Don’t step up to the big boys
An Uber conspiracy? Ya think? I’m not going to take sides, but I can certainly see how the potential is there for one to occur. Forget about free enterprise. You piss off the Taxi Driver’s Union and you will pay the price. Step on some other competitor’s toes – let’s say Get Me for the sake of this article – and everyone starts screaming foul play.
Do you want to believe?
Make no mistake: There are a LOT of conspiracies out there. I’m informed. I’ve been to Area 51. I watch the History Channel.
A so-funny-it’s-scary Reddit post takes the conspiracy angle against Uber about as far as I’ve seen it go. Now you may like Uber or you may not, but there’s no denying that their business model works (as pointed out on the Uberpeople community forum).
Too many problems solved
Consider: When Uber enters a territory it creates thousands of jobs almost overnight. It lowers instances of drunk driving. It often costs half as much as a taxi ride. It peripherally stimulates the local bar and restaurant scene, tracks its drivers via GPS and ratings to make sure that they are not rude. They fill transportation gaps in under-served communities. They have a faster response time than most taxis, of that there’s no doubt.
So when they are forced to stop operating due to perceived over-regulation including to include fingerprinting and other restrictions by local governments and pressures from entrenched taxi and limo companies, it can certainly ruffle a few feathers.
Speaking of GetMe, Austin entrepreneur and writer Richard Bagdonas recently recounted his adventures tracking down the secretive and hidden current CEO of GetMe (I keep wanting to say Get Smart).
The cool thing about conspiracy theories is they don’t leave a trail. You want to interview the guy on the grassy knoll and you’ll see him only in the shadows. Same with Deep Throat from All the President’s Men.
But Bagdonas tracked down the CEO for GetME with just a litle intuition and savvy. Granted, he didn’t interview the guy, but at least there is a name attached to the title.
And it gets better: In the Austin Startups Facebook group, Bagdonas shares screenshots that appear to support that someone – possibly an ex-Uber driver – has pandered to the masses on behalf of GetMe (at Uber’s expense since the individual allegedly used Uber’s technology platform in order to send tweets).
The truth is out there
Anything that prevents the type of recent tragedy involving the Uber driver from occurring again is a good thing. But a conspiracy? The Reddit post is juicy and detailed, but I’m not completely convinced. That said, if true, all the time and effort that goes in to shutting down Uber city by city across the United States might be better served elsewhere.