Admins, is there a point when we can stop re-hashing this same point of view?
Mark Phillip
102

Mark, please feel free to point out anything in this article that you feel is a “rehash.” Or did you even bother to read the whole thing? (No, scanning it doesn’t count.) Or do you think it qualifies as such because I wrote two articles in a row on the same subject?

In any event, I do not “have it out” for RideAustin, nor have I ever. Whether I’m a “fan” of it is entirely beside the point: aside from me taking issue with how its CEO reacted to my previous piece, I expressly tried to limit the content of this article to a discussion of the facts. Most of said facts are unambiguous, e.g. RideAustin has stopped reporting its ridership data and a Texas Monthly reporter wrote an article about the company using content appropriated from my previous article. I think a reasonable observer would conclude that quite a few of these facts reflect poorly on RideAustin. To state the obvious, I played no role whatsoever in most of them. Finally, all of the above is entirely about an Austin startup, so why wouldn’t it be appropriate material for austinstartups.com?

Yes, I am disappointed by some of its recent actions, in particular its failure to disclose important facts to its single biggest asset and its most fervent supporters: its drivers. Not telling them that they wouldn’t be earning any surge-level fares this past weekend is simply unacceptable, considering quite a few of their drivers rely on it as a primary means of financial support. I’m also chagrined by its censorship of dissenting views and deactivation of drivers who voice them in a public forum — which would be a disturbing trend for any company, but is especially the case for a nonprofit. (Speaking of: how am I “making Austin look petty”? Seems like you’re shooting the messenger here.) Again, this is basic fact, not my personal opinion.

Finally, I was flummoxed by what I could’ve said in my article to provoke such a response on your part, but I just took a look at your Medium “recommend” list and gained a fair degree of clarity. I think a better summation here might be, “Mark Phillip isn’t a fan of Uber or criticism of its competitors. Duly noted.”