This article examines the thinking behind Uber’s agenda to push the technology behind the business.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Entrepreneurship, marketing, digital transformation

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What role does and will technology play in the new economy?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

This lesson explores how technology can be a key driver for the growth of a venture.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  1. Ask students if they have ever used Uber or Lyft or any other ride service besides public transit.
  2. Distribute the article for reading.
  3. Using Think-Pair-Share, ask students what is meant when Uber says it wants to recast itself from a ride-hailing app to a one-stop mobility shop.
  4. Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said he wants Uber to be a force for good. Ask students to create a chart with the following headings: What might this look like? Sound like? Feel like if you are an employee? A consumer?  Using 1-2-4-all have students think about and jot down some ideas in each column independently, then in pairs and then in fours.
  5. Ask each group of four to share one or two key ideas from each column.
  6. Uber currently offers three levels of service: UberX, Uber Pool and Uber Express Pool.  Can students define the different target markets for each level of service?
  7. Debate:  Uber is a technology company, not a transportation company.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Uber is planning to develop a platform technology that will present all modes of transportation in an equal and unbiased way for the user.  Ask students what this means. Using a T chart, have them prepare the advantages and disadvantages of this.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand the impact of technology in designing and developing a business.

Confirming Activity:

  • Uber has come to Toronto to work with the University of Toronto’s world renowned Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research. What do students think are the advantages to Toronto, the university and the world?