Uber is more than an alternative to a taxi service. It introduced the world to the feasibility of a new method of doing business, and about how a person can work within the world on their own terms. It has shifted a paradigm in a highly unexpected way, and the full impact of its presence may not be known for some time.
With that in mind, there are certain key points that have already become notable in the business landscape and are brought to the forefront by companies like Uber.
Here is an exploration of how Uber has already impacted the world we live in, and one prediction of what may be possible for the future.
A Great App Is The Key
People are inundated with new apps on a daily basis through their app store of preference, so most users have learned to tell the difference between an excellent piece of software and a piece of rubbish. Part of Uber’s success is in the design of the app, with some users turning to Uber for rides multiple times a day. If the experience was more frustrating, users would have abandoned the platform for something new. Its popularity supports its solid design.
That being said, Uber offers a service that people can use as well. Even the flashiest app won’t convince the masses to pay for something they don’t need…or, at least, not for long.
On the other side, a poorly made app may be a company’s downfall. Expectations regarding what can be accomplished in this area have skyrocketed, and customers are willing to abandon a loser when they see one. If you are looking to stay connected to your clients while they are on the go, you cannot afford to neglect your app. It just is not something you can ignore.
You Don’t Have to Own Anything to Win in Business
Uber does not own a single vehicle. Not one car, one truck, or one SUV. Uber serves as a platform for connecting those that do have vehicles with people who need rides, and that is basically it. The trick is, it does it well. The app allows drivers and riders to connect quickly, providing a precise time of arrival for each party. It also handles the financial side of the transaction, ensuring that payments are processed properly (for a small fee, or course).
While a large company without any actual offerings may bring about memories of the “dot com” era of the 90s, Uber has found a way to make that work by offering the kind of service people didn’t realise was missing from their lives until it took the marketplace by storm.
With Clear Requirements, You Only Need to Provide Minimal Oversight
Uber driver requirements may be considered basic, but they are clear. Additionally, drivers set their own schedules, completely removing the need to manage the idiosyncrasies that come with having actual employees.
While the concept of connecting contractors, freelancers, or other forms of the self-employed is nothing new, this is another area where Uber takes the kinds of precautions necessary to provide everyone with a minimum level of security without having actually to hire drivers themselves.
You Don’t Even Have to Explain Your Pricing in Entirety
While Uber does explain how its base rates are applied, allowing a person to estimate the cost of their ride, it does not fully explain the concept of “surge” pricing beyond the basics of supply and demand. Granted, Uber was chastised for charging higher rates during a blizzard based on this price model (and has since vowed not to take advantage of natural disasters), it has left its formula intact for predictable surges, such as after a large sporting event.
The Prediction: Uber May Help Determine the Success of Self-Driving Cars
If you want to see an example of a company that could seriously profit from the self-driving car, Uber would be one of them. While this would mean they would need to acquire the vehicles as business assets, it does help eliminate the costs associated with paying a driver.
Instead of only taking a cut of the fee for managing the transaction, Uber could keep the fee in its entirety. Depending on the selling price of the self-driving car, the math could actually work out in Uber’s favour as it will be able to maintain an entire fleet that does not have to sleep to keep an appropriate level of safety on the road.
While this won’t be the only factor of the self-driving cars success (the general public would also have to be comfortable with the idea of using them), Uber could certainly make them feel more mainstream…and isn’t that half the battle for introducing new technology in the first place?