“Do you wanna be a part of the future, or do you wanna resist it? It’s about risk. Understanding risk and learning to take smart risks. The difference between an entrepreneur and non-entrepreneur really comes down to that question.” – Travis Kalanick
Travis Cordell Kalanick is an American computer programmer and businessman. In 2014, he entered the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans at position 290, with an estimated net worth of $6 Bn.
Kalanick was born on August 6, 1976, in Los Angeles, California. He started his entrepreneurial journey in 1998 with Scour Inc., a multimedia search engine, and Scour Exchange, a peer-to-peer file sharing service. He then co-founded another peer-to-peer file sharing company Red Swoosh. Later, he also founded cab aggregator & ride sharing company Uber, in 2009, along with Garrett Camp.
Since the beginning of 2017, Uber CEO Kalanickhas been in the spotlight and for all the wrong reasons. After being caught at the wrong end of US President Donald Trump’s executive decision of banning immigrants to enter the country, followed by allegations of sexism in the company; cab aggregator giant Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick recently came under the spotlight for arguing with one of his own drivers in a video. Later, Travis also apologised to the driver for treating him disrespectfully.
The ride has also not been particularly easy for him in Asia – first with the Didi Chuxing buyout of Uber China and then the various controversies faced in India, reportedly Uber’s second-largest market after the US. The company has been constantly hampered by rival ‘kaali peeli taxis’ and government on various issues such as surge pricing, driver incentives, and more.
Then again, one cannot deny the sheer drive and ambition that Kalanick undertook to make Uber a globally accepted brand. At present, Uber operates in over 66 countries and in more than 528 cities around the world.
Here is an interesting infographic on how Uber got started:
Starting Up: Hardly Mission Impossible
Starting up is always a difficult decision and it becomes really easy when one finds something that is disrupting and protecting at the same. He believes that one should always look for ideas linked to lifestyle.
As he says, “At Uber, we like to say that there are four dimensions of magic – one is time. If you can give people their time back, you are providing some kind of magic. If you can bring calm into the day to the folks who are using your product. Or, sometimes, it’s just about bringing some kind of joy. And, for others, its money. Saving people’s money so that they can get much more than what they expected or it can be new ways to make income.”
His advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting up is to have “the roadmap for product in sync with the roadmap of process, as they need to get pick up times really low but the utilisation really high.”
Also, with solid instincts, one get to choose who he works with. “Get the standard of excellence that does not get compromised.”
Not only should a startup founder be multi-faceted, but one should have the patience and ability to identify gaps and take in every detail of an issue before taking any decision. As Travis says “‘In the words of Aristotle, ‘The probable impossible is always preferable, to the improbable possible.’ But you don’t know that unless you go in. We try to find out new things what we don’t know, and that sort of keep continuing to keep it exciting, but you always need to find that balance.”
Finally, he believes,
“Innovation happens at the cross of an analytical mind and behavioural instincts.”
Check out more interesting and key success tips from Travis in the video below: