Tip Sheets

With Express Pool, Uber mirrors buses, steps into high volume market

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli

This week, Uber is rolling out its latest type of carpooling service — Express Pool. Customers in selected metropolitan areas will share rides with other passengers but instead of getting door to door service they may be picked up and dropped off a block or two from their preferred locations.

Tom Schryver

visiting lecturer at the SC Johnson College of Business and the David J. BenDaniel Faculty Advisor for the BR Ventures Fund

Tom Schryver, visiting lecturer at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and an experienced entrepreneur, served as a startup founder and senior finance executive of high-growth companies and says that Uber is willingly disrupting its original market position – once both high value and niche.

Schryver says:

“Uber is doing something very bus-like while claiming that they are completely different - this is consistent with their strategy of testing regulatory frameworks and seeing what happens - asking forgiveness, not permission. Such a strategy can be useful for startups who have more of a risk-taking culture than incumbent players. Tesla has followed a similar approach, aggressively rolling out ‘auto pilot’ functions while it’s much better funded competitors have taken a much lower risk approach to rolling out self-driving features.

“Remember when Uber was just for ordering a town car in San Francisco and then New York? This is a great example of a startup beginning with a high value niche market and then using that position to drive downward into lower priced, lower margin and much higher volume markets.”

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