An app that can connect users to a central system of taxi and ride sharing services without having to hail one on the streets. This one line idea is the foundation for the 6.3 billion fortune of the controversial Travis Kelenick.
The story of Travis starts in the suburbs of Los Angeles. He founded his first company called ‘1500 and above’ while he was still in high school. He accomplished this by learning to code from a young age. This interest in computer science was further pursued by enrolling into UCLA. Carrying on his entrepreneurial interest, he along with two of his friends dropped out and found the peer-to-peer file sharing service called Scour.
The company did not last long against a 250 billion dollar lawsuit and Travis filed for bankruptcy to save himself. The experience he gained taught him how to operate against big corporations, which came in handy in expanding Uber.
His thirst for entrepreneurship did not stop there, he founded another peer to peer file sharing service, this time selling it for 19 million dollars. He has written extensively about his struggles of living out of his parents house and the reputation that he had to build for his company.
At the age of 30, he felt burned out after all the failures and mixed success of his previous ventures. That feeling fortunately did not last long, as he founded one of the fastest growing startups in the world. Uber was initially christened as UberCab but the Cab was later dropped out. The company is known for its aggressive culture espoused by their values like ‘always be hustling’ and ‘obsessed with the customer’, a few values that can be extracted from the otherwise brutal culture.
Despite his controversial personality, there is a lot to be learned from the tech tycoon and we shall see how he bounces back to the tech scene again. We wish you a happy birthday sir!