You are what you share ― Charles Leadbeater
Imagine this: Two kids at home, screaming at the top of their lungs and yelling so loud that their cheeks are pink with anger. Both have their hands on an object, pulling on each side. Probability is that their parent would arrive soon to the rescue and break it up.
What will be the topic of the speech these kids will undoubtedly receive? Sharing. Growing up we all would have heard infinite times from our parent, teachers and elder’s, “Learn to Share”, “Sharing is Caring”. It portrays the goodness and kindness in you. It lays a foundation for your future personality and traits. As we mature, the meaning and value of sharing evolves and matures with us. It goes beyond sharing your toys to sharing your views and opinions. Sharing starts to resonate with our opinions and beliefs. We share something when we believe in it. We share something when we deem it to be of importance.
However, sharing comes with its fare share of consequences whether you are a child or a grown up. Sharing is caring only when you are sharing the correct object or purpose at the correct time. Sharing plays a pivotal role in the world today with the impact it has due to social media. Regardless of that, whether you are a child or a grown up, we haven’t figure out the ideal approach of sharing. And neither have brands; Uber finding itself in the pinnacle of this because of multiple social media crisis this year. 2017 has been an unpleasant ride for the company and Uber has found itself caught up in more than a few crisis.
In January, thousands of users deleted the Uber app over the course of a weekend as part of the #DeleteUber movement. This was a symbol of protest to support the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) that had announced a one-hour work stoppage at JFK out of solidarity with the thousands of protesters at airports across the country. Moments after this announcement Uber’s New York Twitter account tweeted out a statement that it was turning off surge pricing at JFK airport, where hundreds of people had gathered to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking U.S. entry for refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
In February Susan Fowler, a Stanford computer science graduate, wrote a blog post about her experience of gender bias and sexual harassment at Uber. It was after this that company announced it had launched an internal investigation into its workplace culture. To add to Uber’s social media misery, next came in line the New York Times article titled “Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture” that suggested Fowler’s claims were not isolated. Around the same time a video of the Uber CEO Travis Kalanick went viral verbally abusing a driver for the service. Adding to the pile-up of crisis, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to make an apology and at the same time he admitted “I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up.”
Like I said, it hasn’t been a comfortable ride for the ridesharing giant. And to mention these have just been the few issues that I am highlighting. Uber is facing an uphill task with the departure of its senior level executives, the legal battle with investors at Google, the controversial “Greyball” tool and rumors suggesting Travis Kalanick could step down as CEO. Uber has suddenly cornered itself into a room where the chances of error are slim to none. The recent months have been very damaging but there is scope of recovery. This is highly dependent on the major likeability factor that Uber has built over the period of time.
Uber has made itself synonymous to getting a cab, (“I’ll uber it!” is what most of us say). Despite new competition and older battles with government and yellow cabs, Uber has become a noteworthy part of our lives and this is the important message that the needs to be reminded not only to customers, but also regulators and the news media. With the collective efforts of the public relations team to clear-out the past mistakes and marketing team to provide valuable new content to move pass history, it is possible to recover the bumps in the road. Uber provides a valuable service and in many cases there are no cost effective alternatives. For now, Uber remains a major force in the so-called “sharing economy” with thousands of drivers operating in dozens of countries.The key is to face your challenges, accept your mistake then take a leap of faith and move on with perseverance and resilience to be better ride tomorrow.
There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant ― Ralph Waldo Emerson