Uber’s meteoric rise from another Silicon Valley startup to the next great evolution in transportation has been one fraught with resistance. Led by its aggressive CEO, Travis Kalanick, the company has spearheaded a new one way to get around, and earned a reputation for running over anyone or anything in its path. With a massive valuation though, the company seemed untouchable. Until…this past month. Now all hell is breaking loose.
Cars are beautiful. And elegant. And kind of boring. The modern automobile is at the same time a marvel of engineering and utterly mundane. For their part, the big manufacturers have tried to appeal to a new kind of consumer by adding sleek designs and fancy touchscreens, but so far, few of these have broken from the pack.
What is the web? Really, what is it? With the rise of smart devices and sprawling social networks, never before has the average person been able to tell their story so well, to their friends, family and the world. On the other hand, this constant sharing of information makes for a marketer's dream, with people telling you who they are, what they like, and how badly they want it. This raises one of the biggest questions of the day: whose story is winning? Is the internet a place for public sharing or public relations?
The car isn't what it used to be. Once the ultimate possession, a symbol sought after for its freedom, owning a car now is less a necessity than questionable investment. Born at the advent of the internet and saddled with an economic recession, an entire generation has discovered itself through social connections forged on the web, and they're no longer racing to get their licenses when they turn 16. Slowly, the car is losing its hold as a signifier of status, opening the transportation arena to new players, to talk to the new generation, in a new way.