Many people love Uber. At least as many don't. As someone who has written about, privately and very publicly commented on, and observed Uber, let me share some of my thoughts as to why the people who love Uber do.
  1. It is a better mode of transportation than taxis.
    This is pretty clear. Taxis, depending upon the city, range from fairly terrible to somewhat okay. And, in a way, that's fine. Taxis are simply a way of getting from point A to point B and were designed in neither a bespoke nor a luxurious way. Those who prefer Uber prefer what they perceive as a more satisfactory and satisfying consumer experience.
  2. Uber aligns with their political and social philosophies.
    Many people feel that government plays too large a role in their lives. Given that Uber is now a truly global business, they operate in countries with both significant and comparatively little government regulation. Uber's business model is predicated upon the average person acting as a commercial driver without the same regulation (both the driver and Uber itself) as those who drive for taxi and limousine companies. For some, this freedom from government regulation is very attractive.
  3. They focus more on Uber's public relations hits than the dramatic misses.
    Uber has special days where they'll deliver ice cream and kittens and puppies to your office. For those with whom such stints resonate, they hit hard. Equally, for those who think it's inhumane to drive puppies around town all day for 15-minute office jaunts with complete strangers, it is received very badly. The former group seems to dramatically outnumber the latter.
  4. They see and feel the brand as clearly defined.
    At its core, Uber is neither a transportation company nor a technology company. They are a lifestyle brand. People who use Uber see themselves in a more positive light for so doing. Uber is cool - or whatever is the most current word, dude, in the parlance of our times - and the brand rubs off on people who use it. When they see themselves in the social/social media mirror, they prefer what they see over the pre-Uber image.
  5. They believe they are helping people.
    As much of an intellectual stretch as this may be, some people who use Uber believe that they are helping others by empowering their ability to be entrepreneurial, to chart their own path and craft their own identity in the digital world.
  6. It gives a sense of power to those who possess little.
    Finally, this is one of the most deeply sad parts of the Uber issue. The vast majority of people who support Uber represent a generation that will have less material success than their parents did. So the ability to use mobile phone applications to order a car or have an overpriced sandwich waiting for pickup at a restaurant gives them a sense of power. And it IS power but it's power over those even more disenfranchised than they are - the Uber driver, the barista. This, to me, is very sad.