By mid-2009, Kalanick was "temporarily" running Uber, which had yet to launch, with co-founder Garrett Camp.
"I wasn't yet ready for a full-time gig – still recharging from a 10 year non-stop startup life in P2P technology – and we both thought the business was going to be pretty low-tech, mostly operational – Little did we know," Kalanick wrote of early days at Uber.
By January 2010, Kalanick said, he was interviewing Graves to take over.
"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 (I'm @konatbone):"
Source: Uber Newsroom
He got the job and moved to Hayes Valley in San Francisco, leaving a half-packed apartment in Chicago after 4 years.
"The world of no health insurance, jamming late nights, endless responsibility, and some of the most fun I've ever had are ahead of me and I'm so stoked," he wrote.
Graves started working at Uber in March 2010, demoing the product, with Kalanick dropping by for about 15 to 20 hours a week. Graves steered the company through its launch and first round of financing — for the next two years he didn't take any vacations.
In the first two months after the app launched, the company went from coordinating 5 rides per night to about 50, Graves said in a Facebook post, crediting the rise to customers' forgiveness for early-stage companies. The team started hiring for their first full-time engineer in April, and by June, Graves had moved the rest of his stuff to San Francisco.
"I work with a ton of young startup executives, but rarely have I had the opportunity to work with someone as high quality as Ryan," Kalanick wrote at the time. "He's got the trifecta: Hustle, emotional intelligence, and smarts. .... He learned the startup game fast and worked his ass off to build the Uber team and make the San Francisco launch and subsequent growth a huge success."