Life is funny because many times startups’ unintended consequences can lead to major opportunities. Uber, one of the most successful disruptive startup, is a perfect example of this. Many drivers in Uber just see it as a way to make extra money or as a full time job and as that it is one of the best opportunities there are out there and can serious impact unemployment if officials saw it in the right light. This is an unintended consequence that should be explored by cities instead of seeing Uber as a pariah see it as clearing the unemployment rolls! But there is another unintended consequence for the drivers as well. If you have a startup, are in sales, or can benefit from networking, Uber can be a great opportunity to find people to network with.
Much as it is with cabbies that have connections everywhere and have a lot of side business from their driving, Uber drivers have the same opportunities. Except that Uber riders are far more communicative and open I believe. The experience is completely different than with cabs, it is more inviting and more relaxed. Riders talk a lot more and ask a lot more questions because it is a new experience and they are interested in it. You can get people that want to drive as well and get referrals and make money from networking with them and you can get people who are interested in what you do and often you get a follow up with them. You have sales people that start a sales pitch and end up falling for yours. The networking opportunities abound. Even if you are not actively seeking them, they come to you because the passengers are so nice, open, helpful, and genuinely interested in you.
Driving for Uber can be a great rewarding experience like when moms trust you with the lives of their teens to keep them safe as you transport them or when you have people with similar interests that makes the driving a pleasure and pass by in a blur or when you find those special people interested in what you are doing that become part of your network and potentially your customers and friends! If you want to earn income while networking consider Uber as one of you networking tools!