Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, Shows Us What Corporate Greed Looks Like In Real Time

Submitted by: fancylad 3 weeks ago Tech


If "Wall Street" was remade for the tech industry, this would definitely be a scene in the movie. You could almost picture Travis Kalanick as the young, cocky, Gordon Gekko, shitting on his employee as he tries to impress a ditzy, onlooking girl in the backseat of an Uber car. 

Something tells me that Kalanick thinks "problems" like the one (drivers with opinions) in this video will all go away once Uber gets driverless cars, but I don't think the company will survive long enough to see that day.
There are 8 comments:
Male 1,762
Having followed the Uber saga, I may be able to offer some insight. Initially, Uber had their Uber Black service, which required drivers to use low-mileage, black, luxury cars. To qualify, a lot of people who chose to drive for Uber (many of them former cabdrivers) had to purchase a luxury vehicle, such as a Lexus SUV or Cadillac Escalade. Uber encouraged these purchases with recruitment ads touting how much money could be made and with special programs to finance the car purchases. A lot of drivers, seeing the potential profits Uber was describing, took the bait and took out loans with Uber or a local bank and bought the luxury vehicles.

Then, within a year, Uber undercut all of these drivers by introducing Uber X--a much cheaper service that uses non-luxury vehicles of any color. Now, when a customer wanted a ride, they would bring up the app on their smartphone and be faced with a choice: You could choose an Uber Black for $25 (for example) OR you could choose an Uber X for $14 (for example). Overnight, the work for the Uber Black drivers fell to a small fraction of what it was and to get any business at all, they had to start doing the Uber X jobs--for about half of what they were getting previously.

Then Uber followed the Uber X introduction with a significant rate cut of 30% across the board. But the bottom hadn't been reached yet. Uber then introduced Uber Pool, where passengers share an Uber X car and hop on and off as if they were riding a city bus. This cut rates even further, to the point that most Uber drivers are now earning barely more than minimum wage. As you can imagine, the thousands of Uber drivers out there who bought luxury vehicles had a hard time making their payments. Many had their vehicles repossessed; many declared bankrupcty.

That's the backstory behind this driver's anger and why Travis Kalanick's cavalier attitude toward him ("Some people just don't take responsibility") is so appalling.

Philadelphia's City Paper had a great exposé on the Uber business model not too long ago. The writer drove for Uber for about a month and it was an unpleasant, exhausting experience. By the time she paid for gas and car insurance and factored in the depreciation of her vehicle, she was making just two dollars or so over minimum wage.
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Male 89
I'm not sure what the issue is here.  I'll admit I haven't been following the uber thing, so maybe there's more to this than what I'm seeing.  And what I'm seeing is a disagreement between a company executive and an employee.  The employee says his piece, the executive bristles a little and says his piece, and when he sees he's not going to change the employee's mind, he leaves.  I think folks need to give this dude a break.  I saw nothing disrespectful in the exchange on either side.  Edgy maybe - but nothing awful.
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Male 1,133
I didn't get what was going on at all except that uber is I guess lowering prices? I did not understand what they were talking about black, are they not using black cars? is that a different level of service? and did he say that uber drivers were to buy a car from him, I thought that the hole deal was that you used your own car for quick cash.(if all of this is obvious to you please excuse my ignorance I live in a small town never used uber or lyft.) and also why did you post so much useless conversation before the stated conversation. 4 min. of nothing for 2 min. of conversation.
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Female 9,433
I prefer lyft over uber. I always had a better time with lyft drivers than uber drivers.
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Male 6,187
I won't support a business model that enriches scum like this at the expense of poor people.
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Male 2,401
No excuse in this day and age for audio that bad.  Might be a story here but I'm not hurting my ears to get it.
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Male 1,805
uber?  seriously ditch that junk already.
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228
He also did a weaksauce "I've been caught out and have no other option" apology as well. Uber is burning money and circling the plughole.
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