"Uber" innovation: Travis Kalanick

Aquí el artículo original desde Knowledge@Wharton

Extracto introductorio:

“Travis Kalanick is no stranger to corporate fisticuffs. The tech entrepreneur brought down the wrath of the film and music industries after starting a peer-to-peer service in 1998 called Scour, which was similar to Napster in that it allowed consumers to swap digital media files with each other. Two years later, filmmakers and TV producers sued his company for copyright infringement to the tune of $250 billion. Scour went out of business.

Kalanick later developed a content delivery system that he called his “revenge business” because, ironically, some of his former entertainment industry foes ended up becoming clients, according to a February article in Fortune. While this company, Red Swoosh, initially ran into financial problems, it would be sold for $15 million to Akamai Technologies in 2007 — but not before Kalanick became so destitute that he had to move in with his mother. Fortune described the 30-something UCLA dropout as “brilliant,” but “brash and headstrong” and “happy to charge off a cliff with an innovative idea.”

He seems to be charging headlong off that cliff again with his latest venture, Uber. The three-year-old San Francisco start-up provides private car service — mostly using a fleet of higher-end vehicles, including sleek black Lincoln town cars but also taxis — to customers who love the site’s white-glove service and do not mind the premium pricing. Riders summon the cars using a smartphone app. But the company also has attracted the ire of municipalities such as New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Officials in those cities say Uber’s service runs afoul of local rules designed to ensure pricing transparency and public safety, among other allegations. Moreover, Uber is also fighting a lawsuit filed by taxi companies.”

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¿Qué se puede anotar?

1. Que en todas partes se “cuecen habas”; ingenuamente pensaba que el tema-problema de la intervención-regulación al servicio de Taxis era sólo de por acá, del mundo del subdesarrollo :-/

2. Que la tecnología (as usual) sigue siendo la fuerza monumental cuando se trata de “poner patas arriba” (y así eventualmente mejorar) un producto/servicio anquilosado en privilegios y bajo el sopor de la falta de competidores 🙂

3. Que a los innovadores de verdad (como a Travis Kalanick) no sólo los distingue todo lo que ya se ha dicho aquí y en muchas partes sobre su creatividad y coraje, sino además su total disposición a (pase lo que pase) re-escribir las “reglas”; o mejor, eliminarlas del todo; lo que sin duda los hace más simpáticos aún (para el suscrito 🙂

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