Uber Needed Travis Kalanick.
Mike Troiano
175

Mike, I have to disagree with your assessment (respectfully :). I don’t think the issue was that Travis didn’t evolve at the pace of Uber and was outgrown by the business.

Rather, the positioning of Uber as a tech company instead of the “Uber” cab company that justified crazy valuations and funding was the demise of Travis from the onset of the company.

When Uber started, it competed with cab companies, defied municipal, state or national (outdated) legislation that required a certified asshole to get down in the mud and fight against cab companies, lobbies, and local government for survival. Travis was that guy, no question. No worse, no better than most cab company owners, willing and able to use all means at hand to beat competition and weasel their way around legislation.

Now that the battle has been fought and mostly won, Uber is being assessed on its own merits as a tech company for its ability to IPO and there’s no possible evolution Travis could have performed to be the guy in charge to reposition the business. The legitimate question is whether the company itself can evolve at this stage towards good corporate citizenship to succeed or will the next of kin (Lyft in the US, Blabla in Europe) take over…

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