7 Startup Lessons to Learn from Ridesharing Companies

— December 2, 2016
Image taken from Pixabay

Image taken from Pixabay

Transportation is one of the historical backbones that supported the human civilization. And just when people thought transportation technology had reached its limit, ridesharing apps were invented.

Although taxis have been doing the same thing for generations, the genius behind ridesharing apps is that users can get a ride wherever they are – whenever they need to.

Additionally, people began to see the flaws of taxis as ridesharing startups develop. For example, taxi drivers don’t go through rigorous background checks, unlike ridesharing drivers whose records are secured within the app. Payments are also more secure when facilitated through the app wirelessly.

You can refer to the infographic below to learn why more people now prefer using ridesharing apps than traditional taxis.


From: Uber

Although a ridesharing app is indeed a great product, the success of companies like Uber and Lyft was caused by some other factors as well. In this article, we will break down these factors into seven lessons that any startup should learn.

1. Solve Real-World Problems

A taxi does the job of getting you from point A to B. However, they led to new problems that people regularly face.

For example, passengers are often required to stand in line or beside a street for prolonged periods. There’s also the safety issue since passengers rarely get to know their drivers during service. These are only some of the problems that ridesharing apps fix.

2. Use Word of Mouth Marketing

Did you know that Uber – one of the biggest names in ridesharing – relied heavily on word of mouth to grow their business?

Despite the availability of digital channels that can easily spread your message, word of mouth is still one of the most reliable pillars of marketing. Today, ridesharing companies leverage social media to accelerate word-of-mouth marketing. It’s all about building social proof that can reach more people through connections they trust.

3. Keep Infrastructural Costs Low

Traditional businesses typically pay a hefty sum for infrastructures. But thanks to the internet and cloud computing, companies and their employees can stay connected without depending on physical offices.

Evidently, ridesharing companies kept infrastructural costs at a minimum since drivers are required to use their cars. With a little creativity, any startup can find ways to be as cost-efficient as possible.

4. Offer Better Benefits to Attract Employees

A company lives and dies by its employees. That’s why you need to offer competitive packages that will win over the best workers.

Ridesharing companies can be considered as lucky in this aspect. After all, they provide their drivers with flexible employment with decent earnings. It’s just a matter of crafting a compensation plan that will make your company a serious option in the eyes of workers.

5. Simplify Things for Users

Running a ridesharing company is far from simple. Still, you should hide all the complexities from your users and keep the experience seamless.

Fortunately, ridesharing companies stayed true to the design norms of mobile app development. The main interface is stripped down to the core basics – usually, a map that tracks the nearest drivers and a single button that requests for a pickup.

6. Adopt Early

In the business world, being an early adopter has tremendous advantages. Uber, for example, is the first name that pops into people’s heads whenever they think about ridesharing.

Sure, being an early adopter often means you’re in charge of ironing out the problems with a new industry. But if you respond well to these challenges, you can secure a significant share of the market.

7. Always Seek Growth

Uber has gone a long way from word of mouth marketing and has expanded into developing countries. As a result, these countries breed new startups that stir up the local competition. Despite this, you can expect Uber to be a significant player.

Of course, there are other ways to seek growth apart from reaching new places. For instance, you can create a version of your product that appeals to a different demographic. You should also introduce new features that can keep your customers coming back.


Regardless of industry, every startup can learn a thing or two from the success of ridesharing companies. Let them be examples that help direct your business on the path to success.

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Author: Christopher Jan Benitez

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