First thought: Wow, globalization.
Second thought: It had the familiar consumer experience that I know from the US, with the added advantage of no haggling with a cabbie, no disputing a meter in a foreign language, and avoiding other transaction uncertainties. On the flip side, it was slightly more expensive than a regular taxi.
In that light, it's interesting to see Uber's CEO forecast that his future autonomous taxis will seek market domination while navigating the same rapid commodification as the rest of the IoT industry. Like any commodity, cheap and reliable quality will win.
My experience in Bangkok suggests a few obstacles in developing economies for Uber: there will certainly be competitive and regulatory push back against the massive displacement of paid drivers; if targeting travelers as a user base, many won't want to go to a foreign country for the taxi-equivalent of a McDonald's hamburger; and good luck designing tech that can navigate traffic in Bangkok!
...if Uber isn’t at least “tied for first,” if not first, it will be last, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick said. “[I]f we are not tied for first then the person who is in first, or the enemy that’s in first then rolls out a ride-sharing network that is far cheaper or far higher quality than Uber’s, then Uber is no longer a thing,” he said, echoing earlier comments about needing to be ready to clinch that No. 1 spot when the time comes. In June, Uber’s head of product, Jeff Holden, made similar statements during a technology conference hosted by Bloomberg. “That is not a situation where the tech is going to be evenly distributed,” said Holden of self-driving car technology. He then added that whichever company can develop this technology will have a unique edge over competitors.