What a difference six months can make: The consistent and in no way disingenuous messaging of Travis Kalanick

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on December 13, 2012

From The News Desk

“You’ve gotta be tough, you’ve got to fight for what you believe in.” - Travis Kalanick

Uber sent a rousing victory email to its users -- "the Uber faithful" -- today, announcing that NY Cab regulators are allowing Uber to trial its taxi hailing service.

A cynic might note a slight change in CEO Travis Kalanick's opinion of the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and regulators in general. But I'm no cynic. In fact, I can see literally no difference in what "Varuca Galt" Kalanick was saying a few months ago, and what he's saying now.

Here, without further comment, are a few quotes from Kalanick, and others...

varucagaltNEW YORK:


"We did the best we could to get more yellows on the road but New York’s TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) put up obstacles and roadblocks in order to squash the effort around e-hail, which they privately have said is legal under the rules. We’ll bite our tongues and keep our frustration here to ourselves." -- Travis Kalanick, October 16th 2012


"Because of the shared vision of the Mayor and Commissioner Yassky, the efforts to use data and technology to improve transportation on the most crowded streets in the county took a huge step forward today…. I can’t tell you how much it means to Uber to be able to work with leaders with a strong vision for innovation and progress. So please take a few minutes today to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Yassky in the form of a tweet or a Facebook post. Send them some #UberNYCLove." - Travis Kalanick, December 13th 2012



"Why would you so clearly put a special interest ahead of the interests of those who elected you? The district’s residents showed their severe displeasure that their elected officials would consider such an action. The nation’s eyes are watching to see what DC’s elected officials stand for." - Travis Kalanick, July 10th 2012


"Over the past several weeks, the Uber team has worked closely with members of the DC Council, led by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, to find a path forward for innovative transportation solutions such as Uber. I’m proud to report that today, the DC Council unanimously passed a bill that promotes innovation, consumer choice, safety, and economic growth throughout the city…" - Travis Kalanick, December 4th 2012


“I think... I think sometimes, arguing with libertarian[ism] can be really frustrating, because I think it can be intellectually lazy, and I think it can be convenient. You know, when everything's going right, it's easy to attribute it to your own success and when things are going wrong it's because you got fucked. I think the libertarian point of view can be rooted in a limited set of circumstances where you give yourself a little more credit than you're due." - Chris Sacca (Uber Investor), PandoMonthly, 1st November 2012


"Why would you want to make a great transportation option only accessible to the rich and well-heeled?" - Travis Kalinick, on DC's proposed taxi price floor, July 10th 2012

"Uber doesn’t seem to have worked out how it wants to deal with the central question of cost. On the one hand, it’s positioning itself as “everyone’s private driver”: it basically stands in relation to the chauffeur-driven car as NetJets does to the private jet. And compared with the cost of hiring a full-time car and driver, Uber is certainly dirt cheap. On the other hand, Uber doesn’t like being told that it’s out of reach for people without a lot of disposable income. When Marlooz, a soi-disant “poor freelancer”, said that Uber was “too expensive” for her, the company responded with a 1,750-word data-filled blog post explaining how, even though Uber costs twice as much as a cab, it’s still a good deal." - Felix Salmon, Reuters, January 13th 2012