Guest Blog by Kaitlin Miller
Yesterday, I attended the 2nd annual NY Tech Day, the world’s largest startup event. The event is comprised of entrepreneurs exhibiting their startups to thousands of consumers, investors, first adopters, job-seekers, major companies, press and media. The booth activations for most all of the companies had very minimal company signage, no giveaways (other than food and candy) and in order to comprehend the company you had to talk to the founders.
While I was not impressed by most and wondered who would be around next year, one company stood out above the rest. UBER, who market’s themself as Everyone’s Private Driver, had brand ambassadors who knew the company, signage describing the company and – best of all – they were giving away $20 gift cards towards your first UBER ride.
Although I had heard of UBER before NY Teach Day, after seeing them yesterday I actually decided to use the service for the first time last night. Maybe it was because I had my $20 gift card, but I am convinced I used them because I now trusted UBER and actually believed I was getting a private/profession driver to take to dinner (which I did).
The UBER app shows you the closet available driver (typically between 5-9 minutes from your pick-up location). You set pick up location and in a pre-set amount of time a black car will show up and take you to your destination. Not only can you track your driver’s location, but you will even get a text when you driver is outside so you do not have to stand on the side of the street.
Using UBER was much faster and way more convenient than a cab and the driver I had was super professional. Although you do pay a premium to use UBER’s service (it cost me $18 to go from Herald Square to the Ainsworth on Park) when there are no yellow taxis in site it is very useful.