Travis Kalanick is the current CEO of Uber. Together with Garrett Camp, he founded the company back in 2008. The idea of Uber came when the two were attending a conference in Paris but failed to locate a cab. Travis’ entrepreneurial journey did not start at Uber. He had two business enterprises before. He began by starting a company in 1998 called Scour that offered peer-to-peer file sharing services. Unluckily, his company was sued by the media for copyright issues, and he filed for bankruptcy to save himself. A year later, Travis brought an engineering team together, and they formed a company by the name Red Swoosh. After six years, he together with his co-founder sold the company for $19 million (Shontell, 2014). When he went to Paris with Camp, his next big idea struck him. Despite some professional weaknesses, Travis is an entrepreneur who never gives up even after failing.
Travis’ reason for success is his ability to begin small business and work towards growth. When Uber was started, it had only four people of the staff and a small number of cars. Travis’ aim was to offer comfortable rides with the few cars; from there, he grew to the current state today. Travis is a problem-solver; his businesses are in place to solve the existing problem. I believe that it is for that reason that he has succeeded. When a business is in place to solve a problem, then it will end up adding value to the customer. As a leader in the business front, Travis capitalizes on quality. I believe that he has succeeded in giving people a better option. Uber works to offer its customers convenience and adequate price for quality services (Shontell, 2014). A single experience with Uber will create a story. Travis has succeeded because of learning from his mistakes. Most people describe him as being a confronter; he will work whatever way to see his company succeed.
Like any other successful leader, Travis has his weaknesses pulling him down, but he has managed to move on. In the recent times, he had received negative media feedback. Most people do not like him; they see him as a dictator. Other than negative media perception, Travis showed a weakness of bypassing the law to give his business some room. His first business, Scour, was closed because it infringed on copyright issues. Travis is the kind of a person who will not keep quiet to something that will affect his business; he is accused of being a confronter. At times, he is likely to go overboard in confronting any move that is against his intention; for example, in Uber, he has strongly stood against rivals (Velasco, 2014). However, he succeeds because he accepts that he does wrong.
Travis’ entrepreneurial skills are the ones to emulate; I can comfortably apply them in my career to succeed. Travis does not focus on the quantity of a product or a service to succeed, but he looks at the quality of the service. As for Uber, the quality of one ride is enough to change the story of travelers. From Travis’ experience, I can learn that I should not fear to start a small business; rather I should worry about making my way through. Travis began with four employees and few cars at Uber but offered quality services to win customers. In my career, I will make mistakes, but they should not pull me back. Considering Travis as an example, I should learn from my mistakes and move on a learned entrepreneur. As Travis struggles to see Uber succeed, sometimes he affects competitors and regulators by being too harsh on them but he always accepts his mistakes (Velasco, 2014). Above all, from Travis, I learned that no one has a monopoly of knowledge and two people can be better than just one. In all his businesses (Scour, Red Swoosh, and Uber), Travis worked in collaboration with other people – business partners.