Big Red Car here. Hey, y’all, it’s damn cold here in the ATX. Where’s our global warming when we need it?
We are expecting a low of 28F tonight, brrrrr!
Startups are fraught with emotion. It takes a strong willed founder with a vision to change the world, to light the fire that becomes a successful startup.
Sometimes all that emotion runs amok and results in frat boy behavior that needs to be recognized and quelled.
The Big Red Car thinks this may be the case with recent comments made by an Uber executive in which he suggested that Uber might find it advisable to conduct “opposition research” on journalists — in this instance a female journalist — who had written negative articles about the company.
Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking — Oh, Big Red Car, that can’t possibly be true. What kind of company would seek to intimidate a journalist and fashion more favorable coverage through intimidation?
Well, friend, that company would be Uber as reported right here.
As you can see, Senior Vice President Emil Michael said just exactly that at a cozy little dinner in Manhattan at the Waverly Inn hosted for journalists by an Uber consultant. This was not a bunch of guys in the steam room, this was a very high powered group of folks dining out at a very nice Manhattan restaurant to get their Uber talking points and to chat about all things Uber. Hell, Adrianna Huffington was there. Even Jonathon Gruber was there [OK, that’s a little lie but it was juicy, no? Half of you don’t even know who Gruber is, admit it.]
The woman they were talking about was Sarah Lacy, the editor of Silicon Valley’s website PandoDaily who has recently found fault with Uber for “sexism and mysogyny” when it was revealed that Uber appeared to be working with a French escort service. [How dare that bitch find anything wrong with Uber. Uber, Uber alles in die welt or something like that, no? Should have paid a bit more attention in German class, y’all! Haha, Big Red Car, you’re nuts.]
Uber has a reputation for being an aggressive company — CEO and founder Travis Kalanick may have slipped out of charm school a semester early in the opinion of some folks — which is often accused of price gouging because of their policy of increasing prices, called surge pricing by some, in times of high demand. Such pricing has earned whispers of price gouging from customers and has resulted in some customers vowing to use other services at such times. Such times being when you desperately need a ride because it’s snowing, raining or some such nonsense. I did mention the frat boy behavior, did I not?
This discussion was disavowed by its author, the aforesaid Senior VP Emil Michael, as not reflecting his actual views. Yes, I know, dear friend, sounds ridiculous to me also but that’s what the man said. His words did not reflect his actual views. Perhaps an alien had taken control of is body–at least his tongue–for a few minutes and spoke in tongues. Hey, that could be true, right?
So, if you needed one more reason to boycott Uber or to select an alternative service, there you have it. But, dear friend, step lightly unless you can withstand the notion of Uber revealing your destination all those lonely nights when you said you were going to visit Grandma. Yes, Uber could be reading your trip logs to see if you were headed somewhere perhaps your shouldn’t have been going.
This is not the kind of behavior that honorable men and women engage in. Alas. Should you reward such behavior with your patronage or hard earned money? Should you fund such boorish behavior? That is a question for you to answer for yourself, dear friend.