I've been an entrepreneur since I was 18. I started a company with a bunch of buddies that got funded in my senior year, and that's when I finished school. It was called Scour, a peer-to-peer service, file-sharing.
If Uber is lower-priced, then more people will want it. And if more people want it and can afford it, then you have more cars on the road. And if you have more cars on the road, then your pickup times are lower, your reliability is better. The lower-cost product ends up being more luxurious than the high-end one.
What I've learned as we've gotten bigger is that it's really, really important for us to take all the opportunities to tell our story, because as we grow and have a bigger impact on cities, if we don't tell our story, somebody else will.
I used to be a computer engineer, and I can make really good code, and we can make systems that work really well, and we can make the application a great experience, but when you have to translate bits to atoms, you need folks who are used to working with city governments, with state governments, and so I like to say we're in a political campaign.
At Uber, we say, 'Always be hustling.' Even if you are an introvert and you haven't got hustle in you, you better get a co-founder who does. And if you haven't got enough hustle to find a co-founder who's got hustle, it's going to be tough. You've got to have a little hustle in you.
I think Uber is just very different; there's no model to copy. It may be the reason why we've been a lightning rod in so many ways, because we don't do anything conventional... And then I think also, as an entrepreneur, I'm a bit of a lone wolf.
Think of a world where there is no ride-sharing; people are driving themselves to work. You now have 30 people being served by 30 cars. Those 30 cars are only served 4% of the day; 96% of the day, they're stored somewhere. Around 20% to 30% of our land is taken up just storing these hunks of metal that we drive around in for 4% of the day.
As much as I'd love to give everybody a really cheap option, it's just simply not possible in certain sorts of extreme events... I guarantee that our strategy on surge pricing is the optimal way to get as many people home as possible.