Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Transportation

Travis Kalanick To Uber CEO Candidates: I'm 'Steve Jobsing' It And Will Return (recode.net) 124

Kara Swisher, reporting for Recode: Warring factions within factions, conflicting back-channeling, intense media scrutiny, questionable foreign influences and a capricious leader whose jarring moves leave everyone in a state of perpetual uncertainly. The Trump administration, right? Well, yes, but also Uber, as it nears its much anticipated decision on who will be its next CEO. And, according to sources, that top leader is not going to be a woman, as the board of the car-hailing company struggles to move forward. To add to the drama: Some directors worry that its former CEO Travis Kalanick -- who was ousted -- is trying to game the outcome in his favor, after he told several people that he was "Steve Jobs-ing it." It is a reference to the late leader of Apple, who was fired from the company, only to later return in triumph.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Travis Kalanick To Uber CEO Candidates: I'm 'Steve Jobsing' It And Will Return

Comments Filter:
  • Everyone, esp. in SV, wants to be Steve Jobs. But I have yet to see someone else pull off the Reality Distortion Field, the black turtleneck, or the fired and return CEO.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The thing that these sorts of people fail to realize is that real leaders don't imitate; they define.

      The moment somebody tries to replicate what a successful leader did, this person has inherently become a follower, meaning they can't be a leader.

      To make matters worse, the imitator likely couldn't even fully or properly imitate their inspiration, either. This means that the imitator will have a greater chance of failure than even the imitated leader did.

      This isn't just true for people. It's true for organiz

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      According to "Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal" [amzn.to] by Nick Bilton, Jack Dorsey did a complete Steve Jobs transformation by adopting a daily uniform (white shirts and black pants), quoting Steve Jobs and listening to the music that Steve Jobs like. While he did return to Twitter to replace the CEO who replaced him as CEO, he comes off as a douche bag. Steve Jobs was an asshole but never a douche bag.
    • That nervousness you feel when you pee, that isn't nervousness, it's cancer.
    • If he means dying of incurable cancer, then I'm all for it. Proceed!
  • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:44AM (#54913205)
    Steve Jobs was clearly a genius while Kalanick maybe has an MBA
    • There's a difference?

    • Steve Jobs was a brilliant asshole.

      Kalanick is just like Jobs, except for the "brilliant" part.

      • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:47AM (#54913601)

        I'm not a part of the Cult of Jobs or the Cult of Apple, but I can acknowledge that Jobs was very good at determining what people would want before most people even realized it, and was technologically savvy enough to know when to attempt to push the product development such that it was viable and could be brought to market. He was also very good with at least evaluating interface design, don't know if that was more of a veto-power sort of thing or if he had a real hand in it, but either way, Apple products under Jobs generally had good design. That hockeypuck mouse on the first iMac stands out as the opposite, and I'm certain that we can find other glaring examples throughout the years, but by and large, both the software interfaces and hardware aesthetics were quite good, and were well liked by the nontechnical buying-public and even by some tech-savvy users.

        I don't see how anything in this relates to Uber. Apple is a products company, while ultimately Uber provides a service, and a service that once the phone app portion is concluded is not different enough from competitors' services to stand-out. The CEO of Uber trying to compare himself to Steve Jobs is like comparing Apples and Automobiles. It just doesn't make any sense.

        • more like:
          Uber is a hype company, providing growth in the short term to investor's based on this hype. The car rental nonsense is incidental to the hype.

          Uber is also a house of cards that could collapse at any moment in time.. mark my words, within 10 years there'll be a simplified version of the tale of Uber a la 'wolf of wall street' or 'the big short'

        • Let's not give Steve Jobs too much credit for employing Jony Ive [wikipedia.org].

  • Riiiight (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:48AM (#54913233)
    Travis continues to have delusions of grandeur, while pissing investors' money away. Steve Jobs actually built companies. This guy just spends other people's money.
    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      Not quite. Steve Jobs built Apple. NeXT burned through investor's money without producing a viable product, and would have failed if Apple haven't bought the OS for Mac. Pixar was a company he bought off from George Lucas, who needed cash after his divorce, that burnt through his money until Toy Story came along, and then took credit for something he had almost nothing to do with..
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Pixar was a company he bought off from George Lucas, who needed cash after his divorce, that burnt through his money until Toy Story came along, and then took credit for something he had almost nothing to do with..

        When did he take credit for anything at Pixar except funding it for the initial 10 years? He never said that he did any of the work in those early years. For the first 10 years Pixar did run on Job's money, however, he engineered the first Disney deal that led to Toy Story. Jobs also took Pixar public. Jobs was CEO until Disney bought it out in 2006 which saw Pixar rise to be the juggernaut it is today. So Jobs did a lot for Pixar.

        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          When did he take credit for anything at Pixar except funding it for the initial 10 years?

          According to "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" [amzn.to] by Alan Deutschman, when Steve Jobs presented Toy Story [youtube.com] at SIGGRAPH 1995, an industry group that he has no affiliation with. The animators, who were affiliated with SIGGRAPH, had to watch from the backstage. Steve Jobs funded the second decade of Pixar after purchasing it from George Lucas.

          • Steve Jobs presented Toy Story [youtube.com] at SIGGRAPH 1995, an industry group that he has no affiliation with. The animators, who were affiliated with SIGGRAPH, had to watch from the backstage

            Er what? Are you saying that Pixar didn't actually make Toy Story? Is that what you are saying?

            • by creimer ( 824291 )

              Er what? Are you saying that Pixar didn't actually make Toy Story? Is that what you are saying?

              Steve Jobs taking credit for Toy Story even though he had nothing to do with project than own the company. The animators should have presented at SIGGRAPH.

              • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

                Steve Jobs taking credit for Toy Story even though he had nothing to do with project than own the company. The animators should have presented at SIGGRAPH.

                The only awards shows that animators present at are The Annies. [annieawards.org] Steve's job (heh) at the time was to talk up Pixar, especially to a trade show audience, and back then no one was better. It was a speech not just about the achievement of Toy Story, but a prediction of the future of animation. This wasn't just a regular speech, it was the keynote presentation at the show -- naturally the executive producer and owner is going to speak.

              • Please state what point of the speech did he take credit for Toy Story? At no point did I see him actually do that.
        • Pixar was a company he bought off from George Lucas, who needed cash after his divorce, that burnt through his money until Toy Story came along, and then took credit for something he had almost nothing to do with..

          When did he take credit for anything at Pixar except funding it for the initial 10 years? He never said that he did any of the work in those early years. For the first 10 years Pixar did run on Job's money, however, he engineered the first Disney deal that led to Toy Story. Jobs also took Pixar public. Jobs was CEO until Disney bought it out in 2006 which saw Pixar rise to be the juggernaut it is today. So Jobs did a lot for Pixar.

          From your story, it sounds like Disney did a lot for Pixar.

          • From your story, it sounds like Disney did a lot for Pixar.

            And Pixar did a lot for Disney. Do you remember what Disney do for the Pixar films? They didn't fund them. Pixar did that. They didn't make them. Pixar did that. Disney distributed them. Initially Disney also owned the rights to the early films which Pixar found onerous. So Disney mades tons of money off Pixar in multiple ways. What would Disney been between 1995 and 2006 without Pixar.

            • Pixar was veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery lucky to get attached to the Disney name.
              Disney without Pixar would still be Disney.

              • And what Disney animated properties from 1996 to 2006 made Disney the most money? Pixar. That's one reason Iger bought out Pixar. He realized when touring Hong Kong Disneyland that the popular characters were Pixar originated [latimes.com].

                Iger said the importance of Pixar to Disney's future had become clear to him during opening ceremonies for Hong Kong Disneyland in September 2005, just a month before he became chief executive. He noticed the many characters from Pixar films featured in the kickoff parade. But there was nothing from Disney's recent animated movies, whose latest characters weren't popular.

                That and Disney animation films were in a rut producing less and less at the box office. These are just facts man. Both companies benefited from the deal. To pretend Disney didn't is pure denial.

      • The web was born on a next machine, as was Doom....Regardless of commercial success, the next machine has a stunning legacy. Up until Toy Story, Pixar made its money from licensing Renderman..
        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          Up until Toy Story, Pixar made its money from licensing Renderman..

          Pixar burned holes in the pockets of George Lucas and Steve Jobs. IIRC, Renderman was a $30,000 computer for a niche market. Pixar even did TV commercials for a while. They weren't financially successful until Toy Story came out.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Up until Toy Story, Pixar made its money from licensing Renderman

          Renderman sales weren't quite that big. What kept Pixar afloat were TV commercials for companies like Listerine [youtube.com] and Life Savers [youtube.com] candy.

      • Back in the 1990ies I used to do some IT for an engineering company that almost exclusively used NeXTstations. The company owner wanted me to admin their NeXTstations, almost forcing me to borrow a ton of manuals, but back then I was a DOS and OS/2 guy, so after some time trying to make sense out of NeXTStep (and my English wasn't that good back then hence reading those manuals was difficult) I've declined. I kinda regret it now - could have earned a lot of money.

    • by Chryana ( 708485 )

      It fits with some stories I read of him being a fan of Ayn Rand. His belief that Uber needs him to prop it up fits neatly with that. I almost wish he would get the CEO job back so that he can be at the helm when it finally sinks.

  • by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:48AM (#54913237)

    I mean, it's what Jobs would do....

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      That was my first thought as well. Planning a premature death, are you Travis? In sticking with the black turtleneck theme you might be better off (Elizabeth) "Holmesing" it, but a bro like you would probably prefer to be dead than broke and irrelevant anyway.
  • This should be interesting.
  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:03AM (#54913331) Journal
    The job of a CEO is to ensure the growth and financial success of a company. Poisoning the well of potential CEOs is a sure-fire way to spike that future growth. Not only does that prove you are NOT CEO material - it also means, Travis, you probably cost yourself several billion dollars. And guaranteed you will never come back because those with enough power/leverage to oust you will ensure you never return (lest they look like fools, and bring back a man who they not only rightfully pushed out - but one who negatively impacted the growth of the company once forced out).
  • Good on ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr.dreadful ( 758768 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:05AM (#54913351)
    So Travis, you're going to go off, start another self-driving company that is technically more advanced, wait for Uber to be almost dead, and then be bought out and brought back by the original company as a hail mary? And then re-invent the smart phone, which arguably saved the company more then anything else did? *grabs popcorn*
  • Yeah, um, create two other companies, one hugely successful and one that gets acquired by Uber, and then we'll talk.

  • by shess ( 31691 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:07AM (#54913359) Homepage

    Steve Jobs-ing it is "You're all fucking idiots, I'm out of here." It wasn't some big plan where he was going to go chill out in the woods for a bit and come back stronger. Jobs intended NeXT to take over everything, he was just 10 years or so too early.

    Further, "Steve Jobs-ing it" is selling all of your shares but one, because who wants to invest in idiots? Then after Apple acquired NeXT, he sold almost all of _those_ shares, too.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:14AM (#54913409)

    The more assholes that die from ignoring medical advice from experts, the better off the world will be. (Sorry Apple fans but Steve was a real dick)

  • Jobsing (Score:2, Informative)

    by c ( 8461 )

    It is a reference to the late leader of Apple, who was fired from the company, only to later return in triumph.

    It may also be a reference to the late leader of Apple, who killed himself by trying to cure cancer using quack remedies rather than actual medicine.

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      who killed himself by trying to cure cancer using quack remedies rather than actual medicine.

      Steve did use actual medicine: he was diagnosed in 2003, and had surgery nine months later to remove the tumor. The particular type of cancer he was initially diagnosed for has an unusually good prognosis for Pancreatic cancer. He was one of the "unlucky" few for whom the surgery wasn't curative. The doctors apparently suspected the cancer spread to his liver, and they took the unusual step of replacing it. That put him on anti-rejection drugs.

      Because of the anti-rejection drugs his immune system is compro

    • by hord ( 5016115 )

      If I had to guess, I'd say it was the fruit that killed him. Fructose is bad for the pancreas and from what I read he ate a lot of fruit. Once your pancreas goes, there is nothing that can be done. It doesn't regenerate, you only have one, and it provides some life-critical chemicals.

      • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

        While Jobs was a Raw Fruitinarian for a while, it's important to note that diabetes != cancer; they're totally different diseases;

        We've discovered a 'link' between diabetes & pancreatic cancer, but we're not sure which way the arrow points - it may be that pancreatic cancer may be a cause of diabetes, but not the reverse).

        The nine months between the cancer diagnosis and the start of treatment was likely a far bigger problem; given the debilitating nature of most cancer treatments, it's not unusual for p

        • by hord ( 5016115 )

          Where did I say diabetes? Fructose is bad for the pancreas, period. No human cell can metabolize it directly and it is processed in the liver in a manner similar to alcohol. My understanding is that this process produces by-products which are harmful to the pancreas over the long-term. Severe alcoholics are also known to have pancreatic issues with little or no sign of diabetes.

  • "No, you're not. Now shut up while we find a grown-up to run the company, because we want our money."
  • Uber is a classic case of what you get when the problem is dictating the solution.
  • ...he plans to die?

    He's a shining example for most CEOs I know, that much I have to give him.

  • Travis may end spending some time in the big house first, and I think that means he cannot be a CEO of anything.

  • Uber's present model has lost billions of dollars which it cannot, will not make back -- at least not for decades and a change in the livery business other than calling a car by tap instead of a phonemail. Jobs 2.0 made Apple one of the biggest moneymakers -- and highly profitable -- on earth. What does Travis and his board of lackeys have in mind to turn Uber into a huge, profitable moneymaker? Anything?

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.

Working...