posted at 20:50
Author: Vivek Wadhwa
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 04:04:08 +0000
Ubers legacy hangs in the balance: Digital robber baron or respectable innovator?
Uber, the leading ridesharing company, has earned the distinction of becoming one of the most hated companies in the technology industry. What Uber is building is not a tangible asset such as a steel mill, railroad, or oil pipeline, but their digital equivalent. Uber's first innovation was in the immediate availability of transportation. Uber's new carpooling feature has accomplished in a few months what cities, states, and companies have struggled to accomplish for decades - functional shared private car usage. Equally important, Uber is changing the way people think about cities, transportation, and ownership and is laying a psychological foundation - a mental infrastructure - for a post-ownership society. Last year, after using Uber, Lyft, and other on-demand ride-sharing services, he sold his car. Uber has already changed our thinking about transportation; it has paved the way for dozens of competitors, who can see the winning formula at work on our smartphones. Flip through the various Uber competitors, and you'll see software and user interfaces that are very similar to those that Uber has built.

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