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Article written by Boris Bozic on the 04 Apr 2016 in Current Events

Uber Technologies (funny how they don’t refer to themselves as having anything to do with the taxi industry) is reported to be worth an estimated $51 billion. It took them a whooping 5 years to reach this mind boggling value. This is the reality in the new digital economy.  Massive evaluation seems to happen today in what feels like a blink of an eye. Companies like Uber are the new frontier. They innovate, challenge conventional practices, defy you to stand in their way, and if need be they have no qualms about poking the bear in the eye. Über is the poster child of an industry provocateur and disturber.

For those who have not heard of Uber, they’re a technology company that connects people who have cars, with people who need a ride; sounds a lot like the taxi industry – but not in Uber’s eyes. That’s the essence of what makes Uber a disturber. You look like a duck, you walk like a duck, and you quack like a duck, so you must be, well, not a duck according to Uber; just a technology company. Many jurisdictions have tried to regulate Uber out of their markets, and in some cases Uber has been told to cease and desist, but Uber has demonstrated that they will scratch and claw to protect their turf. A lost battle for Uber in the courtroom is a setback, not a final resolution. You know what it means to have a company worth $51billion? It means you can employ a lot of lawyers.

Full disclosure, I’ve been using Uber for about a year. I love the service, and I’ve never had any issues. I have no dog in this fight, meaning I have no financial interest in Uber’s success. Maybe I should.  The reason I continued using Uber was that I enjoyed being driven in a clean car. I like the fact that the driver is not on the phone while driving. I like the fact that the sounds of screeching brakes don’t puncture my ear drums. I like their technology and the ease of it. I like being able to jump out of the car when I arrive at the destination and not fumble around for my wallet. Reason being is that my credit card is automatically charged, including gratuity. I like the fact that driver never says to me, “do you have to pay with a credit card, don’t you have cash?” Über provided an alternative, and took advantage of an industry which believed that government would continue to regulate competition away.  Oops!

Uber has lost its share of court battles, but they always come back. The opposing parties will cloak themselves in their pious arguments when before the courts, be it legal or public opinion. For the taxi industry, it’s about passenger safety blah, blah blah. For Uber, ride sharing is good for the environment blah, blah, blah. One side wants some and the other is not willing to share. If I was betting man I would put a few quid on Uber prevailing. The taxi industry, along with many other industries, are going to have to come to grips with the fact that they will not able to put their hands on a computer screen and push the internet back in.

Until next time,



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