Six Ways Uber and Lyft Lost Austin


Austin voters have spoken — and Uber and Lyft have both left town. Officially it was about fingerprint-based background checks, but in reality it was about bruised egos and bad campaign tactics. Joshua Baer argues we need to get everyone back at the negotiating table for a fresh start.

My good friend and mentor Rick Westervelt taught me that when things go wrong, it’s usually not because of just one mistake or failure — it’s because three or four things all failed at the same time. If just one thing had gone wrong, you might have been able to recover, but when mistakes pile on top of each other it can become impossible to dig yourself out.

I believe that’s what happened with Uber and Lyft and the recent Proposition 1 election in Austin, Texas, a local election that pitted the ride sharing services against the city of Austin. In trying too hard to win over new voters, Uber and Lyft turned many of their strongest supporters against them.

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