In business, any response or action can have intended and, sometimes, unintended consequences. Let’s consider the case of the up-and-coming ridesharing company Uber. Founded in 2009, Uber’s smartphone apps allowed riders to book livery services with drivers via their mobile phones. The company’s recent rise, however, is due to the company’s newest option through UberX, which connects riders to drivers without commercial registration willing to offer free rides in their personal vehicles.
As a result, the established taxi industry in Europe, feeling threatened by Uber’s growth, has responded by organizing protests in numerous cities including London, Madrid, and Paris. Anti-Uber protesters have also rallied in Germany and Italy, and most lately in Boston in the United States, claiming that the company evades local licensing and tax regulations and is costing taxi drivers their livelihoods.
However, this is a clear-cut case where the old saying “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” rings true. Thanks to news coverage of the European taxi strikes, Uber has gotten a major signal boost which the company says has resulted in an 850% increase in sign-ups in just one week. Well, that’s one way to increase your customer base!
PriSim Business War Games Inc. runs and designs customized business simulations that teach decision-makers about business, strategy, finance, and leadership.