Are you working in a start-up? Yes?
Are you one of its first employees? No?
Do you know your company’s some of the first employee? Yes, sure!
What if I tell you if things take a turn for good, it could turn out to be a billion-dollar opportunity for them? Sounds like a fairy tale.
Except for the fact that it is not. It was not. for Uber’s first employee, Ryan Graves.
Remember the name! His tweet just made him a billionaire last week.
How the Story Unfolded:-
On Jan 5, 2010, Ryan Graves sent a tweet to Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick suggesting himself as a potential hire for what was then a new start-up. Graves, who was at the time working as a leader in information technology at General Electric, got hired. Kalanick said the team recognized Graves as a “sharp guy” and agreed to interview him.
“Funny story how we brought him in. I was hitting Craigslist, Twitter, and other channels looking for the right candidate. What resulted was the Awesomest job post and response I’ve ever seen.” explained Travis Kalanick
Source – Business Insider
On March 1, 2010, Graves became the first employee at Uber thanks to that tweet and rest is history. As of today, Uber is a multibillion-dollar company. It was valued at more than $75 billion based on it’s $45 a share IPO on Thursday.
The 35-year-old businessman, who’s also the founder and CEO of Saltwater, reached out to Kalanick, provided his email address after the latter said he was looking for potential employees for a location-based service.
Because of his equity in the company, As of today, Graves’ estimated net worth is now more than $1.4 billion, according to Forbes’
Kalanick (worth over $5 billion, according to Forbes) has said that Graves, “hit the ground running,” at Uber after he was hired. “From the day he got going, we spent about 15-20 hours a week working together going over product, driver on-boarding, pricing model, the whole nine. He learned the startup game fast and worked his a** off to build the Uber team and make the San Francisco launch and subsequent growth a huge success,” Kalanick wrote in the 2010 blog post.
Source – Business Insider
Since then Graves has worn many hats within the company, briefly holding the title of CEO for a year in 2010 before transitioning to SVP of global operations. He resigned from the company in 2017 — shortly after Kalanick quit Uber.
Graves still sits on Uber’s board of directors. He now lives with his family in Hawaii, according to Forbes, and is running the investment firm he founded, Saltwater and Graves have agreed to donate at least $14 million to charity after Uber went public.