If you read any commentary about Uber, it is awful. It might even be one of the worst companies. Whether it is for their discrimination of women, their political affiliation, the extreme pay gap between driver and employee, or robbing taxi drivers from their jobs, they have all the ingredients to constitute what most people would call bad for humans. But at the same time, they have created one of the most useful business in our decade.
In 2016, in the midst of all these problems, I took an uber cab every single day at least twice a day. Why? Because it was so convenient that I found it to be my cheapest mode of transport to go to work. You see I got a job offer at a AT&T only 5 miles away from home, and the email gave me instructions on how and where to park my car. The instructions were so long and complex that I stopped 3 paragraphs in and just downloaded the Uber app.
During the ride, I checked how I could take the bus instead for the long term and saw that it would take 3 buses and 1 hour and 20 minutes. It's 5 miles! Fifteen minutes later I was in my interview room. So I never took the bus, I never drove, I simply took Uber everyday. It was super convenient, but don't think for a second that I have become a loyal Uber customer. Sometimes, Uber will jack the prices to 2x or 3x. When they do so, I close the Uber app and switch to Lyft. If another services comes along, I will just as easily switch.
What Uber has created is a solution to a problem I had. Now other companies provide the exact same solutions. When I'm inside the car, most of the time I don't know which app I used to book the ride. To make it more confusing, the driver will have both the Uber and the Lyft sign on the windshield. Now I can get a ride to any place I want at the press of a button.
These services are illegal in certain countries. Even in the US there is always the possibility that they will be banned. But here is the thing, we got a taste of it. Now we know that we can get to from one place to another at the press of a button. Do you think we will ever go back to the days of Taxi cabs? Hell no!
If we discover today that Apple and Google are involved in a horrible scheme, their voice assistant activate at night and drive your pets to commit suicide... We will hate them and prosecute them for it. But do you think we will give up on smartphones? Not a chance. We had a taste, we know what it is like to have a smartphone, we will never go back.
is was banned in Italy. People know that they can rent their place now to strangers. Note that I said Was banned. You can ban it all you want, people still have space to rent. We had a taste of it, we will never go back.
Think about this, in 1998 GM destroyed all their electric vehicles in favor of gasoline powered cars. Well today here they are manufacturing electric cars again.
Once we have a taste of something, no law or lobbying can stop it from ever happening again.