💫 Summary
The video explores the controversial and scandal-ridden history of Uber, from its illegal beginnings to its rapid expansion through unethical tactics and deceptive practices, ultimately leading to the downfall and forced resignation of its CEO, Travis Kalanick.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
The idea for Uber was born out of frustration and inspired by a scene from a James Bond movie.
Travis Kalanick had a history of entrepreneurship, including Scour and Red Swoosh.
Uber's founders were frustrated with taxi companies and saw an opportunity for a better alternative.
The idea for Uber was inspired by a scene in a James Bond movie where Bond tracks a car using his phone.
Uber used various strategies to quickly gain new drivers and riders, including giving away free and discounted trips, which led to the company's rapid expansion.
Uber bought thousands of iPhones at a discounted price to distribute to drivers pre-programmed with Uber's software.
Cash bonuses were offered to drivers for completing a certain number of trips per week.
Uber offered the first trip completely free and discounted the second and third trips to encourage riders to continue using the service.
Uber's strategy of giving away free and discounted rides was expensive but resulted in many people exclusively using Uber instead of normal taxis.
Uber used deceptive practices and spent vast sums of money on lobbying to legalize their service, allowing them to evade rules and outwit local authorities.
Uber's secret greyball operation was discovered in 2017, which had been used to invade local authorities for years.
Once Uber had support and leverage in a city, they treated negotiations with local authorities like hostage situations.
Uber changed laws about contract workers to avoid giving drivers full employment benefits.
Uber's battles continue to this day, with protests and bans in some cities.
Lyft's launch in 2012 posed a threat to Uber's dominance.
Uber's founder had a talent for dazzling investors and getting them hyped about the company's future, leading to huge investments from venture capital funds and a bigger budget for expansion and marketing.
Founder would hype up Uber's potential to transport every good and compete with Amazon
Wouldn't reply to investors right away to make it seem like he didn't need the money, making them more eager to invest
Uber pulled publicity stunts to get more attention, such as distributing roses on Valentine's Day and doing an "Ubercade" on President's Day
The story of Uber has a darker side, with unethical practices and breaking the law to outwit competitors and local authorities.
The section discusses incidents of assault and criminal activity associated with Uber, as well as negative public sentiment towards the company.
A woman was raped by an Uber driver who threatened to kill her if she reported it.
Uber faced criticism for its lack of security measures and lower entry requirements for drivers.
Credit card thieves used Uber for illegal activities, including drug and sex trafficking.
Uber's reputation suffered due to various scandals, including deceiving cities, bribing police officers, and privacy issues.
Uber inserted hidden code into their app to track data, breaking Apple's terms of service, leading to a threat of a complete ban from the app store.
Uber used the code to stop scammers from making multiple new accounts.
Apple eventually discovered the hidden code and was furious.
Uber felt they were doing what was necessary to save their company, but it showcased their disregard for rules.
In China, Uber faced competition from a rival app called Didi, which was favored by the Chinese government.
Didi engaged in tactics such as paying local taxi operators to protest against Uber and sending fake texts to Uber drivers.
Didi also had employees go undercover at Uber to collect internal information.
Uber eventually made a deal with Didi, stopping operations in China but acquiring a 17.7% equity stake in Didi's business.
Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO, was frustrated as he wanted to be the first Silicon Valley entrepreneur to succeed in China.
The experience in China made Travis even more cynical and reinforced his belief that the world was against Uber.
Uber's rapid expansion was driven by small, competitive teams focused on individual cities, leading to internal conflict and backstabbing.
Travis viewed business as war, leading to a competitive and controversial culture at Uber.
The company had a "work hard, play hard" mantra, throwing extravagant parties and hiring global celebrities.
Uber's exciting culture had a darker side, ultimately contributing to Travis's downfall.
Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, was forced to resign due to controversies and fraud allegations.
Travis took a leave of absence from Uber to work on himself after his parents' accident.
Travis resigned as Uber CEO within a month of his leave, as he was forced out by the Uber board and investors.
Benchmark Capital, an early investor in Uber, sued Travis over fraud allegations.
Despite being a polarizing figure, Travis played a significant role in Uber's growth and expansion, taking inspiration from Jeff Bezos and Amazon's strategies.
00:00uber's the most ethically challenged
00:02company in silicon valley
00:04the story of uber begins on a winter's
00:06night in paris in 2008.
00:09two friends travis and garrett stood
00:11waiting for a taxi which was late they
00:14were cold frustrated and wondering if
00:16their cap was ever going to show up at
00:19as with any good entrepreneurs every
00:22problem is a potential opportunity that
00:25night in paris planted a seed in their
00:27minds that would lead to a billion
00:29dollar empire
00:32but this is not your typical business
00:36the story of uber is littered with
00:38scandals and controversy at every single
00:40turn because whilst the idea for uber
00:43was in many ways revolutionary it was
00:46also illegal
00:54travis kalanick faced relentless
00:55bullying when he was young and often
00:57threw himself into his work as an escape
01:00as a teenager he sold kitchen knives in
01:02his local neighborhood cold crawling
01:04door to door and honing his natural
01:06sales skills a talent that would later
01:09prove invaluable in helping him pitch
01:11investors for money
01:13but before starting uber travis had
01:15dropped out of college to work on
01:16another entrepreneurial venture called
01:18scour a peer-to-peer search engine for
01:21files that was a little like napster and
01:24just like napster it would get sued into
01:26oblivion scour got sued for 250 billion
01:30dollars because of copyright
01:31infringements meaning the company had to
01:34declare bankruptcy travis was bitter
01:36about this and went on to start what he
01:39calls a revenge business
01:42the name of the company is called red
01:43swoosh the idea was the same
01:45peer-to-peer technology but i take those
01:4833 litigants that sued me and turn them
01:50into customers so now those dudes who
01:52sued me are now paying me
01:55travis would eventually sell this
01:57business for millions of dollars giving
01:59him the money needed to start an even
02:00bigger project uber
02:04travis and his friend garrett had become
02:06increasingly frustrated with taxi
02:08companies and figured there had to be a
02:10better alternative but it was actually
02:12during a james bond movie that the idea
02:14for uber came to them in one scene bond
02:17tracked a car across a map using his
02:19phone and this would form the basis of
02:21their new app which was originally
02:23called ubercab and launched publicly in
02:262010 in san francisco ubercab aimed to
02:29solve the problems of a traditional taxi
02:31experience firstly you could order an
02:33uber with the touch of a button on your
02:34phone rather than calling someone
02:36secondly you could watch the car's
02:38journey across the map so you knew it
02:40was on its way and how long it would
02:41take thirdly uber had luxury black cars
02:44with leather interiors which would show
02:46up spotless complete with chilled
02:48bottles of water in the back and finally
02:50the payment would be seamless the ride
02:52would be automatically charged to your
02:54card so you didn't have to mess about
02:56with change or a tip in other words it
02:58was originally a luxury black cab and
03:00limousine service to give you a small
03:02taste of the james bond experience
03:04and thus getting an uber quickly became
03:06a status symbol in the wealthy san
03:09francisco area it was a great start for
03:11the company at least for the first few
03:13months then on october 20th the
03:16transportation agency showed up at
03:18uber's offices and informed them that
03:20what they were doing was against the law
03:23now at this point all of uber's drivers
03:25were licensed professional drivers
03:27registered with local transportation
03:29offices so uber felt this was incredibly
03:32harsh but apparently there were strict
03:35rules about running a taxi business and
03:38uber was breaking them one element of
03:40this was the uber didn't actually own
03:42the cars themselves they were getting
03:43professional drivers to use their own
03:45cars which saved uber huge amounts of
03:48money but created some legal issues the
03:51local authorities told them for every
03:52day ubercab was in operation the company
03:55faced fines of up to five thousand
03:57dollars per trip not just that but they
03:59said the uber team could face up to 90
04:01days in jail for each day that the
04:03company remained operational the small
04:05uber team was both devastated and
04:07terrified most of them were in their 20s
04:10some had just come straight from college
04:11and now they were being threatened with
04:13fines and potential jail time one of
04:16them nervously asked
04:17what do we do
04:19but one man wasn't worried travis
04:22kalanick uber co-founder and ceo told
04:25the office confidently we do nothing we
04:27ignore it he went on to say that they'd
04:30simply drop the cab part of their name
04:32and just be known as uber he announced
04:34we're not a taxi company we're a
04:36technology company so these rules and
04:38regulations don't apply
04:40travis would frequently come up with
04:42creative definitions like this that
04:44would save the company billions of
04:46dollars but create a lot of controversy
04:49for example he also said that drivers of
04:51uber weren't employees they were
04:54partners thus meaning uber didn't have
04:56to give them employment rights or
04:59of course travis knew the authorities
05:01were unlikely to see his way of thinking
05:03on these issues
05:05so he prepared for war
05:17travis knew that if he could get enough
05:19people using the uber app they'd see it
05:21was a better way to travel and at that
05:23point the authorities wouldn't be able
05:24to shut them down without facing huge
05:26public backlash but they had to move
05:29quickly so uber struck a deal with a tnt
05:33to buy thousands of iphones in bulk at a
05:35discounted price they would then hand
05:37these out to drivers pre-programmed to
05:40run uber's software they also offered
05:42them cash bonuses for completing a
05:44certain number of trips per week
05:46this immediately brought lots of new
05:48drivers onto their network very quickly
05:51then to get riders uber offered to give
05:53away the first trip completely free
05:56after all who wouldn't want a free taxi
05:58ride uber would then give the second and
06:00third trip away at a discounted price to
06:02encourage them to use the service again
06:04believing that if someone had tried it a
06:05few times they'd see the value and be
06:07willing to pay full price in future this
06:10strategy was incredibly expensive since
06:12the company lost money on every ride
06:15but it paid off
06:17because soon many people started
06:19exclusively using uber instead of normal
06:21taxis and then uber began expanding into
06:24other cities by replicating this same
06:26strategy offering generous promotions up
06:29front along with referral bonuses so the
06:31app became popular very quickly meaning
06:33that by the time the city's authorities
06:35started questioning what uber was doing
06:37and whether it was even allowed they
06:39already had a loyal active user base
06:42then whenever local authorities
06:44threatened them uber would send out
06:46alerts to users on the app with a button
06:48to easily sign a petition supporting
06:50uber or even a button to email their
06:53local representatives to express their
06:55support for uber using a pre-filled
06:57email template whenever uber sent out
07:00these alerts via their app local
07:02councils and regulators would soon find
07:04their inboxes flooded with people saying
07:06they support uber and don't want it to
07:08be shut down uber would also organize
07:10protests outside city hall and ask users
07:13of the app to come and make their voices
07:15heard although in one particular protest
07:17in new york not many uber users showed
07:19up to support them so uber just told all
07:22their employees from one of their
07:23offices to go and protest instead the
07:25local authorities didn't realize that
07:27most of the support was coming from paid
07:29uber employees
07:31but in travis's view uber wasn't doing
07:33anything wrong he said there's been so
07:36much corruption and cronyism within the
07:38taxi industry where corrupt taxi cartels
07:40pay corrupt politicians to protect them
07:43so if you ask for permission upfront
07:45you'll never get it he believed uber was
07:47better for both riders and drivers but
07:49that there was no way they could win by
07:51playing by the rules so he completely
07:54ignored them however in 2012 the battle
07:57between uber and regulators became much
07:59more fierce when uber launched a new
08:01service called uberx which allowed
08:04almost anyone to be a driver for the
08:06company which opened up all kinds of new
08:08legal issues and by this point city
08:11officials had already realized that uber
08:13wasn't very cooperative so they instead
08:16threatened drivers and essentially said
08:18if we catch anyone driving for uber
08:20we'll find you clamp your cars and tow
08:22them away the idea was to scare people
08:25to stop them from using the app so uber
08:27would never gain any momentum but travis
08:30and uber were already several moves
08:32ahead firstly they regularly sent out
08:34notices on the app saying that any fines
08:36or fees incurred whilst driving for uber
08:39would be fully reimbursed travis viewed
08:41these as just another business expense
08:44but the real genius was the uber
08:46developed a secret system so that local
08:48cities wouldn't catch them and it was
08:50called grey ball
08:53travis knew the authorities would
08:54download the uber app themselves so they
08:57could track the cars within the app
08:59however uber developed a software to
09:01detect when police regulators or local
09:04council members tried to join the app
09:06and then they would grab all them which
09:08is effectively like shadow banning if
09:10you get grabeled you can still open the
09:12app but it looks like there are no cars
09:14driving on the map and if you try to
09:16order a ride it just tells you there's
09:18no drivers nearby whereas if you viewed
09:21uber with a normal non-greyballed
09:23account you'd see that really there were
09:25loads of nearby drivers now how did uber
09:28know who to grab all well firstly they
09:30use location data and if you downloaded
09:32or used uber from certain areas like a
09:35police station or government offices
09:37you'd get flagged
09:39uber could then check the personal data
09:41of that account including things like
09:43their credit card information and
09:44cross-reference that with social media
09:46to check if it was a real user trying to
09:48use the app or if it was someone
09:50associated with a government agency or
09:52law enforcement or anyone who might be
09:54trying to shut uber down the gravel
09:56software also detected suspicious
09:58activity like someone opening and
10:00closing the app lots of times without
10:02ordering a ride uber even recruited xcia
10:05nsa and fbi employees to help them
10:08improve the greybull software as well as
10:10to spy on local government officials and
10:12track where they went essentially uma
10:15built their own corporate espionage team
10:17and it worked there are countless
10:19stories of authorities ordering an uber
10:22hoping to catch the uber driver in the
10:24act and find them for breaking the rules
10:26but instead suddenly their order would
10:28get cancelled as supposedly there were
10:30no uber drivers using the app the
10:32authorities just thought that people
10:34were following their warnings and not
10:35driving for uber when in reality they
10:38were seeing a fake map with all the cars
10:40hidden because they'd been greyballed so
10:43they had no chance of catching uber or
10:45its drivers
10:47of course uber kept this operation
10:49highly secret in fact it wasn't until
10:512017 when an investigation discovered
10:54that uber had been invading local
10:55authorities for years by using these
10:59digital equivalent of that sort of greed
11:02is good mentality the gordon gecko kind
11:05of mentality which is we we will do this
11:07we can do this and no one's going to
11:09stop us
11:10uber also spent vast sums of money on
11:12lobbying governments to legalize their
11:14service so by the time the uber's secret
11:17grable operation was discovered and
11:19people realized the deceptive practices
11:21they'd been using uber were already up
11:23and running legally in most major cities
11:26and was too popular to shut down just
11:29like travis had planned all along once
11:31uber had support and leverage in a city
11:33it's reported that they treated
11:35negotiations with local authorities like
11:37hostage situations basically once uber
11:40knew they had the power and the public
11:42support they used that to get
11:44legislation changed to accommodate their
11:46business model such as changing the laws
11:48about contract workers so that uber
11:50didn't have to give drivers full
11:51employment benefits of course uber's
11:54battles would never really stop even to
11:56this day just look at uber in the news
11:58right now and you'll see people
12:00protesting uber and some cities banning
12:02it all together but in those early years
12:05uber devised a systematic playbook for
12:07evading the rules and outwitting the
12:09local authorities and that's what
12:11allowed them to expand so rapidly the
12:13only problem was that an even bigger
12:15battle was just beginning
12:26travis got a call one morning from a
12:27friend of his facebook founder mark
12:31mark told him that all his employees at
12:33facebook were going crazy over a new app
12:36called lyft now it's actually still
12:38debated to this day whether lyft copied
12:40uber or uber copied left because even
12:43though uber started first remember when
12:45they first began they were a luxury
12:47black cab service it wasn't until 2012
12:50the year lyft launched when uber became
12:53a more affordable service that let
12:54anyone drive for them suddenly these two
12:57ride-sharing apps offering the same
12:59service were going head-to-head and most
13:02people who know travis well have
13:03commented one thing in any form of
13:05competition he seeks nothing less than
13:08utter domination travis believed there
13:10could only be one winner and he would
13:12stop at nothing to make sure he was on
13:14the winning side so he wasn't afraid to
13:17play dirty for example one of lift's
13:19most effective marketing techniques was
13:21to hold driver events small parties with
13:24food and games to try and get local
13:25communities interested in driving for
13:27lyft but uber would frequently crash
13:30these parties and hand out promotion
13:32codes where drivers could get free money
13:34if they joined uber instead of lyft they
13:36basically hijacked the parties lyft was
13:38paying for and recruited people to join
13:40uber instead another promotion technique
13:43lyft used was giving out giant pink
13:45mustaches that drivers could put on the
13:46front of their cars a fun and simple
13:48gesture designed to make lyft more
13:50recognizable in response uber put up
13:53billboards everywhere lift was operating
13:55urging people to shave the stash and
13:57come use uber instead uber also created
14:00a vast amount of fake accounts on lyft
14:02so they could track the locations of
14:04lyft drivers and feed all of this data
14:06into another secret software they
14:08created called hell
14:10the reason for the name is because uber
14:12also had a system called heaven which
14:14was a god view map of all uber drivers
14:17active on their system but hell was the
14:19opposite a god view map of lyft drivers
14:23the reason for this was that then uber
14:25could figure out which drivers were
14:26using both uber and left uber would then
14:29offer those drivers extra rides and cash
14:32bonuses so they always took jobs with
14:34uber instead of left the goal was to get
14:36these drivers to stop using lyft
14:38completely because uber seemingly paid
14:40them more money when really uber were
14:42deliberately paying them higher than
14:44their other drivers to lure them away
14:46from a competitor once they stopped
14:47using lift the bonuses would end and
14:50uber didn't stop there for any drivers
14:52who were exclusively using lyft and not
14:54uber they would order a ride on the lift
14:56app from a location near that particular
14:59driver and when the driver showed up an
15:01uber employee would try and recruit them
15:03to join uber instead it's even reported
15:06that sometimes uber employees would use
15:08burner phones and hold on lots of left
15:10rights all at once and then cancel the
15:12rides at the last second
15:14in later years when the public found out
15:16how uber had been sabotaging lyft and
15:19stealing their drivers they faced a lot
15:21of backlash but travis and uber didn't
15:23think they'd done anything wrong they
15:25believed business was a competition and
15:27you had to do whatever it takes to win
15:29not just that but it seemed travis
15:31enjoyed the fight he would even troll
15:33lift's founder on twitter however
15:35perhaps one of the biggest reasons uber
15:37did so well compared to lyft was that
15:39travis would find out whenever lyft had
15:41investor meetings to raise money and
15:43then he would immediately call those
15:44investors straight afterwards to tell
15:46them that uber would be raising money
15:48very soon as well investors knew uber
15:50was the bigger company and since they
15:52couldn't invest in two rivals investors
15:54often backed out of any deals with lyft
15:56to invest in uber instead it also helped
15:59that travis was a natural showman he had
16:01a real talent for dazzling investors and
16:03getting them hyped about how huge uber
16:05was going to be he'd tell them that one
16:08day uber wouldn't just transport people
16:10but transport every good you can think
16:11of and deliver anything to anywhere and
16:14thus could be a serious rival to amazon
16:17he'd get investors excited about his
16:18vision but then after the meeting he
16:21wouldn't reply to them for a little
16:22while to make it seem like he didn't
16:24really need the money which just made
16:26the investors even more eager to invest
16:28it wasn't long before uber was getting
16:30some huge investments from venture
16:32capital funds including a staggering 258
16:35million dollars from google ventures and
16:38of course more investors meant uber had
16:40more money to spend on expansion and
16:42marketing so they were always going to
16:45have an advantage over competitors by
16:47having a bigger budget here's just a few
16:49examples of some of the publicity stunts
16:52uber pulled to get more attention look
16:54valentine's day we distributed tens of
16:56thousands of roses to thousands of
16:58drivers every girl who got in a car
16:59after 4 pm was handed a rose by the
17:02in president's day
17:04um in dc
17:07did what we call an uber cade okay
17:12town car escalade american flags all the
17:15way down
17:16one out of every 20 people that push the
17:18button and ubercade rolls up
17:20but hold up hit the brakes whilst uber's
17:23publicity stunts might seem like all fun
17:25and games let's be clear the story of
17:28uber has a much darker side so far we've
17:31seen uber be unethical in their efforts
17:33to beat left and we've seen uber break
17:35the law to outwit local authorities but
17:38believe me things are about to get even
17:41more controversial
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18:32the rise of uber left doug shifter
18:34financially ruined he wrote on facebook
18:37when the taxi industry started i
18:39averaged 40 to 50 hours a week but i
18:42cannot survive any longer working 120
18:45hours i am not a slave and i refuse to
18:47be one shortly afterwards doug drove to
18:50city hall put a gun to his head and
18:52pulled the trigger
18:56is certainly not the only driver who has
18:58taken their own life and cited uber as
19:01the reason in india one driver who
19:03couldn't make his car loan payments on
19:05time committed suicide which led to an
19:07angry mob of drivers showing up at
19:09uber's offices carrying his dead body
19:12shouting that if uber's wages weren't so
19:14low that driver would still be alive
19:16today now travis's view on uber was
19:19simple we're making drivers lives a hell
19:21of a lot better they're making a lot
19:23more money they're making ends meet
19:24they're living their american dream and
19:26uber's helping them do that riders are
19:28getting around town much more
19:29efficiently i'm not sure who
19:31hurts from this and some people would
19:33agree with travis that uber was simply a
19:35more innovative and efficient system
19:37that gives drivers a way to earn extra
19:39money and passengers cheaper and easier
19:41rides win-win right well not necessarily
19:45many others have pointed out that whilst
19:47drivers may earn more at first glance
19:49that money is then eaten up by fuel
19:52taxes and car maintenance often leaving
19:54them with less than minimum wage plus
19:56uber drivers don't have secure
19:58employment or many of the benefits they
20:00would normally get with a taxi company
20:02not to mention the fact that letting
20:03almost anyone be a driver opens up all
20:06kinds of safety risks to the public
20:08needless to say neither taxi drivers nor
20:11taxi operators were going to let uber
20:13win without a fight
20:22countless anti-uber movements have been
20:24staged by taxi operators and drivers
20:26such as causing a gridlock on the road
20:28in protest of uber it's also reported
20:31that in some countries there are taxi
20:33cartels which had ties to organize crime
20:35who would assault uber drivers steal
20:37their cars or even light them on fire in
20:40some places such as mexico there are
20:42reports of uber drivers literally being
20:44killed with many people suspecting local
20:46taxi operators this was an all-out war
20:49between uber and traditional
20:51transportation the truth is everyone has
20:54their own opinion on whether uber are
20:55the good guys or the bad guys in this
20:57story but what's undeniable is that
21:00wherever uber went they were constantly
21:02surrounded by controversy
21:04in 2014 a 26 year old ordered an uber to
21:08take her home after a late night at the
21:10office it was a long trip and she dozed
21:13off in the back of the car when her
21:14driver noticed he changed route and
21:17switched off his phone making him
21:19untraceable to uber and the police he
21:22found a secluded area to park and
21:24climbed into the back of the car and
21:26raped her he then threatened to kill her
21:28if she told the police
21:30as he drove off she managed to snap a
21:32photo of his number plates and
21:34thankfully the police were able to catch
21:36him but the story went viral and many
21:38people blamed uber's lack security this
21:41simply reinforced beliefs that uber
21:43wasn't safe some countries even
21:45temporarily banned ride-hailing services
21:47like uber completely now of course given
21:50the huge number of rides taken with uber
21:52incidents like this always seem like a
21:54possibility and of course traditional
21:56taxi companies have had horror stories
21:58like this too but many people felt uber
22:01had lowered the bar so much to become a
22:02driver which had added a higher risk and
22:05despite many more horrific incidents
22:07like this over the years uber refused to
22:10raise the entry requirements to become a
22:12driver there are even reports that are
22:14uber hq whenever a sexual assault victim
22:17decided not to pursue litigation or
22:19police evidence wasn't conclusive enough
22:22the uber team would cheer it also
22:24emerged that credit card thieves have
22:25been using uber for both drug
22:27trafficking and sex trafficking and
22:29because of all the free cash bonuses
22:31uber gave away to new drivers uber had
22:33been inadvertently funding all kinds of
22:36criminal activity now i would argue that
22:38when uber first began public sentiment
22:40towards the company was very positive
22:43uber was cheaper innovative and it was
22:45the underdog going against traditional
22:47transportation but as the years went by
22:50public sentiment began to shift news
22:52articles broke about how uber had used
22:54grebel to deceive cities and how they'd
22:57use black hat tactics to try and crush
22:59lyft and other competitors and the bad
23:02press just kept coming for example it
23:04was found that in indonesia uber had
23:06been bribing police officers and they've
23:08been forging receipts for those illegal
23:10bribes so they could count them as
23:12business expenses uber also faced
23:14serious data and privacy issues at one
23:17point travis changed uber's settings so
23:19the app could track people even after
23:21they'd ended their ride because he
23:23wanted to see where people went after
23:25being dropped off by their uber it's
23:27also reported uber looked at the data of
23:29individual users such as celebrities to
23:32see where they were traveling and when
23:34in later years uber paid hackers a
23:36hundred thousand dollars to cover up a
23:38massive data breach that exposed the
23:40personal data of 57 million uber
23:43customers uber would also have to pay
23:4528.5 million dollars to settle a lawsuit
23:48because uber had falsely advertised that
23:50it had industry-leading background
23:52checks which it evidently didn't but one
23:55of the biggest pr disasters of all for
23:57uber came in 2017 when taxi drivers were
24:00striking to protest trump's ban on
24:02muslim countries uber ignored the strike
24:05which meant they rendered the strike
24:06ineffective and they profited from the
24:08fact that taxi drivers weren't driving
24:10many people were outraged and delete
24:13uber began trending on twitter over half
24:15a million people deleted their accounts
24:17and likely many more millions deleted
24:19the app from their phone lyft who had
24:22almost been crushed by uber suddenly had
24:24a resurgence as people switched to using
24:26them instead this incident combined with
24:29everything else meant uber's public
24:31reputation was reaching a new all-time
24:33low uber had still been growing and
24:35expanding but public sentiment towards
24:37them had been worsening day by day and
24:40i'd love to tell you that this is the
24:41part of the story where uber turn it all
24:43around where they win back public trust
24:46and solve all their issues but i can't
24:49tell you that because things are about
24:51to get even worse
24:59travis was desperate for uber to become
25:01popular in china since it's a market of
25:03nearly one and a half billion people
25:05but very few international tech
25:07companies do well in china so travis
25:10invested billions of dollars into giving
25:12away free rides and bonuses to drivers
25:15just like uber had done when it started
25:16out in other cities however in china
25:19this didn't go quite so well scammers in
25:22china started purchasing caseloads of
25:24cheap smartphones and set half of them
25:26up with driver accounts and half of them
25:28up with passenger accounts a scammer
25:30would then request rides from one of
25:32their passenger phones and use one of
25:34their driver phones to accept it they'd
25:36then drive around the streets with
25:38dozens of phones spread across the seats
25:41now remember the rides were all free for
25:43the passenger phones because of uber's
25:45promo codes and the driver phones still
25:47kept the money for the ride too plus the
25:49driver accounts got extra bonus money
25:51that uber was offering to new drivers
25:54in other words the scammers were getting
25:56paid twice for every fraudulent trip
25:58they did and after riding around for
26:00hours and racking up a huge fare the
26:02driver would simply cash out the money
26:04completely reset the phones and repeat
26:06the process again with brand new uber
26:09accounts so basically scammers were
26:11making loads of money by exploiting
26:13uber's promo codes and uber was losing
26:15millions and millions of dollars on fake
26:18trips the thing is because of an apple
26:20privacy update uber were not allowed to
26:22track imei numbers which is the unique
26:25number associated to every smartphone
26:27therefore they couldn't tell when
26:29fraudsters were just wiping their iphone
26:31and making a brand new uber account to
26:32claim the free bonus payments over and
26:34over again and yet despite all of the
26:36money uber was losing to scammers travis
26:38refused to cancel the promotions because
26:41he knew uber wouldn't succeed in china
26:43if they didn't offer riders and drivers
26:45free money for initially joining so
26:47instead uber found a way to bypass
26:50apple's rules they inserted some hidden
26:53code into their app to track the data
26:55they needed which would help them stop
26:57scammers making multiple new accounts
26:59from the same device
27:00but doing this completely broke apple's
27:03terms of service uber disguised the code
27:05so the app store moderators wouldn't
27:07notice but apple did eventually find out
27:10and they were furious they threatened to
27:12ban uber from the app store completely
27:15in many ways this example epitomizes
27:17uber because on one hand they felt they
27:20were simply doing what was necessary to
27:21beat corruption and save their company
27:24but on the other hand it's yet another
27:26case of uber completely disregarding the
27:28rules and just doing whatever they
27:30wanted but even without all the scammers
27:32trying to rip uber off things were hard
27:34enough for uber and china as it was
27:36because there was a rival app that
27:38offered the same service called dd and
27:41because they were a chinese company the
27:43chinese government heavily favored them
27:45dd would also pay local taxi operators
27:48to protest uber and send fake texts to
27:50uber drivers telling them uber had
27:52closed down that they could come work
27:53for them instead didi also told some
27:56employees to go undercover and apply for
27:58a job at uber then if they got hired
28:00they acted as moles collecting private
28:02internal information about uber and its
28:05plans and strategies when uber had begun
28:07in the u.s it was them who were the ones
28:09using such shady practices but in china
28:12the tables had turned eventually after
28:15billions of dollars of losses on fraud
28:18uber made a deal with dd where uber
28:20would stop operating in china but get a
28:2217.7 equity stake in their business
28:26uber's investors were actually very
28:27happy about this but travis was
28:30frustrated he hadn't won the battle he'd
28:32wanted to be the first silicon valley
28:34entrepreneur to truly crack china and he
28:37didn't like the idea of compromising
28:38instead of winning even if it did make
28:40financial sense the whole experience
28:43with china had really just made travis
28:45even more cynical and truly believing
28:47the entire world was against him and
28:49uber and in a way he was right even
28:52uber's own drivers had started to turn
28:54on them and travis ended up getting into
28:57an argument with an uber driver that got
28:58recorded on the car's dash cam and went
29:04what you dropped the prices on on black
29:06yes you did
29:07with twenty dollars we started with
29:10twenty dollars know how much is the mile
29:12now 275 you know what what some people
29:16don't like to take responsibility for
29:18they blame everything
29:22good luck in the middle of all of this
29:24controversy uber's other co-founder
29:26garrett who had taken a much less active
29:28role in the business publicly confirmed
29:30uber's plans to get involved with
29:32self-driving cars is this something that
29:35you think is going to play a big role in
29:36uber's future
29:37i mean i think it's pretty much
29:38inevitable i mean it is going to happen
29:40of course self-driving cars would
29:42eliminate the need for drivers and so
29:44many uber drivers saw this as yet more
29:46proof uber didn't care about them at all
29:49however from uber's point of view they
29:52felt they had to start working on
29:53self-driving cars because otherwise
29:55another company like google could come
29:57out with a ride-sharing app of their own
29:59that uses self-driving cars that could
30:01put uber out of business so uber
30:04actually started poaching some of
30:05google's self-driving engineers so they
30:07could work on this technology for uber
30:09unfortunately this actually led to yet
30:11another lawsuit for uber because google
30:14claimed that uber had tried to steal
30:15trade secrets from them about their
30:17self-driving vehicles however the real
30:20irony to all of this was that whilst
30:22uber was busy fighting attacks on all
30:24fronts regulators competitors public
30:26backlash driver backlash china google
30:29lawsuits and more uber's biggest threat
30:32of all wasn't any of these things uber's
30:34biggest threat of all was itself
30:44work was everything to travis all he
30:46thought about was building a great
30:48company he often wouldn't wash his
30:50clothes see his friends he'd be working
30:52all hours of the day on growing uber and
30:55he expected the same of his employees
30:58in his view being uber wasn't a job it
31:01was a mission employees often kept
31:03working even after they went home this
31:05reports that some staff were seeing
31:07therapists to deal with the burnout and
31:09intensity of the job although ironically
31:11many of them missed their appointments
31:13due to being too busy at work but there
31:15were several reasons uber employees gave
31:18so much to the job one of them was that
31:20travis always positioned uber as us
31:22versus them travis loved the book the
31:24art of war and he created a siege
31:26mentality within the company that it was
31:29uber against the world that they were
31:30constantly in an existential fight but
31:33it wasn't just that travis is also a
31:35showman and a very charismatic leader so
31:38when he told you that you were part of
31:39this important world-changing mission
31:42you believed him and he believed it
31:44himself they all felt that the 12-hour
31:47work days would be worth it in the end
31:49they'd be part of history and eventually
31:51get a big payout employees at uber also
31:54loved that travis trusted them with a
31:55lot of power to make big decisions
31:58without needing approval travis
31:59basically wanted an army of young and
32:01hungry entrepreneurs and he would assign
32:03each of them to a different city and
32:05tell them to go and make uber a success
32:07there using whatever tactics or budget
32:09they deemed necessary this is how uber
32:12was able to act so fast it wasn't
32:14structured like a normal big
32:16bureaucratic organization travis had all
32:18these small teams each focused on
32:20conquering individual cities this worked
32:23incredibly well sometimes but it also
32:25meant that teams at uber weren't just
32:27fighting competitors they were fighting
32:29against each other internally and
32:31occasionally even backstabbing each
32:33other since they were acting as
32:34individual teams rather than one united
32:39now i realize so far i've used a lot of
32:41war and battle language when talking
32:43about uber but that's because that's how
32:45travis saw it himself business was war
32:48and whilst this attitude was responsible
32:50for a lot of uber's growth it was also
32:52the reason for a lot of uber's
32:54controversies and the competitive dog
32:56eat dog alpha culture they ended up
32:58creating however uber also embodied the
33:01mantra work hard play hard it was an
33:04uber tradition to throw a huge party for
33:06hitting targets and travis would fly
33:09employees all around the world for
33:10various celebrations one particularly
33:13infamous uber party was their x2vx event
33:16hosted in las vegas which cost the
33:18company around 25 million dollars each
33:21employee was given a prepaid credit card
33:23filled with money to spend and travis
33:25even got beyonce to perform at the
33:26events yeah quite a contrast to your
33:29traditional work party in fact travis
33:32announced beyonce and her husband jay-z
33:34were now investors in uber although
33:36technically travis had simply given them
33:38stock for attending the event but still
33:41for uber's young workforce it was
33:43surreal to be partying with global
33:45celebrities unfortunately the exciting
33:48culture of uber also had a much darker
33:50side and there was one incident in
33:52particular which really set in motion
33:55travis's ultimate downfall but before we
33:58get to that it's important to
33:59acknowledge that in the early days of
34:01uber saying you worked there was
34:03something to brag about it was only as
34:05the years went by and public sentiment
34:07towards the company changed that the
34:09opinions of their own employees started
34:11to change as well
34:12some employees quit completely saddened
34:15by what the company had become and all
34:16the controversy and scandals that
34:18surrounded it and one of uber's biggest
34:21scandals that caused a lot of that was
34:23when a past employee called susan fowler
34:26accused the company of systematic sexual
34:28misconduct susan said that her boss had
34:31sexually harassed her but the hr had
34:33dismissed the allegations because it was
34:35his first offense and he was a valuable
34:37part of the team however it was later
34:39revealed that this was not the first
34:41accusation of sexual harassment against
34:44this employee and uber had frequently
34:46ignored the claims against him when this
34:48information became public other uber
34:50employees started speaking up about the
34:52misogyny harassment and abuse they'd
34:55faced from senior employees at uber the
34:57floodgates were open and all the details
34:59of uber's misconduct and toxic culture
35:02became very public to traverse his
35:04credit he acted quickly and ordered an
35:06independent investigation into the
35:08company's culture when they finished
35:10they compiled a report with their
35:12findings it contained hundreds of
35:15allegations of physical violence sexual
35:17assault and many other accusations made
35:20by current and former uber employees it
35:23was far worse than travis could have
35:25imagined just reading the report was
35:27sickening uber's culture had become
35:29toxic and until now a lot of it had been
35:32swept under the carpet once again travis
35:35sprung into action and uber held a
35:37company-wide meeting where all of the
35:39uber board were on stage to discuss how
35:41they could improve uber's culture it was
35:43notable that at the time there was only
35:45one woman on the board ariana huffington
35:48she spoke on stage to the uber employees
35:50reassuring them that she'd be focusing
35:52on addressing the issues of sexism
35:54within uber's culture she also pointed
35:56out that now that there was one woman on
35:58the board it would likely mean there
35:59would soon be a second female board
36:01member as well however at that very
36:03moment one of the mailboard members
36:06interrupted her and said
36:08actually what it shows us is much likely
36:10to be more talking the room fell silent
36:13in the middle of a company-wide
36:14presentation that was meant to show
36:16everyone that uber was addressing its
36:18issues with sexism one of the male board
36:20members had just made a sexist joke
36:22about women talking too much
36:24seriously that was real leaked audio you
36:26just heard unsurprisingly this story
36:29made yet more controversial headlines
36:31for uber and to many people it proved
36:33that uber's culture problems started at
36:35the very top of the company it also
36:37didn't help that in a gq profile travis
36:40had previously told a reporter that he
36:42called uber boober because attracting
36:44women was so much easier now that he was
36:46the ceo of a big company uber had also
36:49had to apologize a few years before that
36:51for running a promotion in france to
36:53advertise free rides from incredibly hot
36:55chicks it genuinely seemed that uber was
36:58simply bouncing from one controversy to
37:00another and each incident just chipped
37:02away at uber's reputation a little
37:04further travis was already a tense
37:06person but the pressure and stress of
37:08everything going on left him feeling
37:10suffocated at one point it's reported
37:12that travis collapsed on all fours and
37:14broke down muttering i'm terrible and in
37:18the middle of all of this chaos
37:19surrounding uber the lawsuits the sexism
37:22the negative media attention everything
37:24travis then got a call that his parents
37:26had been involved in a freak boating
37:28accident which had hospitalized his
37:30father and killed his mother
37:34shortly after this in june 2017 travis
37:37announced he was taking a leave of
37:38absence from uber to work on himself and
37:41he vowed that when he returned he would
37:43be a better leader and a better person
37:46but little did travis know he would
37:48never be coming back
37:58breaking news uber ceo travis kalanick
38:01resigning overnight amid recent scandals
38:03kalanick is out entirely at least as ceo
38:06of uber reportedly under pressure from
38:08some of the startups largest
38:14within a month of travis taking his
38:16leave of absence to work on himself he
38:18resigned as uber ceo
38:20however this was not by choice the uber
38:23board and investors had forced him out
38:26as they blamed him for many of uber's
38:27controversies in fact one of uber's
38:30early investors benchmark capital sued
38:33travis over fraud allegations a vc firm
38:36suing one of its own ceos was a big deal
38:39and it just shows how far they were
38:40willing to go to get rid of travis
38:42travis understandably felt betrayed and
38:45hurt especially when it was leaked that
38:47he'd been forced to resign instead of it
38:49being by choice and travis was right to
38:52phil hurt because whilst he's undeniably
38:54a polarizing character let's be very
38:56clear it's quite likely uber would never
38:58have become the giant company it is
39:00today if it weren't for travis travis
39:03had studied jeff bezos and the way he
39:05ran amazon especially his focus on
39:07reinvesting profits in pursuit of
39:08continual growth and expansion and that
39:11was partially why uber grew so rapidly
39:13travis also admired the way bezos pushed
39:15amazon into new markets and travis had
39:18tried to do the same with uber this led
39:19to some failures like uber rush but also
39:22some huge successes like ubereats food
39:24delivery and travis still had plenty
39:26more ideas on how to expand uber further
39:29into other new and exciting markets but
39:32he'd never get to do that instead travis
39:35had been kicked out of his own company
39:36it had been a wild journey starting from
39:38that night in paris with his friend
39:40garrett to building a billion dollar
39:42company that's completed over 20 billion
39:44trips worldwide but finally for travis
39:47kalanick this was the end of the ride
39:57since the departure of travis uber has
39:59been much steadier the new ceo has been
40:01focused on repairing the relationship
40:03with drivers and improving brand
40:05perceptions with customers sure there's
40:07still been a few controversies like an
40:09uber self-driving car killing a
40:11pedestrian and protests against uber
40:13from its own drivers and taxi companies
40:15would never really stop however compared
40:17to when travis was in charge uber mostly
40:20stayed out of the headlines which
40:21investors were very relieved by so when
40:24uber had its ipo which is the sale of
40:26its shares to the public investors
40:28believed the demand would be booming now
40:30that uber was in safer hands however on
40:33the first day of uber's shares trading
40:35on the stock market uber's dollar value
40:37decreased more than any other ipo on
40:40wall street since 1975.
40:43in other words the public were not that
40:45sold on uber now you may be wondering if
40:47the reason for that is because uber's
40:49reputation is still tainted from all
40:51their various scandals but actually the
40:54reason might simply be the uber is still
40:56losing money every year sure it's very
40:59common in the first few years of a
41:01business to prioritize growth over
41:03profit just like amazon did so
41:05successfully but uber is now over a
41:07decade old and yet they lost 8.51
41:10billion dollars in 2019 and 6.77 billion
41:13dollars in 2020. just to be clear if you
41:16started a business today and made a sale
41:18of one dollar and did nothing else all
41:20year you could legitimately claim to be
41:22more profitable than uber by a huge
41:24margin of course i'm being facetious
41:26here uber will argue they are simply
41:28still in the growth and expansion phase
41:30and profits will come later down the
41:31road but clearly investors aren't quite
41:34as confident sure without travis's ceo
41:37uber looks steadier and a more mature
41:39company but at what cost without
41:42travis's relentless drive for rapid
41:44expansion his constant hunger for
41:46innovation and his merciless desire to
41:48win at all costs is uber gonna stagnate
41:51are they still going to take on the
41:52world in the same way they had with
41:54travis and uber without travis is a
41:56little like apple without steve jobs
41:58still very successful but it will never
42:01be quite the same it's unclear whether
42:03that's a good thing for uber or not but
42:05what is clear is that uber is a tale of
42:08breaking all the rules and defying all
42:09the odds and somehow coming out on top
42:12and whilst travis has been kicked out of
42:14uber he's now a billionaire with an even
42:16bigger chip on his shoulder so this may
42:19well not be the last you hear of travis
42:24how does whatsapp make money and how did
42:26tick tock suddenly take over the world
42:29all of these questions and more are
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What is the controversial history of Uber?

The controversial history of Uber entails its illegal beginnings, rapid expansion through unethical tactics, and deceptive practices, ultimately leading to the downfall and forced resignation of its CEO, Travis Kalanick.

2. How did Uber start its operations?

Uber started its operations in a controversial manner, facing allegations of illegal beginnings and unethical tactics in its early days.

3. Who is the CEO of Uber that was forced to resign?

The CEO of Uber who was forced to resign due to the controversial and scandal-ridden history of the company is Travis Kalanick.

4. What were the unethical tactics used by Uber during its rapid expansion?

Uber resorted to unethical tactics and deceptive practices during its rapid expansion, leading to controversy and scandal surrounding its business practices.

5. What led to the downfall of Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick?

The downfall and forced resignation of Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, can be attributed to the unethical tactics, deceptive practices, and controversial history of the company.

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