How hard would it be for taxis to come up with their own response to Uber? Apparently pretty hard. L. Gordon Crovitz writes in The WSJ:
Maybe going on strike wasn’t the best way for London taxi drivers to protest Uber, the Internet-based car service invading from Silicon Valley. When riders couldn’t get cabs last week, the number signing up for Uber soared to more than eight times the normal rate.
Britain’s Skills Minister Matt Hancock posted a wry comment on Twitter: “Does anyone have details of this #Uber app everyone’s talking about? It sounds awesome. I’d never heard of it until today . . .”
Taxi drivers also clogged city centers and airports in Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Milan in demonstrations that mark a new era of digital dislocation. The Internet first undermined the business models of Yellow Pages, music companies and print newspapers by providing digital alternatives. Now online tools like Uber are changing how industries in the physical world operate.