Watching Uber and Lyft fall on their faces is hilarious. Everything about the fact that these companies are hemorrhaging money after all the hype says what you need to know both about contemporary capitalism and the ways we as a society think about these things. These companies were heralded as “revolutionary.” They were the ultimate DISRUPTORS!!! They were the future. Meanwhile, they are just a bunch of techbros offering absolutely nothing new to the world, including undermining your competition by losing money on every deal so you can drive them out of business. The problem here of course is that there is no way that these companies can make money and continue with the business model, since the prices would rise. That’s doesn’t even get into the scumbaggery of the founding generation of a company like Uber or Twitter, where weirdo misogynist bros combined with a savior complex and the adulation of millions of people who see wealth as intelligence and who want to DISRUPT something themselves have outsized influence on our society, to entirely deleterious effects.
So I really loved the framing of this excerpt from a new book on Uber. The piece is, oh, alright I guess. But the idea that this was in fact a revolutionary company taken down by a psychopath as CEO continues to erase the fact that it never offered anything new except for a challenge to a pretty bad taxi industry. Certainly it’s methods of forcing all risk onto employees that it refused to recognize as such as not new. I mention all this though because of the headline, which I know came out of the Times since authors don’t get to determine headlines, often to very irritating results. But “How Uber Got Lost” is just hilarious. Uber was never lost! It was always a house of cards based on nothing, with no real way to make money. It was a giant nothingburger! But from Bitcoin to dudes worshipping Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg getting to shape Newark education policy based on the rock solid principles of his wealth, you have yet another example of how determined modern Americans are to worship the techbros that are the 21st century version of the Gilded Age railroad and mining barons, a bunch of people dumber than a box of rocks, but who through ruthlessness, luck, a complete lack of morals, and giant egos stumbled into untold wealth and a place in the pantheon of American giants.
But hey, I’m sure that the next DISRUPTION will truly change our lives for the better.