Let’s say I come to you and tell you that I have this idea. Here’s how it works;
I want to start a company that allows people to offer rides to others. The person offering the ride makes money via a donation. We’re not going to call it a tip but a donation.
So what do you think of my idea?
“Dean- It’s been done. It’s called a taxi service.”
Yep. And yet there’s a company called Lyft that’s innovating on this model. They’re based out of San Francisco and rapidly penetrating other markets. But the devil’s in the details.
- They only hire drivers with a personality and are sociable. How many taxi drivers do you know who are sociable?
- They want all their drivers to greet their guests with a fist bump and make conversation in the car. How many taxi drivers greet their drivers in such a manner?
- Via a smartphone app, the passenger gets a picture of the driver and the car beforehand. How many taxi companies are doing this?
But it’s these small details of their operation that shows me that Lyft has a bright future. Do I think they’ll replace taxi drivers? No. Do I think they’ll take away market share? Yes. Do I think they can be a sustainable business in a niche market. Yes. Here’s why;
The reason why Lyft can succeed is that it is tapping into an innate need that all human beings have; to be social. Human beings are social animals. We crave for that connection and yearn for community. Take a look.