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Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  761 ratings  ·  63 reviews
In your pocket is something amazing: a quick and easy way to summon a total stranger who will take you anywhere you'd like. In your hands is something equally amazing: the untold story of Uber's meteoric rise, and the massive ambitions of its larger-than-life founder and CEO.

Before Travis Kalanick became famous as the public face of Uber, he was a scrappy, rough-edged, loo
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Portfolio
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  761 ratings  ·  63 reviews


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Thijs Niks
It has some interesting stories, but the writing isn't great and it misses a lot of the storyline. You should read The Upstarts instead.
Jesse
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book is just ok, not that good. The first chapter and last chapter are the best parts, and they cover times the author spent with Travis and the storytelling is interesting in these sections. In between that though is a recounting of the Uber story that basically follows the headlines without very much unique insider information. The way the author jumps around to different time periods is messy. The info in there is mostly accurate but certainly not the full story (knowing more than a thin ...more
Amar Pai
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not a lot of new info in here. The book feels tossed off, just a quickie cash-in

Mostly it's ridiculously early for a book like this to exist. The story is happening in real time and most of the crazy developments from 2017 (Fowler, Greyball, Travis resigning) are given short shrift.

Also the writing is neither illuminating nor notable

I do want to read a book about Uber someday, hopefully by a better writer/reporter, written at a point when Uber's story is history and not news.
Phil
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This was 'ok'. I, long ago, became a fan of Lyft and will remain so. It is a pure 'everyman's' rideshare. The Uber history is notable as much for the culture it portrays of the emergence of Silicon Valley and the explosion of ideas, products, and technology start-ups (Google, Apple, and Tesla). In the midst of it all stands Kalanick. The genius behind Uber, and the aggressive cad who (finally) finds himself now removed for the survival of the company.
Quinten Vandermeulen
Amusing book, but no must-read. Read the book if you’re intrigued by controversial people. Otherwise, pass on to another one. It won’t make you a better entrepreneur.

Travis Kalanick is undoubtedly one of the most controversial business personalities at the moment. That’s why I chose to read the book, it helped me to better understand the person of Kalanick behind his controversial quotes.

I always find it interesting to read about people and their struggles before they became famous. Wild Ride s
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Kevin Collett
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I finished this book in less than three days which shows it is well written (Lashinsky is one of my favourite business writers) and not very long.

However, it's still all a bit "meh". My life is not worse for taking the time to read it but I didn't really learn that much either.

I wonder if this concept will be a lot better when Uber is public and so thorough financial analysis can be done alongside the people stories.

Hatching Twitter and Disrupted will probably be better books for people looking
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Marks54
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a book about Uber and its former CEO Travis Kalanick by a writer from Fortune magazine who has recently written about Apple and Steve Jobs. It is reasonably written, fairly thorough, and follows Uber up through the start of 2017, although not to Kalanick's recent ouster. It is an informative book and reads like an extended feature article or set of articles in Fortune. The key to the success of an effort like this is not the content (since that is widely known as accessible on the web) b ...more
Herbie
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I want someone to write about tech in a tone that is neither captured nor ideologically critical. I want to read something human. This came so close, but did not hit that mark. Nonetheless, there was some valuable intel here for me as a new traveler in the tech industry.
Darnell
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not as much hagiography as I'd feared, but still a little breathless. I suspect that the worthwhile books about Uber will be written at least a decade in the future if they are written at all.
Alex Devero
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
If i would have to summarize this book in one word, it would be ok. Author starts the book with describing the early entrepreneurial beginnings Travis Kalanick. He talks about how Travis get his first business experience and co-founded his first and second company - Scour and Red Swoosh. Then, author moves to the main focus of the book, building and growing Uber. Reader will find a couple of interesting stories about Travis and Uber and also about many problems Uber had to, and still has to, dea ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
2.75-3 stars

Clearly a disappointment.

1. The book has been "castrated" - the author has admitted Kalanick had to "approve" the content (I don't remember the exact words, but I remember the threats e.g. what will happen when the book is published too early ...).
2. The book mentions even less "convenient" situations (e.g. withdrawal from China, case of Susan Fowler, rape in India), but it's hard to say it covers them - they are barely mentioned as "inconveniences" that even if painful (like the who
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Tensy (bookdoyen)
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
If you live in suburbia your exposure to the car ride-sharing company, Uber, may be limited, but if you live in large cities in the US and globally, then Uber is your transportation hub. In this book, Lashinsky describes the launching of the company and the personal history of Travis Kalanick, its often controversial founder. The company has grown exponentially in a short time and now finds itself in the center of much controversy. However, Lashinky gives insights into what makes Kalanick, and m ...more
Mitchell Wakefield
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting behind the scenes look at the origin and growth of one of America's most disruptive, successful and controversial companies. Adam Lashinsky does a great job unpacking the personal story of Travis Kalanick and his journey within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, trials and tribulations in building companies, and rocketship rise in creating Uber.

With Kalanick being a lightning rod of controversy it was an interesting read in retrospect of him stepping down as CEO shortly after the book
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Todd Benschneider
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written and entertaining look inside Uber, the nations most valuable privately owned company despite having yet to turn a profit.

Unlike many other books of this type, the author really seems to present a fair portrayal of the company founder Travis Kalanick and his evolution throughout the company history.

I never once got the impression that the author Lashinsky was compensated to paint the company founders in a favorable light or instead been funded by opponents to publish the behind the
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Matt
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, tech
Easy to read and informative narrative about the cofounder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, as well as the rise of the company itself. One slight is that the author seems to have had to sacrifice more direct and sustained criticism of Kalanick in order to gain approval and direct access to him and his company. The succinctness of the book perhaps increases the ease of digesting the information, but it seems like there is much left unsaid and unlearned.

Most notably and unfortunately, the book was publis
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Andrew
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Concise, well-written, easy to read book, which provided insight into an industry giant & its CEO. Shedding light on the perceived value of this emerging industry & providing perspective of the personality of the industry leading company & its CEO.
One particularly interesting topic is that of the self-driving cars, the vested interest of large influential organisations & the perceived eminence by respected individuals.
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Emily  Jurlina
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is well written and a quick read but, in my opinion, a bit overly sympathetic to Travis Kalanick. I would have liked to hear more from people who are also critical of him. The author interviews a lot of Kalanick's business associates and also Kalanick himself, but none of Uber's critics.

I also would have preferred that the author spent more time with Uber drivers than including an unnecessary section about becoming an Uber driver for a few weeks.
Anirudh Ramanathan
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and a compelling narrative of Uber's transformation from a luxury car service to the ubiquitous ride hailing, sharing and food delivery service. The book presents a history of Travis Kalanick's previous ventures, philosophy, major decisions and various missteps. Although parts of the book rehashed well known events, it has a detailed behind the scenes take on the early years of hypergrowth at Uber.
Alecsphys
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice book that shows lights and shadows of one of the most famous person of modern world, the face of Uber, its CEO. What most interested me was not the life of Kalanick but the fast evolution of his company that in few years conquered the world despite millions of critics, attacks, legal failures. Uber is not just as perfect as you could imagine, people love and hate it, exactly the mirror of its CEO. We can't neglect the power of both the visionary Kalanick and the established Uber service.
Quyen M. Khuat
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Good at storytelling. It's Adam Lashinsky, no doubt. But honestly, the book is not so good at implicating at all. I find it interesting to know what was happening. But... so what? Does the story have anything to do with the current situation now? I think the ending is not as good as I expected.

But overall, it's worth reading and interpreting!
Ray
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
It was kind of fun to listen to this audiobook but honestly it covered most of what was already public info.

It was funny to hear that Uber's original code was written in Spanish since they hired devs from Mexico.

Also, Travis said that working at a big company gave him the time to do a side hustle like uber.
Robert Deaton
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an interesting subject! I thought the book was really easy to read, but seemed a bit thrown together in order to get something out on a timely basis. I really enjoyed it, but feel like the comprehensive history of Uber has yet to be written.
Jennifer
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book repeated a lot of what was already in The Upstarts, which tells the early stories of both Uber and AirBnB. That said, it was a quick read and is still interesting in light of Uber's current situation.
Holly Foley (Procida)
OK read .. interesting because I knew nothing about the topic. I did know about some of the lawsuits against Uber , but was very interested in finding out about the CEO and the elaborate business plan.
David
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting book on the origin of Uber and the competition it faces internationally. Gives good insight into the future of Uber (spoiler alert: driverless cars if you haven't guessed) and the challenges it faces for the future. Good read. It satisfies my entrepreneurial mind.
Sean Fenlon
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the story of Uber and Travis. I should probably give three or four stars to the author for a negative bias and negative tone shared by most of the media coverage. I would've hoped for a bit more objectivity in the story.
Lisa Pelto
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Excrutiating detail sometimes, but fascinating facts sometimes too. I was lost in the first half of the book a lot of times because it is frenetic and disorganized. I was more frustrated reading this than I was entertained.
Janie Perrone
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written story of Uber and Kalanick

Engaging stories. Crisp writing. Informative. More info on Kalanick than the inner workings of Uber. Only 4 vs 5 stars because while a great book, not one I’d rank in my top 10.
Korey
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick read, some good tidbits on Uber's early days. Good timing as Kalanick just resigned. Would love the followup in 5 years when self-driving replaces drivers.
Vinayak Malik
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The title says it all. Very rushed book skimming over the headlines
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Adam Lashinsky is a Senior Editor At Large for Fortune Magazine, where he covers technology and finance. He is also a Fox News contributor and frequent speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Fortune, Lashinsky was a columnist for TheStreet.com and the San Jose Mercury News. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

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