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.”
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.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.