In early 2015, Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of Uber, was called to a meeting with Timothy Cook, that currently runs the Apple Inc. The meeting wasn’t exactly about two friends chatting, but rather an opportunity for Kalanick to explain his and his company’s actions, after Apple discovered that Uber has inserted a code in their device that would spy on Apple user’s identity even after the phone was wiped clean, which is something that has violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.
This has put Apple in a position to give Uber a choice – either to retract the code and never try a similar stunt again, or their app will be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.
This wasn’t the first time that Uber was caught trying to do something like this, nor is it a first time for Kalanick to find himself in such situation. He has done a lot of things over the years in order to make Uber the dominant company when it comes to driving business, and sometimes his plans backfired, and in those situations, the entire company way at the brink of falling apart.
Many interviews with Kalanick’s friends, business associates, employees and generally people that have known him or worked with him during his life have mostly stated that he’s a type of man that will do anything to achieve his goal. The people who witnessed his life and evolution have stated that he had a relatively normal childhood, even though he was bullied by other children for a time. He grew up to be a strong person that didn’t allow that kind of behavior towards him and has kept that attitude through the rest of his life and career.
After dropping out of college, he tried several times to start P2P based projects, but those mostly failed for various reasons. Of course, not all of his projects and companies were failures, and he eventually managed to make a name for himself, as well as achieve the millionaire status. A series of business and social victories have eventually led him to become the CEO of Uber, that started as a cab company but then evolved into what it is today.
In his attempts to make Uber bigger, better, stronger and weaken his business rivals at the same time, Kalenick apparently decided that he’d have to get even more creative. He tried to expand the company to other countries and even offered to become the citizen of India if that were to help establish Uber in that part of the world. He mercilessly conquered city after city by sending small numbers of cars there and winning the consumers over time.
He also tried to steal Lyft’s drivers, and later on even tried to buy the entire company, but failed to come to an understanding with John Zimmer, and the rivalry remained. The last big stunt is the injection of the spy code into Apple’s devices, and even though he got caught again, this ruthless businessman has once again managed to leave the conflict in one piece, and Uber will continue to live.