Skip to content

Looking to Become UBER Successful? Try Consistent Innovation

By Charlie Foster

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? Not for Uber. Uber is constantly looking ahead in every aspect of their business from self-driving cars to using machine learning to optimize prices and routes and even innovating to create newer segments of the company like Uber Freight. On Wednesday, November 11th, five T&M alum and Uber employees came to discuss their work on a day-to-day, where they see Uber going in the future, and their advice for thriving at a company like Uber.

Uber started with the rideshare component of their business where riders request a ride and a driver in the area transports them from their current location to another. Now, in addition to the rideshare part of the business, Uber has Uber Eats, Uber Freight, and plenty more sectors that are on the rise. We were fortunate enough to hear from employees working in Uber Freight, Uber Eats, and even an employee working with advancing self-driving cars.

Uber Freight

Plenty of people with an entrepreneur type mentality and work ethic end up working for the largest companies. Counter-intuitive right? Larger companies like Uber need people that are go-getters with a strong work ethic that are not dependent on an established structure. Uber Freight was the perfect place for T&M alum Afra Ashraf and Rob Hoch. Uber Freight is a startup to them, and they get that small team, fast-paced feel with the job security and pay of a larger company. Afra and Rob get a rewarding experience because they are part of a small team and mentioned that if you come up with a business case and an idea, GO FOR IT! A key part of innovation at any company is allowing employees, no matter their position, to come up with new ideas for the company. In fact, less experienced employees can have the most creative ideas because they don’t have an idea for what works and what doesn’t so their ideas are less conservative. The concept of Uber Freight is to work as a middle man to let companies outsource their freight shipping to independent drivers, in a similar way to Uber’s ridesharing system.

Uber Eats

Don’t worry, I will not make your mouth water by listing all the restaurants Uber Eats delivers from. Just kidding, one quick fact. Uber plans on doubling its selection size with Uber Eats so you can expect many more meals without leaving your couch. Ok, for real now I won’t entice your taste buds anymore. COVID-19 may have hurt their rideshare business, but Uber Eats saw a substantial increase in revenue during the pandemic. The great part about Uber is if one part of their business downturns, another part can easily pick up the slack; their business segments are not reliant on each other. Adi Gupta, T&M class of XIII, explained even during times of success, Uber is looking in the future and transitioning to eats for business, where employers can allow their employees to order Uber Eats and charge to one company account.

Self-driving cars

Yes, this is a soon-to-be reality. John Jacobs, T&M class of XVII, is working in Pittsburgh, a self-driving car hub, to work on how Uber is going to take full advantage of self-driving cars and develop the technology themselves. Uber is working with other 3rd parties and the top players in the industry so they can have the technology before their competitors. Self-driving cars could be a make or break for Uber, and the company recognizes the investment required to keep developing the technology. On one hand, self-driving cars would eliminate Uber to pay for a driver, and they can get a fleet of cars to maximize the number of cars on the road, minimize wait times, and program the most efficient routes for each car to take without passengers. On the other hand, if Uber does not get involved in self-driving cars, the need for Uber may be eliminated because people can get their own car to come to them without a driver.

Uber is being uber innovative (who didn’t see that coming) by constantly creating new strategies and allowing their younger employees to thrive in a role they enjoy and where they can make a serious impact on the company. Uber certainly does not need a change in scenery, but that is no excuse to take their foot off the gas and constantly turn the wheel in new directions to explore new destinations humans may have at one point never thought were possible.

Charlie Foster

Charlie is a junior studying aerospace engineering. He is in Class XXVI and currently serves as a member of the T&M Junior Student Board. Next summer, Charlie will be working in sales and client development at Kimberly-Clark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *