How the Uber Economy Is Killing Innovation, Prosperity, and Entrepreneurship

We need to shift our focus from disrupting markets to creating them

Greg Satell
Marker

--

An Uber driver’s car with Uber signage on its roof
Photo by Viktor Avdeev on Unsplash

Today, it seems that almost everyone wants to be the “Uber” of something, and why not? With very little capital investment, the company has completely disrupted the taxicab industry and attained a market value of around $60 billion. In an earlier era, it would have taken decades to have created that kind of impact on a global scale.

Still, we’re not exactly talking about Henry Ford and his Model T here. Or even the Boeing 707 or the IBM 360. Like Uber, those innovations quickly grew to dominance, but also unleashed incredible productivity. Uber, on the other hand, still gushes red ink even after more than a decade and $25 billion invested. Just last year it lost more than $6 billion.

The truth is that we have a major problem and, while Uber didn’t cause it, the company is emblematic of it. Put simply, a market economy runs on innovation. It is only through consistent gains in productivity that we can create real prosperity. The data and evidence strongly suggests that we have failed to do that for the past 50 years. We need to do better.

The Productivity Paradox Writ Large

--

--

Greg Satell
Marker

Co-Founder: ChangeOS | Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Wharton Lecturer, HBR Contributor, - Learn more at www.GregSatell.com