Hey there FashionPhotographerBlog.com readers,
Fear Laziness Change – Lazy, slow and un-imaginative industries, companies and people fear innovation and change. They rather burn things than become better at what they are doing, offering better services and coming up with new things to offer their clients.
What is happening in Paris now makes me be even more positive about Uber and other disruptors and innovators. This is a perfect example of how a lazy and in-efficient industry – the taxi business – suddenly wakes up when reality comes crashing in on the door and proves to the world that what they have offered is totally inadequate.
In most places the taxis are in reality monopolies with zero interest in change, innovation and providing a better service – for less. The monopolies are content with providing an expensive sub-standard experience to the customers – and they have – until now – gotten away with this because there is no competition! Because of regulations anyone who wants to run a taxi business have to essentially pay a bribe by buying a totally overpriced taxi medallion. No medallion – No taxi business for You. Individual drivers can’t afford that, obviously, so they have to either rent medallions or take giant loans to buy their own. Do You think that the money that regulators charge for “allowing” a driver to drive a taxi goes to improve the business – think again…
As long as there was no competition this was a – sort of workable solution. You clenched Your teeth and just payed the damn fare – occasionally venting about Your latest horrible experience at a party or at a dinner. Monopolies are just plain bad – Expensive services with a terrible user experience and with no incentive (carrot) – or pressure (stick) – to become better.
Now Uber comes along and crashes the party and shows that all what the monopoly has told is false – You can have a faster, cheaper and much more pleasant taxi ride than the monopoly cared to offer You.
“No – I will not take You… Not in my direction” – 02:16 on a freezing night with no other taxis around – recognise this?
The monopoly is faced with a total meltdown – but it’s of their own making. The monopolies are essentially dumping the responsibility onto the individual drivers since they will not, cannot or don’t care to actually try to actually compete with Uber by offering better services, cheaper rates or a better user experience. By refusing to innovate they essentially tell the drivers to “Stop Uber” by real violence, thuggery and burning tires in the street.
So I have exactly zero sympathy for the taxi industry…
OK – You say – what has this got to do with me as a photographer?
I say – Everything!
The photography business is right in the middle of the same upheaval and change and if we want to survive we have to learn how to innovate, add more value to what we offer and constantly add new skills. We can not become like the taxi monopolies – slow, lazy and fearful.
Up until now the barrier of entry to “become a photographer” was pretty high – I’m talking about the cost of “professional” equipment of course – the medallion – but now that You actually don’t need to have that type of equipment, anyone with a smartphone is actually a photographer. Just take a look at the latest iPhone 6 campaign – shot entirely with smartphones…
Feature image and images 1 & 2: courtesy of Per Zennstrom