Not So Uber
Geoff Graber

While this article and the letter come from a good place, if I had been Uber’s leadership at the time I would not have taken the letter very seriously. The meat of the letter (paragraph 2 onwards) is very abstract and generalized. It does not cite specific ways in which reclaiming its “soul” could help Uber’s business. In fact, it sounds a bit like a form letter that assumes a lot about a company in order to make generalizations that can sound meaningful and alarming to any number of different companies. It kind of sounds like a blurb on the back of a self-help book jacket.

For-profit companies in growth mode need compelling business reasons to change their way of doing things. There is certainly a strong argument to be made that a values-based culture can be an important part of a consumer-facing business model, especially in this era where many consumers are looking for authenticity from corporations. This is the kind of reasoning that would grab a founder’s attention more than talking about how a business wants to get to the top of Maslow’s hierarchy (I’m not really sure what that even means).

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