ubercab

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pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

Bill Gurley at Benchmark Capital had similar reservations. Ram Shriram, who’d made money with Camp on StumbleUpon, felt UberCab didn’t have the right attributes for a technology company. “I told them, ‘I don’t invest in capital-intensive businesses, and I don’t want to end up with fifteen Lincoln Town Cars in my driveway.’” Numerous investors saw a red flag in Camp and Kalanick’s reluctance to join UberCab full time. And Ryan Graves, three months into his Silicon Valley entrepreneurial career, wasn’t a satisfactory CEO. One investor who saw UberCab’s potential was Rob Hayes of First Round Capital. Hayes had been following Camp on Twitter and noticed his periodic references to “UberCab,” though Hayes, a decade older and not a member of the same social scene, had no idea what it was. On June 15, 2010, when the new service had been running for just a few weeks, Hayes sent Camp an e-mail titled “UberCab.”

A soft-spoken Canadian engineer, Camp had founded and successfully sold a company called StumbleUpon, built around an app for finding information on the Web. In 2010, Camp was ramping up one of his many ideas, a smartphone app called UberCab that allowed a user to summon a limousine in San Francisco. Kalanick was putting in time with UberCab just as he was with Formspring, which at the time showed far more impressive user growth. In hindsight, the Uber-versus-Formspring decision seems obvious. It certainly was to Camp. “I was like, ‘Dude, Formspring?’ It had growth but how was it going to make money?” reflects Camp. “I told him there’s going to be significant revenue at Uber.” Kalanick says it wasn’t so much UberCab’s potential revenue that made him take the plunge. Instead, he describes the challenge in language that evokes a jigsaw puzzle, a particularly tough one that might come together in a beautiful picture.

Back in San Francisco, Camp was beginning to think about his UberCab idea as something that had legs. But the idea took hold slowly. “I have ideas all the time,” he says. “But you’ve got to usually come back to an idea repeatedly before you actually do something about it. And this was one that when you just want to stop thinking about it after a certain period of time you realize you’ve got to do something. “I didn’t really set out to start a company. It was more like I set out to create a product. But it was the only one I acted upon at the time.” In the early part of 2009 Camp set up a bank account with $15,000 to fund the Web site he’d already begun to develop: Ubercab.com. Camp estimates that over its first eighteen months he funneled about $250,000 into UberCab. Because Camp continued to divide his time with StumbleUpon, the process would take most of the year, moving forward in fits and starts.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

note_id=476991565402. 58 “Uber CEO ‘Super Pumped’ ”: Michael Arrington, “Uber CEO ‘Super Pumped’ about Being Replaced by Founder,” TechCrunch, https://techcrunch.com/2010/12/22/uber-ceo-super-pumped-about-being-replaced-by-founder/. 59 posed for an Instagram snapshot: Uber HQ (@sweenzor), Instagram Photo, September 18, 2013, https://www.instagram.com/p/eatIa-juEa/?taken-by=sweenzor. 59 hailed UberCab’s model: Leena Rao, “UberCab Takes the Hassle Out of Booking a Car Service,” TechCrunch, https://techcrunch.com/2010/07/05/ubercab-takes-the-hassle-out-of-booking-a-car-service/. 59 one TechCrunch article by Arrington said: Michael Arrington, “What If UberCab Pulls an Airbnb? Taxi Business Could (Finally) Get Some Disruption,” TechCrunch, https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/31/what-if-ubercab-pulls-an-airbnb-taxi-business-could-finally-get-some-disruption/. Chapter 7: THE TALLEST MAN IN VENTURE CAPITAL 65 “It’s magic”: GigaOm, “Bill Gurley, Benchmark Capital (full version),” YouTube video, 32:48, December 14, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

That grunt work largely fell to Graves, who would Google black car services across San Francisco, show up to their garages, and pitch the bemused fleet staff on driving for UberCab. The company struck an early deal with AT&T, wherein they bought thousands of iPhones in bulk at a discounted price. These they would hand out for free to drivers, pre-programmed to run UberCab’s software. The AT&T deal brought Luddite drivers onto the network as quickly as possible. Tens of thousands of dollars in iPhones lined the walls of UberCab’s offices, stacked like white bricks. They piled atop one another faster than staff could give them away. Matt Sweeney, an early employee, posed for an Instagram snapshot of himself splayed across a pallet of iPhone 4s with his eyes closed, a bed of shrink-wrapped handsets in pristine, minimalist Apple packaging. The tactic worked. New UberCab drivers flooded the market in San Francisco as the handful of early employees began to promote the app to anyone who would listen.

UberCab’s private black cars would show up spotless, with slick black leather interiors and comfortable air conditioning, replete with wintergreen breath mints and chilled bottles of Aquafina. One of the most important parts of the UberCab experience was paying for the ride. Kalanick was insistent that payment was something people shouldn’t even have to think about. With UberCab, the ride would simply be charged to a credit card stored on your account. Ending the trip was as simple as opening the door and stepping out onto the curb. No tips, no change, no hassles. Soon enough, startup CEOs and venture capitalists started expensing their UberCab rides. Having the Uber app—knowing to order an Uber rather than take your chances with a taxi—became a status symbol. UberCab employees printed out dozens of promotional gift cards, handing them out to influential Twitter users and other high-profile members of the Bay Area’s tech elite, encouraging them to talk and Tweet about it.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

It looks cool,” he said. McCloskey recalls that Camp “wanted it to be one word and a description of excellence” and that his musings on the word, its sound and meaning, were incessant. “What an uber coffee that was,” he’d say randomly after drinking a cup. “It means great things! It means greatness!” Camp says he contemplated calling this new service ÜberCab or BestCab and finally settled on just UberCab, losing the umlaut. (He registered the domain name UberCab.com in August 2008.) McCloskey loved Camp’s endless examination of new ideas but wasn’t so sure she believed in this particular one. “Sure, cabs are terrible,” she said. “But you are only in the cab for eight minutes! Why does it matter?” But Camp was certain that he wanted such a service. He also knew that the iPhone and its new App Store, which Apple introduced over the summer of 2008, were going to finally make the futuristic vision in Casino Royale practical.

Meanwhile, Graves, the CEO, and Kalanick, an adviser now spending about twenty hours a week on UberCab, cold-called and visited San Francisco town-car fleets and pitched the service to the owners. “It was old school dialing for dollars,” Kalanick would later say.6 “A third of the calls, you know, basically I got hung up on before I got to the core pitch. A third of the calls they heard for about a minute and a half and then I got hung up on. And a third were like, this is interesting.” In May, Mob.ly was acquired by Groupon and announced it would shut down its ongoing projects. It was almost disastrous for the fledgling UberCab. Graves had to beg Mob.ly to finish stable versions of the apps for riders and drivers. The company agreed, and in the first week of June 2010, UberCab’s apps went live in Apple’s iOS App Store. An idea that had popped into Garrett Camp’s head a year and a half before now quietly launched in the city of San Francisco, right as the smartphone revolution began to gather momentum.

Over the next few months Cabulous warily circled Taxi Magic, drawing up expansion plans and jockeying to sign up taxi fleets. Then UberCab, with its more elegant app and deluxe black-car experience, started gathering momentum, plaudits, and venture capital, and it eventually blew both companies out of the water. When he heard that San Francisco officials had served UberCab with that first cease-and-desist notice, adorned with a head shot of Ryan Graves, Wolpert believed it was justified. Regulation had a purpose. Taxi prices needed to be strictly controlled so that grandmothers could afford a ride home from the supermarket. He knew the pricier black cars were regulated more lightly, but by law they had to be summoned in advance, limiting their ability to compete with cabs. Wolpert felt that UberCab blew up that distinction with new technology, allowing riders to electronically summon a town car with little forethought, just as they would hail a yellow cab on the street.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

According to the Uber website, “on a snowy Paris evening in 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had trouble hailing a cab. So they came up with a simple idea—tap a button, get a ride.”75 True to its high-end roots, the first iteration—UberCab—was a black car service that allowed a user to call a car by pressing a button on a smartphone or sending a text. The price hovered around 1.5 times as much as a typical San Francisco cab.76 The service ran into regulatory issues almost from the start. After an October 2010 cease-and-desist letter from the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority and the Public Utilities Commission of California claiming they were operating an unlicensed taxi service, UberCab removed the word cab from its logo and started to operate under the brand name Uber. On its Facebook page, the company commented that it was “more uber than cab.”77 When Uber began in New York, it also billed itself as an app-driven dispatch service catering to people who were willing to pay more.

“Anatomy of a Seven-Hour, $583 Uber Ride.” Motherboard. June 17. https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pga4n9/anatomy-of-a-seven-hour-583-uber-ride. Kokalitcheva, Kia. 2016. “Uber’s Employment Fight Just Got More Complicated.” Fortune, March 4. Kolhatkar, Sheelah. 2016. “Juno Takes on Uber.” New Yorker, October 10. ———. 2017. “Welcoming Our New Robot Overlords.” New Yorker, October 23. Kolodny, Lora. 2010. “UberCab Ordered to Cease and Desist.” TechCrunch, October 24. Kortum, Samuel, and Josh Lerner. 2000. “Assessing the Impact of Venture Capital on Innovation.” Rand Journal of Economics 31:674–92. Kosoff, Maya. 2015. “2 Harvard Students Were Sick of Their Dirty Apartments, So They Built a Company That Will Do Your Chores for You.” Business Insider, June 17. Kravets, David. 2016. “Judge Calls Uber Algorithm ‘Genius,’ Green-Lights Surge-Pricing Lawsuit.”

See also cashless payment systems; customer review sites; smartphones technology focus: apps, 6; contactless payment systems, 6; review systems, 6; smartphones, 6 TED talk, 30 temporary-agency model: sexual harassment and, 119–21; TaskRabbit as, 1, 55; worker expectations and, 121–24 temporary workers, 179–80 Temp Slave (Kelly), 180 1099/freelance workers, 94–96, 186, 189, 198fig. 14, 205 Teran, Dan, 190 term reinvention, 28–29 term usage: disruption, 30; sharing, 28–29; trust, 29–30 textile industry: cottage industry, 66; in New England, 66; strikes in, 67, 70, 224n12; textile mills, 66 Thumbtack, 64 Tien, Jon, 58 time rule solution, 202–3, 206 time with passenger calculations, 226n47 tips, 77 Title VII protections, 118 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 16, 31 Ton, Zeynep, 190 Tonnie, Ferdinand, 32 tool libraries, 26 Trader Joe’s, 190 Tradesy, 9 traditional employment, 184, 190 Traity, 29 travel time, 15 Treaty of Detroit, 177 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, 92, 93, 226–27n3, 227n8 TripAdvisor, 30 trust: Airbnb and, 30; decreasing rate of, 33; problems and, 46–47; trust-and-safety/support fees, 55–56, 79; trust ratings, 30; verifications and, 29–30, 208 TrustCloud, 29 The Tumbleweed Society (Pugh), 38 twenty-factor test, 197, 199–201box 1 Twitter, 30 Uber, 2; overview, 4, 7, 21, 22, 223n75; African-Americans as users of, 35; background on, 49–54; bathroom use, 88; business use of, 182, 228n14; communication issues, 63; complaints against passengers, 108–9; criminal activity and, 143–47; Driver Injury Protection insurance, 102; driver requirements, 167; employee monitoring, 204; as environmentally friendly, 226n47; financing programs, 3, 73, 226n36; general liability insurance, 110; growth of, 7; high capital-barrier, 43, 43tab. 1, 167; homeless workers and, 42; income level, 184–85; insurance requirements, 145; lawsuits against, 233n54; lawsuits by workers against, 38; legalization strategies of, 145; low skill-barrier, 43tab. 1, 160; 180 Days of Change campaign, 102; participant recruitment and methodology, 42–43; party-line rides, 105–6; payment rate changes, 74–78, 75tab. 2; pivots, 74–79; policies and algorithms of, 6; price-fixing conspiracy lawsuit, 71; promises of, 25, 233n54; recruitment, 73; rental cars, 5; research financed by, 38; response rates, 81, 160; safety issues, 101–4, 113; as sharing economy company, 26; start-up expenses, 145; as supplemental income, 39; tiered commission system, 76; UberPeople.net, 72–73; underpayment by, 76; usage by race, 194; value of, 77; worker-client sexual interactions, 132–33; work stigma and, 161. See also drivers; Uber workers UberBLACK, 27, 78, 107 UberCab, 49–50 UberPeople, 72–73, 225n34 uberPOOL, 27, 105–6 UberRUSH, 127–28 UberTaxi service, 77 Uber workers: Baran, 2–3, 6; Bryan, 78–79; as independent contractors, 36 uberX, 27, 75, 75tab. 2, 77, 78, 107 underemployment, 42, 62, 175 underground economy, 186 unemployment: discrimination against long-term unemployed, 62; long-term unemployed, 11; sharing economy and, 61 unemployment benefits: access to, 187; independent contractor status and, 94; unionization and, 177 unemployment insurance, 120, 191 unemployment rate, 10, 175, 176 unexotic underclass, 231n4 unicorns (startups), 2 unionization: overview, 6, 23; deregulation and, 178; early attempts at, 64–65; gig economy workers and, 71–72, 94; Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 and, 227n8; Wagner Act of 1935, 70; worker benefits and, 71, 177–78 United Mine Workers Union, 69 unpaid work: overview, 2, 6; on-call time, 83; start-up time, 19; travel time, 15 unused assets, 26.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Smart, “Millennials and Car Ownership: Less Money, Fewer Cars,” Transport Policy 53 (January 2017): 20–29, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X16305571. Chapter 9 DO PRODUCTS HAVE A PRAYER? 200 “So,” the company’s website explains: Uber, “[Our Story],” accessed February 5, 2017, https://www.uber.com/our-story. 200 initially called UberCab: Leena Rao, “UberCab Takes the Hassle Out of Booking a Car Service,” TechCrunch, July 5, 2010, https://techcrunch.com/2010/07/05/ubercab-takes-the-hassle-out-of-booking-a-car-service. 200 “supercrazy freakin’ small”: Fast Company, “Travis Kalanick, the Fall and Spectacular Rise of the Man behind Uber,” South China Morning Post, September 25, 2015, http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1860723/travis-kalanick-fall-and-spectacular-rise-man-behind-uber. 200 By late 2010, Kalanick had begun: Ibid. 200 Eighteen months later they launched UberX: Alexia Tsotsis, “Uber Opens Up Platform to Non-limo Vehicles with ‘Uber X,’ Service Will Be 35% Less Expensive,” TechCrunch, July 1, 2012, https://techcrunch.com/2012/07/01/uber-opens-up-platform-to-non-limo-vehicles-with-uber-x-service-will-be-35-less-expensive. 201 UberPool, launched in August of 2014: Alex, “Announcing UberPool,” Uber Newsroom (blog), August 5, 2014, https://newsroom.uber.com/announcing-uberpool. 201 $20 billion in annual gross bookings: James Temperton, “Uber’s 2016 Losses to Top $3bn According to Leaked Financials,” Wired, December 20, 2016, http://www.wired.co.uk/article/uber-finances-losses-driverless-cars. 201 Uber was valued at $68 billion: Andrew Ross Sorkin, “Why Uber Keeps Raising Billions,” New York Times, June 20, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/business/dealbook/why-uber-keeps-raising-billions.html. 201 Traditional taxis provided 8.4 million trips: UCLA Labor Center, “Ridesharing or Ridestealing?

Pindyck, Investment under Uncertainty (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994). CHAPTER 9 DO PRODUCTS HAVE A PRAYER? The wise learn many things from their enemies. — Aristophanes, 414 BCE UBER’S URBAN TRANSPORTATION PLATFORM WAS BORN IN Paris in 2008 when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had difficulty hailing a cab. “So,” the company’s website explains, “they came up with a simple idea—tap a button, get a ride.” Their original vision (initially called UberCab) focused only on limos. Early growth was steady but slow. When Camp first suggested that Kalanick should run Uber full-time, Kalanick said no because he felt the opportunity was “supercrazy freakin’ small.” Incumbents Get Taken for a Ride By late 2010, Kalanick had begun to see a bigger opportunity. He rejected the idea of simply building an app-based limo service and instead steered the then four-person company toward a larger vision: changing the transportation industry by tapping into the power of the two-sided network effects that the company had created.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

Why not, Camp thought, replace waving your arm on a corner with an app button on your iPhone and let an algorithm connect together passenger and driver? “At the time,” he would later say, “I was thinking ‘better cab.’” On August 8, 2008, he registered a website, www.ubercab.com. Camp hardly imagined transforming transportation and challenging an entire business and way of life based upon people owning a car. The initial aim was far more modest. The first pitch book described “UberCab” as a “Next-Generation Car Service” aimed at improving on cabs. “Digital Hail can now make street hail unnecessary.” Instead, “Mobile app will match client & driver.” It would be “members only—respectable clientele” matched up with drivers operating Mercedes and other high-end cars owned by UberCab. The “use cases” ranged from “trips to/from restaurants, bars & shows” to “elderly transport.” The optimistic case was “market leader” and a “billion dollars in revenue.”

Department of Transportation, Assuring America’s Leadership in Automated Vehicles Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0 (Washington D.C., 2020); Rebecca Yergin, “NHTSA Continues to Ramp Up Exploration of Automated Driving Technologies,” Covington & Burling, Blog, April 2020. 13. Marco della Cava, “Garage Startup Uses Deep Learning to Teach Cars to Drive,” USA Today, August 30, 2016. Chapter 39: Hailing the Future 1. Interview with Garrett Camp; “UberCab” pitch deck, December 2008. 2. Adam Lashinsky, Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017), pp. 80–81, 91. 3. Megan Rose Dickey, “Lyft’s Rides Are So Social,” Business Insider, March 16, 2014; Travis Kalanick, Uber Policy White Paper, “Principled Innovation: Addressing the Regulatory Ambiguity,” April 12, 2013 (“compete”). 4. “Didi Chuxing’s Founder Cheng Wei,” Times of India, August 8, 2016. 5.


pages: 484 words: 114,613

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, blockchain, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Zipcar

* * * Late one night, lit by the glow of his laptop in rickety Dogpatch Labs, Systrom was coding in a corner, trying not to be distracted by the fact that there was an entrepreneur pitch event going on. A man named Travis Kalanick was in front of an audience of mostly men explaining his company, UberCab, which made a tool that was supposed to help people summon luxury cars with their phones. It would officially launch in San Francisco the next year. One of the event’s guests was Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca, an early investor in Twitter, who was already putting money in UberCab. Sacca considered himself a good judge of character, and had made a call to invest in Kalanick after inviting him for hours of hot-tubbing at his Lake Tahoe home. He recognized Systrom in the corner. They had overlapped at Google, briefly, before Sacca left to found Lowercase Capital.

., 113 #trashcangate, 181–82, 204 travel, IG’s influence on, 169, 241, 242 Trigger, Kaitlyn, 79 trolls, internet, 41, 219, 251 Trump, Donald, 207, 208, 210, 211, 224, 258 FB leveraged by, 212–13 Trump, Ivanka, 70 Trump International Hotel, 70 Tumblr, 19, 103, 170 Tuna (dog), 141–42, 153 Tuna Melts My Heart (Dasher), 142 24 Hour Photo, 117 Twitter, xviii, xxi, 9, 17, 19, 31, 39, 130, 137, 151, 160, 170, 192, 225, 232, 239, 248 Academy Awards and, 151, 204 in attempt to buy IG, 25, 46, 48–49, 55–56, 86, 109 Benchmark Capital investment in, 36 chronological order of posts on, 19, 117 content policing and, 43 Dorsey at, 14, 25–26, 46–47 early investors in, 23 fake news on, 225 as follower-based network, 20 founders’ discord at, 14 free speech ethos at, 37, 156–57 growth rate of, 216 IG blocked from access to, 84, 99 IG photo sharing to, 37 IPO of, 98, 148, 149, 150–51 Niche acquired by, 165 Obama’s account on, 126 140–character limit of, 110, 128 Periscope acquired by, 64 retweet button of, 20, 44, 152, 157, 234 status updates at, 15 #tweetups and, 34 as unwilling to edit content, 220 user anonymity on, 41 verification on, 132 Vine acquired by, 64, 109, 157 Williams at, 14, 46 Zuckerberg’s attempted purchase of, 57 Twttr, 7 Tycho (Scott Hansen), 34 Tyga, 238 U2, 126 Uber, 36, 45, 222 UberCab, 23 Underwood, Teddy, 120–21 “unicorns,” 61 Van Damme, Tim, 51–54, 73 Vanity Fair, 158, 192 #vanlife, 229 venture capitalists, 2–3, 11, 15, 24, 36–37, 55, 56, 109, 116, 191 Vergara, Sofia, 236 Verge, 216 verification, 231–32, 279 as status symbol, 132–33 Verrilli, Jessica, 46 VidCon, 219 Viddy, 109 Vine, 64, 109–10, 111–12, 122, 124, 157, 165, 171, 265 violence, violent content, 40, 41–42, 97, 223, 249, 261 virality: of fake news, 225 on FB, 162, 209, 211, 215, 251, 260 re-sharing and, 20, 43–44, 140, 152, 210 risky behavior and, 240, 243–45 sharing and, 140, 152 social networking and, 44 on Twitter, 151, 239 Vogue, 118, 195, 231 IG-related cover of, 156, 157 VPN (virtual private network), 122 Wall Street, 74, 102, 150, 151, 164, 266, 267 Wall Street Journal, 102, 118, 122 Warner Bros.


pages: 383 words: 81,118

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee

Airbnb, Alvin Roth, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

It is an open source system: anyone can propose changes to the core system or modify the system and use it for free. It has become a leading operating system for workhouse computers and powers the core of the Android operating system for smartphones. The Android operating system for mobile phones relies on the core portion of Linux known as the kernel. 24. Leena Rao, “Ubercab takes the hassle out of booking a car service,” TechCrunch, July 5, 2010, http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/05/ubercab-takes-the-hassle-out-of-booking-a-car-service/. 25. Uber Newsroom, “Our Commitment to Safety,” December 17, 2014, http://newsroom.uber.com/2014/12/our-commitment-to-safety/; Uber, “60 Countries: Available Locally, Expanding Globally,” https://www.uber.com/cities. 26. Google Inc., “Form 10-K for the Period Ending December 31, 2014,” http://investor.google.com/pdf/20141231_google_10K.pdf; Greg Sterling, “Report: Google had $12 billion in Mobile Search Revenue, 75 Percent from iOS,” Marketing Land, May 28, 2015, http://marketingland.com/report-google-had-12-billion-in-mobile-search-revenue-75-percent-from-ios-130248; Facebook Inc., “Form 10-Q for the Period Ending March 31, 2015,” http://investor.fb.com/common/download/sec.cfm?


pages: 554 words: 149,489

The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand

Airbnb, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Minecraft, multi-sided market, Network effects, post-work, price discrimination, publish or perish, QR code, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, two-sided market, ubercab, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

between a pair of journalists This conversation is based on an actual interchange between Bill O’Reilly and Dan Rather on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor in 2002. that website loading speed “Using Site Speed in Web Search Ranking,” Google Webmaster Central Blog , April 9, 2010; see also Robinson Meyer, “72 Hours with Facebook Instant Articles,” Atlantic, October 23, 2015. ease of getting a cab…or paying for it Leena Rao, “UberCab Takes the Hassle Out of Booking a Car Service,” TechCrunch , July 5, 2010; Alexia Tsotsis, “Why Use UberCab When Calling a Cab Is Cheaper?,” TechCrunch , October 26, 2010; Michael Arrington, “What If UberCab Pulls an Airbnb? Taxi Business Could (Finally) Get Some Disruption,” TechCrunch , August 31, 2010. Fox News decided to enter Bharat Anand et al., “CNN and the Cable News Wars,” HBS No. 707-491 (Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, rev. July 23, 2007). Differentiation was central to the Fox News strategy See Neil Bendle and Leon Li, “Fox News: Competing to Deliver the News,” Case No. 13243 (Ivey Publishing, rev.


pages: 125 words: 28,222

Growth Hacking Techniques, Disruptive Technology - How 40 Companies Made It BIG – Online Growth Hacker Marketing Strategy by Robert Peters

Airbnb, bounce rate, business climate, citizen journalism, crowdsourcing, digital map, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, pull request, revision control, ride hailing / ride sharing, search engine result page, sharing economy, Skype, TaskRabbit, turn-by-turn navigation, ubercab

Fortunately, by the time the lawsuit was filed, LinkedIn had already established a sufficient user base for growth to take off on its own. This points to the truism that growth hacking strategies don’t have to last forever. A questionable strategy like the one used by LinkedIn can be effective in the short term so that when the company is “caught” and compelled to shift gears, the existing benefits outweigh any negatives of the forced course correction. Uber Uber was founded in 2009 as “Ubercab,” and launched in June 2010. The service connects passengers with vehicles for hire. Users make reservations via the Uber mobile app. The cost is similar to that of metered taxis, but all money exchanged is handled by Uber, not the drivers. Like the digital loyalty platform Belly, Uber focused intensely on one launch city at a time, starting in San Francisco where early growth was fueled primarily by word of mouth.


pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, G4S, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, ubercab, urban planning, Zipcar

Marc Andreessen, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected thinkers and investors, predicts merchants will understand who you are and what you want by the time you arrive. “Today, this may feel a little bizarre,” Andreessen says, “but 20 years from now it will be bizarre if you walk into a store and the store doesn’t know who you are.” At the rate of current change, we think 20 years may be a bit conservative. Uber Experience Uber was originally called UberCab, except that the startup kept getting cease-and-desist orders from municipalities for operating without taxi licenses. Uber, as it is now called, is a location-based transportation service that will pick you up anywhere in most major North American urban areas as well as a growing number of the world’s major cities, usually in less than 10 minutes of your text message. They always find you.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

Uber, the unlicensed taxi service launched in 2010, proved once and for all that a few people really can change the world using nothing more than powerful connections, billions of dollars in capital, and a willingness to trample long-standing norms such as the nigh-universal requirement for taxi companies to obtain operating permits and insurance and to certify their drivers for the sake of public safety. In the early days, the company operated under the name UberCab, promoting itself as a “one-click” service to hire “licensed, professional drivers”—a misleading claim, as the company itself was unlicensed and recruited anyone who happened to own a car. By classifying its drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, the company shrugged off the burden of minimum wage laws, payroll taxes, health insurance, and other obligations. This brazen startup raised $50 million in several early investment rounds, then pressured state regulators and elected officials until its service was effectively legalized.


pages: 359 words: 110,488

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bioinformatics, corporate governance, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Google Chrome, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Travis Kalanick, ubercab

Meanwhile, the iPhone and competing smartphones featuring Google’s Android operating system were beginning to usher in a shift to mobile computing, as cellular networks became faster and capable of handling larger amounts of data. Wildly popular mobile games like Angry Birds, which millions of iPhone users were paying a dollar each to download, seeded the notion that you could build a business around a smartphone app. In the spring of 2010, an obscure startup called UberCab did a beta launch of its black car hailing service in San Francisco. All of this might not have been enough to ignite the new boom, however, if it hadn’t been for another key ingredient: rock-bottom interest rates. To rescue the economy, the Federal Reserve had slashed rates to close to zero, making traditional investments like bonds unattractive and sending investors searching for higher returns elsewhere.


pages: 468 words: 124,573

How to Build a Billion Dollar App: Discover the Secrets of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs of Our Time by George Berkowski

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Paul Graham, QR code, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Y Combinator

Launching with a ‘national’ domain (such as .co.uk or .fr) is fine if you have small ambitions but won’t cut it if you’re serious about billion-dollar status. • Get as close as you can to the pure version of your domain. Starting with variants is perfectly fine: Twitter operated on twittr.com for many years before having the money to purchase twitter.com; similarly Facebook was thefacebook.com for many years; and Uber had ubercab.com before it acquired the sleek uber.com domain. • Starting out with a domain name like ‘[companyname]app.com’ is great strategy if you’re focused just on the mobile side of things. • Other alternatives such as ‘get[companyname].com’ and ‘get[companyname]app.com’ are also good ideas to get the ball rolling (ideally, you’ll be able to purchase a cleaner version down the line). • And, if you’re serious, start the process of communicating with the person who owns your ‘dream domain’ – it may take months, or even years, to eventually acquire it.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Drivers who previously had to wait around for a call suddenly found new opportunity with the app, and were eager to sign up. The incentives of passengers and drivers were aligned, drawing both into what would become a thriving marketplace. The taxicab companies recognized relatively early on that the new app made limousines more competitive with taxis, and claimed that Uber was an unlicensed cab company. The company’s initial name, UberCab, gave fuel to the argument. But with the small concession of dropping “Cab” from the name (something they’d wanted to do anyway), Uber was able to convince regulators that they should still be covered by the rules of the limousine market rather than by those of taxicabs. Once Uber added peer-to-peer service, it was game over for the taxicab industry, hobbled by its existing regulatory model, which controlled both the fares that could be charged and the number of people who could provide the service.