Uber is an incredible piece of technology, no two ways about it. But it has also been a PR disaster, as the hashtag #Ubergate reveals. Uber has been plagued with uncouth comments from their senior execs, poor control of privacy issues, hostile policies against competitors, not to mention their tenuous relationship with taxi regulations.
Overall, there’s a lot to learn from Uber, but they aren’t a perfect role model. In fact, some would argue that these repeated PR missteps are paving the way for competitors. So when you look at a company like Uber, remember that you can learn lessons from the good and the bad. The great technology, and the bad headlines.
Building an App like Uber
Uber’s app is a great concept and well-executed. It’s everything an appreneur dreams of, so don’t hesitate to take some cues from their technology and how it takes advantage of the mobile toolkit to change up the transportation industry.
Connect the driver and passenger. Uber lets the passenger track the approach of their ride, which is very important for keeping them confident about the service. Uber also allows the driver to call the passenger, which is easy to implement and serves a similar role. And when it comes time to pay, Uber handles everything in-app, no need to carry cash.
Since there is a lot of logistics behind the app that are required to serve customers, Uber targeted individual cities as they expanded. This works well for such systems which require a lot of people to get on board before they can start—in Uber’s case, they needed drivers, but similar apps might need to find partners for hotels, restaurants, etc. By quickly establishing themselves in a location, they ensure good customer service right off the bat and give themselves a concrete window to do their marketing.
It’s a smart app and a smart business model that other app makers should definitely take inspiration from.
What is #Ubergate?
This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t coupled with the fact that we also know that Uber controls something called a ”God View” which allows them to track all passengers, even finding individuals in the network, which they have allegedly used as a toy at parties, or stalk journalists who have published negative articles. So that’s awkward.
And in another high-profile gaffe, Uber Senior VP of Business Emil Michael evidently discussed at length the possibility of forming a team to silence the press by digging up their personal data. He later apologized for the comments, but to many the incident serves as a fundamental example of a poor corporate culture within Uber.
The sad fact is, if you google Uber and look at the news, there’s not a lot of good press out there. Despite building such a great product, they’ve run into problems with their brand image recently, to say the least.
Lessons for App Makers
This goes out the Entrepreneurs and Startups. If you have a business idea, first start with mobile app development. Try and solve a problem and ensure it will help people at large. At SDI we build a variety of apps from transport apps, high tech in-car luxury apps to weather, retail, healthcare, financial, utility and many others. So if you care about building quality apps, you owe it to yourself to learn from Uber—the good and the bad.
If you have an idea for an app, think about how you can apply successful features found in Uber, and consult with the mobile app developers Birmingham at Software Developers UK to learn about how to beef up your idea. And when it comes time to build a business around your app, remember the power of branding; don’t be another #Ubergate, it’s bad for business. Connect with us now and let’s start something amazing.