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Innovation & Job News

Uber for X with Ted Graham of PwC

Ted Graham, the Innovation Leader at PwC and a co-author of a book called The Uber of Everything, shared his quest to learn from Uber’s innovative model with a crowd at Toronto Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators last night.

Ted Graham has been an Uber driver for 14 months, driving strangers around the city and spotting trends on how Uber onboards new partners, deals with regulations mostly by ignoring them at first and then moving into a more mature lobbying strategy, and makes its way into other industries. Here are four examples: 

1. Onboarding new drivers
The onboarding process for UberX drivers involves submitting a driver’s licence, snapping photos of the car for approval and waiting on the background check status, all of the steps Graham went through first-hand. The onboarding for drivers served as source of inspiration when Graham looked at designing a simple yet diligent process for onboarding new consultants at PwC. There’s also a well designed training program for Uber drivers, complete with videos and ongoing support on taking optimal routes and customer service delivery.

2. Understanding the balance of risk and reward
Incidents have put UberX drivers in situations where taxi drivers borderline harassed them, while driving customers, and then proceed to tweet out photos of cars (license plates included) to insurance bureau companies. These tactics have been a problem for UberX drivers, who carefully assess their risks.

3. What does Toronto need to continue to support and grow shared economies?
When looking at other places in the world who rank high on successful shared economies, such as Amsterdam, Singapore and South Korea - part of what gets them there is taking the “Empty The Box” approach to regulation, according to Graham. In other words, starting with a clean slate when trying to implement a solution in a model, and keeping intact only provisions that are necessary and relevant today.

4. Uber for X model makes its way to healthcare, insurance, retail, and other industries.
There’s an “Uber for parking” app called Rover. A “landlord” of his parking spot at Yonge and Eglinton, Ted charges under $2.00/hour for customers to rent out his parking spot when it is not in use.

In this new sharing economy, it comes down to balancing the give and take.
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