Skip to main content

Steph's Advice to Fix Uber

Dear Uber,


Here we are. You've finally canned Travis Kalanick, what took you so long? You used to be cool but that was like, four years ago. For the past couple of years it just feels like you've been coasting off of your success from the past. How much longer can that go on? I guess if I was being showered with VC gold I would be hanging onto those old victories too. But you're a tech company, you provide a service to consumers, haven't you learned anything from your neighbors at Apple and Google about delighting customers? I'm sorry but you need to try harder. Your vision needs to be much much bigger, and it needs to include people outside of the C suite or Uber won't last.

If I may give some advice to your product, UX, and marketing teams it would be this:

Build up your brand

I know, I know, you think you did this already. But you didn't. I have never seen a single ad from Uber encouraging me to ride. No TV ads, no radio, no print ads, not even internet ads. Really? Not even a feel good ad like Apple puts out? Try harder.

Listen to your customer

I know you have ratings and reviews that's good. What are you doing with that data? Maybe to riders it feels like this information goes into a black hole. I bet if you ask people you'll uncover a landslide of great improvements. Try that.

Be a service, not an app

The simple act of pressing a button and getting a ride is a great start. But in order to grow, to get more customers using Uber more often you need to delight people. And human beings main point of contact with Uber is not the app, it's the cars, and the drivers. This is you're "Netflix Moment", Uber. Your challenge is to grow your business beyond the app. YOU need your own "Orange Is The New Black". Netflix started producing content, not just delivering content. Now, people are happy and not just subscribers, actors, producers, artists are making money too. It's a win-win that leads to even more profit. You need to start taking the ride experience to a whole other level and you're not going to achieve that with a load of contractors and some borrowed cars. YOU need to own your cars. YOU need to treat your good drivers as well as your corporate employees. You could do a lot right there.

You have great data on people, use it

I know you know this already but it seems like you're doing nothing with the data. With this information you can find patterns to expand ridership. With your data you know who your best drivers are and you can reward them. With this information you could have several drivers operating a single Uber owned vehicle equitably. You can turn efficiency gains into customer delight!

Hopefully a change in leadership will shift the focus away from being a "hot tech company" to a service that people can't get enough of.... With growth and revenues to follow.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

UX Design Process aka Web Product Design Process

So... I'm on Pinterest updating a 'board' for my portfolio and I discover that other people have pinned my Experience Design Process graphic from my website. Apparently this graphic comes right up in Google Searches if you search on on Experience Design Process. Since the image on my site is small I'm re-posting the graphic here! Can anybody guess what this image was originally create for?


I don't know what I was thinking about these colors!

So what is going on here?
In the middle of the graphic is a series of linear main steps to take in order to design an interactive digital product. The process starts with identifying a project's goals and ends with meeting those goals. In order to meet those goals you need to do some careful work... Surrounding the steps are a set of tasks (or methodologies) to perform in order to complete each step of the process. Over-arching the entire process are guidelines like "vetting" and "informed iteration" (show…

My Awesomely Surreal Experience at Facebook’s F8 c.a. 2007

It was about this time 11 years ago that Facebook opened up to the world. It was Spring in San Francisco and I was working a little stint at prosper.com. The CTO and Product Manager were a couple of well connected Stanford guys, and one day we were driving down to Palo Alto to go to Facebook’s headquarters. I didn’t really get what was going on. Although some of my other colleagues were encouraging me to check out Facebook for it’s interface and interaction design, I had never gotten on the site. I didn’t possess a dot EDU email address, I was too old for that for RISD. So there I was cruising down to Palo Alto with two guys to go meet with Dave Morin not really knowing what the heck was going on.

We breeze into Facebook’s office, greeted by Dave right away. It was a really cool office and people we met were young, and this was not the kind of start-up I was used to. Prosper's CTO had been my boss at a previous job. Facebook was effortlessly cool compared to that company my old bo…

I wonder why I ever put up with the crap I put up with in San Francisco?

Ten years ago last March was the date when I began life-in-exile from San Francisco. To the amazement of everyone I ever met in the Bay Area I made the decision to leave the nicest city in the US to go live in what some consider to be one of the worst cities in the US, Baltimore. It wasn’t a hard decision though, I was absolutely fed up with being a renter in San Francisco, meanwhile Baltimore had a thousands of affordable homes just sitting there. Despite having some tremendous work opportunities in San Francisco (I had a great career in tech) it all added up to nothing as far as I was concerned if I couldn’t own my own home. A Path to HappinessFrom day one I felt good about Baltimore. Yes it got a little cramped at my sister’s house while I looked for a home, but it still felt good. Suddenly I could do all these things I couldn’t do in San Francisco, like barbecue, and gardening. It was quieter, more laid back, everything became a lot easier. I was a lot less stressed out. The trade …