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David and Denise Morse were sent to Travis air force base after 21 people on their Grand Princess cruise were diagnosed with coronavirus

Retirees David and Denise Morse were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary with a 15-day trip aboard the Grand Princess cruise liner when 19 crew members and two passengers aboard the ship were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The original itinerary had the Morses arriving in Ensenada, Mexico, from Hawaii on 5 March, and returning home to San Francisco two days later. Instead, the cruise liner was held off the San Francisco coast for several days, until it docked in the Port of Oakland on 9 March.

The 2,000 passengers on board disembarked over the course of three days. More than 800 California residents were sent to Travis air force base in Fairfield, about 47 miles north-east of San Francisco , to serve out a 14-day quarantine.

David and Denise are keeping a diary documenting their stay there.

11 March

David, 10.35am I dont know what this is going to be a journal, story or what. I just wanted to write down some of the many thoughts I have had as we go through this surreal ordeal.We are on the fourth floor of the Westwind Inn hotel, on the property of Travis air force base. Got in our room at 9.30pm last night, after a long day that started at 6am on the ship.

We had been dressed and ready to depart our stateroom C314 on the 10th floor, at 7am. The ship had arrived in Oakland the previous day, and passengers had begun disembarking the sick and elderly first. We couldnt see much from what was going on. All the action was on the starboard side, and we were on port.

We waited more than six hours for our turn today. My impression is that Princess Cruises is very experienced in handling large groups, feeding, giving instructions and disembarking procedures. They have it together. On the land, its more politically and medically challenging, as officials have to coordinate between cities, states and the federal government.

This morning, we thought we had to get up for our coronavirus test at 7.15am. On 6 March, Vice-President Pence had announced that everyone disembarking from the boat would be tested for coronavirus.

We scrambled to the elevator area, only to find that the staff were handing out breakfast boxes. So, no testing. At 9.30am, they gave us a temperature check and symptom questions. We were told we would be tested only if we show symptoms. Is that because there is a shortage of testing supplies?

We went downstairs and found a large group of masked passengers in line for coffee and using their bare hands to get juice cartons and breakfast boxes.

12 March

David, 8.55am There are 846 Californians in our four-story hotel at Travis air force base. The majority are elderly folks, many using canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. Medical staff takes our temperatures twice a day. We asked again to be tested for Covid-19 and learned this morning from a medical staff person that they do not have test kits.

The Morses room at the Westwind Inn hotel on Travis air force base in Fairfield, California. Photograph: David and Denise Morse/The Guardian

It is likely that there are folks among us with the virus. We are advised to wash hands, wear our masks, stay six feet from others, and not gather in large groups. However, we have large groups standing close to each other in line to pick up their food boxes. Weve seen people pick up a box, look at it, then choose another box.

We skipped coffee this morning because to get coffee you have to stand in a line, then use your bare hands to separate a cup from a stack of cups and dispense coffee from a community container. I asked a medical staff person why not have staff dispense the coffee, noting they all have gloves. She said there is not enough staff.

I feel that each day we stay here we increase our chances of contracting the virus. Denise and I are doing our best to protect ourselves and stay positive. We are healthy and know that we will do well if we get the virus. We dont take the elevators; we try to stay away from groups of people. We exercise. I do tai chi every day and Denise meditates every day.

Denise, 2pm I spent much of yesterday and today talking to political folks about the conditions here, calling the offices of California senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris and congressman John Garamendi.

We were feeling rather discouraged about the health and safety situation. But things are improving. At noon they started delivering our meals to our rooms.

David, 3.40pm What a day. Another passenger and I were outside playing Five Foot Two on the ukuleles we got on the cruise ship. A military guy politely approached us and said: Im sorry to interrupt, but I have orders to ask you to return to your room. I dont know why. Off to our room.

There is no alcohol allowed here. But we have a few small bottles from the ship. Just had Jack and coke, made Denise a gin and tonic without ice or limes.

13 March

David, 9.02am We are getting acquainted with how things work here. Yesterday at the reception area in the lobby I asked a friendly service woman if we could have some shampoo. She said, You know, soap is fine. I said OK, could we have some soap? She said, Sorry, we are out of soap. Later I asked another staff member for some soap. She gave me a small bottle of shampoo.

The view from the Morses fourth-floor room at the Westwind Inn. Photograph: David and Denise Morse/The Guardian

This morning, after complimenting the staff on how they are now dispensing the box meals to our rooms, I complained that coffee is still grab and go, as are juice, water, cream and sugar.

A few minutes later a staff member knocked at our door and said the commander of the quarantine operation would like to talk to me. Denise and I thought, Oh no, now we are in trouble. We met Nate Contreras, who informed us that he is in charge of 60 staff, who serve food, deliver medications, take our temperatures and respond to any passengers medical issue. He was friendly and wanted to hear our concerns. He explained that he didnt have enough staff to dispense coffee, but he has asked for more.

We asked for more hand-washing stations, signs and hand sanitizer. The only place we can wash our hands is in our rooms. We suggested they give us packets for the coffee makers we have in our rooms, he said he would look into it. Surprise: we were not in trouble.

Denise, 9am We got our first official Travis air force base newsletter today. Heres what they said about testing: Everyone here will have the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19. You are not required to be tested. It will be your choice. If you choose to be tested, it is important that you understand that if the results of your test are pending, then it is possible it may delay your departure.

David, 10.30am 23 March is the first day of spring and supposedly the end of our 14-day quarantine. We have nine days to go; this testing statement sounds like it is a feeble attempt to be able to claim that passengers were offered the opportunity to be tested. What would you do?

Here is our list of needs: a blanket (we have a one-sheet cover on our bed and its cold in here), coffee, replacement light bulb for the light on our bed stand, hand soap and laundry detergent.

Denise Morse out for a walk on the grounds of Westwind Inn. Photograph: David and Denise Morse/The Guardian

14 March

David, 8.03am Denise and I are healthy and in good spirits. We got another newsletter today. It repeats the same testing instructions we saw yesterday, which seem like a threat rather than an option to be tested.

We walked in the rain this morning. We have to walk on the lawn, as most of the sidewalks are outside the perimeter fence that surrounds the complex with security guards in SUVs watching 24/7.

16 March

Denise, 9.30am Woke up at 6am. While David was doing the laundry down the hall, I made the bed and cleaned the bathroom with the hand sanitizer cloths that we had brought with us on the cruise ship. They are gold, and we only use them to clean surfaces in our room and bathroom. There are no cleaning supplies. We were told we could have a room cleaning, but we prefer to not have anyone in our room.

We have decided not to be tested. Our rationale is we are in good health and show no symptoms. As required, we wear our masks when out of our room, stay six feet from individuals, dont touch handles. We take stairs and wash our hands for 20 seconds when we return to our room.

15 March

Denise, 9.31am Up at 7am. Our floor medical person took our temp at 8.30 normal. We have acquired some coffee, so David made coffee in our room. Breakfast was lighter this morning: bagel, cream cheese, banana, option for yogurt and a ketchup pack (what for?).

The daily2pm conference call with federal officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) left us confused and worried. They announced there have been two confirmed cases among passengers assigned to this facility. They said those with close contact with those individuals have been informed; no need to be concerned. They have begun testing those who asked to be tested only 30% of those at Travis ended up wanting a test. Those who got tested are still waiting for results.

Dinner served at 6.40pm included a hamburger bun with a piece of yellow cheese, sliced tomato and a piece of lettuce. I asked if there was anything else and the man who delivered it said no. So we used the microwave in our room to heat up the bun and cheese. Wasnt that bad, but it was not many calories. Twenty minutes later, there was a knock on the door and we were given two more boxes with a bare hamburger patty and fries. Too bad we had already eaten the cheese and bun.

A meal served at Travis air force base. Photograph: David and Denise Morse/The Guardian

17 March

Denise, 9.30am We dont have a table for eating. We tried using the luggage rack with a towel on it but that proved to be too unstable. Now David eats at the desk and I sit on a leather chair and balance the container on my lap.

We get many emails and texts. We find we need to take breaks from our telephones and from hearing about this pandemic.

At the daily conference call, the doctor gave us more details about the two confirmed cases.One person was identified as having the virus while disembarking from the ship and was not brought to Travis. The other case was a couple that had mobility issues and one tested positive. They were not on the base long and were in their room, so exposure was minimal to others, the staff told us. A total of 37 confirmed cases as of today from the Grand Princess.

When they brought our dinner, David put on some soothing classical music. We wish we had some wine.

I want to say this staff has taken a lot of flak from many of us, me included. They have listened, and in most cases, followed up. I have seen changes and an almost daily effort and improvement, specifically around food and drink.

At 8pm, we got a call from the front desk and we have two packages! Its like Christmas! David went down and just came up with two Amazon boxes. One box is from our son Jonathan: a large bag of M&Ms. The other box is from my sister: dental floss and body lotion. Were happy with these new items to add to our simple supply of extras.

20 March

Denise, 5 pm Bad news today. More people at Travis have tested positive. If they didnt get it on the ship, they probably may have gotten it here. The conditions the first few days were appalling.

On 20 March, HHS confirmed that, with new test results still coming in, eight people at Travis had tested positive. Four of them were hospitalized with complications of Covid-19. One person was hospitalized for other reasons.

Everyone that requested to be tested was tested, an HHS spokesperson said. The government cannot force an asymptomatic person to be tested.

In a statement, the department also emphasized that it is working to improve conditions for the Grand Princess passengers under quarantine.

This unprecedented response has presented significant logistical challenges that have affected passengers. During the first two days of this massive undertaking, HHS focused on screening passengers for symptoms, addressing any underlying health conditions, providing access to prescription medication, and getting passengers settled into their rooms. At each step of the way, plans and policies were adapted as necessary to accommodate specific problems at hand.

This is the first federal quarantine in nearly 60 years. HHSs number one priority is the health of the passengers, the people caring for them, and those in the surrounding communities. We continue to focus on hospitality issues, such as food service and housekeeping, to improve the comfort of our guests.

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Most in tech would agree that following the launch of Alexa and Google Home devices, the “Voice Era” is here. Voice assistant usage is at 3.3 billion right now; by 2020, half of all searches are expected to be done via voice. And with younger generations growing up on voice (55% of teens use voice search daily now), there’s no turning back.

As we’ve reported, the voice-based ad market will grow to $19 billion in the U.S. by 2022, growing the market share from the $17 billion audio ad market and the $57 billion programmatic ad market.

That means that voice shopping is also set to explode, with the volume of voice-based spending growing twenty-fold over the next few years due to voice-based virtual assistant penetration, as well as the rapid consumer adoption of home-based smart speakers, the expansion of smart homes and the growing integration of virtual assistants into cars.

That, combined with the popularity of digital media — streaming music, podcasts, etc. — has created greenfield opportunities for better brand engagement through audio. But brands have struggled to catch up, and there have not been many ways to capitalise on this.

So a team of people who co-founded and worked at Zvuk, a leading music streaming service in Eastern Europe, quickly understood why there is not a single profitable music streaming company in the world: subscription rates are low and advertisers are not excited about audio ads, due to the measurement challenges and intrusive ad experience.

So, they decided to create SF-based company Instreamatic, a startup which allows people to talk at adverts they see and get an AI-driven voice response, just as you might talk to an Alexa device.

Thus, the AI powering Instreamatic’s voice-driven ads can interpret and anticipate the intent of a user’s words (and do so in the user’s natural language, so robotic “yes” and “no” responses aren’t needed). That means Instreamatic enables brands which advertise through digital audio channels (streaming music apps, podcasts, etc.) to now have interactive (and continuous) voice dialogues with consumers.

Yes, it means you can talk to an advert like it was an Alexa.

Instead of an audio ad playing to a listener as a one-way communication (like every TV and radio ad before it), brands can now reach and engage with consumers by having voice-interactive conversations. Brands using Instreamatic can also continue conversations with consumers across channels and audio publishers — so fresh ad content is tailored to the full history of each listener’s past engagements and responses.

An advantage of the platform is that people can use their voice to set their advertising preferences. So, when a person says “I don’t want to hear about it ever again,” brands can optimize their marketing strategy either by stopping all remarketing campaigns across all digital media channels targeted to that person, or by optimizing the communication strategy to offer something else instead of the product that was rejected. If the listener expressed interest or no interest, Instreamatic would know that and tailor future ads to match past engagement — providing a continuous dialogue with the user.

Its competitor is AdsWizz, which allows users to shake their phones when they are interested in an ad. This effectively allows users to “click” when the audio ad is playing in the background. One of their recent case studies reported that shaking provided 3.95% interaction rates.

By contrast, Instreamatic’s voice dialogue marketing platform allows people to talk to audio advertising, skipping irrelevant ads and engaging in interesting ones. Their recent case study claimed a much higher 13.2% voice engagement rate this way.

The business model is thus: when advertisers buy voice dialogue ads on its ad exchange, it takes a commission from that ad spend. Publishers, brands and ad tech companies can license the technology and Instreamatic charges them a licensing fee based on usage.

Instreamatic has now partnered with Gaana, India’s largest music and content streaming service, to integrate Instreamatic into Gaana’s platform. It has also partnered with Triton Digital, a service provider to the audio streaming and podcast industry.

This follows similar deals with Pandora, Jacapps, Airkast and SurferNETWORK.

All these partnerships means the company can now reach 120 million monthly active users in the United States, 30 million in Europe and 150 million in Asia.

The company is headquartered in San Francisco and London, with a development team in Moscow, and features Stas Tushinskiy as CEO and co-founder. Tushinskiy created the digital audio advertising market in Russia prior to relocating to the U.S. with Instreamatic. International Business Development head and co-founder Simon Dunlop previously founded Bookmate, a subscription-based reading and audiobook platform, DITelegraph Moscow Tech Hub and Zvuk.

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Following the recent news about the Badoo and Bumble and Badoo exit there is more consolidation in the dating app space. It seems many dating apps are running for the exits ahead of the launch of dating on Facebook.

The Group – an investment of SDVentures – has acquired Dil Mil, a San Francisco-based dating app for expats from India and other South Asian countries. The acquisition was via a combination of cash and Group stock. According to, the deal values the company at up to $50 million.

CEO and founder KJ Dhaliwal will continue to manage the company and will join Group’s M&A and Strategy committees, as well as the Group Advisory Board.

Dil Mil has effectively become the ‘Tinder for South Asians’, has over 1 million users in the US, UK, & Canada, and has spread its influence both via the app, as well as events, music, and art. It’s run campaigns with Bollywood superstars like Shilpa Shetty, “Love is” with leading South Asian influencers, and events like the Sessions Music Festival in New York City.

The portfolio of Group already includes numerous brands including, DateMyAge, LovingA, Tubit, AnastasiaDate, ChinaLove and others.

Dhaliwal said in a statement: “When we started Dil Mil, our vision was to empower the world to find love. I’m glad Dil Mil can continue to realize this vision with the support of Group. As the dating app market becomes more competitive with companies like Facebook entering, we wanted to partner with a strong strategic player in this space.”

The idea for Dil Mil came to him after he realized his friends and family were having a hard time finding partners. He saw an opportunity to build a modern, reliable, safe platform specifically for South Asians to connect with each other. Existing methods like arranged marriages were outdated, while services offered by other apps were just not culturally appropriate.

Maria Sullivan (Vice President of Group & Board Director at Dil Mil) commented: “ Group sees great potential in Indian and other South Asian markets. Dil Mil’s small yet talented team managed to build the leading company in its niche. The team will continue to manage the company while Group will provide additional resources to help Dil Mil grow further. Group plans to continue to acquire successful companies in the social discovery space.”

On average, Indians have the highest family income and postgraduate education ratio among foreign-born populations in America. The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world (30 million people). Continued growth is also expected since India is on pace to have the world’s largest population, surpassing China around 2027.

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Airbnbs CEO said the company must do better after five people were killed at a party in San Francisco

Airbnbs chief executive has said the company will ban party houses following a deadly shooting at a Halloween party held at an Airbnb rental home in California.

In a series of tweets, Brian Chesky said on Saturday that the San Francisco-based company would expand manual screening of high risk reservations and remove guests who fail to comply with policies banning parties at Airbnb rental homes.

He also said the company is forming a rapid response team when complaints of unauthorised parties come in.

We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable, he tweeted.

Five people died after a Thursday-night shooting that sent some 100 terrified partygoers running for their lives in the San Francisco suburb of Orinda.

Brian Chesky (@bchesky)

Starting today, we are banning party houses and we are redoubling our efforts to combat unauthorized parties and get rid of abusive host and guest conduct, including conduct that leads to the terrible events we saw in Orinda. Here is what we are doing:

November 2, 2019

The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, a person with knowledge of the transaction told the Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 97km (60 miles) north of Orinda earlier in the week fouled the air over a wide area.

The owner was suspicious of a one-night rental on Halloween and before agreeing reminded the renter that no parties were allowed, said the person with knowledge of the transaction, who was not authorised to publicly disclose the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The owner, Michael Wang, said his wife contacted the renter on Thursday night after neighbours alerted them to the party. The renter said there were only a dozen people at the home but Wang said he could see more people on video from his doorbell camera.

We called the police. They were on the way to go there to stop them, but before we got there the neighbour already sent us a message saying there was a shooting, he told the Chronicle.

No arrests have been made and there was no immediate word on a motive for the attack. Two guns were found at the property, authorities said.

Three people, all from the Bay area, died at the scene and a fourth died in hospital, authorities initially said. The Contra Costa County sheriffs office identified them Friday evening as Tiyon Farley, 22, of Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; Ramon Hill Jr, 23; and Javin County, 29. The sheriffs office identified a fifth victim, 19-year-old Oshiana Tompkins of Vallejo and Hercules, late Friday night, saying she died in hospital.

Taylors father, Omar Taylor Sr, said his son was hired to play music at the party.

Wrong place, wrong time, he told the East Bay Times.

Other people were wounded by gunshots or injured in the panic that followed, authorities said.

The party at the four-bedroom house apparently was advertised on social media as an Airbnb mansion party.

Orinda, with a population of about 20,000, requires short-term rental hosts to register with the city annually and pay an occupancy tax. The maximum occupancy is 13 people.

Orinda city documents show officials issued violations in March for exceeding the homes maximum occupancy and illegal parking. City manager Steve Salomon said the homeowner had resolved previous complaints lodged in February over occupancy and noise and in July over overflowing trash.

Airbnb is urgently investigating what happened, spokesman Ben Breit said in an email.

Airbnb has banned the renter from its platform and the home has been removed as a listing, he said.

One attendee said he was enjoying the music and watching people dance when he heard shots and people started running.

The screaming seemed to last forever, said Devan, who asked that his last name not be used because he feared for his safety.

Everybody started running, scrambling, he said. People were just collapsing and friends were helping friends. It was a scary situation and then as everyone is panicking and stuff, there were more shots.

Devan shot a video posted to Instagram that showed a wounded man on the ground and a police officer standing over him and a woman saying she needs to go to the hospital because my hands been blown off.

On Friday, police tape surrounded the block as people came to collect their cars and other belongings. One woman in tears told reporters the father of her child had been killed. She left before giving her name.

Romond Reynolds picked up the car of his son, 24-year-old Armani Reynolds, who he said was left comatose by the shooting.

All I know is that hes a victim and was at the wrong place at the wrong time, Reynolds said.

Neighbour Shahram Saki, 61, said in a phone interview that some fleeing partygoers hid in the bushes in his front yard and others begged to be let into his home.

They were screaming for help. I told them, You gotta get out of here, Saki said. I was scared to death, anything could have happened.

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Don’t like the idea of your baby guzzling down liquid candy all day? It may surprise you to find corn syrup is the main ingredient in most infant formulas in the U.S. That’s where Bobbie, a Bay Area-based baby formula delivery startup promising only wholesome ingredients, hopes to fill in.

Just go down the baby food aisle of any supermarket in America and start reading the ingredients and you’ll likely find corn syrup, soy bean oil, glucose syrup, maltodextrin and palm oil at the top. Even “organic” options often add these ingredients.

While it’s high-fructose corn syrup we should be most concerned with when it comes to diabetes (and some doctors might even recommend adding some sort of syrup to your baby’s diet to combat constipation), corn syrup is not something some parents may want their baby drinking all day.

BobbieTouting itself as “European” style, Bobbie’s first product features fresh, grass-fed cows’ milk as the main ingredient. What it does not include, however, is key for the concerned parent. There’s zero corn syrup, maltodextrin or other artificial sugars or unhealthy oils.

Of course, some babies might not be able to stomach the lactose from bovine sources, but grass-fed and corn syrup-free is music to the ears of many parents (me included) who’ve resorted to ordering bulk from Germany just to avoid feeding our kids Snickers in a bottle.

Yes, it seems crazy to order all the way from Europe when there are so many choices here in the U.S. — and there are some formula manufacturers here making an effort to offer better options — but finding something that meets the simple standard of no sugar, corn syrup or processed oils in the baby food is weirdly difficult.

The other nugget Bobbie provides is delivery. Heaven knows every second is precious when you are a new parent. Delivery can be an especially big help in maintaining some semblance of order in those early days. Sure, Amazon delivers many baby things — it even ships the popular, German-based Hipp brand of formula — but it comes at a premium price and will only ship in bulk.

You can also get the European brands delivered straight from sites like Organic Start, Huggable and a number of others easily Googled. But for those wanting something local, slightly less expensive and with presumably less of a carbon footprint than shipping from another continent, Bobbie is here for you (and we’re told will be delivered with a soft knock on the door, in case baby is sleeping).

The company was founded by two San Francisco moms and former Airbnb operation leaders Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy. Both found out how hard it was, after returning from maternity leave, to pump each day while keeping up with the demands of the job. However, neither of them liked the formula options they found at the grocery store for their own little broods.

Modi and Hardy thought it was time to give parents a more local choice in healthy formula. The two founded the company in 2018 and pulled in $2.5 million in funding last year from Bolt Capital, Nextview Ventures, Lakehouse and Precursor while Modi was pregnant, closing the round a week before giving birth to her baby boy.

Bobbie will (appropriately) begin taking orders this Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, Bobbie only delivers to the Bay Area for now. However, those interested can order one 400 g trial box for $27, which should make about 22 bottles at 6 ounces per bottle, according to a company spokesperson. You can also sign up for the subscription package for $23 per box.

Bobbie Baby – Evolving the conversation of parenthood from Laura Modi on Vimeo.

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The touted No2 pick in this weeks NFL draft has scrubbed his social media of conservative views. But fans and teammates value winning above politics

Take a trip through Nick Bosas social media accounts and you will find something interesting: the projected No2 overall pick has been deleting tweets and Instagram likes in the run-up to the NFL draft.

Bosa and his representatives have taken to systematically scrubbing the players social media, removing supportive references to President Trump, tweets about Colin Kaepernick (who he called a clown), and removing likes from Instagram posts on pictures that included the n-word and homophobic slurs in their captions.

The former Ohio State pass-rusher is expected to be selected second overall on Thursday night by the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernicks former team, though there is still a chance he will be taken with the first overall pick. Interestingly, it appears Bosa made the changes to his social media specifically because he is going to a city considered a liberal haven. I had to, Bosa told ESPN in a story published this month about his deleted posts. There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.

The first thing that should be said is that Bosa shouldnt just scrub those likes of posts involving homophobia and the n-word: he should apologise and renounce bigotry. As for his other posts on Trump and Kaepernick: he is perfectly entitled to his political views. Which raises an interesting question: how should players balance their marketability with their off-field opinions? There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your perspective, your priorities.

Colin Kaepernick took a knee knowing he could be ostracised from the NFL. But giving his community a voice was more important to him than slinging footballs, no matter how much he loved his job. Bosas priorities appear different. The younger brother of Charger All-Pro Joey, and son of John, an ex-NFL pro with the Dolphins, Nicks family is well versed in the business of football and its commercial impact. His decision makes financial sense. But his lack of conviction is jarring.

Whether you agree or disagree with Bosas politics is beside the point. If he truly believed, like really believed in these causes and views, he would use that to promote his message, the way Chris Long, Michael Bennett and Kaepernick have done. San Francisco is liberal, sure. Maybe you distance yourself from some folks in the locker room. Maybe some of the Niners more liberal base grabs a Garoppolo jersey instead of a Bosa one. But you show conviction, not timidity. Rational people can respect that.

Besides, the reality of sports is this: winning cures all and most fans and teammates have an ability to avert their gaze as long as the sacks and pressures and Ws are flowing. Its sad, but its the truth. As long as Bosa is devouring quarterbacks, it wont matter if hes battling a cocaine addiction or getting a DUI with a stack of guns and a child in the car. Dallas fans still cheered for Greg Hardy despite a domestic violence incident that included throwing a woman onto a bed of guns. Fans and other players will wince at those headlines. Then go back to rooting for the name on the front of the jersey, ignoring the sins of the name on its back.

By comparison, questionable social media activity is small potatoes. And heres the other thing: just because the tweets and likes are deleted, doesnt mean theyre gone for good. Screen grabs and memories live on. If a Niners fan has already checked out on Bosa due to their support for Kaepernick or their political leanings, deleting tweets will not change their mind. And you can bet theyll still let out the slightest of fist pumps when Bosa drops Jameis Winston in week one. For some like Kaepernick having your voice heard is more important than the extra dollars from a sponsorship deal or jersey sales. For Bosa, its clear that its not.

Top five players in this years draft

Note: these are the most talented players available, not a prediction of the order in which they will be picked.

1) Nick Bosa, edge, Ohio State

Questionable social media strategy aside, Bosa is widely considered the best player in this years draft class on either side of the ball. Bosa missed most of this junior year after undergoing a core-muscle surgery. Yet his place atop draft boards was already assured thanks to a dominant sophomore campaign, in which he had the highest pass rush wins percentage in all of college football. Bosa finished the season with 25 hurries, 15 hits, nine sacks and three batted passes. It was a non-stop highlight package. Bosa will be really, really good, really, really fast. No one is a cant-miss prospect, but Bosa is about as close as you can get.

2) Quinnen Williams, defensive line, Alabama

Quinnen Williams sacks Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond during a game last season. Photograph: Butch Dill/AP

Pass rushers and pass blockers, thats what this draft is all about. Either get someone who can hit the other teams quarterback or grab someone who can protect your guy. Watch Williams play, and you will instantly be awed by the sheer spectacle of someone so big being able to move so fast. He is damn-near unstoppable off the snap. Talent wise, he would be a top-five pick in any year.

3) Josh Allen, edge, Kentucky

Yes, Allen is an excellent pass rusher. But hes so much more than that. He is a defensive chess piece who drifts between a bunch of different positions and makes plays all over the field. He has a turbocharged get-off and has been compared to Chicagos Khalil Mack.

4) Ed Oliver, defensive line, Houston

If you listen hard enough, you can hear the sound of 32 NFL defensive coordinators cajoling their general manager to find any way possible to grab Oliver in the upcoming draft.

Thanks to the dominance of Aaron Donald, small, twitchy, defensive linemen are all the range. The 287lbs Oliver is still considered small by the Donald-standard. He was even asked to perform linebacker drills by the Titans at this years combine. Id ask myself to play linebacker too, Oliver said at the time. He will play inside, outside, and stood up on Sundays. And he will be a potent force for years to come.

5) Kyler Murray, quarterback, Oklahoma

The likely No1 pick is the most electric player in the draft, regardless of position. He is the only quarterback in 20 years who comes close to matching the athleticism of Michael Vick. In the right offense, he can be a special weapon.

Two of the major concerns about Murray have been answered: his commitment; his slender frame. He spurned baseball to concentrate on being a quarterback full-time and he turned heads at the combine turning up at a bulked up 207lbs.

Theres no disputing his on-field performance or production. He wasnt as methodically brilliant as Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma but his highs were just as high wow throws delivered from the most bonkers of body positions; game-breaking runs. Someone will take him first overall. Will it be the Cardinals or the Raiders?

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As I’m sure everyone reading this knows, female-founded businesses receive just over 2 percent of venture capital on an annual basis. Most of those checks are written to early-stage startups. It’s extremely difficult for female founders to garner late-stage support, let alone cash $100 million checks.

Maybe that’s finally changing. This week, not one but two female-founded and led companies, Glossier and Rent The Runway, raised nine-figure rounds and cemented their status as unicorn companies. According to PitchBook data from 2018, there are only about 15 unicorn startups with female founders. Though I’m sure that number has increased in the last year, you get the point: There are hundreds of privately held billion-dollar companies and shockingly few of those have women founders (even fewer have female CEOs)…

Moving on…

YC Demo Days

I spent a good part of the week at San Francisco’s Pier 48 in a room full of vest-wearing investors. We listened to some 200 YC companies make their 120-second pitch and though it was a bit of a whirlwind, there were definitely some standouts. ICYMI: We wrote about each and every company that pitched on day 1 and day 2. If you’re looking for the inside scoop on the companies that forwent demo day and raised rounds, or were acquired, before hitting the stage, we’ve got that too.

IPO corner

Lyft: This week, Lyft set the terms for its highly-anticipated initial public offering, expected to be completed next week. The company will charge between $62 and $68 per share, raising more than $2 billion at a valuation of ~$23 billion. We previously reported its initial market cap would be around $18.5 billion, but that was before we knew that Lyft’s IPO was already oversubscribed. Here’s a little more background on the Lyft IPO for those interested.

Uber: The global ride-hailing business flew a little more under the radar this week than last week, but still managed to grab a few headlines. The company has decided to sell its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, which is the least surprising IPO development of 2019, considering its key U.S. competitor, Lyft, has been working with the Nasdaq on its IPO. Uber is expected to unveil its S-1 in April.

Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest, at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017.

Pinterest: Pinterest, the nearly decade-old visual search engine, unveiled its S-1 on Friday, one of the final steps ahead of its NYSE IPO, expected in April. The $12.3 billion company, which will trade under the ticker symbol “PINS,” posted revenue of $755.9 million in the year ending December 31, 2018, up from $472.8 million in 2017. It has roughly doubled its monthly active user count since early 2016, hitting 265 million last year. The company’s net loss, meanwhile, shrank to $62.9 million in 2018 from $130 million in 2017.

Zoom: Not necessarily the buzziest of companies, but its S-1 filing, published Friday, stands out for one important reason: Zoom is profitable! I know, what insanity! Anyway, the startup is going public on the Nasdaq as soon as next month after raising about $150 million in venture capital funding. The full deets are here.

Seed money

General Catalyst, a well-known venture capital firm, is diving more seriously into the business of funding seed-stage business. The firm, which has investments in Warby Parker, Oscar and Stripe, announced earlier this week its plan to invest at least $25 million each year in nascent teams.

Deal of the week

Earlier this week, Opendoor, the SoftBank -backed real estate startup, filed paperwork to raise even more money. According to TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden, the business is planning to raise up to $200 million at a valuation of roughly $3.7 billion. It’s possible this is a Series E extension; after all, the company raised its $400 million Series E only six months ago. Backers of OpenDoor include the usual suspects: Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, General Atlantic, GV, Initialized Capital, Khosla Ventures, NEA and Norwest Venture Partners.

Startup capital

Backstage Capital founder and managing partner Arlan Hamilton, center.


Axios’ Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva published a report this week revealing Backstage Capital hadn’t raised its debut fund in total. Backstage founder Arlan Hamilton was quick to point out that she had been honest about the challenges of fundraising during various speaking engagements, and even on the Gimlet “Startup” podcast, which featured her in its latest season. A Twitter debate ensued and later, Hamilton announced she was stepping down as CEO of Backstage Studio, the operations arm of the venture fund, to focus on raising capital and amplifying founders. TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey has the full story.

Pro rata rights

This week, TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos revisited a long-held debate: Pro rata rights, or the right of an earlier investor in a company to maintain the percentage that he or she (or their venture firm) owns as that company matures and takes on more funding. Here’s why pro rata rights matter (at least, to VCs).


If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to check out TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Equity. In this week’s episode, available here, Crunchbase News editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm and I chat about Glossier, Rent The Runway and YC Demo Days. Then, in a special Equity Shot, we unpack the numbers behind the Pinterest and Zoom IPO filings.

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Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications division published its 13th-annual Digital Media Trends survey, focused on identifying changes in the ways US consumers engage with various types of media.

Led by an independent research firm, the survey had roughly 2,000 consumer respondents across demographics – with the report categorizing respondents based on age (Gen-Z: ages 14-21, Millenials: 22-35, Gen-X: 36-52, Boomers: 53-71, and Matures: 72+).

While already accompanied by a succinct 13-page executive summary, the report can largely be summarized in just a couple of sentences: more people are using streaming or alternative media services than ever before, largely due to more user freedom and customization, though the growing quantity and fragmentation of platforms are becoming more frustrating for users to manage.

The survey results directionally echo already well-discussed dynamics, which we’ve previously dug into such as here, here and here. Instead, the most poignant aspects of the report were not the answers or conclusions themselves, but the immense level of support many of them received.

Somewhat interesting:

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Two years ago the band was cleared of stealing its Stairway to Heaven riff, but now a San Francisco court says jurors were misled

A US appeals court has ordered a new trial in a lawsuit accusing Led Zeppelin of copying an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic 1971 rock anthem Stairway to Heaven.

A federal court jury in Los Angeles two years ago found Led Zeppelin did not steal the famous riff from the song Taurus by the band Spirit.

But a three-judge panel of the 9th US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco ruled unanimously that the lower court judge provided erroneous jury instructions that misled jurors about copyright law central to the suit. It sent the case back to the court for another trial.

A phone message left with an attorney for Led Zeppelin, Peter Anderson, was not immediately returned.

Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe, filed the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin in 2015.

Jurors returned their verdict for Led Zeppelin after a five-day trial at which the band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant testified.

Page says he wrote the music and Plant has claimed the lyrics, saying Stairway was an original. In several hours of often-animated and amusing testimony, they described the craft behind one of rocks best-known songs.

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How James Bond, an abusive Parisian cabbie, and one mans frustration with going out in San Francisco led to a transport revolution

The whole thing might not have happened without Bond James Bond. It was mid-2008, the Canadian entrepreneur Garrett Camp had just sold his first company, the website discovery engine StumbleUpon, to eBay for $75m. Now he was living large, enjoying San Franciscos nightlife, and when relaxing at his apartment in the citys South Park neighbourhood, he occasionally popped in the DVD of Daniel Craigs first Bond movie, Casino Royale.

Camp loved the movie, but something specific in it got him thinking. Thirty minutes into the film, Bond is driving his silver Ford Mondeo in the Bahamas on the trail of his adversary, Le Chiffre, when he glances down at his Sony Ericsson phone. Its brazen product placement and by todays standards the phone seems comically outdated. But at the time, what Bond saw on his phone startled Camp: a graphical icon of the Mondeo moving on a map toward his destination. The image stuck in his head and to understand why, you need to know more about the restless, inventive mind of Garrett Camp.

Camp was born in Calgary, Canada, and spent his early childhood playing sports, learning the electric guitar and asking lots of questions. Eventually, his curiosity settled on the world of personal computers. An uncle gave the family an early model Macintosh, from the days of floppy disks and point-and-click adventure games, and Camp spent hours on it during the frigid winters, toying with early computer graphics and writing basic programs.

By the time Camp graduated from high school, his parents had a three-storey home that included a comfortable office and a computer room in the basement. There wasnt much reason to leave, he says. He enrolled at the nearby University of Calgary, saved money by living at home and spent the next few years there (aside from one year in Montreal, interning at a company called Nortel Networks). He got his undergraduate degree in 2001 and stayed at the university to pursue a master of science, finally leaving his comfortable nest after he turned 22 to move into a campus apartment with classmates.

Camp met Geoff Smith, who would become his StumbleUpon co-founder, through one of his childhood friends and they started the site as a way for users to share and find interesting things on the internet without having to search for them on Google. By the time Camp finished his degree in 2005, StumbleUpon was starting to show promise. Camp and Smith met an angel investor that year who convinced them to move to San Francisco to raise capital. Over the next 12 months, the number of users on StumbleUpon grew from 500,000 to 2 million.

With the trauma of the first dot-com bust fading and the scent of opportunity again wafting across Silicon Valley, offers for StumbleUpon started pouring in. In May 2007, eBay bought StumbleUpon for $75m, turning it into one of the early successes of what became known as Web 2.0, the movement in which companies such as Flickr and Facebook mined the social connections among internet users. For Camp, it seemed the highest possible level of success in Silicon Valley and it was, by any reasonable standard until the one that he achieved next.

Uber co-founder Garrett Camp. Photograph: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Camp continued to work at eBay after the sale and he was now young, wealthy and single, with a taste for getting out of the house. This is when he ran headlong into San Franciscos feeble taxi industry.

For decades, San Francisco had kept the number of taxi licences capped at about 1,500. Licences in the city were relatively inexpensive and couldnt be resold and owners could keep the permit as long as they liked if they logged a minimum number of hours on the road every year. So new permits usually became available only when drivers died and anyone who applied for one had to wait years to receive it. Stories abounded about a driver waiting for three decades to get a licence, only to die soon after.

The system guaranteed a healthy availability of passengers for the taxi companies even during slow times and ensured that full-time drivers could earn a living wage. But demand for cars greatly exceeded supply and so taxi service in San Francisco famously sucked. Trying to hail a cab in the outer neighbourhoods near the ocean, or even downtown on a weekend night, was an exercise in futility. Getting a cab to take you to the airport was a stomach-churning gamble that could easily result in a missed flight.

Attempts to improve the situation were fruitless, since the fleets and their drivers were adamant about limiting competition. Over the years, whenever the mayor or the citys board of supervisors tried to increase the number of permits, angry drivers would fill city council chambers or surround city hall, causing havoc.

After the eBay acquisition, Camp splurged out on a red Mercedes-Benz C-Class sports car, but the vehicle sat in his garage. He hadnt driven much in Calgary and at college he preferred to take public transport. Driving in San Francisco was too stressful, he says. I didnt want to park the car on the street and I didnt want people to break into it. Just logistically, it was much harder to drive.

So the citys sad taxi situation seriously cramped his new lifestyle. Since he couldnt reliably hail a cab on the street, he began putting the yellow cab dispatch numbers in his phones speed dial. Even that was frustrating. I would call and they wouldnt show up and while I was waiting on the street, two or three other cabs would go by, he says. Then Id call them back and they wouldnt even remember that I called before. I remember being late for first or second dates. I could start getting ready 20 minutes early and still Id end up being 30 minutes late.

The sparkling city by the bay beckoned, but Camp had no reliable way to answer its call. Habitually restless and frustrated by inefficiencies, he came up with his first attempt at a solution: he would call all the yellow taxi companies when he needed a cab. Then he would take the first one that arrived.

Not surprisingly, the cab fleets didnt like that tactic. Though impossible to confirm, Camp believes his mobile phone was blacklisted by the San Francisco taxi companies. They wouldnt take my calls, he says. I was banned from the cab system.

Then Camp got a girlfriend: a smart, beautiful television producer named Melody McCloskey. The relationship posed a new set of transport hurdles: McCloskey lived a few miles away from Camp, in Pacific Heights. Meeting anywhere was a hassle and Camp often wanted to get together somewhere out at night.

To solve these challenges, Camp started to experiment with the citys gypsy cab fleet the unmarked black sedans that would approach prospective passengers on the street and flash their headlights to solicit a fare. Most San Franciscans, particularly women, would stay away from these unmarked cars, fearing for their safety or worried by the ambiguity of a cab without a running meter. But Camp found that a majority of the cars were clean and that many of the drivers were friendly. The biggest problem for these drivers was filling in the dead time between rides, when they tended to wait outside hotels. So Camp started collecting the phone numbers of town-car drivers. At one point, I had 10 to 15 numbers in my phone of the best black-car drivers in San Francisco, he says.

Then he started gaming the system further: texting a favourite driver hours before he needed him and telling him to meet him at a restaurant or bar at an appointed time. On another night, he rented a town car and driver for himself and a group of friends for an entire evening. It was an indulgence that cost $1,000 and zooming around the city at the end of the night dropping everyone off was a pain.

And that is when the futuristic image from Casino Royale popped into Camps head. Suddenly, he was obsessed with a new notion. He frequently talked with McCloskey about the idea of an on-demand car service and vehicles that passengers could track via a map on their phones. At one point that year, Camp scrawled the word ber into a Moleskine notebook that he kept to jot down new ideas and logos for companies and brands. Isnt that pronounced Yoober? she asked him.

I dont care. It looks cool, he said.

McCloskey recalls that Camp wanted it to be one word and a description of excellence and that his musings on the word, its sound and meaning, were incessant. What an uber coffee that was, hed say randomly after drinking a cup. It means great things! It means greatness!

Cab drivers wait to be processed at Ubers London driver service centre. Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian

Camp says he contemplated calling this new service berCab or BestCab and finally settled on just UberCab, losing the umlaut. (He registered the domain name in August 2008.) McCloskey loved Camps endless examination of new ideas but wasnt so sure she believed in this particular one. Sure, cabs are terrible, she said. But you are only in the cab for eight minutes! Why does itmatter?

But Camp was certain that he wanted such a service. He also knew that the iPhone and its new app store, which Apple introduced over the summer of 2008, were going to finally make the futuristic vision in Casino Royale practical. Not only could you chart the location of an object on a map, but since the earliest models of the phone had an accelerometer, you could also tell if the car was moving or not. That meant that an iPhone could function like a taximeter and be used to charge passengers by the minute or the mile.

He talked it over that year with many of his friends. The author and investor Tim Ferriss first brainstormed with Camp about the then-unnamed Uber at a bar in the Mission District. He thought it was a great idea, then forgot all about it. A month or two later, he got a call from Camp and when they started talking about Uber again, Ferriss was shocked. Camp, he says, had done an incredibly deep dive into the flaws of black cars and a kind of lost utility, the downtime of black cars and taxis. It was clear that he was probably already in the top 1% of market analysts who have looked at the space.

The idea behind Uber was crystallising in Camps mind.

Both the passenger and the driver could have an app on their phones. The passenger could have a credit card on file and wouldnt have to travel with any pesky cash. I bounced the idea off of everyone, Camp says. All these ideas kept building and building.

The original idea was to buy cars, then share the fleet among his friends who were using the app. But Camp says that was only a starting point and that even back then he was considering the potential to use such a system to co-ordinate not just black taxis but eco-friendly Priuses and even yellow cabs.

I always thought it could become a more efficient cab system, particularly in San Francisco, he says. He wasnt sure it would work outside the city, though. If he could get it to work in just 100 cities, he reasoned, it could be big enough for a company that generated about $100m a year in service fees.

By the autumn, Camp had more free time to work on Uber, since he and McCloskey had broken up, though they remained friends, and he was going less frequently into StumbleUpon. He recalls spending his weekends getting coffee, cruising the web and doing research into the transport industry and then going out with friends at night.

On 17 November 2008, he registered UberCab as a limited liability company in California. Soon after, hungry for some basic market research, he sent an email to Ferriss, saying: My goal is to be at a go or no-go decision by 1 December and to be live with five cars in January.

In December, on the way to LeWeb, a high-profile annual technology conference in Paris, Camp stopped in New York. There he met Oscar Salazar, a friend and fellow graduate student from the University of Calgary. Salazar was a skilled engineer from Colima, Mexico. He got his masters in electrical engineering in Canada and his PhD in France, then moved to New York.

During this time, he kept in touch with Camp and they reunited that December at a delicatessen in lower Manhattan. Camp pitched UberCab to Salazar and asked him to lead the development of the prototype.

I have this idea. In San Francisco its hard to get a taxi. I want to buy five Mercedes, Camp said, taking out his phone and showing him a picture of a Mercedes-Benz S550, a high-end coupe that sold for about 80,000. Im going to buy the cars with some friends and were going to share drivers and the cost of parking. He showed mock-ups of iPhone screens demonstrating how cars would move on maps and how passengers might see a town car coming toward them.

Salazar had experienced his own troubles hailing cabs in Mexico, Canada and France and remembers telling Camp: I dont know if this is a billion-dollar company, but its definitely a billion-dollar idea. Since Salazar was in the US on a student visa, he couldnt receive payment in cash for the job. Instead, he received equity in the fledgling startup. His stake is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Its way more than I deserved. Its more than any human deserves, he told me over breakfast at a New York cafe in 2015. UberCab was officially in development, and so Camp left for Paris and the LeWeb conference, where he was meeting McCloskey and a close friend and fellow entrepreneur Travis Kalanick.

Every company creates its own origin myth. Its a useful tool for expressing the companys values to employees and the world and for simplifying and massaging history to give due credit to the people who made the most important contributions when it all started. Ubers official story begins here in Paris, when Camp and Kalanick famously visited the Eiffel Tower on a night after LeWeb and, looking out over the city of light, decided to take on an entrenched taxi industry that they felt was more interested in blocking competition than serving customers.

We actually came up with the idea at LeWeb in 2008, Kalanick would say five years later at the same conference, citing the challenges of getting a cab in Paris. We went back to San Francisco and we created a very simple, straightforward [way] to us at the time, to push a button and get a ride. We wanted it to be a classy ride.

Uber instruction video

Like all mythologies, it is not really true. The story gets misrepresented a lot, Camp sighs. The whole LeWeb thing. Im OK with it, as long as its directionally correct.

Camp had previously discussed the Uber idea with Kalanick, as he had with other friends. At the time, Kalanick was enthusiastic about Camps notion for a smartphone-based town-car-sharing service but only mildly interested in getting involved. He had just sold a previous startup, the streaming-video company Red Swoosh, to a much larger competitor, Akamai, and was in the middle of what he later called his burnout phase, travelling through Europe, Thailand, Argentina and Brazil, and sizing up different career options. Travis thought it was interesting but he was in this mode, Camp says. He had just left Akamai and was travelling a lot and angel investing. He wasnt ready to go back in.

In Paris, they all stayed at a lavish apartment that Kalanick had found on the website VRBO. Camp was talking endlessly that week about Uber, but Kalanick had his own startup idea, which, considering everything that subsequently happened, was ironic: he was envisioning a company that would operate a global network of luxurious lodgings, identically furnished and separated into different classes, which could be leased via the internet. Frequent business travellers could subscribe to this network, rent places and pay for them seamlessly. He called this business idea Pad Pass. It was sort of a cross between a home experience and a hotel experience, Kalanick later told me. I was trying to bring those two together. Camp recalled it too. Travis had hacked out a whole Airbnb-like system that we were considering starting, he said. Uber was my idea; that was his idea.

McCloskey remembers that Kalanick had reached the same conclusions as the founders of Airbnb. The internet could allow travellers to find luxurious yet cheap accommodations while also offering a far more interesting travelling experience.

Nevertheless, the conversation that week in Paris gradually came to focus more on Uber than Pad Pass. Camp was convinced that the right way to start the business was to buy those top-line Mercedes. Kalanick strongly disagreed, arguing that it was folly to own the cars and more efficient just to distributethemobile app to drivers.

McCloskey remembers one dinner at a restaurant in Paris where the debate raged over the best way to run an on-demand network of town cars. The restaurant was elegant, with expensive wine, light music and a sophisticated French clientele. Apparently there was also paper over the tablecloth because Camp and Kalanick spent the entire meal scrawling their estimates for things such as fixed costs and maximum vehicle utility rates.

On a separate night in Paris, the group went for drinks in the Champs-lyses and then to an elegant late-night dinner that included wine and foie gras. At 2am, somewhat intoxicated after a night of revelry, they hailed a cab on the street.

Apparently they were speaking too boisterously, because halfway through the ride home, the driver started yelling at them. McCloskey was sitting in the middle of the backseat and, at 5ft 10in tall, shed had to prop her high heels on the cushion between the two front seats.

The driver cursed at them in French and threatened to kick them out of the car if they didnt quieten down and if McCloskey didnt move her feet. She spoke French and translated; Kalanick reacted furiously and suggested they get out of the car.

The experience seemed to harden their resolve. It definitely lit a fire, McCloskey says. When you are put in a situation where you feel like theres an injustice, that pisses Travis off more than anything. He couldnt get over it. People shouldnt have to sit in urine-filled cabs after a wonderful night and be yelled at.

That cantankerous Paris cab driver may have left an indelible mark on transport history. By the time they got back to San Francisco, Kalanick was ready to get more involved, at least as an adviser, and Camp was ready to listen to him. A few weeks into 2009, after a trip to Washington DC to see Barack Obamas first inauguration as president, Camp called Kalanick. He was about to lease parking spaces in a garage near his home in San Francisco for the fleet of Mercedes he was still determined to buy. Kalanick counselled him against it one last time: Dude, dude! You dont want to dothat!

Camp finally gave in and ended the ongoing debate; he never signed the lease and never purchased the cars. Instead of buying a dozen flashy Mercedes, Camp, along with Kalanick, would pitch the app to owners and drivers of limousines.

Kalanick would brag a few years later, in one of our first interviews: Garrett brought the classy and I brought the efficiency. We dont own cars and we dont hire drivers. We work with companies and individuals who do that. Its very straightforward. I want to push a button and get a ride. Thats what its about.

Edited extract from The Upstarts by Brad Stone published by Bantam Press (20)

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