Rideshare Roundup: GitaRyde Folds & Cops Assaulting Uber Drivers

On Wednesday April 1, we announced the launch of GitaRyde to much anticipation and hype.  Unfortunately there was just too much competition with companies like Grouber and Buber also launching on the same day!  Either way, it was very cool to see so many of you supporting The Rideshare Guy and if I ever do decide to launch another rideshare service, I know that I’ll have a ton of people behind it!  Seriously though, the support was amazing, can’t thank you all enough 🙂

For those who missed it, you can catch our press release about GitaRyde here and big ups to Scott for coming up with a great April Fool’s Day article.  He definitely walked the fine line of being funny but not too outrageous and it ended up being one of the most popular articles of all time on the site!  For those who haven’t taken a look yet, I encourage you to read the whole thing and the comments too 🙂

Breaking News: Welcome to GitaRyde!

Despite some funny April Fool’s day pranks and articles, there was one more serious story that I think could have bigger implications for society in general.  Most of you have probably seen the video by now of an angry and racist New York City cop yelling at an Uber driver but if not here it is:

Police Abuse of Uber Driver in New York City

This video made the rounds this week and upon first glance, there just wasn’t anything in my mind that could possibly justify the cop’s reaction.  I know I would have been scared sh%$less if this happened to me and I commend the driver for keeping his cool.  I’m also glad that the passenger got this on video because who knows what would have happened without it.  The cop ended up getting his badge and gun taken and will likely be disciplined.

Cop who berated Uber driver is stripped of badge and gun

I know some drivers have been asking me why they should have video cameras in their cars and this is a prime example.  This is something I’m actually looking into for myself so I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted.

Speaking of Safety

Uber Just Poached Facebook’s Security Chief Joe Sullivan

I have no idea who this guy is but if Uber just poached him from Facebook he must be important.  I think all of the bad press surrounding safety issues are finally starting to cause Uber some problems and it’s clear from this hiring that they are starting to prioritize rider and driver safety a bit more.

Justin Bieber Sued For Assaulting An Uber Driver

Did anyone watch the roast of Justin Bieber on Comedy Central?  Guess he had some built up anger and decided to punch a driver.  Cha-ching for the driver 🙂

Baby born in back of Uber on way to hospital

Remember, keeping your passengers safe as they’re having a baby is a good thing and an easy way to get 5 stars.  Wonder if there’s a cleaning fee?

The Russians Are Coming

A mysterious Russian-led Boston startup wants to challenge Uber

It seems like I’m contacted on a weekly basis these days by foreign rideshare companies.  This one has its sights set on the US but it’s crazy to think about rideshare on a worldwide scale and the impact it’s going to have.

A Couple Good Forbes Pieces

Video Ads Are Coming To The Back Of Your Uber

I’m a little biased on this article but I think it could be a great thing for drivers and finally give them a little more leverage.  As you are probably discovering, there is a ton of opportunity with marketing, advertising and selling as a driver but it takes some skill to learn how to do it tactfully and effectively.

This is what free, ad-supported Uber rides might look like. Mockups, economics, and analysis.

One of my Twitter friends shared this post with me literally as I was writing my Forbes article on video ads.  Fortunately, Andrew Chen’s was a lot better and took a much different tone.

Why Uber Won’t Be Coming To Healthcare

I was actually thinking about writing an article about why Uber will be coming to healthcare but it appears that there are some people way smarter than I who say it can’t be done.  I have a personal interest in medicine seeing as my wife is in med school and I think tech/med could be a future entrepreneurial pursuit.

Bill Gurley & Malcolm Gladwell in Conversation – SXSW 2015 Interactive Featured Session

One of my favorite authors and one of the smartest VC guys around talked for an hour at SXSW (this video was linked in the Uber healthcare article) and I found it really fascinating.  If you have time, watch the first 30-40 minutes and learn from two really smart dudes.

Good News For Drivers

Lyft is launching new profiles feature to help drivers and ride-sharers break the ice

I think this is a pretty cool feature and definitely goes along with the overall theme of Lyft.

Uber, Wingz cleared to pick up passengers at John Wayne Airport

Good news for me seeing as I’ll be traveling this weekend and now I get to pick people up at my home airport!

At This ‘Lounge,’ Drivers Find the Help Uber Doesn’t Offer

Last but not least, my favorite online publication does a great feature on Groove, the driver clubhouse up in SF.  I’m actually going to be attending a driver dinner next Sunday night at Groove so if you’re in the area, make sure you register and we can meet in person!  I’ll share more information next week.

Drivers, what do you think about all of the top news stories from the week that was in rideshare?

-Harry @ RSG