Today, I want to respond to one of Davey Alba's articles on Wired. He recently published a post with the title “Calling an Uber Is Cooler Than Owning a Car—And Automakers Want In”, which I enjoyed reading. However, the title was confusing and disconnected from the rest of the article. Today, after shortly analyzing what upset me about his use of words, I want to take a deeper look into perceptions of being driven vs. driving and of course the coolness factor.
Davey uses the word cool in his title, which has a huge array of meanings. According to urbandictionary.com it could be used as “the best way to say something is neat, awesome, or swell”. Calling an Uber is done by pressing a single button. It is unclear to me is how pressing a button on a screen is more awesome than owning a powerful, moving object? The word cool does not fit here. Maybe it is cheaper or more comfortable but how is it cooler? No customer research was provided to prove that claim.
Second, an action (of calling an Uber) was compared to the ownership of an object. It was not the experience of being driven vs driving nor was it the ownership status that was compared. It was the act of calling an Uber that was quoted to be cooler than the ownership of a vehicle. How is that even comparable? Sure, one could say that opening up a banana is cooler than having an apple, but how does that make any sense?
Sini Ninkovic analyzes the EV market and its customers since 2012. He helped bringing BMW's i3 and i8 to market and currently works as Product Planner for Lucid Motors.