San Francisco Chamber CEO Applauds Small-Business Rebels

Small businesses take center stage in San Francisco next week, with an emphasis on disruptive technology and businesses that have butted heads with the status quo.

Uber and Airbnb sprang up in this city, beginning as startups testing new, even quirky business models. They quickly transformed into global companies.

Chamber of Commerce President Bob Linscheid says there are lessons to be learned from businesses — startups or established companies — that challenge the norm.

San-Francisco-Chamber-of-Commerce-President-Bob-Linscheid-750x420“That lesson is that you must constantly innovate,” he says. “Our city is a haven for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

He cites Uber, the mobile-app-based ride-hailing company, which started in San Francisco and is now in 57 countries.

In a 2010 blog post, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick said the idea for the company emerged in reaction to the city’s “horrible taxi problem,” which often meant “getting stranded on the streets of San Francisco.”

Small Business Week focuses on innovators

Disruptive technology — innovations that disrupt an existing market — “very often you’ll see companies formed on that basis,” Linscheid says. “When the taxi industry needed a shot in the arm, it caused Uber to get started.”

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