Today Melbourne Taxis Striked because of Uber – Taxis vs Uber – a seriously dumb move, heres why;
I heard a spokesman on #3AW Radio this morning for Melbourne Taxis saying they are striking because they’ve all lost 50% of their revenue due to Uber and that’s unfair, “the drivers can’t take it anymore”. He went on to say they will all strike if they have to. This is old-world thinking epitomised. Niel Mitchell #NeilMitchell stayed safe saying he wouldn’t trust UberX and that it should be regulated. By the time this happens, #Uber will still have swept the market.
Wikipedia killed libraries, Ebay has swept classifieds, downloads killed Blockbuster, eStores taken down a ton of retail giants. With change in a commercial marketplace there are always winners and and there are always losers. It’s a zero sum game.
Crowd sourcing and disruptive digital apps are providing opportunities for change with huge market transforming effects. Taxis are just next in line, there will be more to come. Taxis vs Uber, my money is on #Uber all the way.
Yes, I feel sorry for drivers and owners who’ve recently bought into the Cab plate costs unaware of the Uber option in the market.
A service agnostic I’ll pick a cab if one is there, or Uber if I have to wait or call. I’ve even gotten over the hated I had for cabs when they were asking where were you going and if they didn’t like the answer driving off. (Are they still doing that or am I’m in better clothes these days?)
But I do understand the difference. Uber offer you mints, water, a clean car, geo tracking so you can see when the car is arriving, Uber invoices you automatically via email at the end of your trip and my personal favourite, automatic transactions – finish your ride and jump out – no digging around for cash or card on the side of a road. There are ton of other benefits, like realtime traffic avoidance on the driver app, but the bottom line is Uber is a better all round service.
Knowing all this – as a potential taxi owner, what would you do? Spend a few hundred thousand on a 13number lead service centre plus a preset car. OR buy an old or new prestige car, something reliable or even your current daily download an app and add a mobile holder ? (I love that in Sydney you can get one of a few brand new S-Class Mercedes on Uber, 300k still cheaper than a taxi plate, for a similar price as a cab ride… where too Mr President? ).
I can’t stand that at Melbourne airport they make the Uber drivers pick you up in the carpark, but your sister can pick you up in the normal no standing lanes. And it is still better than waiting in line if you’re quick on the app as your flight lands.
All markets change, those adapting digital technology a lot faster than others. Taxis Striking against a competitor who’ll happily show people how much better their service is – to me Taxi owners (I doubt just drivers) this is the stupidest move I’ve seen. You may think you have the same power as tram and train unions striking, but you’re bluffing at best, stupid at worst.
I’ve also been in cabs now running Uber on the side – kudos to you, it is exactly how you may find a way to transition.
And Cab companies – how long have you had to build as good an app and service as Uber ? Stop striking and start competing. If not, start thinking how, like all the other industries and companies out there not rapidly adopting digital technology and changing their marketplace, the next transition should be winding-up not whining.
I’d be troubled if the government steps in and hands back consumers so you can go back to the arrogant practice of asking where am I traveling to.