A Brief Corporate History of Uber
1492: European explorers arrive in the New World, introducing horses, sugar cane, smallpox, and smartphones to America:
1849: Jeremiah T. Uber and his three sons arrive in the port of San Francisco from Panama. They open Uber & Sons, a modest dry goods store catering to gold miners and prospectors. With his venture capital funding running low, Jeremiah pivots the business into providing on-demand horse-drawn carriages.
1929: The Great Depression nearly sinks Uber’s business when a stock market crash and 25% unemployment severely curtails public desire for private chauffeurs.
A desperate foray into on-demand food delivery backfires when Uber is criticized for using dynamic pricing to charge more for turkey on Thanksgiving:
1944: With war raging in Europe and the Pacific, Uber temporarily suspends its budding on-demand transportation business and builds an app to help the U.S. Army dispatch precision airstrikes and mechanized infantry deployments.
Uber’s First Airborne Escalade Paratrooper Division turns the tide of the war against the Axis:
1984: After 135 years in business, Uber re-invents itself as a modern technology platform, taking advantage of the latest developments in computing and telecommunications. ETAs come down from 78 hours to an amazing 41 hours, making getting a car virtually instantaneous.
Though most requests are sent and received via Fax, Uber turns the industry on its head when it launches its revolutionary pager app:
2037: Uber launches the “Pre-car” product, using psychic creatures suspended in a rich nutrient bath to predict when you’re about to have a boring conversation at a party so that a car can be sent to your location before you know you need one.
ETAs improve from 3 minutes to negative 15 minutes:
Thank you for joining us on this brief tour of Uber’s rich corporate history.
We have developed a new pilot program – Xchange Leasing – which is a leasing option administered by an Uber subsidiary and designed to fit with the flexibility that drivers value most. The Xchange lease is one of a kind, and offers value that traditional auto leases do not provide. Unlike most multi-year leases that have high fees for early termination, drivers who participate in Xchange for at least 30 days will be able to return the car with only two weeks notice, and limited additional costs. The program allows for unlimited mileage and the option to lease a used car, with routine maintenance also included.
A new report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reveals that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making better choices that save lives.
New technologies are creating opportunities no one could have imagined. To understand Uber’s place in that trend, we commissioned a survey of our driver-partners and put together a comprehensive analysis.