In the course of roughly 8 years Travis Kalanick took the inkling of an idea, worked with some fellow engineers to build an app, decided to take on entrenched unions and powerful lobbies, essentially beat them and ended up building a global company that was at one time thought to be worth $70 billion.
In the course of an hour, Dara Khosrowshahi surpassed Kalanick as Uber CEO by doing the one thing Travis could never bring himself to do:
Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees that the ride-hailing company should go public, but not for another 18 to 36 months, according to reports citing sources at an all-hands meeting Wednesday.
As we've said before (a bunch of times), Kalanick's reign at Uber was hardly error-free, but there is every reason to think that we wouldn't have a Holder Report, a coup, a new board, or that amazing Shervin Pishevar letter (and, oh, that letter is glorious) if Travis had just confronted reality 12 months ago and tickled his investors with an IPO feather. Telling people that they're not getting paid back because you want to lock horns with Google on self-driving cars is not the way to inspire joy or excitement. Kalanick never wanted to surrender power, which is a bad instinct for someone who also enjoys taking $3.5 billion from the Saudis.
Khosrowshahi has the maturity and experience of running a public company to know that it's not an inherent "cucking," and he apparently also has the basic common sense to understand that you don't take almost $9 billion in venture funding and then set your IPO for the third quarter of Never Fucking Ever. The man knows that being CEO also means that you work for someone. Kalanick never did.
In fact the only whispered critique of Khosrowshahi that we've picked up on so far (other than Silicon Valley media afraid of learning how to spell his name) is that he has apparently not read The Holder Report in full. While that might raise an eyebrow or two outside of Uber, anyone who has their money tied up in the Ayn Rand-themed car service that lives on your phone immediately felt their brow relax upon hearing D-Khos' lips form those three simple letters "I...P...O."