Looking back to where we started, we mainly wanted to research how Uber managed to change such a long and solid industry, only in a few short years. The taxi industry has been around for many decades before even the creator of Uber was born, let alone the app launch. However, it managed to change it radically in just 5-6 years. This was due to the observation of the technological trends people usually like. Since everyone wants to do everything with less and less effort and also be quicker and more effective in doing it, Uber saw an opportunity in that. They created a phone application with which you can order a car to pick you up at just a few taps of a button. And people loved it! But it does have its disadvantages, mainly because it is a relatively new concept in the world and lawmakers do not know yet how to approach it.
Our recommendations would be targeted, first of all, to traditional cab drivers and companies. If you want to compete with Uber, you need to be doing exactly what they are doing. The only difference would be that the traditional taxi industry already has its reputation around the world and it would definitely be at an advantage in this scenario. The development for different taxi apps around the world, targeted at the local markets will most likely be a success because they know how their people work. Uber is an American, San Francisco “born” company. They do know how to handle their business, but they cannot take over the whole world if the world is already extremely content with their taxi services. The only reason why they are so successful right now is because they offered an alternative to a somewhat broken industry, as more often than not taxis are not very reliable or the drivers are mean or rude to the customers.
And second of all, if the industry cannot or does not want to change in order to compensate with Uber, then Uber should take full advantage of this situation by expanding even more. They already offer services in more than 75 countries and 459 cities (Uber Estimate, 2016), but they have the potential to expand even more, have even better customer reviews and thus, more clients and more revenue. But in all of this, they should never forget about their employees! We have come across a lot of drivers protesting the working conditions of Uber and they are not asking for much. For this reason, Uber should take some action in this sense and offer them better working conditions. As long as their drivers are happy, their customers will be even more happy.
In conclusion, looking at all the findings above, we can say that Uber has a lot of supporters for its company. Ranging from new users to frequent users or new drivers to already experienced drivers, the app based business has a lot of people to back up what it is trying to do, namely bring the world to a whole new level of comfort and simplicity through technological advancement.
But even with all of this support, there will always be people who do not agree with change. In this case, traditional taxi companies are the biggest threat to Uber, not only as a business concept, but also to its drivers, as cab drivers have a tendency to become very violent when it comes to protesting Uber.
However, even though taxi drivers are the biggest threat to the company, there are also internal issues that still need solving, and that is mainly in part due to the fact that Uber brought to the market such a new concept, that laws have not caught up with it yet. In this manner, the company can get away with a lot of things, simply because they can evade certain accusations based on the fact that there is no law in place to hold them accountable.
We feel that the best way to research the issues between Uber and traditional taxis will be by going to witness one of the many protests we talked about in this paper. By engaging with the people who are suffering from this dispute in real life, researchers can ask all the questions they want and also observe their reactions and their emotions. Some people might be participating in these protests just for the attention, and that is not good research material. When you approach them in real life, you can tell if they are really unhappy with what is happening or are just there “for the show”.
But if that does not work, we would recommend observing Twitter more and leaving Instagram out. Instagram is still a very good source of information, but it is not so in depth as we would have liked it to be. On Twitter however, people keep posting daily about this issue, using many different hashtags. The ethnographers should be wary of that and scavenge the right hashtags and collect data over a way longer period of time than we had at our disposal (10 days). Furthermore, we would also recommend to take an active role while searching for information in these communities. Even though a covert observation is simpler and gives you enough insight, we feel like an overt observation would be even better because you can skip through all the unnecessary information and get straight to the point in your research community.
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