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Uber didn't just take business from taxis, it created a new business

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ASHOOR:
We have often hear about how Uber has taken a lot of business from the taxi industry and there is no denying that it has.

But there is something people are missing. Uber didn't just take business from taxis. It created a whole new category of transportation that didn't even exist before. In other words, not everyone taking Uber used to take taxis before. In fact, a lot of the people taking Uber probably never or rarely took taxis before because it was just something they either didn't think about or wasn't appealing to them.

Uber created a new reality where people may Uber instead of walk.

It also created an environment where instead of relying on your parents or another family member to drive you, you simply get Uber. Take myself as an example. My wife drives but doesn't have a car. She would either walk to places or I would drive her. But we rarely called for taxi before. Now with Uber, and given a lot of the places that are short distances, but still long enough for a walk, we simply get Uber.

Then there is the economic dimension to this. Because it is so easy to get an Uber, more people go out to dine and shop, whereas before, they may not have done it even if taxis existed. They would either hang out locally or get a friend or family member to drive.

And let us not even talk about buses and public transit. That has always been unreliable, despite all the money poured into it.

But I think the biggest factor working in Uber's favor is the millennial generation: these guys are usually spoiled and don't like to wait. Ok maybe spoiled is not the right word, but let us just say they are impatient. They were born and grew in an era where they can get, order, listed and watch anything they want with a simple click or tap. So when Uber comes, enabling you to get a ride anywhere you like in the city, through an app, it makes perfect sense.

Just like you have a whole new generation that has no idea what a VCR, Walkman, cassette tape, or even a desktop computer is, we now have a generation that has never taken a taxi and only know Uber.

So to summarize: saying that Uber took a lot of business from Uber is only half the story. A lot of Uber's business is self-created through an environment that inspires people to go out more often, be it for dining, shopping or visiting friends.

In other words, while millennials like to spend a lot of time on their phone , rarely socializing, it is ironic that Uber helps them come out and spend more time outside.

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