Uber Out-Maneuvers Sidecar in Transporation App Marketplace

February 9, 2016 - 2 minutes read

It’s been over a month since Sidecar began closing their doors, marking the end of their stand against Uber with a eulogistic blog post to the company website. While Sidecar’s mobile app development team has been second to none when it comes to innovative solutions to consumer problems, the company still struggled to gain traction against big players like Uber and Lyft.

While CEO Sunil Paul points to Uber’s anti-competitive behavior and gargantuan capital as key to the company’s downfall, the question that really matters is this: what do mobile app development companies stand to learn from Sidecar’s failure in the fight for market share?

Ultimately, it may be simply bad timing that shut Sidecar out of the transportation market (partnered with a few poorly-planned pivots). Denver Mobile app developers had reason to believe that the startup would find success when they threw in the towel on taxis in favor of delivery service. Unfortunately, they showed up to the party a hair too late as nimble young startups like Postmates grabbed up what little real estate wasn’t already taken up by delivery giants like Amazon.

In closing, Paul had this to say about the company’s poor fortunes: “The legacy of Sidecar is that we out-innovated Uber, but still failed to win the market.” That, in the end, may be all that matters for startups in hot, competitive areas like mobile transportation — when the competition is fierce, simply out-innovating the household names isn’t always enough. Sidecar generated a number of game-changing technologies, but outside of their patent for a particular transportation route algorithm, much of those features were quickly picked up and improved upon by Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and all the other mobile app developers tackling the transportation sector.

The question mobile app developers are asking now is: will Lyft suffer the same fate? If so, perhaps there’s grounds for some sort of action against Uber’s anti-competitive business practices. But if they succeed and thrive, mobile app developers can rest assured that the transportation marketplace has room enough for distinct, differentiated mobile app offerings.

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