I recently used a service that really caught my attention. It’s called Uber; perhaps you’ve heard of it?
An acquaintance told me about it one Saturday evening. A friend and I were planning to go out, and just 20 minutes before someone told him about this cab service that gave you a $20 credit for signing up.
It sounded like a scam, but we looked it up anyway.
My friend signed up, downloaded the app, requested a cab…and minutes later we received a call.
You’re driver is ready.
I was thinking, “Okay, this is weird.”
A nice young lady picked us up in a Toyota Camry, which confused me even more because it certainly didn’t look (or smell) like a cab.
She didn’t have a GPS, screens or a meter in her car like typical taxis. Just her iPhone and MapQuest.
Of course, now I’m thinking, “Ok, this is very weird.”
Minutes later she drops us off at our destination and my friend gets an email (it may have been a text). The cost of the trip was X amount. That’s it; we didn’t pay a single dime.
This really caught my attention, especially because I’m so used to anxiously looking at a meter when traveling via cabs in a city.
A few hours later, my friend requested a return trip; and again, minutes later our driver called to say he was at the corner.
This time it was a Toyota Corolla.
So by now I’m terribly interested and felt compelled to ask, “So how does this work?”
The driver explained that Uber is a service where everyday people drive folks around. Their phones are setup to receive incoming requests for service, and whoever is closest picks up the person.
Users can rate their drivers and drivers can also rate the riders. This is to determine who is a “good” customer and able to continue using the service. For example, if users consistently receive bad reviews from drivers, they may be unable to continue using Uber.
When we finally arrived to our destination, my friend received the same notification of the charges on his phone. And because our total trip didn’t exceed the $20 startup credit, he wasn’t charged at all.
What was even more interesting is that because all payments are done through the app, tips were also included in the rate.
Talk about quick and convenient.
I was in such awe of this newfound service that I, of course, had to research it. Turns out I’m a late bloomer, as Uber has been around since 2009. But this entire concept is still mind blowing.
Someone, more specifically Travis Kalanick, had the idea, “Hey, I think we should have a service connecting drivers to riders to make cities more accessible,” and now this idea has been manifested in 70 cities around the world. How crazy is that?
This led me to think about the importance of ideas, dreams and goals in general. I wouldn’t have thought twice about someone saying, “I’m going to start a driving service,” but look at that idea today. Something so simple has become so profitable. And I believe this can be possible for the plethora of ideas so many people out there have.
It’s important to dream; it’s vital to tap into your creative side. Every product and service we use today started with an idea; they started with a person who wasn’t afraid to not only dream, but to chase after their goals.
What about you? What dreams and ideas do you have brewing inside? What steps can you take to pursue these goals?
In 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded 147,666 U.S. patents, and of those, 17,362 were awarded to individuals. Who says you can’t be added to that list?
Or maybe you don’t have an invention, but an idea for a new business or service; why not take the necessary steps to create it?
The inventions and businesses today consistently show that our world is full of people who dare to dream. What about you? Who knows, you just may possess the next big idea.