What if the passenger can book a ride from any location, the taxi comes to pick the passenger and finally take them to the desired location. By the use of internet and transformative business ideas, it is now possible. Uber is one such example of business based on internet services. Uber, a car hiring app which acts as a bridge between the taxi drivers and the passengers (Adam, et al., 2016). The idea of forming a company was started in the year 2009 which was successfully executed in 2010 at San Francisco with the help of iPhone app called as Uber (Kollem, 2016).
Uber mission is to use technology for the basic requirement such as for food, for travel and for other packages to be delivered anywhere and at any time (Kenway, 2016). Due to its unique idea, the consumers readily adopted this new concept, and now this is working successfully in 633 cities at the global level with its car transportation and food delivery services (Relecura Inc., 2018). This essay helps us in a better understanding of the Transformative Internet service, which can be better understood by the example of Uber Inc. which have emerged as a successful business venture today.
Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick are the two name behind the foundation of the Uber Inc., this idea to form the company came when they both were travelling back home on a snowy evening in 2008 and found it difficult to hire a cab for themselves (Matherne & O’Toole, 2017).
While discussing the idea at the early stage, the founders discussed that how this idea will help in pre-booking the cab and due to mobile-friendly application anyone can enjoy this service from anywhere (Dong, et al., 2014). Before the entry of Uber in the market, people used the method of hit and try (shouting on the street for a taxi) for booking a taxi and mostly ending up for hours of waiting. A solution of that envisioned by use of ubiquitous computing and determination of possible future relationships related to the practice, people and technology (Dourish & Bell, 2011). After the introduction of the mobile-based application of Uber, the real challenge for the company was to attract the customers to come forward and use their services, therefore to tackle this situation, the founder introduced free ride coupons and other attractive discounts to attract more customers and finally succeeding through this policy (Matherne & O’Toole, 2017).
In the beginning, the company launched is cab services by the name of the ‘Black Car’, this was a regular taxi service in which a licensed taxi driver with their own car was working for the Uber (Kollem, 2016). Later in the summer of 2012, the company introduced new hybrid sedan cars by the name of UberX which offer low cost to the customers from the other taxi services. The motivation for UberX came from the experience in Chicago where the supply was limited, but the demand for a cheaper taxi was quite high (Dong, et al., 2014). Before the starting the Uber company, the founders have faced different challenges to reach the level of success. As Kalanick has already tried his hand on different start-up such as SAT-prep, Scour. Net’s and Red Swoosh, however, when these different start-ups didn’t work well for Kalanick and made it difficult for him to pay the taxes, he ended up selling Red swoosh For about $18.7 million to Akamai and became a millionaire in a single night (Arrington, 2007). Whereas Camp have a successful start-up experience from a joint company formed in 2002 with his friends by the name StumbleUpon, as the beginning of this business was quite successful, but later they sold it to eBay at $75 million (Forbes, 2018).
Every business starts with a small idea, while is success depend on the hard work we apply on it and the uniqueness of that idea. As the success of the Uber was also follow the same strategy. As the company was the first of its kind in the market, which acted as the helping hand for the company and took this business to the next level very soon (Rogerst, 2017). The business model which company started their work was that the owner of the car should register their car with Uber and the company will help them connect with the customer by the use of the internet (Kollem, 2016). However, the beginning was not as it was predicted to be, the taxi service became more of a nightclub service (Matherne & O’Toole, 2017). Uber worked on a very efficient business model for the company which mainly uses technology as the base and further provides an on-demand cab service for the users, the cabs which are provided by the company are mainly owned by the drivers itself, while company takes 20% share from the cab fare (Pathak, 2017). With the growth in the company profits, they have new challenges, how to maintain success and what new they can introduce to double their profits (On-Demand Startup, 2016). This gave birth to 2 new strategies which are carpooling and surge pricing technology (Pathak, 2017). These strategies resulted in the success story of the company and also benefited the customers by saving the cost on the rides.
With its unique idea, Uber growth was very rapid in the global market and company is expanded to itself in the major metropolitan cities around the world. It is cantered on the 3 major points: committed to provide on-demand service, easy accessibility through application based on smartphone and providing luxurious taxi service to customers (Kenway, 2016). After working for just 18 months, the company expanded itself at the global level by starting its services in the Paris in 2011 (Pathak, 2017). But with the global debut, the company also have to face many new challenges. The major challenges for the company were competitors who have arrived with a similar business plan and some other obstacles in the global market. The major competitor for the Uber was Lyft, Sidecar, Haila, Wingz, Ola, Gett and ZimRide (Rienstra, et al., 2015).
The company also have to face the challenge from the local taxi drivers, as in Paris 2014 during the taxi-drivers protest, two passengers travelling in Uber were attacked by the local drivers who created a traffic jam of approximately 240 km (Dong, et al., 2014). Then again, due to the first in the market, Uber always had this benefit over other rivals. Lyft, one of the biggest rival of the company which started just 3 years after the launch of Uber was progressing at the same pace with Uber. However, the average growth of Uber was approximately 5000 customers more than Lyft every month (Matherne & O’Toole, 2017). Beside of that political and regulatory aspects related to digital technologies have impact on the access to information, freedom of expression, privacy, and distinct human rights related aspects (Karppinen, 2017). Also the service platform design and operation requires compliance against the work ethics and norms of gatekeepers, like internet service provider, content distribution platforms and search engines (Hunter & Suzor, 2014).
To resolve issues more than 500 employees work together to make this mobile application used by customers and drivers. This software mainly uses the help of other mobile application such as GPS coordinates and mobile wallet to make the experience user-friendly (Dong, et al., 2014). As the customer has the excess to information of the Driver and reviews for drivers last services before finally booking the ride and after completing the ride both customer and drive can share their review for each other (Aitharaju, et al., 2016). The contact number of the customer is never directly shared with the driver, rather if the driver wants to talk to the customer regarding location then they can call the customer by using the Uber interface. In related view () specified that individuals can voluntarily share certain information to authorities or agencies if they believe that system will have definite set of rules and norms to ensure safe use of the data and it is in active interests of all relevant members of community (Mackinnon, 2012). The charges for the Uber service are generally compared with other services are low, then again, in the time of high demand the concept of surge price is used which can increase the rate to 1.5- 8 times higher (Kooti, et al., 2017).
Figure 1 Company Ecology diagram.
Any business is said to be transformative, when it breaks down the traditional barriers between people and the business, further making its products available to the people at a cheaper rate (Schwertner, 2017). Here, the Uber emerged as a transformative company and helped us in understand and using this technology as for the user benefit. The company main working plan is by using the internet service for the resolving the issues which are faced while booking a cab, however, by making a mobile-based application accessible by all the user, it brought made it as a transformative technology (Kollem, 2016). As it was first of its kind application in the market, it innovated other people to come forward to grow this sector. However, other companies like Ola, Lyft, SideRide etc. appreciated the concept and came forward as competitors for Uber (Rienstra, et al., 2015). It offered a new business model for the people. A new Internet-based model of business is developed which is more service oriented and uses technology as its basic requirement (Matherne & O’Toole, 2017). As its dependency on the internet was very high, due to this, it was also a challenge for them to introduce this technology in the developing countries (Miazi, et al., 2016).
As the introduction of the Uber in the global market has mainly benefitted the society, however, there were many new social and cultural change which was not accepted by the society very easily (Dong, et al., 2014). The entry of Uber in the European market has brought up a new argument. As Uber has challenged the tradition pricing system and reduced the cost of searching any drive, it also added as a new system of transportation which generally open new choices for the people (Azevedo & Maciejewski, 2015). However, the local competitors did not like the strategy of the Uber and brought up a protest against the company by creating violence against the people who choose the services from the Uber and other online services (Dong, et al., 2014). This socio-cultural mobilisation has triggered the need for the new regulatory solution. The best way in which it can be initialized was by applying a single framework for both the service provider whether online or offline (Geradin, 2015).
While Uber is considered the great deal in solving the problem related to the cab services in the world, then again, the company had to face many challenges while making their path of success to reach the level where they are now. The background of both the founder members showed the struggle the faced in the initiating the business. As this concept was new and challenging, the prediction towards its success was quite difficult. The hard work of the Kalanick and Camp towards the development of this business can be judged. As to move at the global level the company have to pass on through many challenges. The business strategy needed to be changed from time to time so to overcome the challenges and stay ahead in the competition. As if we see the company today also, it has maintained its place in the competition. The user-friendly and customer supported approach made this business as a motivational business in the market. The company stood as the innovation for the other companies and developed a competition for them. As the challenges which are created by the company for the other competitors have triggered the need for new regulatory processes so that the game can be played on the same level in the field.
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