A lot of buzz has been swirling around Travis Kalanick’s efforts to kill Lyft’s business fundraising. A recent VanityFair article provided more detail on the incident and the details were picked up by BusinessInsider and, of course, many others. In an interview, Kalanick openly admits–and almost flaunts his attempt to put a stop to Lyft’s fundraising. He essentially started speaking with all the potential Lyft investors while lift was fundraising, putting their business out there as a backup (or perhaps a better option) later on.
In principal, I like the idea of guerrilla warfare in business. I’ve read “The Art of War” several times. It has some great tactics that can be adeptly employed by managers. It would seem Travis Kalanick himself is as shrewd as they come. He’s been on the bad side of competitors, regulators, traditional transportation and even customers. It would seem nothing will stand in the way of Uber’s ascendancy to the proverbial throne of taxi replacements.
Kalanik, however, doesn’t seem shy about his attempts to kibosh the Lyft fundraising. He may be confident (border-line) arrogant in how he managed relations with customers and investors.
We’ve yet to see such eye-gouging behavior in crowdfunding, but we’ve yet to scratch the surface of competition between competing companies on differing platforms. In fact, the truedemocratization of capital in crowdfunding may actually help to avoid these types of issues as–in theory–the crowd will be more elastic to various businesses and business models, in theory.
What do you think?