Uber Thinking

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Humor

Person using the Uber app

Person using the Uber app

“Hi Prab…..how are you?”

“Umm… fine… umm… how did you know I was there Mr. Pratt? You had your eyes closed – how do you do that?”

“There is a series of cameras placed all over the facility to watch everybody’s movement so that I can maximize everyone’s productivity – you know sort of like that Hair Clips place where they cut guys hair. Okay, okay… I am just kidding. I am just good at sensing things, Prab. Today I just happen to be working on some ‘uber-thought’ concepts. You know Uber, right Prab?”

“The taxi guys?”

“Yes – the taxi app guys with $50 billion in capital and an army of litigators with nice suits and shark like teeth that meet with civic administrators in order render taxi licenses obsolete in cities around the world”

“Is that what they do?”

“No, not exactly Prab – that was a bit in jest. But they are ‘disrupters’. They look at industries where there is an artificial barrier that protects some group, giving them an economic advantage, while others are prohibited from competing. They look at situations where customers aren’t necessarily being served effectively – like waiting on a street corner trying to find a ride home at 1am in downtown Vancouver – your choice on what narrative you want to choose for Uber, Prab”

“But how did you know I was walking by?”

“Well, you know that the trucking industry is undergoing a rapid and significant technology and regulatory transformation Prab. With all of this change people are using a term called ‘uber-ization’ to describe the situation. As the Thought Leader for our trucking software company I have to be on the leading edge of thought on this trend – so we don’t get dis-intermediated.’

“Dis-intermedi… medicated?”

“Nope – ‘mediated’ – as in ‘taking out the middle man’. Think of ‘Stub Hub’ or ‘Match.com’. One party has the ticket – the other party wants to go to see the show – like the Rolling Stones in Las Vegas. Or – one person is the girl and the other person is the guy – they both post their profiles. In both cases you take out the Ticket Broker for the event – and then you take out the Matchmaker for the guy and the girl – like in the movie Fiddler on the Roof!”

“Fiddler on the what?”

“Fiddler on the Roof  – ‘If I were a Rich Man – I would invest in an innovative software company…ba..da..da..da.’ Sorry Prab – I covered off about 45 years there  – referenced an old  cultural reference and a 30-year failed business career – all in one sentence. HOLY COW  –just had a thought though. What if they merged Match.com and Stub-Hub and create some great ‘First Date’ Hub for music lovers. Whoa! Now that’s thought leadership-wow.”

“Sort of like… Craigslist”

“Craigs what?”

“Nevermind. What’s that got to do with our trucking software business? Are you talking about how the industry will do away with middlemen – like Freight Brokers? Who will buy our Freight Brokerage Software then?”

“No – no Prab. There will always be a need for brokers. Not all the dates get done online and not all the tickets are thrown into Stub Hub. For us – it’s like someone has the Load – and the other person has the Truck – well, an empty truck. Without current, ‘just in time’ information on the Load and on the status of the truck it means that there are inefficiencies. So over the next 10-15 years the more open and syndicated the information becomes – the more efficient the industry will become. But the industry is so big and so diverse – not to mention growing like a weed – that there will always be a model for people who are going to offer a service – add some value beyond just ‘connecting a load and a truck’.”

“So – things will stay the same?”

“Well if you mean that all the players will still be there in some shape or form then the answer is ‘yes’. But everyone will have to adapt – to change to a new reality – especially us here at Tailwind,  because we have to make trucking and freight brokerage software that will address this new reality for our customers”

“So is that what you were doing with your eyes closed when I walked by?”

“Not exactly Prab. You know I am always battling it out with those gut instincts that will uplift our company and those bad feelings that sometimes travel south – it’s a constant battle. Nope – not today,  I was actually considering the implications of Uber-ization of the Thought Leadership industry”

“Someone is trying to uber-ize ‘Thought Leadership,’ Mr. Pratt?”

“Well, not yet, but I have to be thinking about how I might play it to our advantage – get ahead of the curve if you will. Think about it Prab. There are all of these thoughts out there – and then there is all that space for Blogs on our website – now multiply that by millions and millions of thoughts and probably a million blogs of any consequence.”

“Wow – that’s a lot of thought – and a lot of blogging”

“Yep – and Bloggers like me take those Thoughts and write down Blogs – we make things choate…


“No – choate – we take things that are seemingly random and make them understandable and absorbable by others. Like there seems to be a million things going on in our industry right now but when I say it’s getting ‘uber-ized’ everybody understands it generally – except most taxi drivers that is. But just think about it Prab – my job as a Thought Leader… as a Blogger would be rendered redundant if those Thoughts could automatically enter a person’s mind as a complete paradigm or theoretical construct – fully–formed, lucid – all without the written word. Think of it – no meandering blogs with paragraphs, sentences and dangling participles – just free thinking and a thought that  – bingo – goes right into someone else’s brain.”

“So – um – is that how you knew that I was like walking by – there was some ‘thought mind-melding thingy’ going on”

“Exactly Prab – I was working on the first level of this new trend and was in an advanced state of awareness. Sorry Prab… I know you were on your way somewhere and we always seem to get involved in these great conversations. Where were you off to?”

“Geez – well, I really have to go pee badly”

“Oh – please proceed. I knew something was up. I can always hear your new Nike’s when they squeak – I could hear you were moving fast.”

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