Uber Mini-Case Collection of Articles (rev July-11-16) -...

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UBER MINI-CASE COLLECTION OF ARTICLES (REV JULY-11-2016)UBER is on the leading edge of a trend in which smartphone apps are used to connect passengers with driversusing their personal vehicles, often as a side job, and a type of business known as “the sharing economy”.UBER is boththe ‘darling’ of the venture capital community with a private market valuation of $40 billion or more, and a source ofcontroversy where its disruptive model is alienating competitors, gathering lawsuits, and attracting bad publicity for avariety of reasons.UBER is often at odds with governments across the country as states and cities try to figure out how to regulatethem, and more traditional taxi services try to work out how to compete with them.There are specific problems inGermany, France and Spain, as well as in East Asia, and UBER is also attracting attention for the way it aggressively dealswith competition, with the way it recruits and remunerates drivers, with the way those drivers are encouraged to fundtheir vehicles, and with the ‘surge pricing’ model that it has introduced at peak ride times.There are also issues aroundinsurance coverage, vehicle maintenance, and the driver screening process used by both UBER, and its main competitorin many markets; LYFT.The formal business school case (“Uber : Changing the Way the World Moves”, 2015, in Harvard Coursepack)andthe articles attached below as a mini-case collection of articles deal with both: a) the early days of Uber– (how itvalidated and develop its service and choose its target markets and what specific applications of its concept? What wasits rollout or “go to market” strategy, especially its geographic targets? How its business definition changed over time?);and b) Uber’s current issues(its conflicts with stakeholders, and the decisions it has to make about market expansion andpossible re-definition of its services for other countries in response both to local competitors and different on-the-ground situations).We will especially look at the market challenges Uber and other innovations had in picking out and succeeding intheir first target applications (try to understand the trail of segments, approaches, and business models it experimentedwith), and now in choosing what to do next in the US and internationally. We will also discuss Moore’s ideas –-- relevanttoday to Uber and other new technologies and service models -- about the challenges of becoming more than a gimmickfor technology enthusiasts, and “Crossing The Chasm” to the “mainstream markets” of pragmatic users, and how this isdone by finding segments or niches in which to perfect one’s solution (i.e. create "whole product" solutions for onesegment at a time). and build one’s momentum and credibility (and usually raise more money!).

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Term
Fall
Professor
Dr.BarryUnger
Tags
The Bible, The Land, San Francisco, Taxicab, Uber drivers, Ubers, Travis Kalanick

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