As you may have heard, cab drivers across Europe did the European-thing to protest the rise of disruptive services like Uber: they went on strike
, snarling traffic in many European cities. Uber long ago learned that every attack on its service is a fantastic promotional opportunity, but this "strike" may have been the best by far. In other words, it appears to have completely backfired on the strikers
, with Uber signups in London jumping an astounding 850%
. Basically, the "protests" have pissed off people at cab drivers
and made them more aware of Uber
. I don't see how that benefits the cab drivers.
In fact, Uber had been hovering around the 100th most popular app in the UK over the past few weeks, but it has suddenly jumped to number 3
This may be the least successful mass protest in history. Not only does it fail to accomplish any of its goals, it appears to have massively
helped those it was targeted against. As the EU's Neelie Kroes points out
, this is really part of a debate about the wider sharing economy, and the recognition that innovators are building new and disruptive services that are, quite frequently, much better for the public
, even if they may be disruptive to existing businesses and employees.
But denying reality and trying to break the machines
doesn't work. Ever. And, as in this case, sometimes it actually benefits those they're fighting against.