Well, here’s an absolute fucking shocker.
After months of attention-seeking tantrums and “I want it now” publicity stunts by Travis “Veruca Galt” Kalanick, Uber finally got a law passed in Washington DC allowing the company to operate legally in the city.
Yes! A victory for the cult of Disruption! Get out of the way, government regulato… Wait, what’s that, Washington Post?
‘But the other part of the story is that Uber, after the months of sturm und drang, sat down at the table (or at least its ace lobbyist did) with council staff and made legislative sausage that tastes good enough that the bill is likely to pass without incident Tuesday and without paroxysms of Uber outrage. The latest version of the bill, in fact, includes a big win for the company: allowing drivers to continue to privately rate their passengers as long as the drivers sign a nondiscrimination policy.
“It’s good for everybody,” said Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) of the bill she wrote. “It fosters innovation and allows the service to operate, but still there are things in place, to make sure the cars are insured, that the drivers are licensed, that there are consumer protections in place.”
In other words, the system worked: Through rigorous public participation, grievances were redressed in a mutually agreeable manner that protects diverse interests. Woo, democracy.’
So for all that publicity grabbing bullshit, all Uber had to do was to stop acting like a spoilt brat and actually sit at the damn table with regulators and negotiate. No sturm. No drang. Not even a single dissenting vote.
Maybe next time Uber arrives in a new city, they’ll avoid the months of screaming — and miles and miles and miles of publicity — by behaving like adults from the start?
Yeah. That’s probably what they’ll do.