i am a geek. i tend to like technology for technology’s sake. what i love about many of the new startups and technology companies that are popping up is that they are taking mobile, apps and data and trying to turn established businesses and industries on their head. in most cases, the old guard are so entrenched, so deep in antiquated thinking and systems that they can’t figure out what hit them. a great example is Uber, a car service that is pretty well established in SFO and just launched in NYC. this company arms it’s customers with a smartphone app. the app uses GPS to tell them exactly where the customer is located. customers pay via the app, no exchange of money, receipt on the app. even better than that convenience, they are gathering data. what are the hot pickup spots? where should they place cars to wait. while it might freak people out, the app is probably telling them where people are in the background, which further assists in capacity planning. this great techcrunch article discusses some of the data mining they are doing to manage the logistics of keeping up with user demand and deploying cars. cool, but not just for cool’s sake. i can’t wait for Uber to launch in Chicago.