Super Pumped

Mike Isaac

Super Pumped



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Super Pumped is an interesting reconstruction of the rise and fall of Uber, the promising startup created from a desire to revolutionise the world of transportation, of things, and of people. The product of a simple idea, by means of a simple, downloadable app, Uber quickly took hold all over the globe. However, Uber's story is far from glorious. The numerous mistakes made by management, the male chauvinist attitude, and the questionable corporate culture, made the company very difficult to work for. An ever-increasing number of scandals led Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick having to step down in 2017, to allow the company to clean up their image and to flourish once again. Told by New York Times reporter Mark Isaac, this compelling tale shows the darker side of success and power. It also provides a few rules of good conduct for entrepreneurs of future generations, on how to safeguard maximum credibility and overriding consensus.

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Analysis and key concepts


Kalanick and his childhood dreams of power


From the seed of inspiration to UberCab, an idea that comes from a real gap in the market


UberCab was created as a breakthrough company to counter a corrupt system


From Uber to UberX, anyone can be a driver


Other legal privacy and security issues


A heavily male-dominated corporate culture


Trump, Twitter and the “too little too late” episode


Kalanick’s big mistake: from huge success to resignation




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Get a behind the scenes view of the rise, the fall, and the rebirth of Uber.
  • Understand how it was created, and on what values a successful Uber is based on today.
  • Better understand the choices of Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick, who was forced to resign in 2017.
  • Reflect on the leadership qualities required to build a healthy company.

Mike Isaac is a journalist for the New York Times. He writes about technology and all the companies in Silicon Valley, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and many others. His investigation into, and articles on Uber followed the company from its very beginning and won him the Gerald Loeb Award. Super Pumped, the book about the rise and fall of Uber, a promising company that wanted to restructure the world of transportation, has become an international bestseller.

Publishing house:

W.W. Norton & Company






‎ 978-0393358612