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Super Pumped cover art

Super Pumped

Written by: Mike Isaac
Narrated by: Holter Graham,Mike Isaac
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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times technology correspondent presents the dramatic rise and fall of Uber, set against the rapid upheaval in Silicon Valley during the mobile era. 

In June 2017, Travis Kalanick, the hard-charging CEO of Uber, was ousted in a boardroom coup that capped a brutal year for the transportation giant. Uber had catapulted to the top of the tech world yet for many came to symbolize everything wrong with Silicon Valley. In the tradition of Brad Stone’s Everything Store and John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood, award-winning investigative reporter Mike Isaac’s Super Pumped delivers a gripping account of Uber’s rapid rise, its pitched battles with taxi unions and drivers, the company’s toxic internal culture and the bare-knuckle tactics it devised to overcome obstacles in its quest for dominance. 

Based on hundreds of interviews with current and former Uber employees, along with previously unpublished documents, Super Pumped is a pause-resisting story of ambition and deception, obscene wealth and bad behavior that explores how blistering technological and financial innovation culminated in one of the most catastrophic 12-month periods in American corporate history.

©2019 Mike Isaac (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Informative, Well Told, & Focused Account of Uber

I have read many books on founder stories and tech startup founding stories and the manner in which this one is told ranks at the top. This book did an extremely good job at being entertaining and interesting without hitting any dull moments as well as being incredibly informative and most important for my perspective is that it was focused on the right things I did not veer off to an interesting areas of the story of Uber and it's founder.

The story as presented by the writer is accurate and balanced in the respect that it is not an attack on Uber nor is it an attack on its founders and in particular Travis or anyone else for that matter, but instead it tells the story of Uber and Travis accurately without celebrating Uber or Travis too much but while also doing just respect to what Travis and Uber has accomplished.

based on the way this story has been told and how informative and intriguing and entertaining it is, I would be interested in any book written by this author on tech startup stories and tech founders.

I highly recommend this book both if you're interested in Uber as well as startup stories and startup founders.

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1 person found this helpful

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Excellent write up on the Uber Story

felt like I was right in the middle of it. great narrative of Travis. I'm still supportive of him.

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If you love designing business culture you will lo

If you love designing business culture you will love this book. Could not put it down

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Starts interesting, but becomes a SJW rant

The first few chapters of this book are entertaining. Then the author unleashes his full, incredibly annoying, self-righteous disapproval. As this book was a cheap “Deal of the Day “, I’m not returning it, but I certainly would if I had paid full price.

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Very interesting...I prefer autobiographies though

Fascinating story, have to take it with a grain of salt as written by a journalist and not the main character. I think it could have been told just as well in 80% of the time it took.

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  • Benji
  • 2019-09-09

A forced narrative and a bad version of Bad Blood

Unlike John Carreyrou's "Bad Blood" which was investigated extensively to try to found out the truth about Theranos, Super Pumped felt like a narrative that was formed prior to writing and then investigated to try to have the story fit the narrative.

The book felt like one big opinion piece against Uber -- it had an overwhelmingly negative tone against tech companies, members at Uber and VC firms. There wasn't a cohesive story -- at times I felt like I was reading a book about Uber and then there'd be tangents about Google and how bad VC firms were. I was interested in learning about the story behind Uber but all I got was an amalgamation of negative news stories that were already widely known against the company.

If you hate the company Uber, then this book is likely the perfect book to read as it will feed your negative viewpoint of the company. But if you are indifferent and are interested in reading an unbiased view to learn about the company and it's history, this likely isn't a great book for you.

The book had a lot of potential but ultimately I was let down.

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44 people found this helpful

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  • David N
  • 2019-09-05

A bit hysterical

The book seems breathlessly negative and the narrator sounds like the voiceover from a bad discovery channel documentary - reading the whole thing in a false excitement announcer voice. Story has a lot of potential so I'm disappointed.

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22 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 2019-11-18

Entertaining, but author clearly has an agenda

Like probably most of you, I consume a lot of these sort of books. This one was well researched and entertaining. My only gripe is that the author blatantly has an agenda. He comes across as a socialist and social justice warrior. I understand that Uber made mistakes along the way, but it's not like they were eating babies. They also created a hundred billion dollar company from thin air and made their investors obscenely rich.

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19 people found this helpful

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  • IB
  • 2019-09-15

Great story, odd recording

both narrators' voices suffer from high audio distortion. e.g. the first narrator clicks often and the sometimes main narrator sounds like he's in a cave. would benefit from audio remastering.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • Pete
  • 2019-12-05

Basically a gossip book

It's an entertaining story. As a business book it's terrible. An example: "The year after Trump's election was one of the worst ever for American corporations". LOL. Great analysis, Mike.

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-17

You can feel the distain in the writing

This is a well written one-sided view of Uber. The writer cheers on the demise of the founder’s (Travis Kalanick) position in the company calling him a loser at one point. It is clear that he lacks the understanding of what it takes to be inspiring or how to write a balanced article. This is the type of writer that would take jabs at Steve Jobs or anyone else that set out to change the status quo. Basically, if you want truth it isn’t found here but it’s a good fairytale.

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Edward carter
  • 2019-09-13

Well told story

This is an incredible story and I was impressed at the detail of the author. There were a few moments where the author was unable to hide his personal views on certain leaders of the company, but overall I really enjoyed the performance and writing.

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-11

Definitely Worth My Time

I'm a big fan of in depth stories on business and this definitely didn't disappoint. Very well put together and thought out. The narrator also gave a great reading. I didn't follow Uber as these stories were developing and was able to follow along very easily.

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  • Nyaribo
  • 2019-12-30

Best Thriller .

Totally loved this book. This is a beautifully written book. The story is dramatic and well executed. Get the audio book totally worth the listen.

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  • TC
  • 2019-09-08

Fantastic Investigative Reporting

I've been following Mike Isaac on Twitter for a couple years, and he has become one of the most entertaining figures in my Twitter timeline, both for his humor and his reporting. I preordered this book based on my enthusiasm for his Tweets and NY Times stories, and was not disappointed. If you enjoyed Carreyrou's Bad Blood, then Isaac's investigation into another (in)famous Silicon Valley company will also be a treat for you. I never had a desire to watch a movie about Travis Kalanick, but after finishing Super Pumped I think a film adaptation would be fantastic. Some of the most dramatic moments in the history of Uber would make for great movie scenes, especially with Isaac's masterful storytelling.

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5 people found this helpful