Like a lot of folks, I was thrilled in the early-2010s when Uber became a prevalent ride share business on the open market. No longer waiting for over priced taxis, no longer being taken advantage of when I didn’t have exact change, no longer wondering if my driver was running late or had forgotten where I was altogether.
It wasn’t until near the end of the decade when I, like many, became disillusioned with Uber. It was awful to hear of their labor exploitation, the breaking of taxi unions, and, of course, the Muslim ban snafu at LaGuardia (I was online that night and vividly remember the backlash).
I still use Uber occasionally, even though I know I shouldn’t. It’s convenience is just too great. At the same time, its existence and attitude symbolizes so much of what’s wrong with how Technocracy has dominated public goods in the United States.
Mike Isaac catches Uber’s rise and fall-is through the lens of its founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick. While he might stack the deck a little too harshly against Kalanick, it’s tough to argue the man doesn’t deserve it. He created the ultimate Bro culture that has since galvanized MAGA-ism, Online Libertarian Toxicity and general MRA awfulness. F you, pay me, etc.
Isaac gets the nitty gritty details of what was going on at the company behind the scenes. But he does it in a way that’s readable and easy to digest. Parts of this came off as a corporate thriller. I’m only now dipping my toe into books about Silicon Valley and this is one of the best.