I was hesitant before publishing this. It can be interpreted as I fully agree with the tactics or some of the other bad things Uber did. I don’t.
One less talked about side of Uber’s aggressiveness – especially with cities and their officials – is that it paved the way to making ride sharing mainstream. I would also argue Uber’s aggressiveness is one of the factors that helped local competitors survive.
Uber’s sneaky tactics, lobbying power, and almost infinite cash combined with the convenience of the service, and global experience made them able to take the first hits (regulatory, Cab drivers…etc). Local competitors wouldn’t have survived those hits if it wasn’t for Uber.
If Uber was founded by an Egyptian team based in Cairo, they would’ve been sent to jail because of threatening national security by using GPS technology to track citizens and sending this information to foreign governments. But when this is done by a US based company, sending its senior vice president to Egypt to announce investing $250 million dollars in MENA region amid an Egyptian economic crisis, it changes the whole game, and it paves the way for the local competitor to catch their breath and focus on growth.
Some of Uber’s tactics might be unethical/illegal to some, but we can’t deny that in some cases they were necessary, and led to greater good opening thousands of opportunities to people in poor economies. And if you oppose those tactics because they are illegal, remember that the whole concept of ride sharing was once illegal.