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Posted on October 10, 2016 by staff

Editor’s column: Losing my (Uber) virginity

It’s official. Since the last edition of BusinessCloud, I’ve lost my Uber virginity and I don’t know how I lived without the taxi firm for so long.

More about that later but in the last few months I’ve used Just Eat for the first time to deliver takeaway food straight to my home and today someone has recommended Waze, which is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app.

If a 44-year-old technophobe like me is embracing technology then something amazing is happening – and that’s the point.

Uber, Just Eat and Waze are great examples of how technology has come up with easy and quick solutions to long-standing problems that we’ve all moaned about. What’s not to like? As a consequence, using these types of technology becomes second nature.

Take the example of Uber. BusinessCloud is based on the very edge of Manchester city centre. A lot my meetings are in and around Spinningfields. To walk there takes 25 minutes and to drive involves dodging roadworks and paying a fortune in parking charges.

Calling a private hire company is a faff. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp recognised this problem was being replicated all over the world and founded Uber in 2009. Today it has a valuation of $66bn.

I downloaded the Uber app, set up an account and gave it go. I typed in my pick-up and destination details and then requested an Uber. Six minutes later (Editor’s note: That’s six minutes!) the vehicle pulled up. I knew the name of my driver, what he looked like and the registration plate before it arrived. The fare was £3.20 and was debited from my account so no money changed hands. I was then sent a feedback form about the driver. It was so simple and quick even I got it. Now I can’t get enough of Uber.