Before starting this post, I want to wish you and your family a belated very happy 2016. Over the years, I have become more aware of the importance of spending time with people you like with people you love. It’s my wish for all of us. Happy 2016!

Uberized! To Uberise is a new verb. Every company in the world is at risk of being uberised! But what does it mean?

Sure you got it “to Uberise” comes from Uber, the transportation company.

Uber was started in 2009 to ease transport matching in Silicon Valley. The principle is simple, you have an app on your smartphone and you ask for your “Uber”  who is your private driver. The transport fee is less expensive than a taxi and the service is premium –  well dressed driver, a nice black car and all the trimmings – so you can choose your music and find a bottle of water and candies in the car. Right, it’s a good service, in fact it’s what we all dreamed of!

Today Uber is in 60+ countries and the company is worth more than 68 billion dollars!

So what is the risk of being uberized?

In fact, you could be like the taxi business. Uber and uberisation have become synonymous with disruption. A new player on the scene with specific characteristics, and guess what type? Digital ones!

Yes, digital is the way to uberize your business. Better service, cheaper and strongly meeting client’s needs. Students can’t find a cab in the campus? Too far from the city? This is what led Uber to create the offer with the app to meet the needs. They leveraged 21st century digital means to build a very common business : transportation. Transportation is not new at all and Uber-like services have existed for a while.

Their strengths are to maximize digital usage to provide a better service with a clear value proposition. Let’s have a closer look at the digital weapons Uber are using. Mobile, as Andreessen-Horrowitz explained : everyone with have a smartphone by 2020! Yes, less than 4 years from now and more than 4 billion – 60% of the global population – will have access to the internet and services at their fingertips. As an example, download the Uber app, register your credit card and that’s it! You can hire you first private driver!

Simplicity is a key advantage and it’s a no brainer for users. The question is always the same:  “Do I have enough cash for a cab?” This is no longer an issue! You can go! With your mobile, Uber is also leveraging the sensor revolution. GPS is always with you, Uber can use your location and find the closest driver to match your request. This point could sound obvious, Uber is not in fact managing demand but responding to it, which is the only way to succeed. Each time you ask for your car, you need an answer with a driver.

Ok, now, back to the uberization threat!

Each time a newcomer can leverage digital capabilities to deliver your service better, simpler, cheaper, faster, you could be uberised. The balance of power changes.

All sectors could be uberised, we’ve looked at the taxi business with Uber. Here are five more examples.

1. All bookstore businesses have been uberised today by Amazon. Amazon leverage a mix of logistics and digital capabilities to change the value proposition. Amazon is now part of the digital business with their subsidiary Amazon Web Service. 

2. Lawyers and accountants, should be prepared. Clever startups are bulding Smart Lawyers, based on Artificial Intelligence like Rossintelligence.com. In the coming years, they will be able to answer any question, very fast, very lean with a competitive price, which isn’t difficult, right? 🙂 Artificial Intelligence, is the next digital disruption. Some players will leverage it to challenge the statusquo.

3. Hotels have been uberized. Hilton’s been uberized by AirBnB. It took 4 years for AirBnB to reach Hilton’s room capacity when it took… 94 years for Hilton. And the cherry on the cake is, it costs nothing to AirBnB!  Again, AirBnB’s digital platform engages clients with a better service.

4. Banks. All the baking system is under attack! A massive FinTech wave is growing to challenge the bank industry. Personal finance, loans with crowdfunding, wealth management, new payment systems, all on your mobile! It’s massive and very fast!

5. Restaurants. It’s difficult today to imagine a digital way to uberize restaurants. Anyway, some platforms like Cookening or Vizeat offer meals at the host’s home : it’s the AirBnB of restaurants!

I chose these examples but the list is getting longer. Being aware of this risk is the first step. As I said in a previous post, the best way to prevent the risk of uberization is to unleash your own Digital Powers


The choice is yours: Uberise or be uberised?

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