Caught my first Uber today. Being a bit conservative I’d always insisted on regular taxis but the Uber picked me up in 2 minutes, I didn’t have to reach into my wallet and it was all clean and nice. While Ubering along (yes this is going to become a verb), I reflected on what’s happening to the taxi industry and before it, the book and the music industry and I was thinking … Nicolai Kondratieff would probably approve. Kondratieff!
Kondratieff is known for the Kondratieff cycles – economic cycles of around 50 years in length and usually based on invention and resource application. For example the 3rd Kondratieff (1880-1930 was based on mass production and electrification, the 4th K (1930-1970) on automobiles, planes and petrochemicals, all allowing a new individual mobility, and the 5th K (1970- today) is based on information technology, though perhaps slowing. The 6th K has begun, and psychosocial/hollistic health is usually mentioned as the driver. It’s all linked to the most powerful resource right in front of our eyes – the unused human mental capacity of 7 billion brains including our own. It all hints of course, at the power of education.
Anyway back to my Uber ride, where I have just been offered a drink of water!
Unused capacity! Is Uber utilising previously unused car capacity? By lessening people’s reliance on personal automobiles, is this ultimately keeping cars off the road and at least making the atmosphere a bit healthier? Is it getting the best out of the things we produce? Is the Chevvy just rotting in the garage. One can feel sorry for the taxi industry but then again I am in the book industry and know what rapid change can do. We too feel the need to move with the times (ebooks, online courses, Apps).
Kondratieff was shot in 1938 – personal orders from Stalin. Such fluctuations and waves are not supposed to occur in a socialist economy, but my Uber ride actually made me feel part of a community social organisation. I felt I was catching and moving with humanity without making a special effort. I felt the need to introduce myself and talk to the driver far more than a cabbie. I felt a little more connected to the world.
And they just sent me a map of my trip and asked for feedback!
I’ve got quite good Uber neurotag! I think I will do it again!
– David Butler
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I remember my first Uber ride and found everything so nice and easy that I kept waiting for a catch. But there was no catch.
The Kondratieff cycle idea is indeed interesting. If a greater focus by individuals in taking control of their health and wellness is going to be a part of the 6th cycle as the document you included predicts, then education will certainly be front and center. The question to me is, how will what we do look if we manage to Uber-ize it.
Uber didn’t create new, disruptive technologies. They applied existing technologies to a traditional industry in an innovative way. I’d be interested to hear any thoughts on how it might look if we took a similar approach to smoothing out the bumps of the healthcare and wellness experience.
Hi Cody -That is really interesting to ponder. The overall ideal seem clear, its all about the bumps of the healthcare and wellness experience. If uberising takes out redundancy in healthcare, and to some degree hierarchy in medicine and adds an information technology layer we will be on the way!