The Council That Kicked The Hornet's Nest — Why TODAY Matters for Start-Ups

This man hates you and your start-up.

7/10/12 UPDATE: DC Shelves Uber Amendment After Backlash from CEO and Customers. My dear readers, you all ROCK. Truly well done. It is a bright day for start-ups, and thank you for your support 🙂

Hi All,

This short post is more like a personal letter, because I just came across something that made me very angry. Namely, a tweet from my bud, Kevin Rose:

Wow, a business (Uber) is prevented from lowering its prices.. wait.. what? We live in America, right?

http://tcrn.ch/NfYOT3

In full disclosure, I’ve been an advisor to Uber from the beginning. They’re amazing. I work with 20+ start-ups because I enjoy helping entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Small-business founders are the value creators of our economy. Period, end of story.

But sometimes the corrupt (often with a track record) try to stifle the little guys. Incumbents don’t like to compete. They enjoy their defacto monopolies, are accustomed to bilking customers at will, and don’t want to change things…

Pardon my Long Island French, but here’s how I feel: Fuck those guys.

Protecting the status quo doesn’t impress me. In fact, it really pisses me off.

The last time I implored you to spend a few minutes to change laws, we helped successfully ban the distribution and sale of shark fins in Washington and California, the latter being the largest importer of shark fins in the United States.

YOUR TINY ACTIONS, PUT TOGETHER, CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS.

Below is a snapshot of the Uber situation from the TechCrunch article, and I have a little ask at the end. It’ll get you some good karma:

The Council’s intention is to prevent Uber from being a viable alternative to taxis by enacting a price floor to set Uber’s minimum fare at today’s rates and no less than 5 times a taxi’s minimum fare. Consequently they are handicapping a reliable, high-quality transportation alternative so that Uber cannot offer a high quality service at the best possible price. It was hard for us to believe that an elected body would choose to keep prices of a transportation service artificially high – but the goal is essentially to protect a taxi industry that has significant experience in influencing local politicians. They want to make sure there is no viable alternative to a taxi in Washington DC, and so on Tuesday [today!], the DC City Council is going to formalize that principle into law.

Take Action

THE COUNCIL VOTES ON THE UBER AMENDMENT [TODAY]!

If each of us writes or calls our DC Council people, we could make an impact on this law. What are we asking for?

Strike down the MINIMUM FARE language from the Uber Amendment.

Here are the City Council members’ contact info. Call/write as many of them as possible!

[7/10/12 UPDATE: No need to call or email anymore! DC Shelves Uber Amendment After Backlash from CEO and Customers.]

Phil Mendelson (Chairman), (202) 724-8064, pmendelson@dccouncil.us

Mary Cheh, Ward 3, (Chairperson of Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation), (202) 724-8062, mcheh@dccouncil.us, @marycheh

Michael Brown, at-large, (202) 724-8105, mbrown@dccouncil.us, @cmmichaelabrown

Jim Graham, Ward 1, (202) 724-8181, jgraham@dccouncil.us, @jimgrahamward1

Jack Evans, Ward 2, (202) 724-8058, jevans@dccouncil.us, @jackevansward2

Muriel Bowser, Ward 4, (202) 724-8052, mbowser@dccouncil.us, @murielbowser

Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5, (202) 724-8028, kmcduffie@dccouncil.us,@kenyanmcduffie

Tommy Wells, Ward 6, (202) 724-8072, twells@dccouncil.us, @tommywells

Yvette Alexander, Ward 7, (202) 724-8068, yalexander@dccouncil.us, @cmyma

Marion Barry, Ward 8, (202) 724-8045, mbarry@dccouncil.us, @marionbarryjr

David Catania, at-large, (202) 724-7772, dcatania@dccouncil.us, @cataniapress

Vincent Orange, at-large, (202) 724-8174, vorange@dccouncil.us, @vincentorangedc

Those of you who read this blog know that I never write posts like this.

But I take this attack on Uber as a DC government-condoned attack on start-ups. I view it as an entrenched middle finger from incumbents who aren’t willing to improve their product or lower prices. Instead, they resort to underhanded legal means to handicap innovation. It makes my blood boil.

So, here’s what I’m going to do.

1) I’m going to e-mail every one of the above people today and tell them to read this post. E-mail helps, but phone is better…

2) Personally, I’m going to call every one of them today and politely but firmly ask them to “strike down the MINIMUM FARE language from the Uber Amendment.” I will have my assistants do the same. This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes or so, but I won’t ask that of you…

3) I’m going to ask you all — the 1,000,000+ unique readers of this blog — to call as many of the above as possible. Let’s aim for the first four. But there’s more… Politely but firmly, get the name of the person you’re speaking with, tell them you’d like them to “strike down the MINIMUM FARE language from the Uber Amendment” and then ask them if they’re in favor of innovation or incumbents. Last, indicate that you’ll be putting their responses in the comments below.

7/10/12 UPDATE: DC Shelves Uber Amendment After Backlash from CEO and Customers. 🙂

This DC attack could set a horrible precedent for start-ups trying to improve any space with large incumbents. If you have a few minutes, please make one phone call. It will earn you positive karma… and the knowledge that you didn’t stand still and watch Goliath snuff out David with his thumb. There’s something real to be said for that.

Sorry for the rant, but this one is legitimate. To my mind, it cannot go unanswered.

Please spread the call to action far and wide. This is time-sensitive and needs to happen ASAP today.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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206 Replies to “The Council That Kicked The Hornet's Nest — Why TODAY Matters for Start-Ups”

  1. I called the last guy on the list this morning- Vincent Orange’s office – to learn the vote has been withdrawn and that their phones have been ringing off the hook.

    Tim, I am so grateful for the work you do in this world! I also sent your blog post to The Blaze – to expand your audience on this event even further.

    Amen, brother!

  2. First of all, this ***seriously*** ticks me off. In addition to the valid points you’ve made, I’m also annoyed because Uber practically saved my life in the months leading up to my flying away to London for treatment. (Did you know that Uber?) I fully expect to continue using them when I return to San Francisco.

    I don’t really feel up to making the phone calls today but I will certainly send at least one email and I will retweet this post.

  3. Hello Tim –

    As soon as I read your post I started calling. I got through 5 calls and was told Jack had a new amendment with 4 co-sponsors to strike-down the minimum fare. I called 2 more councilmen before my spouse clicked on the TechCrunch article which has been updated to say Mary Cheh has shelved her amendment.

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I called Mary Cheh’s office, since her name popped up the most on the Tech Crunch article. I spoke to Mrs. Benjamin who asked if I had questions about the bill or if I wanted to voice my opinion about it. I said I wanted to voice my opinion. When I asked “innovation or incumbents” question, she would not comment.

  5. Hi Tim,

    Like anything else, things are never as simple as they seem. Can you provide some additional color in terms of what justification is being given for forcing such terms on Uber? I could imagine that there are coverage issues that Taxi companies deal with that Uber would not be bound by. Your framing of this issue seems pretty black & white, where I’m sure the reality sits more in the grey area and so it would be nice to understand that before blindly launching a “we gotta get the bad people” campaign.

    Thanks.

  6. left message with assistant Phil Mendelson

    called the first four and Mary Cheh’s assistant Margaret said “it had been stricken”

    Michael Brown’s assistant (Kevin) said he would pass the message along and that he had received a lot of calls about it and that the messages were well received.

    left voicemail letting Jim Graham know that he should “… strike down… and that this would mean a lot for entrepreneurs everywhere… you know.. the future of our economy…”

  7. I live in Mexico, so e-mail was my option. This is what all the council got:

    “Title: I’m really worried.

    What I’m worried about is that I am starting my career as an entrepreneur. At the age of 35 this may seem as madness to many, but what encourages me, is that there’s always room for improvement if one is willing to put the benefit for the customer as the #1 priority. That’s were financial success is found.

    Preventing Uber from lowering its prices won´t help economy. Neither will improve the taxis service. We’re not in this earth to play small, we’re here to challenge ourselves everyday and move the human race forward. Even with things that may seem ordinary in the big scheme.

    Make yourselves better than yesterday. Do the right thing and strike down the minimum fare language from the Uber amendment.

    Thank you for your attention. Wish you the best.

    Bruno A. Pradal

    p.s. Babies may prefer to be always in their mother’s arms but we have to force them to walk, even if they whine all along. Maybe is time to help the taxis to stop crawling and start walking.”

    Good karma to Uber and to you Tim

  8. I emailed all of them.

    Unfortunately they told me the polls were closed. I called the first two on the list. The first was very polite the second was more than annoyed with my phone call and unpleasant. I asked him if he could explain why they are trying to pass this amendment, he said ‘it’s not going to happen sir, have a good day. Click’.

  9. There needs to be at least one dissenting opinion so here it goes.

    DC does not have a medallion system that limits the number of taxicabs. Therefore it is an explicit choice to be regulated under the sedan-class vehicles requirements instead of the taxicab requirements.

    As far as I can tell this is not a entrenched interests versus startup issue. Other than that the startup is trying to circumvent the regulations that the existing businesses must operate under.

    In exchange for being exempt from the normal requirements for a taxicab in DC a requirement for being a sedan-class vehicles was put in place. That requirement is that the minimum fair be $15 the existing current minimum fare that Uber is charging. Without the amendment a $0.50 surcharge can now be applied to the Uber “public vehicle-for-hire” thus in fact potentially raising the fare!

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

      Just as the council seemed to have a knee-jerk reflex to this issue by trying to require price increases, it seems like we’re not really seeing the big picture here.

      Is Uber being bullied by the big guys or is Uber gaming the system? It sounds like a little bit of both. Sure, trying to pass restrictions that only affect one business is crap and should be fought against. But at the same time, a business that exploits a loophole shouldn’t be surprised when everyone catches on and tries to bring the regulations back in check.

      Ex: The construction industry has building codes, professional requirements, licensing, etc. If another business came in and offered similar services without having to follow the same regulations and restrictions in order to provide a cheaper service (even if it did offer similar results) then I’m guessing there would be a push to prevent this cheaper service from operating on the same playing field.

  10. I got this post in my inbox on my phone and read it about 2-3 hours ago with only 5 or so comments on here… Finally got on the computer to take action to find out that the bill has already been struck down and this post now has 112 comments! Holy crap this community moves fast. I also saw an online petition that already had close to 4,000 signatures! Proud to be part of such an active community. Thanks for bringing this “public” Tim. I’m still sending e-mail to the above to let them know that this should NEVER be considered again.

  11. I called Phil Mendelson’s office and when I asked if they supported innovation or incumbents I was simply told that she doesn’t know how the chairman is voting today. This is fundamentally unamerican. Why do we keep voting for leaders that would even consider legislation like this? Our dwindling freedoms to pursue life, liberty, and happiness are all but gone and we’re letting it happen. We’re manipulated by media and anybody with the loudest voice. We have to choose between the lesser of two evils at every election. Tim, how can we get this country back? Thanks for using your influence to change the status quo.

  12. Just confirmed what Skip wrote. Called Councilwomen Chen’s office, her secretary told me the amendment has been “stricken down”

    Good job Tim, and thanks for letting us know about this.

  13. Emailed all council members.

    Response so far:

    Evans, Jack (COUNCIL) JACKEVANS@dccouncil.us

    1:34 PM (1 minute ago)

    to me

    Councilmember Evans is introducing an amendment that would have no minimum for Uber. We urge you to contact other Councilmembers, particularly your at-large Councilmembers to urge them to support this amendment.

    Schannette Grant on behalf of Jack Evans

    Chief of Staff

  14. If there is time to update the call-to-action, this might be worthwhile — a reply from Jack Evans’ Chief of Staff:

    “Councilmember Evans is introducing an amendment that would have no minimum for Uber. We urge you to contact other Councilmembers, particularly your at-large Councilmembers to urge them to support this amendment.

    Schannette Grant on behalf of Jack Evans

    Chief of Staff”

  15. I hope I wasn’t too late to the party. I emailed all the members on the list. As a small business owner (Who has made more than enough mistakes on his own) it’s vital we don’t allow others to come in and mess up the party too. I agree with Tim so much that we need to stop sacrificing innovation and creativity in the name of status quo or greed!

    Hope this helps Tim!

    Jeremy

  16. Thank you for highlighting this point, Tim. Your post highlights some pretty incredulous things by government, but I believe there’s a lot of crucial information being left out. Please see this short article for more details (not mine) http://inthecapital.com/2012/07/10/why-you-should-all-be-confused-on-the-uberdc-issue/

    I don’t agree completely with Tim’s one-sided article, I still emailed the commission to strike down the Uber bill, mainly because I don’t believe the government should be in the business of price setting.

  17. report:

    phil mendelson: not available

    brandy mecdessy:- left voicemail

    Michael Brown: not available

    kj buksee:- left voicemail

    2025079196

    Jack Evans:

    (202) 724-8058

    office latest info they

    will strike it down

    Good news??!

  18. Tim, this is a practice that is happening in many cities. Nashville has it’s own minimum for limos that were being used to compete with the taxi companies. A bigger limo company did not want to compete, hired a lobbyist, and got a minimum fare put in place.

    The Institute for Justice has taken up this case and is currently fighting it in court with hopes of going all the way to the supremes to prevent these types of laws. You can read about it here and see a video here:

    http://www.ij.org/nashville-limos-2

    http://youtu.be/BMJbx–kWdA

    http://www.ij.org/nashville-limos-release-4-10-12-2

    I think this is the best way to fight this and hopefully prevent it in the future.

  19. I spoke with Brittany Hughes in Phil Mendelson’s office. She didn’t know his position, but appreciated the call.

    I spoke with Mark in Mary Chen’s office. He told me that she had withdrawn the Amendment.

    It looks like this effort succeeded – for now!

    It’s great to see efforts like these take place – and succeed.

  20. I sent to all council members. Here is the response that I received almost immediately.

    “Councilmember Evans is introducing an amendment that would have no minimum for Uber. We urge you to contact other Councilmembers, particularly your at-large Councilmembers to urge them to support this amendment.

    Schannette Grant on behalf of Jack Evans

    Chief of Staff”

  21. Done. even if it seems that the council is changing its mind or introducing other language, the pressure has to stay on — else the changes will be struck down.

  22. just emailed all those officials that I’ll be damned if we live in a country that forces businesses to charge a certain price. the small guy has more power than we know!!!

    fuck the status quo…excuse my boston french…

  23. From: Evans, Jack

    Subject: RE: MINIMUM FARE language from the Uber Amendment

    Date: 10 Jul 2012 20:22:52 GMT+02:00

    To: Stijn

    “Councilmember Evans is introducing an amendment that would have no minimum for Uber. We urge you to contact other Councilmembers, particularly your at-large Councilmembers to urge them to support this amendment.

    Schannette Grant on behalf of Jack Evans

    Chief of Staff”

  24. Thanks Alex. Why shouldn’t Taxi Drivers be protected? Isn’t UBER trying to undercut their business? Isn’t it misleading to frame this argument as you have here Tim?

    “Wow, a business (Uber) is prevented from lowering its prices.. wait.. what? We live in America, right?”

    Taxi Drivers, like my mother, earn their income by hard work. It is one thing to have them process credit card and GPS but to come in undercut them is not challenging a status quo. It is bullying an existing industry. Let UBER stay in the premium sedan service. At least Taxi’s, with all their flaw, are unionized and protected.

  25. Looks like you all did it! Update on the news article says the vote on Uber has been shelved until sometime this fall.

    We’ll need to keep an eye out for it to come back, but this is a big victory. Congratulations, everyone. 🙂

  26. Good work, Tim! I just called Chairman Mendelson’s office and was told they struck the minimum. If that turns out to not be the case, please be sure to repost.

  27. Hi,

    I just spoke with Doug at Vincent Orange’s office (3:50 pm EST) he said the minimum fare thing was struck down today, but will likely be revisited in the fall.

  28. Yo I’m not sure how necessary the Tim Ferris armada was in shooting this down. Sounded like Uber DC customers were uber pissed.

    Regardless, well done!

  29. Tim, I’m curious… what do you think of Michael Ellsberg’s article on the ADA using state legislatures to limit competition in nutrition counseling?

    Wow, these last 24 hours I didn’t realize how actively bigger companies or corporations are in squashing competition. Shows you how fucked politics is these days (always has been?). all about that dolla dolla bill yall.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelellsberg/2012/07/10/american_dietetic_association_2/

  30. DEAR TIM

    I am from France, and really appreciate everything you do as someone who create big values and innovation, and the way you inspired me and probably huge lot of people all around the world

    no need to say how important you are for a change in modern entreprenor Life education

    Unfortunatly I do not get everything on the matter, cause maybe my english is not enough good to understand what is going on here in every details

    but I am talking here for a lot of French or no english native speakers that probably are in your side, but like me do not really understand the whole process involved, but in the same time surely would show you all the respect and the esteem they have for you, to feel encouraged enough, to boost you enough for finding the strengh and the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that will make the difference now for you to win your battle here

    best regards from south of France

    and thank you Tim for who you are

    Lionel T

    (newbie)

  31. Same funny business happens here half way around the world but we are working on solution for innovation to out maneuver the protected taxi industry.

    You’ve highlighted an industry which is so dynamic and changing at the moment… It’s exciting to be part of

    May the little guy & quality win

    Corporate CityCar

    Sent from Australia

  32. Hey Tim,

    I emailed and tweeted all the DC Council members listed in the post, and one of the council members replied to my tweet. Here’s the conversation.

    Bill Fienberg ?@BillFienberg

    @JackEvansWard2 Please strike down the MINIMUM FARE language from the Uber Amendment. Are you in favor of innovation or incumbents?

    Jack Evans ?@JackEvansWard2

    @BillFienberg Proud to have introduced an amendment today preserving the operations of @Uber_DC: http://goo.gl/sLQ00

  33. Hi Tim, I am way out of town – Brisbane Australia – but wrote a quick email for what it’s worth supporting your request. Good luck and love the book!

    K

  34. I emailed everyone out of respect for Tim as well as this entrepreneur and our country… Or what i would like the values of this country to be. Thank you Tim for sending the email. Feels good to do something when so often we feel our actions and voice do not count. Bravo.

  35. Unfortunately, this type of unjust collusion between government and business occurs in every industry. Before becoming a libertarian, I would have been shocked by such a thing. No longer. The Cato Institute’s blog reports on such things almost daily. I also recommend checking out the awesome work of the Institute for Justice, which is a public interest law firm that runs around the country defending people against such governmental action (like a group of Monks who were prevented from building and selling caskets by the existing funeral homes in their state who got a restrictive licensing law passed) or John Stossel’s latest book, which has a ton of examples of how any government with as much power as ours inevitably gets wielded as a tool of exploitation by special interests.

  36. Doesn’t it feel great to do something like that. David beat goliath. What a good feeling victory!

    Not just for UBER, which has an awesome CEO, but for the whole startup community.

    This shows the power of one blog post, another time.

    And now everybody please enjoy your karma overdose.:-)

  37. It’s fascinating how technology is shaping the socio-political landscape, facilitating voices worldwide as they champion a cause. Reddit recently crowdsourced the funds to put up a billboard denouncing Lamar Smith in his own hometown, who was the main proponent behind the SOPA bill. This is clearly just the tip of the iceberg as more and more people plug in.

    Congrats on defeating the amendment guys. Gotta love disruptive technologies- satisfying our innate desire to conquer, while liberating (as opposed to oppressing) the masses. What could be more alluring?

  38. Before I launch into this, let me say that I have nothing but love for Uber’s services. They’re fantastic, consistent, and reliable, their product rocks. Their DC team is nothing short of amazing, I know them personally and their incredible work warrants praise as well as appreciation.

    With that said, I have to say that many people on the web are grossly misinformed as to how this whole Uber thing went down. A hyperbolic letter launched from a CEO of a company to all of his users have cajoled a near social media riot begging for the blood of what many believe are corrupt DC bureaucrats who are supposedly stifling innovation in the city.

    Sorry to disappoint guys, but this is simply not the truth.

    http://inthecapital.com/2012/07/10/why-you-should-all-be-confused-on-the-uberdc-issue/

    A few facts:

    Uber and Councilmember Cheh (the one who drafted the amendment) had been working collaboratively on this amendment for a while to come to a consensus as to how they would keep this scrappy startup running in the city.

    Councilmember Cheh was also the first to come to Uber’s aid when the DC Taxi Commission attempted to shut them down, drafting a stirring letter to Ron Linton to allow the innovative livery service to continue operating in the city.

    Since that clash in Jan/Feb, the two have been working on amending city tax laws to create a new subset/category of transportation services that Uber can fit into. They are not technically a taxi service, therefore are not required to go through the same regulation process of one. They are considered a livery/limousine service in the city, therefore they require a certain price point as to not directly compete with other taxis. Okay, makes sense.

    Considering Uber was in the loop for this amendment, it makes little to no sense that they would email a letter the DAY BEFORE the hearing in protest rather than weeks before to effectively open discourse and dialogue with the city. I suppose social media and the denizens who lurk on Twitter looking for a cause are best used five minutes to midnight, something Travis (Uber’s CEO) hedged his bets on appropriately.

    Uber’s UberX program would drive prices so low they would be competing with local taxis, which is fine. Disruption = awesome. I’m all about a free market and having a better service/product rise to the top on it’s merits, but I also believe in due process and regulation. Uber had not gone through the same vetting process that many of these taxi services have, since they are still considered a livery service and not a taxi company. It’s like a doctor jumping from one specialty to another without applying for the right licenses, these laws are around for a reason. With that said, by creating UberX under the umbrella of their limousine classification, they would be circumventing numerous processes and laws that other companies have dished out buko bucks for to run their taxi businesses.

    Fair? Yeah, not really.

    So at the end of it all, this “dispute” over being forced to maintain a “fixed-price point” is simply the result of mixed messages and warping definitions to circumvent taxi regulations and laws.

    Should DC change it’s taxi laws? Hell yes. Taxi services blow in this city, and I should know because I live here. Do I use Uber like crazy? Yes, I love the quality they provide. But this should be done through the right channels with real conversation with city officials.

    Was that letter and subsequent social media meltdown necessary or appropriate, especially since it was directed at a woman who saved this company from the brink of being kicked out of the city?

    No.

    Hell no.

    Shady move on Uber’s part, all in the name of launching what could have been a great service had they taken the time to open honest dialogue and not use exaggerations and accusations to agitate the ire of online dummies against a government that’s already had a rough time with corruption.

    Not a good look for a startup with a great product, just sayin’.

    People of the internet: please educate yourself before you pick up the cause or mantel of some CEO who wrote a stirring letter.

  39. I believe that this type of un-ethical practice is illegal!

    Search Google for the following:

    wikipedia – United States antitrust law

    wikipedia – Sarbanes–Oxley Act

  40. response…

    I very much share your enthusiasm for Uber. From the outset, I have wanted to ensure that Uber is able to continue operating legally in the District, and in truth, my amendment was actually meant to do just that. I think innovation is good, and I think that the District-with Captial Bikeshare, car2go, the Circulator, and Uber-is at the forefront of progressive transportation options. I am pleased to report that we were able to work something out that was satisfactory to both Uber and the Council, and I’ll be working to introduce more permanent legislation in the fall.

    Thanks for your note.

    Regards,

    Mary

  41. Got an extensive answer from the council member Mary Cheh. According to it they have reached the consesus with Uber and are working towards permanent solution to be made in the fall.

  42. Response from Mary Cheh,

    I very much share your enthusiasm for Uber. From the outset, I have wanted to ensure that Uber is able to continue operating legally in the District, and in truth, my amendment was actually meant to do just that. I think innovation is good, and I think that the District—with Captial Bikeshare, car2go, the Circulator, and Uber—is at the forefront of progressive transportation options. I am pleased to report that we were able to work something out that was satisfactory to both Uber and the Council, and I’ll be working to introduce more permanent legislation in the fall.

    Thanks for your note.

    Regards,

    Mary

  43. I go similar response from Mary.

    —–Original Message—–

    From: Cheh, Mary (COUNCIL) [mailto:MCheh@DCCOUNCIL.US]

    Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 11:06 AM

    To: Andrews, Ben B.

    Subject: RE: Uber Amendment

    I very much share your enthusiasm for Uber. From the outset, I have wanted to ensure that Uber is able to continue operating legally in the District, and in truth, my amendment was actually meant to do just that. I think innovation is good, and I think that the District-with Captial Bikeshare, car2go, the Circulator, and Uber-is at the forefront of progressive transportation options. I am pleased to report that we were able to work something out that was satisfactory to both Uber and the Council, and I’ll be working to introduce more permanent legislation in the fall.

    Thanks for your note.

    Regards,

    Mary

  44. I think this company should be able to do what they want. They are setting a higher standard for chauffeured driving in big cities, and things like this should be forcing the cabs to hire people who can actually drive. They shouldn’t be stepped on because they are trying to do something right. Makes me not ever wanna take a cab again.

  45. Got the same response from Cheh:

    “I very much share your enthusiasm for Uber. From the outset, I have wanted to ensure that Uber is able to continue operating legally in the District, and in truth, my amendment was actually meant to do just that. I think innovation is good, and I think that the District—with Captial Bikeshare, car2go, the Circulator, and Uber—is at the forefront of progressive transportation options. I am pleased to report that we were able to work something out that was satisfactory to both Uber and the Council, and I’ll be working to introduce more permanent legislation in the fall.

    Thanks for your note.

    Regards,

    Mary”

  46. FYI – I just signed up for Uber in DC and plan on using it. It looks like the fight might not be over. There is still talking happening w/ Ms. Chen.

    “From: “Cheh, Mary (COUNCIL)”

    To:

    Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 3:29 PM

    Subject: RE: DC COUNCIL VOTES ON THE UBER AMENDMENT

    I very much share your enthusiasm for Uber. From the outset, I have wanted to ensure that Uber is able to continue operating legally in the District, and in truth, my amendment was actually meant to do just that. I think innovation is good, and I think that the District—with Captial Bikeshare, car2go, the Circulator, and Uber—is at the forefront of progressive transportation options. I am pleased to report that we were able to work something out that was satisfactory to both Uber and the Council, and I’ll be working to introduce more permanent legislation in the fall.

    Thanks for your note.

    Regards,

    Mary”

  47. FYI, just received this response from Michael Brown:

    I am writing to thank you for contacting me and sharing your concerns regarding the Council of the District of Columbia’s proposed amendment mandating a minimum fare price for the Uber Car Service. In fact, I received hundreds of phone calls and over six thousand emails. More importantly, a great deal of the emails were in the form of personal notes from DC residents who have come to rely on Uber’s reliable, clean and professional service.

    As you know, I voted against the amendment, as proposed, which would have set a fare minimum upon the sedan service. Instead, I co-sponsored an amendment allowing Uber to operate legally until the Council takes future action.

    I believe healthy competition is good for business and as someone who has used Uber’s services, I have personally been satisfied with the product. However, there will be further Council discussions about Uber and their Uber X services and what regulations should be imposed upon them. In the fall, Councilmember Mary Cheh will hold a public roundtable for you to participate. This hearing provides you an opportunity to publicly voice your concerns, and provide valuable input toward the formulation of a final bill for the public vehicle-for-hire service industry in the District of Columbia.

    I welcome your attendance at this public hearing. The hearing will be held on September 24, 2012, 11:00 AM, at the John A. Wilson Buildings, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 500. Councilmember Mary M Cheh, Chairperson of the Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation will chair the hearing. The purpose of the hearing will be to discuss innovations in the public vehicle-for-hire industry, the implementation of the Taxicab Service Improvement Amendment Act of 2012, and Bill 19-892, the Sedan Class Amendment Act of 2012.

    The Committee invites the public to testify or to submit written testimony, which will be made a part of the official record. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing should contact Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee, at 202-724-8062, or via e-mail at abenjamin@dccouncil.us. Representatives of organizations will be given a maximum of five (5) minutes for oral presentation and individuals a maximum of three (3) minutes for oral presentations. Witnesses should bring 8 copies of their written testimony and submit a copy of their testimony electronically to abenjamin@dccouncil.us. If you are unable to testify at the hearing, you are encouraged to submit a written statement. Copies of written statements should be submitted either to the Committee on the Environment, Public Works, and Transportation , or to Ms. Nyasha Smith, Secretary of the Council, Room 5, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.

    Also, If you have any other issue you wish to discuss, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    Michael A. Brown

    Councilmember At-Large

    District of Columbia

  48. I want Uber to succeed as everybody here, lobbying in this country is alive and well and this is a fine example how politics is creating a sluggish economy. In a time when new an innovative ways are exactly what we need to keep our economy moving forward, so one day soon we (the American people) don’t find ourselves in a second rate country where China an India are where you will find innovative sprites thriving, while here we focus on ways protect our falling industries rather than promote new ones. We should be all ashamed to let the elected bodies rule for the few while they where appointed to serve the masses…

  49. Great job bringing this to our attention, Tim. Here in NYC taxi’s are constantly ripping us off and they get whatever they want from the gov’t without compassion for the consumer.

  50. This picture isn’t reminding me of a Fat Cat. Instead, I see an astute entrepreneurial Armenian in the free market.

    He may run a rug shop. Provide small loans to reputable debtors. Or, an Import/export business with his brothers. I like him. Except as a competitor.

    Maybe this is simply a stock image of a character actor that reflects my prejudices?

  51. Hi Tim,

    QUESTION- are you working on learning a foreign language?????? i heard you mention it a couple of times. i am interested in Spanish and bought Rosetta Stone and i like it but i like your style better!!!!!! YOU ROCK DUDE!!!!!

    THANKS. Leanne

  52. Hola Tim:

    “Quiero saber como difundir el mensaje de tu libro sin que me denuncies por publicitarlo sin permiso”.

    Quiero ser coacher de personas, y ayudarlas a alcanzar su sueño. Quiero que lean tu libro, y quiero poder hablar de tu libro en todas partes, en videos, en texto, en mis redes sociales (precisamente las quiero preparar contando con publicitar tu libro). ¿Como hacer esto de forma legal?

    También me gustaría saber cuantos libros has vendido en España y si estarías dispuesto a dejarme ser vendedor de tu libro o si ya te sobra el dinero, o simplemente no te hace falta más porque ya tienes la felicidad que necesitas, o simplemente no te interesa. Gracias por la respuesta.

    Un saludo. Iván Piñón.

    Si no me respondes. Creceré igual gracias a tí. Gracias

  53. Hi Tim,

    I have just started reading your book The 4-Hour Workweek, after following your blog for the passed three months. What I have read is simple and brilliant. About 1 minute ago I finished reading Fail Better by Adam Gottesfeld and decided to write to you as Im sure a load of people do at this part of your book.

    I have recently started a Kickstarter campaign and have realised in order to hit my target, my campaign is going to need to attract about 30,000 views. I have 28 days to get the word out to 30,000 people.

    How did you get such a big following on your blog in such a short period of time? From what I can see people crave for you to blog. How did you create that desire?

    Here’s the link for anyone that wants to view:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/954005590/mo-mug

    Best Regards

    Tony