I’m the CEO of asterRIDE, a company that runs an app used by taxi drivers, limousines and chauffeurs to connect passengers to rides. Sound familiar? You may have heard of a wildly popular service by a similar name. It’s a service that has led many to proclaim the taxi industry is a “dying breed.” And yet, despite my position in the for-hire ride industry, I’ve never believed that fighting the “big guy” was the way to reap success for my company.
Am I committing career suicide by saying that out loud, on the internet, for anyone to read? Well, let’s not look at it that way. Hear me out.
Since the beginning of business, when people were trading sacks of grain for horses and goats, people have always fought change. In the late 1800’s, some cities fought the invasion of the “horseless carriage,” AKA the automobile. Dairy farmers fought tooth-and-nail to outlaw margarine. More recently, the music industry sought to crush digital music and newspapers refused to go digital, even as their subscription numbers tanked.
What do all of these scenarios have in common? Even for all the fighting, the change came to the marketplace anyway. Those who did not adapt were left behind.
While I see plenty of flaws in the business model of the “big guy” and potentially dangerous consequences for them down the road, wasting our energies here is not going to fill taxis or the backseats of a limo.
Instead, I’m doing everything I can to make sure the for-hire and taxi industry isnot left behind. Through my company’s app, asterRIDE, we’ve created an efficient, user-friendly platform to help taxi drivers and chauffeurs compete in a mobile world.
Do we need to do more? You bet. If it were up to me, every taxi, limousine and charter bus service in the country would be available for order from your phone with the tap of a finger. We’re working on it. And we’re adding better, more user-friendly features by the week.
Some will say that taxis are dead, period. On that point, I’ll strongly disagree. When TV came along, people said it was the end for radio. Yet here we are almost 100 years later, still tuning the dial in our cars, and even better, on our phones! I think there’s room for all—that is, for anyone who is willing to put the time and effort into adapting to the demands of the marketplace.
Do you want to be that guy who protested the Eiffel Tower because it would ruin the Paris skyline? Or do you want to be an innovator, changing and adapting, surviving and thriving by meeting the demands of your customers? Which will you choose?
For more information on asterRIDE, visit us on LinkedIn.