Former Free Uber Activist, Arcade City Founder Has Troubled Past Revealed
Dover resident Christopher David (formerly known as Christopher Pille) is looking to move his ridesharing competitor Arcade City forward, but may be held back by revelations of failed businesses and broken promises.
Christopher David of Dover, NH is a man with lofty ambitions who seems to always be chasing after success. He is currently running an “Uber-Killer” company and has run for political office, but cannot seem to run away from bad decisions in his past.
David, founder of the “Free Uber” movement in Portsmouth and creator of a new ridesharing app called Arcade City, has made headlines both locally and nationally for his disruptive actions in the ridesharing industry. We interviewed him when he was considered the “Rogue Uber Driver” during the battle between Uber, local taxi companies and the city’s regulations.
Back then he was a passionate Uber driver fighting for the ridesharing company, but soon turned on them and started his own ridesharing app based on a “swarm” model in November. Arcade City has since gotten a lot of attention from libertarians, cryptocurrency supporters and drivers who feel disenfranchised working for Uber and Lyft.
I was skeptical about the whole thing and wondered if the promises from this start-up blockchain app could live up to all of the hype from its founder. Now Christopher himself is getting some unwanted attention driven by those who feel they have been wronged by the ambitious entrepreneur in the past.
Enter Ivan Chen-O'Neill, who first reported his grievances with Christopher in a Ripoff Report post from December 30, 2013 about David’s failed California run for Congress in 2012. As his former campaign manager, Chen-O'Neill was looking to warn possible supporters about David’s unreliability and questionable spending before a possible 2014 run.
His grievances were further detailed on April 2 in a post on Medium where he refers to David as an “American Fraudster” who has left a trail of unpaid debt and broken promises. “Chris has a habit of riding the coattails of other movements in order to extract volunteers for his pet causes,” according to Chen-O’Neill.
Christopher Pille was plagued with an “ambition that surpassed his abilities.”
Before he changed his name to Christopher David, Christopher Pille was looking to make a name for himself as a liberty-loving member of the non-profit Young Americans for Liberty. He failed to create a chapter of the organization in California and they parted ways. According to Chen-O'Neill , the executive director of the non-profit “would go on to say Christopher Pille was plagued with an “ambition that surpassed his abilities.”
He then changed his name and created a web marketing company called Victory Online. That would soon fail and Pille, now David, decided to run for Congress where Chen-O'Neill would join as s campaign manager.
During the campaign, Chen-O'Neill said that David refused to pay back thousands of dollars he had loaned to him, and had not paid a girl named “Alice” for her work. Chen-O'Neill also claims that David was a bit loose with donor’s money and used it for trips, dinners and a ring for his then-fiance.
The campaign crumbled and David was onto his next business venture.
He founded a Bitcoin consulting company called Coinvox that wanted to bring in Bitcoin donations to non-profits and campaigns. It attracted a lot of buzz in the media and from online groups, but would soon fail and leave behind unhappy investors.
David then moves to New Hampshire, gets involved in the Portsmouth vs. Uber clash and begins work on Arcade City. And here we are.
The really interesting thing about Chen-O'Neill’s story coming to light is that David has taken it head-on on social media. He addressed the accusations against him in a post on the Arcade City Facebook page. On the information in the post on Ripoff Report he writes:
“The report contained a number of accusations, some of which were true, some were partly true, some were outright lies.”
He also admits to much of the negative information about him in the Medium article:
I've sucked at managing my personal finances. I've made plans that didn't come to fruition. I've made a lot of mistakes -- and learned from them.”
“There are exaggerations and events described not how I remember them, but the facts in this one are mostly true. I've had previous ventures fail. I'm in a lot of personal debt. I've sucked at managing my personal finances. I've made plans that didn't come to fruition. I've made a lot of mistakes -- and learned from them. It is the life of an entrepreneur: you fail and fail and fail -- until you succeed.”
He denies using campaign funds improperly and claims that he has never stolen money. David admits that he has had a hard time paying back personal debts and is “not good at managing money.”
David took to the ethereum group on Reddit to host a question and session that included plenty of criticism from the online community. With all of this information on David's past, it is easy to see why many are leery of spending time or money with Arcade City.
There are adamant supporters on his Facebook page who believe it will revolutionize the ridesharing business, but the skeptics seem to outnumber the believers at this point.
Arcade City seems to be a Hail Mary pass from someone who is desperately trying to create the big success that will overshadow past failures. That may not be the best play in this game because history has a funny way of repeating itself.