Destroy Uber
5 min read
Building cultures
I recently received a gift I made to myself, an Oculus device. It's my new toy. The game I play mostly with Oculus is table tennis. It's a fully immersive experience and can't stop doing it.

I started playing on the "medium" difficulty but after I got used to it, beating the robot set after set, I decided to upgrade to the "hard" level. But that was really hard. I lost every single one of the 10 sets I played with him, but in the end, I discovered I had learned so many new tricks and techniques. Since my old tricks with the "medium guy" didn't work at this level, I had to upgrade myself. While I was losing, I was learning, because I tried new techniques I didn't need previously.

When I finished playing, it hit me: you choose who you are by choosing your competitors. I became a better player because of this new tough opponent. And then, an old story came to mind, a story that happened at a time when I first took this lesson, and I'd like to share it with you.

Going Down

By the end of 2014, I was the CEO of Taxibeat (later Beat) and we were on a downwards trend. The company was on the verge of completely collapsing. We had lost the Mexican and Brazilian market, we had lost a funding round from a major investor (right at the moment when everything was ready to have the money wired to our bank), and I had lost some of my most important partners in the company who left me.

Existing shareholders had lost any confidence in us and all we were left with was operating in just two markets on opposite sides of the world: Greece and Peru. In Greece, we were the big fish, but in Peru, we had just started and there were two major competitors, EasyTaxi and Uber, ahead of us. The company's outlook was anything but bright.

The next year started in even darker clouds: the change of government in Greece left the country amid its worst period of financial crisis which ended with the…
Nikos Drandakis
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