Aerial ridesharing might sound like a sci-fi cliché, but Holden has a solid track record of disruptive innovation. In the late 1990s, he followed Jeff Bezos from New York to Seattle and became one of the earliest employees at Amazon, where he spearheaded Amazon Prime. Next, Holden went to another disruptive startup, Groupon, and then on to Uber, where he’s strung together a series of wins: UberPool, UberEats and, most recently and radically, Uber’s self-driving car program.
So when Holden proposed an even zanier product line—that Uber take to the skies—what followed was no surprise: the company’s leadership, as well as everybody else, took him seriously.
And for good reason. The theme of the Uber Elevate Summit isn’t actually about flying cars. The cars are already here. Instead, the focus was the path to scale. And the more critical point: that path is a lot shorter than many suspect.