That Feeling of a Pending Break-Through

From The Verge, This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft:

Using contractors it calls “brand ambassadors,” Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets.

As dirty as these tactics sound to me, I can’t help but feel anticipatory about the response from Lyft. They have two options, as I see them:

  • Kneel under the pressure and be subsumed by Uber.
  • Rise to the challenge and find a way to navigate a way through Uber’s barrage.

If Lyft can find some technology or method of weeding out all the bad Uber requests from the good customer requests, they will not only have found a way to stay afloat as Uber dumps all over them. They will also have found a great tech advantage that will undoubtedly be useful in everyday business.

Imagine something like Akismet, but for customer service calls or service requests. That tool might be a business in itself, but it would definitely get Lyft up and out of this hole Uber is digging them.