TECHNOLOGY

Is Travis Kalanick Planning to Take On Google?

The former CEO of Uber has just taken a huge “shot across the bow” of the Internet giant.

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BY Geoffrey James - 09 Mar 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Yesterday, Travis Kalanick (@travisk) tweeted the following description of his future plans as an entrepreneur:

"I'm announcing the creation of a fund called 10100 (pronounced 'ten-one-hundred'), home to my passions, investments, ideas and big bets. It will be overseeing my for-profit investments as well as my non-profit work. The overarching theme will be about large-scale job creation, with investments in real estate, commerce, and emerging innovation in China and India. Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities."

The twitterverse immediately went ROFL because, in trucker slang, the phrase "ten-one-hundred" means "I need to pee."

Since Kalanick probably didn't intend his new brand name to carry that subliminal message, what is the true meaning behind it?

NOTE: If you're not a programmer, you can skip the next two paragraphs.

My first thought was that since "10100" looks like a binary number, maybe it's code for a number in a different base. However, "10100" is "20" in Decimal, "14" in Hexadecimal and "24" in Octal. Not much to go on there.

My second thought was maybe "10100" was meant to be ASCII which is a computers represent letters and numbers. In ASCII, "14" in ASCII represents "DC4" aka "Device Control 4," a non-printable character. So again unlikely.

CONTINUED... So, then, what is the true inspiration behind "ten-one-hundred?"

Simple. 10100 is a shorthand representation of 10 raised to the hundredth power (i.e. 10^100) which, when written out, is so:

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

In mathematics, this huge number is commonly called a "googol," which is the term that was the inspiration for the corporate brand "Google."

Therefore, by naming his fund "ten-one-hundred," Kalanick may be signaling that he intends to compete against Google. That brand interpretation is buttressed by Kalanick's stated intention to focus on China and India, both countries where Google is not the market leader.

Or maybe Kalanick just needs to pee.

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