...a crisp and lively look at both the good and bad aspects of the rise of Uber and its C.E.O., Kalanick ... what [this] book show[s] is that societies must find ways to absorb these economic transformations, because it is futile to resist them. Peer-to-peer technology may be disruptive, and its effects can be messy. But it has an inexorable tendency to empower people to find — and produce — new offerings that improve our lives by reinforcing the most basic rule of entrepreneurship, which is to make something that people really want.
Lashinsky invests Kalanick with social significance — emblematic of a cultural moment as the nerdy but dudely exemplar of San Francisco’s 'brogrammer' culture ... Lashinsky punts on trying to 'bridge the —hole-versus-misunderstood divide' on Kalanick. It seems beside the point. It’s hardly a surprise that the CEO of the most aggressive startup on the block isn’t an emotional empath. Maybe there’s a certain integrity to owning this. Either that or, just as likely, he has the hide of a rhino. More relevant though is the breadth and narrowness of Uber’s vision — expansive yet reductive; boiling down everything in its path to a 'hackable problem,' locked into an endless quest to maximize utility and, inviting that bad behavior seen in its corporate headquarters, fixated on its own growth.
...a book of mostly unrealized promise ... The book provides a ride that is not so much wild as short and jerky. It is part profile piece, giving Uber’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, a platform to spout gaseous nonsense, and part company history. But little is revealed about Uber’s inner workings that has not been reported in greater depth elsewhere by journalists covering the company for newspapers and tech blogs ... what [CEO] Mr. Kalanick shares with the author is laughably self-serving...Some of Mr. Lashinsky’s narrative can serve as an introduction to Uber’s founding. But whenever Mr. Kalanick, Uber’s pontificating 'warrior-philosopher-pioneer,' is given the wheel, Wild Ride takes us nowhere we want to go.