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The taxi industry is “characterized by high prices, low service, and no accountability. It was ripe for entry [by startups] because everybody hates it,” says David Autor, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Uber took that opportunity. “I pushed a freaking button, and a car showed up, and now I’m a pimp,” is how Travis Kalanick, Uber’s 37 year old CEO, described to colleagues the vibe he wanted.

The rest of a great story on innovation in the taxi industry here.