@scott-d.-claryScott D. Clary
Host of The Success Story Podcast | Founder/CEO @ROIOverload | Forbes, Hackernoon, Startup
Within a decade, Uber became the world’s most valuable startup with a $78 billion valuation in 2020.
But what made Uber so successful? Is it just because they offer an app that connects riders and drivers? Or is there more to it than meets the eye?
This article will explore what makes Uber a successful company by looking at three key factors: innovative solutions, stunt marketing, and profitability strategy.
Uber’s business model is straightforward: it matches people who need rides with drivers willing to provide them.
If you think that sounds pretty much like a traditional cab company, you’re right. There is direct competition between Uber and traditional taxi services.
However, unlike cabs, Uber drivers use their own car, so they must pay for all maintenance and repair costs associated with it.
How It All Started
The idea of Uber was born in Paris in the year of 2008. Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp were at the annual tech conference, LeWeb.
After the event, they were left without transportation when standing outside in the cold, waiting for a cab.
From there, an idea came. “What if you could request a ride from your phone?”
The answer to that would be a service that we would later get to know as Uber.
Kalanick and Camp originally wanted their idea to be a timeshare limo service that one could access with an app.
The two went their separate ways, but Camp was so fascinated by this idea and went ahead to purchase the domain name UberCab.com.
The Launch of UberCab
In 2009, Camp worked on a prototype for UberCab while being the CEO of StumbleUpon. In the same year’s summer, Kalanick was finally persuaded to join as the “Chief Incubator” of UberCab.
UberCab was tested with only three cars in New York the following year and then officially launched in May.
A Tough Year
In July 2015, Uber became the most valued startup when it was valued at $51 billion after another funding round. In June 2016, Uber raised another $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Wealth Fund.
However, 2017 was a very tough year for Uber.
The controversies started when a female engineer called out the sexist culture in a blog post. Reportedly, Uber’s corporate culture was hostile and sexist to people.
The post went viral, and it caused many people to be laid off as a result. Uber then held an internal investigation known as the “Holder Investigation.”
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