My thoughts on Uber…where should I start? Let’s start from the beginning. After launching in 2009, Uber acted like many of its counterpart startups in the Silicon Valley – thinking outside of the box, being creative, technologically advanced, and finding a solution for a simple problem that millions of people around the world dealt with. Then, the ugly-tactic bug hit Uber, and a founding team and management of so-called “good” people that want to help society took to the dark side of business.
Co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has already publicly said, “If you bring that scrappy fierceness with you it works until you get big, when pushing all the way really feels uncomfortable…when you’re the little guy that’s lauded, that’s heroic” – unfortunately he does not follow his own advice.
How can he explain their famous poaching tactics?
The Industry Standard
When you are the industry standard, you are like a big bro – you set the tone for the youngest guys, and you can either lead, bully, or be ignored. Uber has chosen to be the bully of a big brother. After 6 rounds of funding they have managed to bring in $1.5 billion, while they pick on Lyft, a company that has raised a measly $322.5 million in 6 rounds.
In the long run bullies finish last and nice guys finish first. So when Uber wants more drivers, why not act as a leader? What Mr. Kalanick should be doing is taking a page out of Sir Richard Branson’s book of leadership.
Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it or what’s the fastest way to do it…think what’s the most amazing way to do it.
Directly From Uber
In a recent blog post, Uber claimed the following:
If Uber really stood for those things, why wouldn’t it market itself around that, not only to its users, but also to potential employees? A company that has succeeded in raising $1.5 billion dollars does not understand that we, society, generally respond to positivity better than we do to negativity?
Another one from Sir Richard Branson;
My philosophy is, put your employees first, your customers second and your investors third and, in the end, everyone will be happy.
If Uber really cared so much about creating new jobs, and is not just focused on making more money at the expense of everyone else, then where is the right marketing and advertising strategy of selling their Utopian vision? Why not treat your current employees with the respect they deserve? In the end people talk, and nothing is stronger than word of mouth – so Mr. Kalanick, just work right with what you’ve got.
It’s a shame that such a powerful company has a great product/service, yet it shoots itself in the foot with strategic bullets? A company has a renowned product/service that most people can’t stop raving about (even those that don’t like the tactics), but this booming startup has chosen to keep being a bully instead of growing up. Uber can either mature and become the industry leader in the long run, or risk seeing its empire crumble, becuase in due time these young guns will make a move..
The ball is in your court Uber – what’s it going to be?