Business Super Hero of the Month: Travis Kalanick

18 Jun 2015

You may not have heard of June’s #BusinessSuperHero of the Month but you have definitely heard of his business.

Five years ago this month, Travis Kalanick started Uber in San Francisco as a way for people to quickly and easily find/hail/book a taxi from their mobile phone. Fast forward to today and it has grown into an international transportation company, operating in 300 cities and 58 countries.

It is valued at more than $40billon – not bad for five years work.

I always think it’s hard to believe that a company like Uber, which now feels ubiquitous, had to start somewhere – in this case it was a four-man team in California that developed this concept following a bad experience trying to get to a conference.

In the short term, they just wanted to solve a problem, but have managed to turn that solution into something quite incredible.

This entrepreneur is a multi-billionaire, estimated to be worth around $5.3billion and not just from this one success. He is also the co-founder of Scour Inc, a multimedia search engine, and he also launched peer-to-peer file sharing company, Red Swoosh, in 2001.

Not bad for a UCLA drop-out.

Kalanick recently gave a speech to mark Uber’s five year anniversary and his remarks were quite refreshing, none more so than admitting that despite the overwhelming growth of Uber, he and the company are not perfect.

But he is resilient, focused and, if he can emulate the success of the first five years, just think what we are going to be saying about Uber in 2020.