Travis Law

Travis’s Law:

Our product is so superior to the status quo that if we give people the opportunity to try it, they will defend it and demand its right to exist.

Travis Law is a quote from a speech by Travis Kalanick founder of Red Swoosh and wider known Uber. In his CEO role at Uber, there have been quite some scrimmages with local governments and unions. This law is one of the strategies what Uber uses to influence the outcomes of these discussions. They have been pretty successful with it.

Will it work outside Uber?

There is one other company that comes to mind that faces similar discussions with unions and governments that has used this approach successfully: Airbnb.

Some background

In a Havard Business Review article on Uber (and it’s assumed illegality) it is stated:

What’s more, Uber’s most distinctive capabilities focused on defending its illegality. Uber built up staff, procedures, and software systems whose purpose was to enable and mobilise passengers and drivers to lobby regulators and legislators — creating political disaster for anyone who questioned Uber’s approach.

Related laws

In a way, this is an extension to what Peter Thiel stated in Zero to One:

As a rule of thumb proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute in some important dimension.

Where Thiel focusses on the product development part, Travis goes from the demand. The demand from users that is used to overcome obstacles, like protectionist rules and laws and unions acting to protect jobs and actually sometimes more investments and lobbies by unions.

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