28 January 2013

Transportation Trustbuster ~ WSJ on Uber Leader

WSJournal's Andy Kessler interviews Travis Kalanick, the Transportation Trustbuster and co-founder of Uber, the disruptive limo service that's sticking it to the taxi cartels by providing quality private driver transit experiences...
"Uber launched as an iPhone app in June 2010. The cars that iPhone users summon are typically town cars owned by a limousine company but not on a call. Instead of idly waiting for work, the nearest available driver answers the app call. Other cars are simply privately owned vehicles whose drivers have been vetted by Uber. The idea worked. How could Mr. Kalanick tell? Four months after the launch in San Francisco, Uber was served with a "cease and desist" order from the California Public Utility Commission and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. "Given my background," Mr. Kalanick says, alluding to being sued at Scour.com, "this was like homecoming." He verified with his lawyers that what Uber was doing was indeed legal, then the company took its case to the public through Twitter and email. [...] there's been so much corruption and so much cronyism in the taxi industry and so much regulatory capture that if you ask for permission upfront for something that's already legal, you'll never get it."
Read the rest. Fantastic!

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