Uber CEO Travis Kalanick explains how to find 'the innovator's playground'

Uber CEO and cofounder Travis Kalanick went through a lot of ups and downs as a tech entrepreneur before launching Uber in 2009.

According to Kalanick, rolling with the punches is part of the job if you want to be a startup founder.

But one of the most important job requirements is knowing how to find the entrepreneur’s “playground,” according to Kalanick.

In a talk at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University on Thursday, Kalanick described the zone between conventional wisdom and reality as a playground that the best entrepreneurs seek out and thrive in.

Here’s how Kalanick put it:

“I like to say the role of the entrepreneur is to understand the difference between perception and reality. Perception is conventional wisdom, it’s what everybody thinks is right, or is the answer. And reality, sometimes it’s the same, but often it’s very different.

I like to say the distance between perception and reality is the innovator’s playground. But if you are going to play in that playground and you’re going to tell the world that they’re wrong by doing something over here, it means you have to get you used to everybody thinking you’re kind of crazy and you have to get used to everybody saying this is not possible or this is not right, or it’s just not going to work.

And you have to stick to your guns. and if you are correctly seeing the difference between perception and reality it will eventually work.”

You can watch the full video of the talk here.

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