How did Uber get so Big? Transportation Decentralization.
The alarm rings to wake me up at 5:15 in the crack of dawn. I take a shower and eat breakfast. I quickly get ready and my brain starts to stress regarding my tasks I have to complete in the day. I also add another unpleasant experience; catching a taxi in the early morning hectic weather of summer in New York City.
Another Monday morning doing the same routine. Until Uber came along. I can now click on my phone’s app and order a taxi which shows up in less than 8 minutes. Three things convinced me Uber’s strategy to be the most effective in transportation; reliability, de-centralization, and transparency between user and company.
1. Reliability in Transportation
When was the last time you were worried the taxi would not show up? Probably never but that one time made you wish you can track where the taxi is. Or even who the driver will be. Reliable transportation has been an intriguing topic among local governments and has always been hard to manage. Experts insist that having the ability to track your vehicle while approaching is the most reliable way there is and gives the user more options to opt out on. Uber’s app also lets you see how many cars are around the user at the time, making the process even more appealing to reliability.
2. De-Centralization of Transportation
I play the game of Monopoly with my family in any reunion we can get. I love the game. It gives the family the sense of opportunity-finding. You quickly get to know who is more aggressive, who has the most driven personality, and often times greediness. I see the same case with the transportation sector. My father graduated college with a degree in Business focused in transportation. Back in the day, Puerto Rico planned to develop the “Agua-Guagua” project allowing Puerto Ricans to travel across the island (and neighboring countries) either by land or sea. So I reached out and asked my “Senior Adviser” for a description of the Transportation Administration in the United States – or its sister country for that matter. The monopoly involved in centralized entities is difficult to define. Due to its hush-hush culture, key performing indicators are based on friendships and favors which hardly have anything to do with the customer service, progress, and accountability.
This same explanation comes from *Sam Frizell – Author for Times Magazine:
“But a big reason Uber has grown so quickly is that it’s not regulated the same way that traditional taxi services are. Uber proponents say it’s about time for monopolistic, over-regulated city cab services to be broken up. Riders deserve options, they say, and better pricing, and more nimble technology. Still, the company is no stranger to controversy, most recently over reports of executives abusing the company’s ability to track riders.”
3. Transparency to the People
There is a feeling of transparency when you involve a public company to run such a chunk of the transportation pie. I like Uber’s strategy and I feel it makes things more open to the consumer. I believe de-centralization is the right step in dissolving the monopoly that “drives” us from place to place.