Today Uber operates in 57 countries with more that 160,000 drivers, but back in 2010 Uber was just a couple of bros with the dream of turning a mere cab ride into the kind of experience worthy of, in the words of founder Travis Kalanick, "a frickin’ pimp." An "UberCab," if you will.
"For almost a century the process of requesting a car service has been extremely similar to what it is today," the founders wrote in their very first UberCab blog post, still up on a Tumblr site unearthed by the site UberExpansion.com. "You could place a request by telephone for a car arriving the next day or you could walk to the street and hope that an available taxi would happen to pass by at the same time."
Uber is in the midst of planning a massive, two-building, 423,000 square-foot headquarters in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood, having outgrown the super luxe 88,000 square-foot man cave it moved into last June after just a few months.
But back in the day, the UberCab HQ was much more modest:
As was the app's interface, which looks a little like Microsoft clipart pasted onto a Google map.
This is what Uber's "God View" looked like back in 2010:
For reference, here's what the Uber app looks like today:
But Uber's founders felt the taxi industry was broken. A taxi ride, they wagered, should be as balllin' as bottle service in a nightclub. Riding in a cab simply did not make them feel like the pimps they knew they were deep down inside.
And so, they set out on their noble crusade, to "disrupt" taxis, dominate the world and make you "feel like a baller every time you request a ride."
Even if that sometimes meant not quite following the letter of the law. In October 2010, the company gleefully chronicled its first (of many) cease-and-desist orders:
Uber, you've come a long way.