Thursday, December 12, 2019

the last book I ever read (Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac, excerpt four)

from Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac:

The founder’s instinct proved correct. Uber’s guerilla tactics far outmatched the resources and technical acumen of government workers or taxi operators. In Seattle, for instance, Austin Geidt dropped in like a paratrooper, quickly hiring ground support staff to drum up interest from riders and drivers. Ryan Graves then swooped in and made the pitch to town car companies: “We’re giving your drivers a way to earn extra money.” In a matter of weeks, Uber was able to grow its ridership before the city even knew what had happened. By the time regulators had arrived, Uber was too popular with citizens to try and shut it down. Once Uber hit critical mass, transportation authorities lacked the manpower to stop the fleet.

To Kalanick, Uber wasn’t doing anything wrong. After all, these were official limo and town car drivers, operating well-maintained, insured vehicles and using Uber’s service to make extra money during inefficient downtime. Everyone working for Uber was a licensed, professional driver—period. (This was before UberX allowed anyone with a car to become a driver.) As Uber’s footprint spread across the United States—Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago—it became more popular and thus more difficult for cities to block the company.

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