Uber, Travis Kalanick’s smartphone-based car service, has been valued at $18.2 billion
There are some people in this world who you just want to stay away from when they are angry or not so pleased with something and the mastermind behind the UBER car service, Travis Kalanick, is one certainly one of them. When he’s about to get into an argument, it like things will end up being ugly as his eyes crinkle, his nose flares, and his mouth purses just like a clenched hand readying a punch. Even his Marine-style hair seems to be answering back to whatever he is standing up to himself. We might agree that he mostly has to be in this situation considering that he is the CEO of the giant five year old ride-sharing juggernaut which was valued at $18.2 billion by investors in June. It won’t be wrong to say that he would have a handful number of foes.
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Most of his speeches and videos and posts on Twitter direct bards towards these foes, particularly the taxi industry but surprisingly also the city and local regulators across the country. He has even been saying that sometimes his own customers can be a nuisance when they raise questions about the company’s practices. You might be asking yourself if this is real or not and to be very honest, this could be but maybe not entirely. A venture capitalist who has worked with Kalanick says of him: “It’s douche as a tactic, not a strategy.”
Kalanick’s description of character is more like his badge of honor which only goes on to prove that he has enough zeal and dedication towards his mission and towards whatever he has built over the years. His basic aim is to drastically disrupt what he considers a very broken transportation system as he says “Look, I’m a passionate entrepreneur. I’m like fire and brimstone sometimes. And so there are times when I’ll go—I’ll get too into the weeds and too into the debate, because I’m so passionate about it.”
Kalanick’s pugnacious reputation has also been explained by one of the earliest investors of the venture who said “It’s hard to be a disrupter and not be an asshole.”
Uber was created on a wintery night in Paris in the year 2008. The idea popped up when Kalanick and his friend Garrett Camp could not get a cab and it was then that the two vowed that they would try to solve this major problem with a revolutionary app which would change the face of the transportation sector.
The idea was pretty simple and the app would only require users to push a button and get a cab. This French origin story seems quite like a blame game but it is partially true. The two friends were in Europe to attend the LeWeb, an annual European tech conference and were full with cash. They were only looking for an idea of a new business. Kalanick had recently sold his second start-up, Red Swoosh, a content-delivery company, for $20 million to Akamai Technologies. Camp had sold his company, StumbleUpon, a Web discovery engine, to eBay for $75 million the previous year.
Back in their loft on the edge of Paris, in a session that Kalanick had called the Jampad, they got to conversing with some different business people about start-up thoughts. Among the numerous plans bandied about was the idea for an on-interest auto administration application, roused by their dissatisfaction in the snow. The individuals who were in the room, nonetheless, said the idea that would get to be Uber did not emerge over different thoughts examined that night.
Once they got back to San Francisco, Kalanick has pretty much moved on from the idea but Camp hadn’t and was obsessing over the concept of a car service, so much so that he bought the domain name UberCab.com. Camp now owns a major chunk of Uber and says that he wouldn’t let go of the idea and wanted to partner with Kalanick. “I liked that quality of going for it,” recalls Camp. “I knew such a big idea would take a lot of guts, and he impressed me as someone who had that.”