Let's jump to Washington D.C. If you live in Northern Virginia or Maryland, you could take the Metro into town for a night out, but would almost certainly have a huge issue getting a cab driver to take you home.
Let's jump back to SF. North Beach to the Mission district. Separate sides of the town but without a cab, thats 2-3 bus transfers and forget even getting home late at night when it all stops running.
The accessibility aspect of Uber is massive. I don't think it's fair to discount that simply because the ride itself wasn't memorable...by that aspect, are airplane companies fake businesses? Does anyone really brag about the wonderful economy experience they have on Delta vs. United vs. American Airlines? Not really, but they certainly talk about the accessibility those services offer.