Travis Kalanick

Travis Kalanick TIME 100
Cody Pickens

The driven CEO who invented a new kind of ride

You don’t realize how much you need something like Uber in your life until you start using it. Until its brilliance and simplicity become a part of your everyday existence. Until you start using Uber as a verb.

At first glance, a smartphone app that hails a car for you doesn’t seem that exciting. But when you try it, you witness its glory: the cars are nicer and cleaner than taxis yet less expensive than town cars or limos. Once it’s requested, you can track your car in real time and can text or call with more specific directions.

I remember times in the past when, after seeing a Broadway show, I’d beeline for the theater exit and rush down to the corner to hail a taxi, only to be met by 15 other people doing the same — all scowling and flailing their arms into oncoming traffic. I now can just leisurely power up my phone, press one button, stay for the curtain call and hop into my waiting car without a worry.

Simply put, Uber is rad. Its co-founder, Travis Kalanick, is super rad. He’s savvy and driven. I can’t wait to see what he’ll conjure up next, as I’m sure it’ll be something I’ve never known that I’ve always needed but truly can’t live without.

Harris, an actor, producer and director, stars in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway

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