Uber's Secret Weapon: The World

The rise of companies like Alibaba and Rocket Internet is proof that US technology companies can find it surprisingly difficult to scale internationally. Entering new markets is a lot of work, and often local copycats can be faster and nimbler than the people trying to parachute in from Silicon Valley, telling the locals how it’s done. Uber’s international expansion is particularly hard, since it has been met at every turn with fierce opposition from both regulators and the incumbent taxi industry. And yet, partly because it seems to be the only company with the appetite to fight dozens of such battles at once, Uber’s reach is expanding inexorably, and in a way that is extremely hard to replicate. Rival companies can sign up drivers all they like: but from a passenger perspective, if you’re going to have Uber on your phone anyway, because you need it when you visit some distant city, then you might as well just use it at home as well.

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Free market advocates say D.C. is the Uber-friendliest city in the nation

Cities have responded to new transportation providers like Uber and Lyft in wildly differing ways, with open arms, or cease-and-desist letters, preemptive bans or legal blessings. If you're someone who travels a lot (or a lobbyist charged with navigating all these places), it's a little hard to keep track of who's in favor of these companies and who's not.

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Uber is recruiting 50,000 veterans as drivers

Launched this September by the international car service giant Uber, UberMILITARY aims to hire 50,000 vets — nearly a quarter of currently unemployed Iraq and Afghanistan War soldiers — in the next 18 months. (Though that number seems ambitious, the companyclaims to hire 50,000 drivers every month.)

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