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Lessons startups can learn from the success of Uber

Lessons startups can learn from the success of Uber

Wednesday February 14, 2018,

4 min Read

There is an Uber of everything nowadays. Uber has become synonymous with disruption and innovation. This ride-sharing app has pioneered on-demand industry and concierge economy. The term uberification or uberfy has become synonymous with disruption and innovation quickly becoming the template for aspiring startup companies serving several different industries.

Founded in 2009 as UberCab by Garrett Camp, the co-founder of StumbleUpon, and Travis Kalanick, Uber's services and mobile app were officially launched in San Francisco in 2011. Fast forward to today, Uber operates in 633 cities worldwide.

Undoubtedly, with its wild success, entrepreneurs and startups everywhere are taking inspiration from Uber to create their mobile apps for different products and services. But it is important to know that simply emulating Uber business model will not work. Instead of jumping head-on with the model, it is important to adapt and grow based on your business needs.

Uber, a peer-to-peer ridesharing is an amazing app that will continue to grow and change how we live and work in the new digital economy. The only problem: Uber isn’t for everybody.

Here are just a few tips for startups and entrepreneurs to learn from Uber.

Find solutions to real-world problems

Every business or startup needs to solve a problem or simplify lives of its customers. Period. Listen to your customers and try to find solutions. What value can you offer to your target audience that your competitor cannot offer? Try to answer this question. Uber successfully solved the perennial public transportation problem existing in large cities, increasing the mobility of people to get around easily.

While cab services didn’t always offer the best service and several private cab companies offering services at a premium level. Uber changed the balance by providing rides at a cheaper rate at a higher level of service. Uber also increased accountability by allowing users to rate their experience with their drivers. This helped company to identify the best people on staff.

Customers can check their driver for updates, giving a better idea when their cabs will arrive. Once again this convenience doesn’t exist with regular cab companies.

Always innovate to get early mover advantage

When there is a hot discussion among experts whether self-driving cars would be available to users, Uber raced its way ahead. Uber launched a pilot program in Pittsburgh that allowed people to summon a self-driving car from their phones. Uber acquired autonomous-trucking startup, Otto, putting the taxi aggregator at the next wave of technology evolution.

Uber signed a $300 million deal with Volvo, which provides the company’s current fleet of human-assisted self-driving cars and jointly develops autonomous driving and a vehicle ready for self-driving implementation.

Minimize infrastructural requirements

Startups face the obstacle of burgeoning infrastructure costs. It is important to minimize costs by limiting a reduced infrastructure in place. It is a no-brainer, however, most startups fail to minimize costs. Very often low costs are equated with abandoning core values of quality. A less intricate infrastructure lets companies evolve quickly and adapt to changes, enabling them to avoid some of the problems that would otherwise hinder growth. In many cases, it might make sense to partner with a mobile app devellopement company to minimize overhead costs.

Choose a scalable business model

Many companies have been completely taken over by surprise and unprepared for uber-like success. Ultimately, they were forced to increase prices and face harsh customer reviews. Keep in mind a scalable business model is the key to success when the demand picks up. It is important to select a scalable business model to avoid negative reviews or brickbats. Don’t just blindly copy someone else’s model, rather work with your strengths and create opportunities.


Remember, without the unwavering support of your user base, your startup might not be able to survive. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make your own way in the new business market.