Valuable lessons from Uber CEO to budding entrepreneurs

uber ceo
Photo from CNBC

The most accessible and affordable transportation network to the civilians in the present day is Uber. It is an American multinational online transportation network headquartered in California. Uber was founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in the year 2009 which was later expanded internationally and lately estimated to be worth $6.25 billion.

In one of the interactive sessions organized by the E-Cell of IIT Bombay, Travis gave his message to the budding entrepreneurs. He focused on few aspects or rather called lessons like ‘How to tackle a failure being an entrepreneur’, ‘Trigger for innovations’, etc.

Travis explained his successful entrepreneurial journey towards Uber and how he was knocked down before Uber for quarter of a million dollar and shut his company. Also added on how one should tackle the failure in the journey of becoming an entrepreneur. The primary suggestion from Travis was to have a backup plan. He further explained that a backup plan would always bolster us and it becomes very hard to fail in such scenarios. In regard with the trigger for innovations, Travis says that a lot of changes have taken place in the start-up ecosystem in India. His only message to the budding entrepreneurs was to look around with a very positive and curious mindset and to look at complicated problems in a simpler way. He mentioned, engineers could be better entrepreneurs as they have the ability to break the problem, analyze it and find a solution to it.

Travis has many lessons for the Indian start-up ecosystem.

The first one he mentioned was “Find something broken, something that will be your passion.” He wanted the budding entrepreneurs to find something that they are very passionate about, so that they could work on the platform with all the zeal and enthusiasm to achieve it. Travis also shared one of his insights on how Uber has come into existence. It was when he wanted to get a ride in Paris, but couldn’t get a Taxi. It was then; he decided to start something which could help the drivers and the customers as well. He suggests the same to the crew to enjoy the passion in resolving broken problems.

The second lesson is to ‘Find a problem’. It is always said that, once we understand the problem, half of the solution is found. So, the focus ought to be on what the problem is all about and understand it thoroughly. In his case, the problem was he didn’t find a taxi to get a ride, and hence found a solution to it.

The next one is “How bad is the problem?” He says, one becomes a good entrepreneur when he doesn’t stop after resolving his first ever problem. Challenges have to be faced at every mode of the journey. A challenging situation is to understand how critical the problem is and what has to be done to satisfy the requirements of the problem.

The fourth lesson he mentioned was “Be analytic but also creative”. Travis says while analyzing the problem is very important, solving it with utmost creativity becomes an integral part to fetch the milestone. He quoted Albert Einstein which says “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

The next lesson was “Perception and reality, an entrepreneur makes them meet with innovation”. While speaking about innovation, he mentioned “There’s always a large gap between perception and reality and that gap is the innovators playground, where the magic happens”. He explains that one who blindly goes along with the crowd would never get ahead of it. He would always be suppressed at the place where he is in. He suggests, not abandoning anything just because somebody’s watching you or making a comment. Go ahead; let it be as crazy as it could be, give your best with all the positivism and reach heights.

The next one he taught was “Make magic! Do something which astounds people and make them talking.” Making magic, in a way, he meant to share the joy and being a part of it, which could include giving them money, saving their money, simply means giving them value for money. He further added, only when you realize it yourself that are able to create the magic, people would start believing it.

The next lesson Travis mentioned was “Adventure, doing the impossible is all entrepreneurship is all about.” Truly speaking, Entrepreneurship is all about a never-ending adventure, doing the impossible. Talking more about seeking an adventure, he added that Uber decided to do the impossible by trying to enter the China, a market that almost no foreign company has been able to gain a foothold of.

The next lesson he mentioned was about “Having a champion’s mindset.” Travis advised the entrepreneurs, to build a champion’s mindset, not getting knocked down at any instant of trouble. A champion is someone, who would take his zeal and interests to the next level, not drifting back.

The next one is to “Tell a good story.” While a company’s primary focus should be on how to improve with the fast paced technology around, it also becomes an integral part to narrate a good story in order to connect with the customers. He added saying, one must learn to sell things with integrity, passion, and honesty.

The last one he mentioned was “Assume your way of business will change in the future.” This statement revolves around the point that one needs to change even before there’s a need to change. That is how one can have a prior idea of what’s going to happen and how can we tackle the situation.

As a final note of conclusion, he stated “Whatever you do, enjoy the ride.” This certainly means that one has to enjoy the journey of his ride to succeed his own dream.

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