Uber's Bozoma uses Gut Instinct

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(Brandon Bhangoo) #1

One of Uber's best appointments was taking on the talented Bozom Saint John to head their branding initiative. Bozoma is tasked with changing public opinion and making Uber a trusted and needed service. She was recently interviewed on the Tom Ferriss Show, and Bozoma gave the audience some very important tips for success.

While her younger self would have started out by writing down the pros and cons of an idea, her more experienced self now realizes that a lot of great initiatives are based on gut instinct. Her approach is a personal one, and it might not work for everyone, but she told Tim "What I have found in my experience is that when I make pro and con lists it's usually because I am trying to talk myself out of a good idea or talk myself into a really bad one."


Bozoma Saint John, Getty Images

Her successes were always a product of her gut instinct, as she continued "There has been time and time again where I have been right, and I couldn't have explained it to myself or anyone else. So the pro and con list have gone by the wayside. I just don't do that anymore."

What is Bozoma saying is that when she starts to consider a new direction she will ask herself some basic questions, "What do I want to do? What does this feel like? Am I happy about this? Does it bring me joy?"

This approach is supported by a number of psychologists that claim pro and con lists might show us a logical approach to what is and isn't in the idea's favor, but it doesn't account for personal reasons. As Tom Wilson, University of Virginia psychology professor and author of a number of books said "What happens is we bring to mind what's easy to put into words and sounds like a plausible reason for doing something, but that doesn't always capture how we truly feel. People sometimes talk themselves into feelings they didn't necessarily have."

The bottom line is that Uber's direction will no longer be decided by black and white cash decisions but by instinct, emotion, and personal feelings. A method of approach that will touch the hearts of the customer rather than just their pockets.


(Andrew Martin) #2

They should use Bozoma as the image of Uber. My heart goes out to her, she lost her husband to cancer a while back, such a young talented man. Bozoma comes from a very strong PR background and delivers the punch where its meant to go. I personally think that she was one of Uber’s best hires, and she came on board before Dara, so it goes to show that there was some brain work going on before the rise of the Khosrowshahi.


(Steve Mann) #3

I think that all the Uber team has a lot of work ahead of them. However, I also consider the fact that they received a massive influx of cash from SoftBank, something that will help Khosrowshahi to reach his IPO. I personally think that Bozoma and others involved in changing the name or image of Uber are already starting to take effect. This is not due to their magnificence, it is more to do with the new CEO and the fact that people read the news and see that Kalanick is no longer the boss.