Saturday, 17 June 2017

Is Uber doomed?

Looks more like half a star...
Time Magazine Takes On Uber With
Brutal, One-Star Cover
- SFist

We can imagine that the very thought will make taxi drivers everywhere do a little dance, but we hardly think ridesharing is going to disappear. Uber, though, that's a different story.

We won't bother to detail all the sordid details of what got Uber to this point -- just Google "Uber scandal" or "Uber crisis" to get the lowdown (if you've been living under a rock or something) -- but what has our attention is the kind of headlines we are seeing.

Intrigued? Take a look at the stories that are being generated:

My Uber Boycott Is Finally Paying Off - Gizmodo
I’d like to say that I’ve never given Uber money, but that wouldn’t be true. Not exactly. I did give Uber money once, years ago, when I had no other option. The company promptly ripped me off, and I wasn’t surprised. Why not? I worked in the same office as Uber in its early days. I could sense those fuckers were evil from the start. Now that the bricks of Uber’s multibillion-dollar edifice are officially tumbling down, exposing the company’s noxious and abusive inner workings, my boycott feels like it’s paying off. Obviously, it’s not actually paying off. I’m not making any money by avoiding Uber during the crumbling period of Silicon Valley’s once-beloved house of capitalism. Although I certainly saved a lot of money by boycotting Uber.) Uber’s fall is paying off in the form of what I’d call moral dividends. I spent years arguing with friends, not only pointing out that Uber seemed like a bad company run by bad people but also making the case that giving money to a company like that would only enable those bad people to do more bad things. I was not wrong... [read the rest of the story].

Strike four for Uber: Even with Kalanick’s departure, they may still end as the “Enron of the transportation industry" - Salon
CEO Travis Kalanick’s departure from Uber is not a surprise to those who have been following this company for the last several years. Since February, Uber has been rocked by one scandal after another... But this was hardly the beginning of Uber scandals. Previously, I and others had written about the Uber “parade of horribles” that has dogged this company from its inception. So while there’s no question Travis Kalanick scaled his company to a transportation behemoth, he has done this by promoting a pirate mentality and bro culture that has led to mismanagement in numerous ways. It was only a matter of time before he destroyed what he created. Today, only four out of 10 Americans say they have a favorable impression of the company... [read the rest of the story].

How one lone woman exposed the frat-boy culture at Uber - The Star
Amid the Lewis Carroll-esque madness at Uber Technologies Inc., a narrative that includes a suddenly leave-taking CEO ceding corporate leadership to a non-existent chief operating officer, a non-existent chief financial officer, a non-existent chief marketing officer and a seemingly mute chairman, one story stands out. Susan Fowler started working as an engineer at Uber in November 2015. After a brief period of time getting to know the various engineering work units, she settled on a team that seemed just the right fit. Here’s what she would later write about day one on the job:...[read the rest of the story].

Related stories
As Uber Leaders Step Aside, Arianna Huffington’s Influence Grows - NY Times
This is what Uber needs to do to save itself - Refinery 29
Uber wants its New York City-based passengers to know how sorry it is - Digital Trends
Lyft shares soar as Uber's awful year continues - NY Post
Estonia upstart Taxify wants to take on Uber - Voice of America

Related resources - from the IHateTaxis blog
Up, up and away with Uber in China
The Uber Tip Dilemma
I was scammed by an Uber driver
Why we shelved Uber updates