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Mike Isaac — Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber

 

Notes

L'Amazon du 21e siècle, p. 11 :

More than any other company, Amazon embodied the type of business he wanted Uber to become. As Kalanick saw it, delivering people from place to place was only the beginning of Uber’s potential; one day, Uber would match drivers with packages, food, and retail goods, and solve untold numbers of other logistical problems. Kalanick imagined he would one day become a direct challenger to Bezos, reshaping the way people and goods moved major urban centers. Uber wanted to be the Amazon for the twenty-first century.

Des clients ad vitam æternam, p. 96 :

Kalanick’s data showed that by the time a customer used Uber an average of 2.7 times, they became a customer for life. The product was just that good.

La loi s’achète, p. 114-115 :

If transit authorities began policing transportation laws, local managers would blast emails and text messages to their driver corps, telling them Uber had their back. Kalanick viewed fines and tickets as just another cost of doing business. Uber spared no expense on local lobbying campaigns. The company regularly topped the list of biggest spenders across states like New York, Texas, and Colorado—and dozens of others where they faced legislative opposition—throwing down tens of millions of dollars annually to sway lawmakers. David Plouffe, a former Obama administration political operative, was a major hire who knew how to influence city-level as well as national politics. In Portland, Uber hired Mark Weiner, one of the most powerful political consultants in the city. In Austin, Uber and Lyft paid $50,000 to the former Democratic mayor to lead their campaign against regulation. Later, as Uber matured, the company’s staff swelled to include nearly four hundred paid lobbyists across forty-four states; the number of ride-hailing lobbyists outnumbered the paid lobbying staffs of Amazon, Microsoft, and Walmart combined.

Tuer ou être tué, p. 133 :

Once Uber stuck a bunch of alpha male MBAs together in a workplace, the “champion’s mindset” became something else entirely. “Kill or be killed” was the unofficial motto at Uber, where if you weren’t watching your back you might be betrayed by a colleague looking to get ahead. Success, many believed, only came at the expense of others. The will to power was the only way to rise into Kalanick’s favor.

How low can you go?, p. 135 :

Even during recruiting, prospective employees were treated poorly. The company had designed an algorithm that determined the lowest possible salary a candidate might accept before making an offer to them, a ruthlessly efficient technique that saved Uber millions of dollars in equity grants.

Uber, le film, bientôt dans une salle de cinéma près de chez vous, p. 144-145 :

Pham’s fraud specialists soon proved invaluable—and not just in China. In Brooklyn, the team watched as credit card thieves used stolen card numbers to run drug trafficking and prostitution rings using Uber vehicles. The ruse was simple: the dealers would buy stolen credit card numbers from the Dark Web, then plug those numbers into the app to charge Uber trips to the stolen accounts. Over hundreds of trips per week they delivered drugs and call girls throughout New York City—all paid by Uber incentives, or through chargebacks from credit card companies after the original card owners reported the fraud. After monitoring the criminals for months, Uber eventually partnered with the New York Police Department to help take the scammers down in a complicated sting operation. Over the course of a single Uber ride, the police would obtain a report from a credit card company, call the driver of the vehicle and tell them to pull over, then arrest the rider on a number of charges, including credit card fraud, possession of narcotics, prostitution, and so on. Though they would never brag about it publicly, the fraud team helped the NYPD take out the entire operation.

Les relations d’Apple avec les développeurs, p. 158 :

After the meeting, Cue and Cook remained in regular touch with Uber. iPhones were only as good as the apps that people wished to use on the devices, so Apple made it a priority to keep tabs on its top apps. The executives caught up every three to six months, almost always asking Kalanick and Michael to make the hour-long Uber ride south to Apple’s headquarters in the sunny Cupertino suburbs. And yet, Uber was never what Apple would call a perfect partner. The startup frequently frustrated App Store executives, those directors below Cue who were responsible for tracking top-performing partners.

Allô Uber, nous avons un problème, p. 160 :

Cue was apoplectic. Fudging your way around Apple’s rules was one thing. But active subterfuge—intentionally hiding an app’s behavior from Apple administrators—was a cardinal sin. Uber was actively deceiving Apple in an elaborate and sophisticated way. Seething, he sat back in his office chair at Apple’s headquarters, pulled out his iPhone, and dialed a number. Kalanick answered. He was cheerful. The Uber CEO knew he always needed to stay on Cue’s good side. Cue wasn’t having it. “We need to talk. We have a real problem.” Cue went into some of the specifics of what Uber was doing with its apps, and made it clear he was pissed off. “You need to come down here and sort this out with us,” Cue said. “I’ll have my staff get this set up. Goodbye.” Then Cue hung up. He hadn’t even waited for Kalanick to say goodbye. Kalanick was freaking out.

Cue, le parrain, p. 162 :

“We want to hear you commit to us,” Cue said to Kalanick, as the group wrapped up the long, tense meeting. “We want to know you will never, ever do this again. Make this promise, or you’re gone, you’re out.” Cue meant business. He had brought the matter to his boss, Tim Cook, and both of them considered this a serious infraction. No one, no matter how successful the app or company, could lie to Apple and get away with it. For Cook, there was no greater sin than breaching the privacy of his users. Cook would later fight the FBI in public, refusing to unlock the smartphone of a mass murderer in San Bernardino, and would slam Facebook at public events for the company’s intrusive privacy practices. He had no problem supporting Cue on this decision: if Uber didn’t cut it out, Cook and Cue would ban Uber from the App Store.

Le problème Uber, p. 166 :

As the service grew, millions and ultimately billions of rides were taken. The power of large numbers meant that assaults and sex crimes were probably inevitable. But Uber had so lowered the bar to become a driver that people who might have been prevented from driving in the official taxi industry could easily join Uber. The problem became so significant that later, the company would create its own taxonomy of twenty-one different classifications of sexual misconduct and assault in order to properly organize the sheer number of annual incidents reported.

Kalanick reviendra, p. 337 :

His entrepreneurial days far from over, Kalanick is in the midst of working on his next startup: a real estate play, purchasing underutilized buildings and creating so-called “micro-kitchens” inside them, which will serve food delivered by Uber Eats. His plan, should it succeed, rests largely on the continued success of Uber.

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