Maaxi taxi sharing is real competition for Uber September 30, 2014Posted by Bernard Lunn in Uncategorized.
I love free market competition, but something about Uber makes me queasy.
It is not the bare knuckles competition against Lyft. That is just how the game is played. Asking Uber to be more gentle on Lyft would be like the prop in a rugby scrum being told he should be gentle on his opposite number. Break the rules and the ref will call you out, but otherwise it’s ok.
What makes me queasy is the implicit assumption that the customer is King, Queen, Judge and Executioner.
We are all producers before we are consumers. If we are not producers, we have no money to be consumers (leaving alone for now the twin poles of trust fund inheritors and welfare recipients).
So the consumer King must be balanced with the producer Queen.
When producers who have been protected by regulation call “no fair” I am unsympathetic. Producers need to face competition head on. Regulating Uber out of the game is no answer.
That is why the Maaxi launch today caught my eye. This story has three pieces you don’t normally see together:
1. A “red in tooth and claw” capitalist (Nate Rothschild).
2. The legacy protected producer (Black Cab drivers in London).
3. A disruptive proposition. This is disrupting the disrupters. The proposition is to share a ride with somebody going the same way. Given how expensive taxis are in London, this is a big deal.
Tube/Subway fares have risen as well. I read this on a Tube ride costing me nearly $5. If three of us shared a taxi costing $15….
I am rooting for Maaxi.