2017 Vs Young Startups & Unicorns
I am not a fan of the way many businesses like Uber and their worldwide copycats are running, though I do admire the courage shown by the founders. The condition of the eCommerce industry in India is a live example of the grim situation. I have debated the way these guys function and recently talking to a friend in a leading Indian Financial Daily I have predicted that 2017 is going to be a year when the Startup bubble will burst, and reinvention will take place. Scams will tumble out of the closet, the insatiable addiction of funding will send many to the rehab. Employees who are fully knowing the condition and still sticking around with companies with little or no customer money in their business will find them between a rock and a very hard place. So think carefully if you one of the above.
Uber CEO VS Uber Founder
Young founders and their age have been celebrated for years, where it is right and encouraging, it has also led to a significant disconnect and how people usually fail to read founders who by design are passionate when they are faithful to the cause.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a Founder, and you don’t get it? He is a CEO, but he is a ‘Founder First’. I am not surprised with the way public attacks are being mounted on the company with video leaks and planting things in media suddenly on a high with a series of attacks. The recent argument that Travis Kalanick is seen having with a Cab driver is in bad taste, not the conversation but the way it has been leaked and trolled in public. You can’t judge Travis Kalanick because you don’t have it in you to judge him. Remember the great statistic ‘99% of the people work for the 1%’ so how will the 99 now judge 1? Travis Kalanick is a founder, he is passionate about what he has created, and he will see any insult on Uber in his presence as an insult to him, this is the basic argument that needs to be understood. He is probably not your typical plastic poker face CEO who is doing a job and will give a desirable picture to win support across stakeholders. A CEO can never feel the way a Founder would feel when someone passes judgement on the business no matter how small or big in the value chain.
Blaming Others for your problems
In the video recently released Travis Kalanick is seen telling the cab driver – “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck!” What’s wrong with what he said? Take an example of India, Pre Uber or Ola phase. The cab drivers would milk every opportunity to harass a customer, if there is rain, they will charge you a fortune, if it is late evening or night time they will ensure they empty your wallet and misbehave too. Think about it. These businesses have entered the market and changed it forever, the costs have reduced, and customer at large is to benefit. But why would a Cab Driver get it, he is losing out as he isn’t the king anymore? You have a problem with Uber, please leave them. Why do you sit for an infinite period and mount a debt which takes you to bankruptcy?
A Founder will always remain a Founder
You can make a founder a CEO, Chairman or whatever but he or she will always stay a Founder First. He won’t tolerate attacks on what he has created, he won’t ignore comments that are in bad taste, and he would fight till the end and stand with his or her venture. This nowhere means he won’t listen to anyone and drive the company to death. But he will defend and won’t take insults. This is a limited point that needs to be understood. There will always be celebrated founders like Steve Jobs, and there will always be conforming founders like Bill Gates, who by the way was called Satan of the tech world for two decades until the Microsoft supremacy crumbled. Travis Kalanick apologising and admitting that he needs to ‘Grow Up’ is he being truthful. Maybe the apology isn’t but the growing up part is, as everyone wants a founder to grow up and put a poker face on to be the perfect CEO. A battle even Founder Facebook Mark Zuckerberg seems to be in with recent reports of shareholders wanting to remove him as the CEO.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication