start-ups faded, but not after pulling resources from other areas that could benefit further development. Perhaps as the dust begins to settle, we will see further growth in other regions that have become rather stagnant.

  10. Domenico Cirielli April 5, 2019 at 12:36 pm #

    I felt compelled to write about this article because it discusses something that inevitably a good amount of us will be apart of at one point in the future: the servant or sharing economy. In the last decade or so we have seen the creation of powerhouses like Uber, Doordash, and Airbnb. These revolutionary companies own no capital, but rather rely on their independent contract workers they hire to provide their own equipment and to care for their own benefits. This is the future of the economy and I believe it necessary to discuss.

    Hungry, but don’t feel like getting out of bed? Doordash, Uber Eats, or Post Mates are at your disposable, ready to deliver food at your door with the click of a button. What if I told if there was a platform in which you could arrange for someone to pick up your dirty laundry and deliver it back cleaned and organized? The sharing economy not only exists for conventional delivering needs but also for pretty much anything an individual could think of. However, while I see this as a means of convenience in the future, I also see it as a way for individuals to grow lazy. If we can have anything we want at the touch of our fingertips, then individuals are going to lose motivation to go out of the house and that could possibly correlate with higher percentages of individuals out of work.

    Also, what does this mean for brick and mortar stores? If these sharing economy services continue to revolutionize how we obtain our goods and services, what is that to mean for a grocery store for example? Are they going to exist? I predict that many of the stores as we know them may seize to exist, at least on a level where customers go in and get what they want. Everything will become digitized, and before we know it, increased connectivity and the internet of things will start to recognize our behavioral patterns and suggest things that we need and purchase them even before we even knew we need them.

    While it is frightening to think about at times, the world as we know is changing and something that is contributing to that is the sharing economy. This new economy is going to completely alter the job market as we know it – and frankly, there is a very high chance that we are going to find employment in it at one point or another. As a result, it is important to keep up with the trends of where this economy is headed in order to best understand our options in the future, due to the fact that many of the conventional jobs that exist now will cease to in the years to come.

  11. Horace L Bryce Jr April 9, 2019 at 1:39 am #

    1. I agree with the Alexis C. Madrigal in his article The Servant Economy. Madrigal believes that in new services made available to all of us through the new “Uber-for-X” companies have made our lives a lot more convenient than they were before. These companies did two things as stated by Madrigal, “It put together a labor pool to deliver food or clean toilets or assemble IKEA bookshelves, and it found people who needed those things done.”. This created a “two-sided market” which is where a company acts as a platform for that connects consumers with people who can provide services to them. Services like Uber are very convenient to the population and in my experience has been a great convenience. With a few clicks of some buttons on my phone I can have food or items delivered to me, travel somewhere, or have someone come to my house to fix something. I am an avid user of these services especially the uber ride services which make it very easy and quick to travel around places when compared to other modes of transportation. There were a few problems with the services for example in the beginning there were issues like if you could trust your uber driver, or having to tip the drivers. While there are flaws that alerted many people about the companies and “sketchy” uber drivers, however the leaders of them have paid attention and listened to the people to make sure they have the best experience. In addition to my personal experience with transportation companies, the author also talks about the competitive factor involved with having an idea such as this one, and how other people make their own. Thus, causing prices to fall in delivery, to keep up with their competitors. Although issues like competition are declines for the company and the people that work for it, this is bound to happen with innovative ideas such as Uber or lyft and it should actually be appreciated. Now the opportunities are endless, and you never have to worry about not having a delivery service especially when in a hurry.

  12. Alison Schwerthoffer April 9, 2019 at 3:03 pm #

    The creation of Uber back in 2009 has taken the world by storm. Continuing after Uber, there have been many different forms of Uber including different forms of the company like UberX and UberEats. There has also been many other new companies who provide services such as drivers, food deliveries, people to do grocery shopping for you and bring it right to your house, and much more. “Academics called this a “two-sided market,” but to a user, it meant tapping on a phone and watching the world rearrange itself to satisfy your desires. Convenience drove consumer demand” (Madrigal par. 2). What sticks out to me in this statement is the convenience driven demand. Users can open an app on their phones and request a driver. A mother of two can go on a website and have a weeks worth of groceries delivered to her house without taking a step out of the front door. A college student coming home at two in the morning can have their favorite fast food delivered to them at the tap of a button. We live in a world where people like to stay at home and have everything done for them. This lackadaisical lifestyle and people willing to be extra fees for something they can do themselves has created companies and created work for many. While this can be seen as a positive that people are now working and making money, as said in the article these types of work are not actually reliable jobs.
    Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Grubhub, and many more, “have brought hundreds of thousands of people into new work arrangements that are more than a gig but less than a job” (Madrigal par. 6). More than a gig, but less than a job. This is a great way to describe the type of work done by workers of these companies. These jobs are more than a gig because they take more time and sometimes more attention than a gig, but these types of work are no where near jobs because many times, the men and women working for the companies get to choose where and when they want to work, and for how long. Many people have differing views on if these types for wok are positive or negative. On the positive side, people can make money or extra money if they already have a job. On the negative side, it is transforming us into a society that is lazy and impatient. I agree that markets and economies are being based on this convenience, and that more and more users will look to use these convenience companies.

  13. Peter Honczaryk April 12, 2019 at 11:41 am #

    The concept of Uber is amazing. The company is basically a taxi company that uses other peoples cars as taxis without having to have bought any cars for employees to use. It was a revolutionary idea that allowed for drivers to try and find a way to make some easy money while the company made millions off of those drivers. It also gave the consumers themselves a cheap way to get around to wherever they needed to go while paying a cheap price, quick service, and without needing a drivers license. The concept is truly an amazing idea. The best thing for drivers is that it is a part time job so they can choose whatever hours they want to work. It can vary from doing five hours a day to five hours a week. Drivers are able to work how long and choose how much they want to possibly make. The customers are allowed to choose from a variety of functions in the app that allows them to choose the uber type they want for the cheapest or more expensive uber. Uber pools allow for cheap and easy ways to get from one destination to another with ease. Even with all these great features and the concept of Uber is truly great, there have been many problems. They have had losses of information in the past. Credit cards information were stolen and used by people who did not own them which caused for many users to truly think twice about Uber and using it. The whole app is based on location services and so you need to always share your location and this can help Uber pinpoint your travels so they can always have a way to easily provide you with a driver. It took some time for Uber to also fix the problem with drivers. They were not investigating their backgrounds as thoroughly as they should have and this caused many problems for customers. Overall, the concept of Uber is amazing, it is a great business which has been used as a model for many other companies. However, it did have its problems which it has faced and still has to face today.

  14. Claudia Ralph April 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm #

    The servant economy has allowed us to have almost anything we need at the touch of a button. The convince of having a product or service in a matter of hours or even minutes is unparalleled to anything that we have experienced before. Uber is hailed as the catalyst of the “servant economy” that we live in and all enjoy the convenience of. The hybrid that Silicon Valley created was genius and has taken on a full life of its own at this point. I cannot imagine not being able to just order something to eat from my bed and the biggest inconvenience being getting out of my bed.
    And while many of these companies may have a short shelf life, they make it easier for other companies to refine processes and make for good competition for consumers. Unicorns that break through and become wildly popular make for an interesting market, as many of them dominate the space that they are in. Look at Uber for example. It dominates the ride sharing space and is only partially rivaled by Lyft, which is nowhere nearly as popular as Uber.
    This also give people a means for employment that they may not have had before. Uber drivers already usually have cars and are able to use something they already own in order to make money. Same goes for Postmates and other delivery-based services. Even dog walkers are in demand. These people are able to stimulate the economy through their spending and the spending of the consumers that they are forming new arrangements with every day.
    It is the impact of companies like Uber and Wag that make the tracking a bit harder. To know the full impact on the economy is difficult because there are many moving parts in these types of transactions. But there is one thing that we can all settle for sure and that is that service like Uber, Postmates and Wag had absolutely revolutionized the way that consumers interact with each other and interact with the world. It will be interesting to see where these platforms go from their original intentions.

  15. Matthew Ams April 12, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

    It is astonishing to be part of a new generation of technology and see the impact it has had on our economy and consumers. Uber has and and will be around for a very long time, and has brought everyone closer to their phones without even realizing it. Uber started this revolution of make everything easier and more convenient, and it has certainly done so. Just to think that ten years ago people could not go onto their smartphones, order a car to pick them up or food to be delivered without having to call a company or place an order for take out is unbelievable. Uber started a new wave but it has lead to people getting lazier and lazier. No one has to leave their home to get food, no one has to own a car to get places, and no one has to walk their dog as someone will gladly come to your home to do it for you. Uber started a new way of working and there is such demand for it that why wouldn’t everyone who can’t land a well paying salary join? The answer to that is simple, these companies do not pay enough and certainly do not have some of the securities and benefits as a normal job. I personally think that if companies like Uber and Wag want to push the boundaries of technology and service, that they need to increase wages to attract more people. Og course this would’ve a negative affect on prices for consumers but when you are the only one in the market that can do so, you should take advantage and capitalize on profits for as long as you can. People are more then willing to pay an extra five dollars for a ride somewhere, with proof being that grub hub will personally deliver your starbucks coffee for 15 dollars when it would only cost a third of that to go pick it up yourself. Humans are lazy and would be more then willing to pay more.
    I Hope service companies will continue to grow and prosper as there is such extreme potential for them in society.

  16. Doran Abdi April 12, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    In my eyes Uber has been one of the most incredible companies to have been created from the standpoint of an innovator or an entrepreneur. It really seems to be a good idea that serves as a model for someone who is looking to create their own business and their own idea. At the time it was created, it was approached as being incredibly suspicious and unordinary as many older generations were not crazy about the idea of getting into a random stranger’s car. With that being said, since the start of Uber there definitely have been instances (https://www.atchisontransport.com/blog/reported-list-of-incidents-involving-uber-and-lyft/) that have proved the doubters of Uber’s safety right, but the company has still been able to flourish becoming the largest taxi service in America with owning no actual vehicles. As the article points out, Uber had once been the source of many services that had came along with the initial idea of just being a taxi service; it had hopes to be utilized as a service that would be able to bring any type of help to a consumer in the most convenient way. I think the most important term to be looked at here is the idea of convenience. Convenience drives the market for entrepreneurs and innovators—especially in America—as it serves as essentially the biggest reason why most consumers will ever allow something new in their life: to maximize convenience. Look at it like this, why would a costumer want to drive out of his house to pick up their groceries when they can pay for someone to do it for them? This is, essentially, what drives the economy in America as a whole.

    Look at majority of the companies that are flourishing today: Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba, etc. All of these companies are utilizing the idea of maximizing their costumer’s convenience in an effort to make as much money as they possibly can. A company like Amazon has already seen itself get closer and closer to the consumer through products such as Alexa in which numerous other companies have been able to replicate (Google Home, etc.) Products like this have sparked entirely different and new conversations including the privacy and safety of consumers. Uber on its own has been pressed about the confidentiality that is put into each trip that a costumer is to take. To me, this is the biggest way in which I could find a company such as Amazon, Uber, etc. to fail through the public’s eye being to not take the privacy and confidentiality of a user’s information as secret as possible for the consumers of the world will always use any service that allows them to be as convenient as possible but that also includes how comfortable they are in using a service.

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