Uber: We want transportation be as reliable as running water

The theme of technology companies having a social mission was a thread in a so-called “fireside chat” between Benioff and Travis Kalanick, the founder and CEO of Uber, the San Franciscan company that has famously “disrupted” the taxi industry worldwide.


“There are always a list of challenges”. “If you have algorithms driving people of course it’s more safe but there’s also no traffic”. “It’s a little bit disruptive to our model, but as a technology company I have two choices, be part of the future or resist it”, said Kalanick.

To help manage demand, Uber uses technology.

Western Union is waiving the transfer fees for people wiring money to their relatives and friends affected by the crisis, with part of every transaction in the European Union going to refugees, as well as to charities such as the Red Cross and Caritas, said Ersek. Earlier Kalanick said Uber’s goal is to offer the most reliable rides at the lowest price and quickest service and, as a spinoff effect, get more cars off the road to reduce traffic and pollution. Uber was plagued with legal problems in 2014 and has received governmental pushback in cities where taxis are the primary mode of ride-hailing.

Looking a decade or more into the future might seem ambitious for any other five-year-old company, but Uber has had an unusually meteoric rise. The men in question: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. We’re creating a philosophy of work.

Kalanick isn’t just some overzealous Silicon Valley executive. “If something is moving from somewhere to somewhere else in a city, that’s our jam”. Uber is, in his view, a company with “heart”. “You have to give it to Salesforce for taking the rocket science out of data science and bringing this technology to the masses”.

For the moment though, his focus is on making Uber cheaper than owning a car, and helping drivers predict where demand will be. “That’s really what matters most, because when you think about where we came from (San Francisco), it was hard to get a taxi before Uber”, he said. You don’t have congestion.

Benioff admitted to being a keen Uber user, and has said that start-ups such as Uber and Airbnb have been critical to keeping Dreamforce, which this year is drawing 150,000 people to the city, in town.

Mr Kalanick said a lot of interesting things will happen when driverless cars exist.

Kalanick also touted the benefits of being an Uber driver. Decked in a dark suit with a pastel shirt and hot pink socks printed with the words “carpe diem” (Latin for “seize the day”), Kalanick discussed the latest facts and figures from his company, as well as his hopes for Uber’s future. “I’m still the same guy”.


“Life is like that tour app you mentioned, in that you get in the car of life, push a button and you have to be up for wherever it goes”. Learning what it’s like to be a bigger company is what’s tough.

Salesforce cofounders Marc Benioff and Parker Harris