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Encounters with an innovator: 5 things I learned from my street brawl with Travis Kalanick

By Carl Cantana

Travis Kalanick has been in the news a lot lately, and it’s no wonder; the fiery former Uber CEO is a force to be reckoned with.

I witnessed his tenacity firsthand last week as we exchanged blows in a back alley. Travis is a CEO who shows, not tells. Being repeatedly punched in the skull by the billionaire taught me a few interesting things.

1. In early 2001, he was so broke he had to move back in with his parents

This made me smile, because I pictured Kalanick’s humble beginning sleeping on his parents’ couch. When I let out a soft chuckle, he grew irate and slammed my head in between a mini van passenger door.

2. He worked for three years without a salary

As I attempted to limp away, the famed ride-sharing disruptor charged at me like a bull in heat. He reminded me that entrepreneurs often have to make sacrifices to achieve their dreams. 

3. In 2013, Google offered him a $250 million investment

I learned this little tidbit after he hurled my limp body off the second story of a parking garage. When I landed, he was sure to remind me of who he was and how much he was worth.

17. Kalanick lives with his girlfriend and a Goldendoodle named Yobu

I have to admit, it was a tad difficult to remember this fact after enduring what seemed like hours of pummeling. Delirium had begun to set in. Through my swollen eyes, I gazed up to the pitch black night sky and saw the visage of my deceased great aunt Shelia Cantana amongst the pale blue moon, calling me home.

Green. Believe in your dreams

Green isn’t a number, is it? Thankfully, I’ll have plenty of time to relearn basic mathematics as well as the English language during the remainder of my stay at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

I think there’s a long road ahead of me, to be sure. Thankfully, I now know who to call for a ride.

Lyft.