Sunday, May 7, 2017

Will Uber bounce back from its PR crises?

Uber is now reportedly the subject of a criminal probe from the Department of Justice over a tool it built to help drivers dodge law enforcement in cities like Portland, Oregon, where Uber was not allowed.

The ride-hailing startup also found itself in court this week to defend itself against charges it stole trade secrets and intellectual property for its self-driving car business from Google's Waymo. The case risks undermining what Uber describes as "potentially ... the most lucrative business in history."

Why do big corporations continue to cut corners in their own self interest or act in manners where they believe they won't get caught for their wrong doing? Haven't we seen countless times that the consequences are far too great?

Do you guys foresee a general shift of the public to Lyft?

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  1. I think Uber will survive the shit storm. It offers too convenient a product to be ignored. Lyft isn't quite as widespread, so I don't believe it is in a position to completely replace Uber. However, this will definitely give the competitor traction in their battle for market space.

    I think a telltale sign of how this PR crisis will end is the outcome of the lawsuit with Waymo. If Google finds a way to really win big and Uber has to face some real consequences, it might teach them and other businesses a lesson when it comes to acting unethically.

    1. I also agree with Nick. In places where Uber is more widespread than Lyft, they will use Uber more likely due to convenience.

  2. I wouldn't say that there's a shift from Uber to Lyft, at least not in the near future. Uber is still 'top of mind' when it comes to ride sharing. I'm also not sure if Uber will have to face the consequences if the allegations are true. They've had so many lawsuits yet their business continues to grow. I don't see why it would be any different now.

  3. For various reasons, I would LOVE to witness a downfall of Uber, and am rooting for Lyft, but it is probably unlikely. Unfortunately, Uber is for ride-hailing apps (for most geographic locations) what Google is for search engines.
    I'm rooting for Waymo, but reports of recent court hearings, and with the likelihood of this case being settled through arbitration...I doubt this will have a significant impact on Uber's operations. But at the same time, I think autonomous vehicles are so out of Uber's scope that they probably wouldn't last long in the industry (?).

  4. In order to really have an impact on Uber, all the different wrong doings need to be publicized and brought to the attention of their users. Still though, I still think that the convenience that Uber offers will make it very hard for people to stop using it, especially where Lyft is not as prevalent.

  5. I agree that Uber has been involved in some super shady actions over the past few years including implementing surges during protests at airports during the initial reactions from the Trump Administration's travel ban. While I would also love to see Uber taken down, I think that as long as they have access to as much capital as they do it will be very difficult to pin them on any one of their indiscretions.

  6. I agree with Kriti. I personally prefer use Lyft better than Uber, but I think it is unlikely that Lyft is going to exceed over Uber. However, when I was in Mexico, Uber is so much cheaper than those in the States. Uber China was operated and bought by a private enterprise named Didi about one year ago, so legally and practically in China, there is no Uber right now. But it is hard to force Uber out in the U.S. market.