In 1930, in the early months of the Great Depression, Michael J. Cullen leased a vacant garage in Queens, New York, and built King Kullen, what is widely considered the first-ever supermarket and example of the "resource integration" model that has created the Uber ecosystem.
In the case of King Kullen, "the resource integration included the use of the customer to self select, pay cash and carry the groceries home. Previously, the merchant selected, gave store credit and often delivered the groceries," explained Bob Lusch, entrepreneurship chair at the University of Arizona and a member of the CNBC Disruptor 50 advisory council. The new model also led to much-needed cost savings for consumers and created much-needed new jobs.
Like King Kullen, Uber is the result of "clever resource integration" on the part of its founders, serial entrepreneurs Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp. "They integrated a mostly unused stockpile of personal automobiles, a large pool of potential drivers … [and] the resources of a digital ecosystem that can be accessed on a smartphone," Lusch said.