Editor’s note: the global leviathan

Okey Chigbo, Editor-in-chief of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the November 2016 issue.

What online company started up in the past seven years, has a US$3.5-billion war chest, has attracted glitzy Hollywood investors such as Jay Z and Ashton Kutcher and business megastars such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and has employed the PR expertise of David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s historic 2008 election victory? If you said Uber, the transportation leviathan that is trundling across the globe, crushing all before it like a Bigfoot monster truck, you would be right.

The controversial global company was cofounded by a Canadian — who knew? — and has brought its aggressive brand of transformative business to such Canadian cities as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton. The ride-sharing company has been steadily overcoming resistance to its encroachment, mostly by the city cab industry — this year it was granted legal permission to operate by the councils of Edmonton and Toronto.

So what is this company that has had such startling exponential growth in such a short space of time? Who is behind it? In “Behold the Uber Man”, Toronto writer John Lorinc reveals the various myths around Uber, the driving spirit behind its creation (Garrett Camp), the ferocious battles it has waged, and the ventures both Camp and his business partner, Travis Kalanick, undertook in their past lives.

Lorinc writes: “Kalanick, the CEO, has become the pugnacious face of Uber, while Camp, the more low-key of the two, serves as chair. His personal website is a single page with a mug shot of him and a brief block of text: ‘I’m an entrepreneur based in San Francisco. Founder @Expa, Uber and StumbleUpon.’ Indeed, he spends his time running Expa, a ‘startup studio’ he founded that has raised US$150 million to fund fledgling tech firms geared at developing apps with media, data analytics and sensor applications. ... Reflecting Camp’s interest in new ventures, the seven-year-old ride-sharing behemoth — which claims to control about 84% of the US market — has also become a kind of hothouse for all sorts of commercial spinoffs, a dynamic that invites comparisons to Amazon.”

The online sharing economy seems to be where things are today and this article is an informative account of one of its most powerful drivers. Please get on for a useful and pleasing ride.

Ever since psychologist Daniel Goleman popularized the concept in the 1990s in his bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, countless studies have been done on the subject, and reasons discovered as to why EQ is important to business. But what if these studies and guides to the successful application of EQ to the workplace are not telling the whole story? What if there is a dark side to EQ? Andrea Neblett explores this contra side in “The Emotional Factor”.