The Corporate Law Group

Turf Protection

Lyft logoPeople don’t like disruption. It’s so disruptive after all. Andy Grove speaks of “strategic inflection points” in his book Only the Paranoid Survive. Strategic inflection points are disruptive and you can either ride the disruption, oppose the disruption, or die by the disruption. Unfortunately our society more and more frequently opposes the disruption. But disruption is how true progress is made, so opposing it is reactionary and anti-progress. The Internet was disruptive but now with the FCC getting ahold of it, it will become the “emergency alert system” 1960’s technology for the 21st century. If you can’t adapt quickly enough you die like Radio Shack, if you adapt quickly you prosper like Lyft. Lyft and Uber were disruptive so now the lovers of anti-progress are sharpening their swords. Transdev, a French taxi company partly owned by a state owned bank, which operates more than 10,000 vehicles worldwide in more than 100 cities, has a full-on public relations campaign going against Uber and Lyft. Transdev also successfully took legal action against Uber that resulted in a $107,000 fine and has lobbied for investigations into Uber in Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. Of course it’s also trying to copy Uber. The dinosaurs always come late to the party once a startup has rented the room and set the decorations. Uber’s public policy chief, Corey Owens, told Bloomberg that, “The way that they protect their business is by trying to use laws to keep out competitors, rather than improving the rider and driver experiences.” We say, “Boo.”