- Thomson Reuters
- Before Uber, Travis Kalanick fancied himself a “fixer” and idolized Winston Wolfe from Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction.’
- The eventual founder and CEO even has a Twitter account under the moniker “konatbone” for musings and drunken thoughts.
- Those anecdotes, among many others, are revealed in “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” which was published Tuesday.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In the days before Uber, Travis Kalanick wasn’t much different than other San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneurs, except that he was fresh off a $20 million exit and had a penchant for Pulp Fiction.
In a sparsely furnished apartment in the city’s Castro district, Kalanick sought to become a “fixer,” reports Mike Isaac in “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” published Tuesday.
But it wasn’t just any fixer that Kalanick, fresh off a sale of his second company, Red Swoosh, envisioned: his idol became none other than Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction.
“Kalanick started investing small amounts of money in various startups with the understanding that he’d be available as their own personal fixer, willing to swoop in and solve problems whenever a founder needed his help,” Isaac writes in the new book.
“Got a problem with an agitated investor? The Wolf can handle it. Don’t know the first thing about hiring new engineers? Just call The Wolf. Maybe you have late-night thoughts on your company’s next move and want to talk it out. Never fear, The Wolf is here.”
Opting for at least some difference from the Tarantino character, Kalanick had a different nickname in mind, Isaac reports. He even set up a twitter account, @KonaTBone, for “musings and controversial aphorisms.”
The account is now private, with 30 followers, but snapshots accessed via the Wayback Machine show a simpler time in Kalanick’s life.
“Tbones back,” he tweeted in around 1:30 am on October 2007, before launching into what appears to be a night of revelry.
“Tbones skollin those mutha f-s on the danc e floor yo,” he tweeted about an hour later. Finally, by about 4 am, the night appears to have ended with a final “KTB Is oooowwwwwwwwuuuuuuuuttttttte.” (The next day involved a headache and a trip back to San Francisco, apparently.)
At the time of publication, Business Insider’s request to follow the steak-emblazoned KonaTBone Twitter account was still pending.