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I'm never one to judge a rebrand immediately, as so many people were quick to do here. These things have a tendency to grow on you.

But after living with the rebrand for a few weeks? It sucks, and it made me realize how all the things I used to like about Uber are disappearing.

The simplicity was one of the best parts of Uber: you picked your service level, then ordered a pickup. That was it! These days, they've added a lot more friction to the process, and instituted carpooling rules. Never mind that surge pricing is almost always in effect -- I guess they're having a hard time retaining drivers?

Ultimately, all Uber has long-term is a brand: their business model will be commoditized the day autonomous cars are integrated into a fleet management system. And they fucked up that brand: they went from a recognizable brand identified with the letter "U" to an unrecognizable glyph that looks more like a video game than a ride hailing app.

The implied - not sure it was ever stated - aspect of their branding was that the experience was about YOU. Getting the car, handling payment, not having to worry about all the details makes YOUR life easier. Their deals with Hilton and United to have a car ready whenever and wherever furthered that in my mind.

So while the "U" meant "Uber" I always interpreted it a little bit differently.

No clue what the backwards C means.

It is not a backwards C, it is an atom (circle) and a bit (square). They're trying to say they are the link between meat and cyber space.

It is the vaguest marketing device since “Visa. Love every day.”

Man. I guess they really want to get the point across that they're a business using computers to do things. They feel it's that unique.

I also liked the tagline "Everyone's private driver." It felt very luxurious just to read that when opening the app. Now it feels like a game. But all this is just fluff and will soon fade away as long as they keep up the awesome service.

They will soon declare that it's a "symbol" and be henceforth known as "The company formerly known as Uber".

They are expanding into new markets, different customers. That goes a long way to explaining the increased complexity of pricing and options.

I get it -- but it undermines their brand value, which is all they have. I avoided taxis because it was a high-friction transaction. Uber has been great because it is very, very low-friction. But they've introduced enough friction that I tried Lyft for the first time, which is a pretty bad sign. Also it's a lot easier to find drivers on Lyft anymore while Uber is on surge pricing half the time anymore...

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