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Travis Kalanick Of Uber Gives Tips On Entrepreneurship

Travis Kalanick

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has been on a high since his Uber days began six years ago. His brainchild of having a mobile application program that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services. Currently in India, the 40-year-old stalwart entrepreneur today talked about his entrepreneurial journey and said that being a champion is not about winning or losing, it is about getting back up.

ON HAVING CO-FOUNDERS

“Your co-founders are a family of sorts, you all love each other but you also have your disagreements. Running a company is about decision-making, so if you have too many co-founders then there will be more discussions and it’s basically a crazy picture, painful to even think about. Thing about having many co-founders is that the decision-making gets difficult.”

He shared an anecdote from his college days when he was building Scour — a file sharing service, “We used to sit at our apartment outside UCLA and it used to take us six hours to figure out what colour banner should be on the website. And so the issue becomes the governance of decision-making which is a more business-y way of saying it.”

Two people make a lot of sense but it is very rare that they go all the way. Eventually, one just peels off and does something new but two is far less lonely than one.

Solo entrepreneurship is a tough road which I have done. You have to really be gritty and hardcore.

WHAT KEEPS TRAVIS GOING?

With Red Swoosh (another file sharing service that Travis created), we thought that with last company (Scour) we had a great technology and we got sued. What if we took this technology and figured out a way to sell it to the people who sued us? That sounds like fun!

First five years I did not pay myself a salary – Travis Kalanick of UBER

There are also talks about understanding risks. People often think about certain things to be super risky and are scared of it but at the end of the day, if you really believe in something, life is pretty damn good. When you believe in something, you just keep going and you can have some rough times when you run out money for example, but you just keep pushing off.

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WHEN TO MOVE ON?

An acquisition or shutting the business down is moving on. And the hardcore entrepreneurial answer to this is when you are staring at the prospect of doing serious physical or emotional damage to yourself is when you move on. As long as you believe, you continue unless you see a severe damage and that’s when I ultimately moved on from Red Swoosh and sold it to Akamai Technologies.

CHAMPION’S MINDSET

It is not enough if you are a great cricket player, be the best. It is not like you are Michael Jordan and you dunk on somebody, it is actually when you are knocked down. When you see adversity, you get back up. And when you are on the field, you put everything you have got into it. And you keep doing it.

THE NAME UBER

We just went online and there is a website that helps you name your company. We put keywords like ‘Taxi’ and ‘Awesome’ and hit search and Uber Cabs came up. Even the domain was available so we bought it for nine dollars and 99 cents. Three months later we had to drop the word ‘Cabs’ because it was confusing to people.