Travis Kalanick’s Top 10 Rules For Success (@travisk)


– When you get on the field, put everything you have into it. Put every ounce of energy
you have on the field. Fear is the disease,
hustle is the antidote. What I do in a given day is I have a set of problems that need to be solved, and I start at the most
important and work my way down. – He’s an American
visionary and entrepreneur. He co-founded the peer
to peer file sharing company Swoosh, and the
technology company Uber. He has an estimated net
worth of $6.2 billion. He’s Travis Kalanick, and here is my take on his top 10 rules for success. Rule number one is my personal favorite, and make sure to stick around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. And as always, if Travis
says something that really means something,
really resonates with you, make sure to leave it in
the comments and put quotes around it so other people
can be inspired as well. (inspirational music) – The champion’s mindset, I
think a lot of people hear the word champion and they
think of a famous sports star, in the US you might think of
Michael Jordan or Lebron James going and dunking on somebody. But we think of it differently. We think of it as, well
when you get on the field, put everything you have into it. Put every ounce of energy
you have on the field. Leave nothing on the field. And two, when you get knocked down, ’cause if you’re an entrepreneur,
inevitably you will be, when you see hard times
and you get knocked down, get back up. And if you keep putting
everything you got into it, and you keep getting back up
when you get knocked down, it’s almost impossible to fail. Fear is the disease,
hustle is the antidote. So in my day, I already sound
like an old-school dude, in my day, it as just tough, man. You start a company in
2001, good luck, right? You can’t count on funding, you can’t count on sales, you can’t count on anything
but just crazy hustle. And just grit your teeth, claw your way to success. There was just no easy way to do it. What I find is a lot of
the entrepreneurs today are much smarter than
we were back in the day. They’re like way smarter. They got blogs, they
know what VCs are doing, they know everything that’s
going on in the space. There’s a corpus of knowledge now that makes entrepreneurs today much smarter. But there’s liquidity in funding, especially on the angel side. It used to be much harder
to get an angel deal done and a series A deal. Now, angels deals are a piece of cake. But what happens is, I see
a number of entrepreneurs who don’t have that hustle. And they’re afraid, and
they act out of that fear. And when you act out of that fear, you make big mistakes. An example might be doing a
preemptive deal with a VC, thinking they’re your friend. An example might be not being
hardcore and keeping your job. An example might be, a lot of times it gets exposed through deals. You see that fear being
exposed through the deal cycle. And so if you’re an entrepreneur and you find yourself afraid of something, sack up, okay? And start hustling. Hustling is the antidote to fear. Go create your success. My management style is
problem solver in chief. And so what I do in a given day is I have a set of problems
that need to be solved, and I start at the most
important and work my way down. And for the problems
I don’t have time for, Somebody else gets to solve them. If somebody’s already solving a problem, I don’t need to get involved. The problem’s getting solved. But people go, “Wow, so your
day’s just full of problems.” I’m like, yeah, I got a lot of problems! But it’s sort of how a math
professor thinks of problems. Think of a great math professor who has no math problems to solve. He’s a very sad math professor. (audience laughing) And so, that’s very much how I look at it. Solving problems, every
problem is an opportunity for innovating and being creative, and finding something new. And that’s what I love to
do, and I do it every day. A lot of folks think,
oh you’re an engineer, you’re analytical, you can
solve all the world’s problems. But it doesn’t quite work like that. There’s a lot of creativity
that goes into finding how to solve a problem in
a way that moves people. In a way that inspires. And so you have to really
merge the left brain, that analytical side,
with the right brain, which is the creative
side, the emotional side, the heart, and put those two together. This is the Babbage machine, actually the first computing
machine that existed, or actually that was designed. Super-analytical, but what the hell are you going to do with it? Right? You have to bring some creativity to it, and Albert Einstein, I’ve got a couple of Albert Einstein quotes today, says, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” So at Uber, whether it’s
myself as the entrepreneur or really anybody we hire, we really look for that
analytical-creative cross. DC, we had a really interesting situation. We went there, by the way,
as far as we could tell, we were totally legal, white glove legal, nicest laws in the country
in terms of sedans in DC. But DC taxi commissioner
goes out there and says, Uber is not legal because they charge by time and distance. And let’s just say that was real. Why is charging by distance evil? I don’t understand. I don’t get it. But he said, “Look, you’re charging by time and distance, you’re not allowed.” Well, we looked at the law, the law says, “Sedan, a for-hire
vehicle designed to carry fewer than six passengers,
which charges for service on the basis of time and mileage.” Like what are you talking about? He’s going in public forums,
Washington Post, etc. We go to the Attorney General
in the District of Columbia, and that’s what he tells us. (audience applauding) So, when you read about the crazy stuff we’re doing in the cities, and I’ve got to close this down ’cause somebody’s going to have the hook, and they’re going to take me off here. But when you read about the crazy stuff that we’re doing in the cities, know that it is corrupt out there. Know that we are highly,
highly disruptive, and what you read in the
papers isn’t always true. And the bottom line is that in
order to be in this business, in order to be this
disruptive to what’s going on, you have to be willing to fight. And you have to not be– you can’t be shy. So that gives you a little bit about it. Basically, they tried to
put a floor in our prices, I’ll leave it at this
one, this last one here. They put a floor in our prices, or tried to pass what they
called “The Uber Amendment.” Make our prices five times that of a taxi. They rolled the amendment out July 10th, it was a Monday, sorry July 9th. The vote on the bill was the 10th– Sorry, they put the bill out on the 9th, that was a Monday, at 4:00 p.m. to vote on at 11:00 a.m. the next day. 18 hours, most of which
you’re going to be sleeping. I wrote an e-mail to our consumers letting them know that
they’re about to do this. And by the way, the rationale was to ensure that basically we don’t compete. If a CEO of a company
said something like this, they’d be in jail. But if you corrupt your politicians and then push those laws
down, it’s totally legal. Anyway, we did something called “Life, Liberty, and the
Pursuit of Uberness”, UberDCLove was the hashtag. 18 hours later, we had
50,000 original e-mails, these weren’t robo e-mails, that went to City Council people telling them not to vote for it. 37,000 tweets, 104 million
social media impressions, and we won. (audience applauding) As you might imagine, there wasn’t a lot of sleep during that time. But it was so short it
maybe didn’t matter. Number 6, make magic. So I’m a little old-school
in my movie taste. There’s a movie called Pulp Fiction, where Samuel L. Jackson, there’s this glowing thing in this briefcase and you never quite see it, but everybody, when they’re around it, they’re close to it, their eyes get big and they’re just excited,
they just feel it, they feel that aura of it. How do you recreate that
in the things we make? The things entrepreneurs make,
how do they recreate that? Well, at Uber, we like to say there are four dimensions of magic. One is time, if you can
give people their time back, you are providing some kind
of magic to your customers. If you can bring calm into their day, you are very valuable to the folks who are using your products. Or sometimes, it’s just
bringing a little bit of joy. And for others, it’s money. So time, calm, joy, and money are at Uber the four dimensions of magic. Money can be saving people money, so they get much more
than what they expected. Or it can be new ways to
make an income that changed your life and changed how
you provide for your family. And so, magic often, you know, you kind of know it when you see it. I mean, this is amazing. This is a patent on the iPhone in 2006. And I’m looking at my iPhone, I’m like, I think it’s kind of the same. Sometimes it requires seeing the future. But you ultimately know
it when you see it. These are two bridges in San Francisco. They both go into the city. One is the Bay Bridge and one is of course the Golden Gate Bridge. And no matter how many times you go on the Golden Gate Bridge, you’re going to take a picture. You just can’t help it. And so when you see magic, you know it. It inspires, it can be
aesthetic on the outside, but sometimes you can’t see it. As an entrepreneur, there actually is a definition of failure. A lot of people ask me,
when do you move on? When do you stop what you’re doing and say maybe this isn’t working out? And I like to say, well first
you have to believe in– If you keep believing in what
you’re doing, keep going. But there’s one other criteria. If keeping going means you are
going to do severe physical or mental damage to yourself,
then you should move on. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – And my last company, I
sort of got to that point. It was a success for
me, I ultimately sold it to a large company out
of Boston called Akamai. But I was at that point
where I’d gone seven years, and it was really hard times, and I knew that if I
had kept going in this little blip of success
we had started to see, if that was a mirage, I knew I would start to go crazy, like for real. Failure is maybe when… At least I feel like I failed when I didn’t put everything
I had into a problem. So really, it goes back to the analogy I made at the beginning. If you don’t put it all out there, if you don’t put everything you got into solving the problem,
then that’s failure. If you get to a place where
it’s easy as an entrepreneur, it’s about to get really, really hard. And so, what you find is with really good entrepreneurs,
they’re constantly making things difficult for themselves. And I like to say you push until it hurts. Or you want to be always pushing beyond what you’re comfortable with and you’re sweating just a
little bit all the time. And when that happens,
when you’re constantly pushing beyond what you know is possible, you’re always sweating a little bit, and you’re always a little bit nervous, but that is the drug of
being an entrepreneur. And so, when you’re pushing like that, and you’re never really relaxed, then it always feels small. And so in many ways it feels to me the same now as it did at the beginning. I’m still a little nervous. No, look, sometimes you talk to people in the entrepreneurial world, and they’re like, “Man, I’m
looking for my next big thing, I got this idea, I’m kind of– You know, it’s like eCommerce
crossed with social, but then it’s got this mobile twist.” (audience laughing) And you’re like, “What are
you talking about, man?” So the best way to do this, and this is– look I’m biased, this
is my way of doing it, I think the best way, is fall in love with an idea. Fall in love with an idea
and just go after it. And when you do that, win or lose, get knocked down, get back up. Whatever happens, if you
put your all into it, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. And you got to get smarter every day, because what you fall in
love with might not be exactly what it needs to be to win. But start there, and
then the journey becomes something worthwhile, because
it’s going to be hard, and if you’ve got love,
then it’s much easier than if you don’t, much easier. The entrepreneur that loves what they do going against the
entrepreneur that doesn’t, oh! Really obvious who wins that one, not even a close call. Now, when I was an
engineer, I used to think that selling was like
this super terrible thing, like I used to judge it
like all engineers do. And I haven’t always been the
greatest storyteller myself, I had to sort of get up
to speed a little bit, because I thought if you’re
just telling a story, you look something like this guy. But we have fun when we story-tell, we like to say that transportation is kind of a boring old business. Can we find ways to bring it to life? Can we give our customers who love us a reason to tell their friends? One of the first
on-demand marketing stunts that we did was on-demand mariachi bands on the 5th of May, Cinco de Mayo. So you pushed a button
and these guys show up, and everybody in the office was like, “What is happening?” And our India team, they had this idea that they would do on-demand choppers. This was definitely a
one-time event. (laughs) (audience laughing) But you can go to the next
level in storytelling. You can go to a place where you’re really speaking from the heart. You capture the essence
of what it is you bring and you inspire everybody who sees it. – Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because
Perennial Harvest asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below, and I’ll see what I can do. I’d also love to know what did Travis say that really resonated with you, what point really hit
home the hardest for you, what did you enjoy, what change or difference are you going
to make in your business or life after watching this video? Leave it in the comments, I’m
going to join in the discussion. Thank you again for watching. I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself and
whatever your one word is. I’ll see you soon. – Fake it ’til you make it. I’ve heard this from a
couple of entrepreneurs. Fake it ’til you make it is bullshit. If you fake it ’til you make it, that means you’re living a lie. And if you live a lie long enough, you’re going to be in pain. And you’re going to start
to sleep 14 hours a night, because you can’t wake up. So faking it ’til you make it
is not a long-term strategy. Fake it ’til you make it
is an insecure strategy. And again, that goes back to fear. If you’re afraid, go hustle. It’ll solve your problems,
but don’t fake it. The way of the entrepreneur
is actually about looking at the world and finding problems. It’s actually, some people
think that’s a negative mindset, but actually I find
it’s a curious mindset. It’s you’re out there
looking for problems, looking for things that aren’t the way they should be or could be. Okay, you got a good idea. Look, everybody’s got a good idea. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – Okay, everybody has an idea. Not everybody has a good idea, but lots of people have good ideas. Look, Uber’s a good idea, you push a button and you get a ride. I don’t know if we were the first person to ever think of that idea, but we were the first person to do it. And so you got to just go do it, then. You got to just get
out there and go do it. So it’s easy to have the
idea, straightforward. But then you got to have enough
guts to go out there and try. And that’s the way of the entrepreneur.

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58 thoughts on “Travis Kalanick’s Top 10 Rules For Success (@travisk)

  1. Thank you for putting this together, Evan. These have really help propel our tech startup, Rhiz. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank u for this video it was soooooo inspiring. Please do Lin Manuel Miranda who is the creator of Hamilton thanks

  3. Thank u for this video it was soooooo inspiring. Please do Lin Manuel Miranda who is the creator of Hamilton thanks

  4. Thank you once again Mr Carmichael for inspiring us with your videos! Have seen all of them to date! You are in my top ten mentors that I follow and learn from. All the best always to you,
    Mario Lopez
    Santiago, Chile.

    Ps. I like your cap and hoodie look! Makes you look so humble and down to earth. 🙂

  5. I liked #7 "if you don't put everything you got into [creating/reaching] something , that's failure." So, if you gave it your best and you didn't get what you wanted, you didn't fail. You just didn't get it when you wanted it. Try again. And #9 "Fall in love with an idea and just go do it…and if it doesn't work out at least it was worthwhile. "♡

  6. He worked relentleness because he fought for his idea. I get it. That is a positive strategy. He also believe in what he want.

  7. Define Failure is a great rule, how we see failure and what is considered failure will make you either continue to try on not. great video #Believenation #BTA79

  8. you digust me . my friend has paid 350,000 for the license of each taxi ( his paying it off) he has 5 taxis but the government is getting rid of taxis and he wil get back $100,000 for his first taxi and $50,000 for the second and nothing for the rest but he has these big loans to still pay off. These license were meant to last him for life. I hate everything that comes from America except the common people

  9. Great video, really inspiring, can you make a top 10 sucess rules for entrepreneur marc lore? Ceo and founder of jet.com

  10. For me it's #3….solve problems. I am at that stage right now where I consciously condition my mind to identify problems no matter how small they are. I believe that every problem carries with it an equivalent or greater seed for success.

  11. make magic happen, love the connection to cinema, the aura of adding value, thanks for making this video and sharing the magic of time, first exposure to Travis, you saved me time from hunting for info, I listen to videos while driving lol. thanks.

  12. The motto of London's Black Taxi is ' No man stands so tall as he who stoops to help a child ' what is Uber's motto ?… ya gotta put it out there to make more money

  13. Could you also do a video for another airbnb cofounder – Joe Gebbia top 10 rules please? A big fan of him recently.

  14. Perhaps he wants to solve the problem as to why Uber does not make a profit and all the regulators want to ban Uber ! Deluded individual !

  15. Well, with all the impressive success in analytics,Travis failed to recognize making his Uber drivers expendible and having left them in impoverishment , is one simple analysis failure that is the cause of uber's failure. I would say a lack of empathy from Travis to his drivers , is a right brain function failure.All business is people business and you need to be good to the people especially who helped put you there. You got cocky and arrogant , this is the path of the ego not the path of the spirit.Which ultimately the true identity of this thing we call human, is spirit.Let us strive to be spiritual capitalists, shall we ? enough of this corporate damn ass greed.You can't take anything but the echo of your existence to the after life.lay not your treasure on earth where dust and moth will corrupt……

  16. Hey Evan, Can you make a video about Peter Sagan? He is one of the best cyclists ever and my favorite rider and role model. He just won his third world Champion race (the third time in a row) and it would be incredible if you can make this happen. Much love Evan!

  17. Hey Evan, highly appreciate your work. Your Channel is a great library for me. Thank You for your great effort. I would love if you can make a top 10 rules video of Mr.Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. God Bless You. Keep up the great work.

  18. Hustle definitely a fav of mine too Evan it does make you #Believe #Empower 101. Even if that thing you action doesn’t go anywhere at least you know you tried. Case at hand I emailed Travis he then must have asked someone to get in touch with me and I spoke to an Uber person in LA while I was hustling in Chicago! Didn’t work out but hey – hey I tried I hustled I’m going to keep it moving 👍🏿 I do want to tap into the mind of Bozoma Saint John – Mmmm let me put that out there in the Universe maybe she’ll be in London soon – Mmmm yes #Hustle and #Intuition

  19. 3. "Solve problems." – Uber has inspired me a lot recently. Thank you Evan. Can you do a video/interview about MJ DeMarco? A self-made millionaire and the author of a very revealing entrepreneurship books, The Fastlane Millionaire and Unscripted.

  20. Hi Evan lovely video . Thanks so much for putting in effort to motivate us all. One suggestion…in the introduction of each video could you please not emphasis on how rich a person is . It makes one feel that it's just the money on which your success is measured. This effectively nullify other traits of person in the video.

  21. “My problems are like those of a math professor. Think of a math professor with no math problems to solve. He’s a very sad math professor.”

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