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Uber, the ride-sharing app already making taxi-services obsolete, has just announced their latest feature, and in my view it is a perfect example of innovation.
It allows you to ask a contact whether they will allow you to use their location as a destination for their Uber ride.
Check out the video above to see how it works.
It’s designed for situations where you don’t know exactly where a person is going to be, such as when they are out in town at a new place, or for a spontaneous meetup. And since you have to give permission to someone who wants to come to your location, it also means you’re in control of who you want to know where you are.
The reason this is such a perfect example of innovation is because it provides an immediate, usable and valuable solution to an actual challenge people face.
As we have previously discussed in What is Innovation, the ideal definition for innovation is:
Executing an idea which addresses a specific challenge and achieves value for both the company and customer
I personally have had many situations in London where you are trying to meet up with people for a night out, but they have started in a bar or area you aren’t familiar with, or may have gone to a new place after work and not know where it is or what it is called.
In these situations, you would have needed to send them a message to ask where they are, wait till they read it and usually get a vague answer, leading to about 10+ messages back and forth before you have the location and can then look for the fastest route. It was always a headache.
The new Uber feature cuts almost all of the time out of the equation, and an equal amount of frustration, leading to a better user experience for everyone involved.
Customer achieves value.
Company achieves value.
Innovation at its core.
I look forward to using it myself soon.