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Uber: when technology threatens tradition

Uber is seen by traditional cab companies as a cab killer because of their technologies, so the Cab Commission is going after the company. The fight is on.

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How do you Get around these days

Uber sexy, Uber fast, Uber trendy, Uber safe, Uber… the list goes on. What doesn’t make the list is uber detrimental to the rest of the cabbies and car services out there who are behind the times in the ways of technology. This morning, I had purely planned on having a break out of some of the trends in commuting and what it means for urban realtors and their craft if they do or do not have a car. Do they Metro? Do they hoof it? Do they use a cab everywhere? Zip car? Carey Car? The lux-brand Uber?

Well, this quickly turned to me hanging out on the Uber site and reading their blogs and loving their sass; so I went into another direction you see… Then, that rolled into me checking out the DC based Uber site, since that is my current home base.

Get with the Program

After identifying the system that these cool cats have put together into a global market high-end car service at Uber, I of course wanted to read the latest articles posted as pros and cons about the business and stumbled upon some rather interesting information. DC’s taxi-cab commission was going after Uber back in January of this year as being non-compliant with their rules and regulations for being – uhm- for lack of a better word descriptor, better. Seriously.

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]”The issue the the Cab Commission has pointed at the new brand seems to be that “this isn’t fair.” Why does Uber have this fantastic technology that none of the other cab companies are utilizing to their advantage?”[/ba-pullquote]When I read and re-read the issue at hand, it looks like because the owners of the company have devised a system that is rooted in cloud based technology that incorporates android and iphones and their ability to map and mark exactly where the client is requesting pick up service. The client has also already pre-paid for the service via their credit card on file and will be picked up in a luxury vehicle for up to 4 people. 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. This is a lovely system that when functioning all-systems-go… sounds heaps and bounds better than most cab services and some other luxury car carriers.

The Uber blog and main site is very transparent. They don’t hide that their prices may be higher than taking a cab. They give helpful hints as to how to use the program. They give coupon codes and plot out maps of the cities where their provide phenomenal service. Allowing for questions and commentary and answering back to those who pose prying questions. Probing seems to be invited and not shucked away. This team does not seem to hide behind a facade, they take matters on head on.

The issue at Hand

The issue the the Cab Commission has pointed at the new brand seems to be that “this isn’t fair.” Why does Uber have this fantastic technology that none of the other cab companies are utilizing to their advantage? Hmmm… Raise your hand if you don’t see this as unfair. Maybe smarter? More advanced? Worthy of a slight price differential and the name Uber?

No one wants their start up to have this many issues with the governing body when they first land in a new city, but Uber is still out and making thousands of luxury seeking clients happy in the DC metro area and around the globe even. If the founder, Travis Kalanick, who started the company in 2009 back in San Fransisco has much to say about it, Uber will keep on truckin’ in DC with the better technology that they have created as a system to streamline their business of satisfying their clients.

Genevieve Concannon is one of those multifaceted individuals who brings business savvy, creativity and conscientiousness to the table in real estate and social media.  Genevieve takes marketing and sustainability in a fresh direction- cultivating some fun and funky grass roots branding and marketing strategies that set her and Arbour Realtyapart from the masses. Always herself and ready to help others understand sustainability in building a home or a business, Genevieve brings a new way to look at marketing yourself in the world of real estate and green building- because she's lived it and breathed it and played in the sand piles with the big-boys.  If you weren't aware, Genevieve is a sustainability nerd, a ghost writer and the event hostess with the mostess in NoVa. 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. athanrebelos

    June 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Genevieve is the perfect Über demographic. Young, uninformed and naive. A more seasoned writer would ask some obvious questions about the history of taxicabs and the purposes of regulation. They would also know that Über’s technology isn’t new it’s they’re flagrant violation of laws around the country that’s new. The marketing of several year old, independently owned Town Cars to pick you up for the same cost as a corporate service is new. Goldman Sachs should be taken to task by their investors for their participation with Über. What if GE or WalMart were building stores without permits and unfairly competing with local business? Would that still be cool? Try Taxi Magic or Cabulous. Get taxis at taxi prices with adequate insurance coverage and service to the poor, seniors, disabled all at one regulated fare. Where’s Über’s wheelchair accessible fleet? Where’s Über’s service to the community? It’s funny how they don’t have to pick up just anyone but taxis do…

  2. Alisa Hagner

    June 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Give good service or get lost

  3. Stephanie L Davis

    June 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Disruption – for the most part is good.

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Business News

How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.

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What?
What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

Why?
It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

When?
NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping

(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.

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startup founders average age is 45

There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.

However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!

In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.

The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.

Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.

The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.

There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.

“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”

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Business News

Today’s sexual harassment issues require more modern training

(BUSINESS NEWS) It’s unfortunate that sexual harassment still exists in the modern-day, but we have easier access to resources to curb this behavior.

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sexual harassment

What do you think about the #MeToo movement? Some people erroneously believe that #MeToo is about getting men fired or bringing down powerful men. #MeToo is more about raising awareness of the long-standing problem of sexual violence and harassment, not only in the workplace but in everyday situations.

Thanks to #MeToo, state and federal laws are changing to address the systemic problems. Keeping up with regulations around sexual harassment in the workplace doesn’t have to be an issue. EasyLLama makes it easy for your business to stay compliant with modern training for your team.

What is EasyLlama?

EasyLlama is a company based in San Francisco. It has a goal “to give companies the tools to reinforce their values, and to empower them to create a safe and comfortable work environment for everyone.” The company bills itself as the “smart way to train your team on sexual harassment.”

The training was created by HR experts that go beyond state and federal requirements to make your workplace safe from sexual misconduct and harassment. It’s been designed to speak to every generation on your team, from Baby Boomers to millennials.

It features 5 to 10-minute micro-sessions with real-life relatable videos that can be watched individually or in a team session. Tracking individual progress is easy through the platform. Employees get email/text reminders to take the next steps in their training. Training is available in both English and Spanish. It’s designed for the modern and mobile workforce. The system can also integrate with HR tools that reduces time spent on data entry and follow up.

Empower your team with resources to prevent sexual harassment

#MeToo isn’t going to go away. The movement is reframing the discussion about sexual misconduct, gender and power. EasyLlama is one tool that can help your team be more aware of behavior that puts your business at risk.

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