Uber has been having a crappy year. But its chief U.S. rival Lyft can’t afford to get complacent, Lyft director of product Taggart Matthiesen says.
“If you look at our strategy and how we’re evolving our product, that’s not something that we evaluate,” Matthiesen said in response to a question about how long he thinks consumers will choose Lyft over Uber based on branding on the latest Recode Decode. “We are continuing to try and improve the experience. At some point that stuff will probably fade away.”
Matthiesen’s main focus these days is Lyft’s push into self-driving cars, which the company thinks will reshape its entire fleet within two decades. But on the new podcast, he told Recode’s Johana Bhuiyan that Lyft got a bump from the (pre-Susan Fowler) #deleteUber campaign in January, which was loosely tied to Donald Trump’s attempted Muslim ban and a taxi union protest.
“The [first] #deleteUber movement, yes, there was an increase in passenger activations,” he said. “We saw a 60 percent increase in passenger activations after that.”
You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Matthiesen chose his words carefully on the new podcast, largely avoiding the dreaded U-word. But he said Uber will figure out a way to fix itself, which is why Lyft has to stay on its toes.
“When you look at our competition: Yes, they are going to change in terms of how they push their brand,” he said. “I look at what we’ve done, and that is continuing our focus on the experience. Yes, they will change, they will come up with new initiatives, they will come up with a different branding technique. But we continue to look at, how do we improve people’s lives?”
“I think that just means we need to continue to evolve,” Matthiesen added. “We can’t just sit where we are today. We have to continue to innovate.”
If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:
- Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
- Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
- And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on Apple Podcasts— and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Recode Decode host Kara Swisher.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.