It was New Years Eve, so Uber had variable pricing in effect (which they unfortunately call “Surge” pricing). Historically on these nights, Ubers cost about 2x more than normal. Last night, however, they tried something new. They used full variable pricing, where throughout the night, prices fluctuated freely. There wasn’t a cap.
Yeah, you could totally see this coming. I remember reading the blog post trying to explain the concept of surge pricing and thinking no one is going to get this.
These are those make or break moments for a startup. It reminds me a lot of when the condo got trashed when it was rented out on AirBnb.
It’s the reason why you hire great customer service staff. It’s what brings you back to the white board with your UX designer to rethink scenarios you would have never thought of, if it wasn’t for the real world banging on the system in a BIG way.