APPNOLOGY 101, PART 1: “Checkmate”
When the industry and its many suppliers first came out with their own App based product they tried to convince the industry that you can now compete with the Ubers. Nothing was further from the truth. The Uber concept did have an App which consumers naturally adopted and adapted to. But it was never the App. It was what the App unleashed.
The ability to get a ride faster and cheaper was a win-win. Uber was able to repackage and distribute bite size versions of your products in a way we could not realistically compete with. If we used an App, our clients would only be able to order a usual retail ride at retail pricing unless we set up specific short trip guidelines and pricing.
In effect, the sum of the parts will always have more value than the whole.
It did not take long before realization set in. Uber had operational and technical advantages over us we could not overtake. Had they not stumbled in other ways the executive ground transportation industry as we know it and helped grow it would not even exist today.
The worst part of what allowed this to happen is that we fed the monster. The entire core of their initial success was recruiting the backbone of our industry to operate their model. I do not, nor will I ever, fault anyone for crossing the line. Everyone had their own reasons to jump in full time or partially. At the end of the day, everyone must eat.
Now, times have changed. We have reclaimed our territory. Unfortunately, we are like London at the end of World War II. We are nonetheless back, and we still have fight in us. The ball is back in our court.
We have equipment, we have war souvenirs, and, most importantly, we have a captive audience to drive. We have one slight issue however. We have a driver shortage. Now it is our turn. We require a new approach, a cooperative, to address and solve these challenges.
We must launch our own app to end all apps.
We can, we will, we must reclaim, rebuild, and restore.