In your pocket is something amazing: a quick and easy way to summon a total stranger who will take you anywhere you’d like. In your hands is something equally amazing: the untold story of Uber’s meteoric rise, and the massive ambitions of its larger-than-life founder and CEO.
Before Travis Kalanick became famous as the public face of Uber, he was a scrappy, rough-edged, loose-lipped entrepreneur. And even after taking Uber from the germ of an idea to a $69 billion global transportation behemoth, he still describes his company as a start-up. Like other Silicon Valley icons such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, he’s always focused on the next disruptive innovation and the next world to conquer.
Both Uber and Kalanick have acquired a reputation for being combative, relentless, and iron-fisted against competitors. They’ve inspired both admiration and loathing as they’ve flouted government regulators, thrown the taxi industry into a tailspin, and stirred controversy over possible exploitation of drivers. They’ve even reshaped the deeply ingrained consumer behavior of not accepting a ride from a stranger—against the childhood warnings from everyone’s parents.
Wild Ride is the first truly inside look at Uber’s global empire. Veteran journalist Adam Lashinsky, the bestselling author of Inside Apple, traces the origins of Kalanick’s massive ambitions in his humble roots, and he explores Uber’s murky beginnings and the wild ride of its rapid growth and expansion into different industries.
Lashinsky draws on exclusive, in-depth interviews with Kalanick and many other sources who share new details about Uber’s internal and external power struggles. He also examines its doomed venture into China and the furtive fight between Kalanick and his competitors at Google, Tesla, Lyft, and GM over self-driving cars. Lashinsky even got behind the wheel as an Uber driver himself to learn what it’s really like.
Uber has made headlines thanks to its eye-popping valuations and swift expansion around the world. But this book is the first account of how Uber really became the giant it is today, and how it plans to conquer the future.
About the Author
ADAM LASHINSKY is the executive editor of Fortune, editorial director of the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, and co-chair of the Fortune Global Forum. He wrote the 2012 New York Times bestseller Inside Apple, and he appears regularly on Fox News. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
“Adam Lashinsky is one of the most insightful, enterprising, and energetic reporters covering technology in America today. He’s always a joy to read.” —WALTER ISAACSON, author of Steve Jobs and The Innovators
“In Silicon Valley, no company is more ambitious, audacious, or annoying than Uber. Adam Lashinsky’s insightful book, brimming with comments and confessions from CEO Travis Kalanick, would be worth reading even at surge pricing.” —STEVEN LEVY, author of Hackers and In the Plex
“Adam Lashinsky chronicles Uber’s rise from scrappy start-up to global giant with aplomb. It’s an epic story in itself, but Lashinsky’s insight and extensive reporting guarantee that it’s a valuable read as well.” —BETHANY MCLEAN, author of All the Devils Are Here and The Smartest Guys in the Room
“Wild Ride is the unprecedented story of Uber and its ruthless and visionary CEO Travis Kalanick. No new company has ever grown larger faster. Lashinsky captures Uber’s epic ambitions with extraordinary access and keen judgment. It’s a must read for everyone interested in business, technology, and the future.” —JOHN DOERR, chairman of Kleiner Perkins
“With the eye of a fine journalist and the ear of a mordant humorist, Adam Lashinsky has nailed the formative ingredients which gave rise to the four-letter word known around the world—‘Uber.’” —MICHAEL MORITZ, partner at Sequoia Capital
“Just a few pages into Wild Ride you can see why the insanely talented Adam Lashinsky is one of the most respected business journalists around today. Lashinsky takes you behind the many layers of tumult and ambition that created one of Silicon Valley’s most controversial and disruptive juggernauts, Uber, and the company’s insatiable, and often frightening, quest to win.” —NICK BILTON, author of American Kingpin and Hatching Twitter