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…

Human / Nature

About twelve years ago I didn’t really understand Climate Change but I was actually looking forward to it, sort-of like a good mystery I could become enthralled with.  At the time all I knew was I wanted a different lifestyle, and I thought, maybe Climate Change might make that happen? Maybe my life will actually be better because of it?  I had this fantasy about being a self sufficient bohemian gourmet, growing my own food harvested right in my yard. Mother Earth magazine seemed so bucolic. I wanted the opposite of my cramped apartment in San Francisco. In 2008 Climate Change was just an excuse to make changes, quit a job and move.  
I moved East, close to my dad. I didn’t mention anything about Climate Change to my father, a total denier who was a meteorologist when he was in his 20s. There was no amount of practical data that would change his mind. He retired in ’93, with nothing to be stressed about so he simply didn’t care about anything but football, fishing and food.  
When I …

An Array of Solar Powered Desalination Stills

So in reading about the drought in California I was inspired to try to design some kind of solution. I guess I was frustrated after reading the plethora of news about the drought and seeing little to no solutions mentioned. Just NYTimes naggery and finger pointing and stuff about how California's agricultural industry simply does not manage water well. How California has never implemented drought measures that other parts of world has. And then, maybe it's because I'm a gardener and I recycle water that I actually see this drought problem easily solvable.

So here's my little Temple Grandin moment! An "array" of solar stills floating like enormous doughnuts on the sea.


It would make me really happy if some people in California would try this out.