The Magic of Uber

For those who know me, I’m one of Uber’s loyalists and frequent users. No matter what city I’m in, I can always rely on Uber to get me from point A to point B.

I have never tried another ride-sharing service and don’t intend to, because I already know there is no other service that provides an identical service and ‘magic’ feeling like Uber.

I first tried Uber in 2011 in San Francisco — still relatively new and hardly mainstream, just known within the tech crowd. The waiting time was over 15 mins but that was ok. I’m always going to SFO so you expect to wait that amount of time for a normal taxi.

The app was a bit shaky, but it gave me the driver’s information (his name was Hesus), his car — a Toyota Carola (I guess Prius’s weren’t mainstream yet) and an icon representing where Hesus and his car were and where I was. It didn’t matter that this intended real-time simulation was screwed up, the fact that someone had tried to gamify the taxi experience still blew my mind.

The arrival — Hesus arrived (albeit on the wrong side of the road) but he was just as how his picture showed, the car was a Carola and he helped me with my carry-on. In I went, and with no directions exchanged (other than pleasantries) and we were off.

I got to my hotel and mistakenly pulled out my wallet to which Hesus laughed and said “you pay through the app”, I laughed — “have a nice day man.” Wow.

I now take about 4–5 Uber’s every week and more when I’m travelling. This feeling is still magic to me and I enjoy every moment of my own on-demand ‘private driver’ when I need to get somewhere.

The McDonalds of Ride Sharing

The experience is now as smooth as ordering a Big Mac at McDonalds and it’s because of this, Uber has replaced the need (or desire) of owning a car for many people. Similar to how Whole Foods or Waitrose has replaced the need of homemade lunches.

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