it’s always interesting to see the transition from early adopters to mass market.  if the company is lucky enough, it will soon face the high class problem of having way too many customers.  such events often come with negative press, whining customers, but mostly much ado about nothing.  

uber is the latest example of what i consider a very bullish moment in a company’s history, when a little snow in new york city drove surge pricing -- uber’s answer to supply / demand of drivers -- to more than 8x the normal fare.

frustrated customers took to twitter to voice their consternation, and uber’s ceo boldly stood his ground… as well he should have.

this moment for uber reminds me of the twitter’s fail whale, or aol’s busy tones (for those who remember dial-up internet).  just as those events were positive for those companies, i believe uber’s surge-gate will end up being positive -- driving awareness of it’s lovely, lovely service to more people.

last, i will note that i think uber is overly communicative when a customer will be subject to surge pricing.  having paid surge before, i found it over the top that uber had me key in the surge levels to reaffirm that i did indeed want to pay that price.  anything but user friendly, but anyone complaining that they were unaware of massive pricing is an idiot.

now, i'm off to catch an uber myself.  

Authorjonathan hegranes