Uber for a long time advertised themselves as "your private driver on demand" Travis goal was to have a ride 3 minutes away from anyone who needed one.
It wasn't designed with carpooling or decreasing congestion in mind.
It was a luxury car service on demand. Uber X came about because lyft copied Ubers model but with regular cars. This pissed of Travis and Uber X was born and its been a race to the bottom 3ver since.
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Exactly, Uber was first, founded 13 years ago. Lyft 10 years ago.
There are two markets, the high end which is small and extremely profitable.
Then there is the broader market which is numerous and can be profitable.
Any CEO worth a damm has a degree in business and marketing and they know a successful company has to dominate BOTH markets or else a competitor establishes themselves in the broader market and then takes over the smaller high end market.
However to not be broken up as a monopoly by the government (like AT&T) Uber needed a competitor. So was leaving the door open for Lyft or anyone else.
Uber was doing the smart thing, establishing themselves first in the high end market with their Black Car service while waiting for a competitor before launching in the broader market.
So for Uber, better to have a small struggling competitor than no competitor.
It's Lyft that's initiated the run to the bottom, to the point of potential bankruptcy, to try to gain market share, and Ubers been nearly matching them to keep them in check. They could easily blow Lyft right out of the water if they wanted.
Did you know Steve Jobs, upon his return to Apple Computer, actually got seed money from Bill Gates at Microsoft, Apple's chief competitor? Why? Because Microsoft was in danger of being broken up as a monopoly in the desktop OS market. Apple Computer mistakenly tied its Mac OS to their hardware and Microsoft allowed theirs for any Intel PC compatible computer and flooded the broader market. Apple's Mac OS market share is in the single digits today while Windows is over 90%. Apple is only alive now by milking the rich and the iPhone and they are very profitable too.