A Lesson In New Tech Mogul Corporate Dogfighting

Getting the last word, bro.

A few weeks ago, John Herrman over at The Awl spent a few words on the Silicon Valley tech-mogul-as-bro:

Travis Kalanick and Evan Spiegel are both poised, as much as anyone can be, to become some of the most powerful figures in American capitalism. The views they will bring to bear upon the world, the molds in which they openly desire to recast society, were forged over beer pong tables in basements near Stanford.

The most promising sector the economy has is represented by a fraternity of leering boys wearing their fathers’ suits.

But how does the Bro-Mogul conduct business? Petty feuds, it seems!

Per CNN Money:

Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 rides from rival Lyft since last October, according to new data provided by Lyft. The data was obtained at CNNMoney’s request when reporting another story on the companies’ competition.

Pretty damning! Until…

An Uber representative refutes the claims to the New York Times while passing the blame to Lyft:

Lyft’s claims against Uber are baseless and simply untrue. Furthermore, Lyft’s own drivers and employees, including one of Lyft’s founders, have canceled 12,900 trips on Uber. But instead of providing the long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years, we are focusing on building and maintaining the best platform for both consumers and drivers.

But hey, there’s lots of money at stake (nearly $2 billion in combined fundraising, to be exact). So keeping in the spirit, one more time from Lyft (with feeling)!

"Our 'nuclear’ strategy= continuing to take market share with 30% m/m growth, while building the strongest community of drivers/passengers.”

— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac)

Drama, I suppose. But this feels more like a chippy campaign for fraternity president than it does corporate dogfighting from companies with a combined valuation of around $19 billion. Just take this “Lyft Sucks!” Facebook ad for Uber, which was found by Kaitlin Pike late last year and posted to her blog.

Pike’s post elicited a response from Uber, which denied the “Lyft Sucks!” ad was purchased by the company. Pike followed up to ask if “ad was purchased by a partner contracted by Uber to purchase Facebook ads? And if so, did this partner not run their copy by Uber’s team? If not an official partner, do you know who did purchase this?”

Uber’s response to Pike: “We’re looking into it.”

Thanks, bro!

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Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
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