Prior to MySpace, Friendster, Linkedin and Facebook era, we used to have lecturers, uncles, mentors, guides, colleagues, managers, bosses and the list goes on. Today all people is a ‘Friend’. I meet a senior gentleman at a convention, I send him a friend request. You found your class teacher, the Miss Femina, began using Facebook, you send her a chum request.
A recruiter came for your class, you send him/her a friend request. It doesn’t matter which country, age group, or culture you belong to, people behave all the way same. The casual culture in Silicon Valley has slowly engulfed the cultures all around the realm. Roughly a year ago, I was comparing moving to Silicon Valley to begin an alternative mission. I decided to pursue the schooling route to plug myself into an atmosphere where I ’d have higher flexibility to take a step back and view what will be the problem I’d love to solve for the rest of my life. I found Software Management program @ Carnegie Mellon University Silicon valley campus and began evaluating whether it would be a good choice for me.
I din’t know that this assessment adventure will take me deep down the very basics of Social Networks. The “Friend Request” culture that we live in today and how it has slowly become the only way to attach with people. Eventually, I concluded that the Person to Person connection experience on web is absolutely broken. None of the famous social structures like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Quora is designed to serve an easy human need, that’s the “Right to Request”. Internet seems to have completely missed the opportunity to create a platform that would give people their Right to Request anyone in this world beyond the complexity of degrees of connection. I found out significant insights, developed appealing theories, and conceptualized few ideas.
I’ve just begun to develop a platform to use it for myself and expectantly it may be a fun adventure. It is interesting to see items that vary people’s conduct at the mass scale. Products like facebook, instagram, and whatsapp are absolutely one of the change leaders but people take time to respect these products. However, there are merchandise that take our breath away the first time we use them. UBER is one such product it really is inspirational for its design, intention, and nearly faultless implementation.
I am deeply encouraged by UBER and end up discussing it always in most product related discussions with fellow pals. Before I dive into describing why I truly admire about UBER, let me share some stories that helped me build the perspective. In June 2014, I used UBER in Gurgaon India for the first time, basically because it extended an opportunity to travel in high end cars like BMW 7 series, which I could not afford otherwise. It was a premium adventure; I loved to speak about it within my community, and accompanied how I opened up from being cost aware to adventure conscious customer. Multiple WhatsApp groups were abuzz with discussions each time a person used the carrier. The community around me, which I believed would find it costly, proved me wrong.
People were open to shell out a few extra bucks for the UBER experience. The zero barrier trial with the 1st two free rides and word of mouth virality were using people crazy. Entire event from onboarding to payment was redefined and was totally seamless. In August 2014, I relocated to California. At San Francisco Airport, I wanted to use UBER to drive all the way down to Sunnyvale. Unfortunately, I did not have a US number activated, so I was forced to take a traditional taxi.
I puzzled why the hell do they not have a web interface or not to mention a counter at SFO airport; it might drive plenty enterprise in spite of everything. I paid $127 to the taxi driver and later found that I overpaid as a minimum $40 for not using UBER. This event drove me crazy to try UBER much more. The first thing I wanted after having a local number activated was to use UBER for my pursuits travel between home and NASA campus. Until I bought my car, I used UBER for over 30 trips between Sunnyvale and NASA Research center and conversed with almost every driver out of curiosity to discover how do they feel post UBER era. Taxi drivers ranged from 25 year old professionals upto 60 years old retired men and women.
What I found was truly transformational. Particularly, a recent immigrant from east coast, who joined a real estate agency, used UBER to familiarize herself with the hot geography in addition to making a few extra bucks. An Asian retired person well-known the sophisticated and yet easy to use era interface that empowered him to make upto $2500 a month easily, a sum that helped him satisfy his family needs in the creating cost systems of bay area. Every driver had a completely unique and fascinating story to share. I could intently feel the inclusive social impact that UBER was using.