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Travis Kalanick: I run Uber like I did when we were 5 people

Travis Kalanick has learnt the hard way how easily perceptions of your company can change when you stop being the little guy.

But that hasn’t stopped him retaining elements of the startup mentality in his approach to running Uber.

The CEO said on Friday that he tries to manage the $18bn-valued company’s employees in the same way as he did when it was a team of five.

Speaking at the Institute of Director‘s Annual Convention, with which Tech City News was partnering, Kalanick said it was his way of keeping in control while the firm grows so quickly.

Growing up

It’s less than six months since Kalanick effectively declared war on taxis.

But while he was happy to repeat his analysis that “we’re in a political campaign and the candidate is Uber”, the entrepreneur stopped short of his original conclusion to that sentence: “and the incumbent is an asshole called ‘taxi'”.

He admitted he is “still getting used to being perceived as the big one – I’m used to being the little guy”.

When you’re the small underdog you can be a bit more brash.

This has been cited as one of the reasons for hiring President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe in August this year.

Image Credit: Heisenberg Media / Wikimedia