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Quotes You Can’t Make Up: Lawyer Defends Old Taxi Business Model from Insolent Kids

Today, Rachel Swan has a new piece in SF Weekly entitled “Chopped Livery: Start-Ups Revolutionize the Cab Industry” that discusses disruptive startups like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar.

One quote in the piece from an Illinois attorney that represents an incumbent cab company was just too perfect not to highlight:  “Young folks don’t appreciate the business model of the old taxi companies.”  The excerpt in full:

That’s provided Chicago lawyer Michael Stiegel, who represents cab company Yellow Group LLC, with enough of an axe to grind. “Young folks don’t appreciate the business model of the old taxi companies,” Stiegel complains. “All they know is, ‘Hey, I’ve got a smartphone, I’ve got a limousine or a cab, I can see it on my phone, I know how far away it is — hey, what a great thing.'”

Ugh, those meddling kids!


Some, if not all of society’s most useful innovations are the byproduct of competition. In fact, although it may sound counterintuitive, innovation often flourishes when an incumbent is threatened by a new entrant because the threat of losing users to the competition drives product improvement. The Internet and the products and companies it has enabled are no exception; companies need to constantly stay on their toes, as the next startup is ready to knock them down with a better product.