The Lyft Experience

John Zimmer
Nov 15, 2016 · 3 min read

When I was a kid, I told my parents I wanted to be a magician and yes — dork alert — I even attended magic camp. In its simplest form, I loved magic’s ability to surprise and delight, along with the ultimate prize of getting the audience to smile.

By the time I was 18 and went to study hospitality at Cornell, I had put aside the magic tricks but remained passionate about finding ways to bring people together through delightful experiences. My love for magic had grown into a love for service — and whenever I was working in a hotel, I took every opportunity to make each guest’s day a bit better and a bit brighter. The mindset that motivates me is nicely articulated by a quote engraved into the entrance of Cornell’s Hotel School that I passed everyday: “Life is service. The one who progresses is the one who gives his fellow men a little more — a little better service.”

Years later, when Logan and I came up with the idea for Lyft, we got to work on understanding the humanity and hospitality behind creating a new experience. You have to remember, in the beginning, everyone told us we were crazy. While it was quite normal to get in a car that was yellow (taxis) or black (limos), it required a major behavior change to get people to ride in someone else’s personal vehicle.

Our first order of business in driving this behavior change and building trust was investing in safety. We put together a first-of-its-kind criminal background check, driving record check, and $1,000,000 insurance policy. We then focused on growing and empowering a service-oriented driver community (in the early days, Logan and I would meet every driver, which eventually evolved into a driver-to-driver mentor program). There was one more important element left — before we launched, I pitched the idea of attaching a giant pink mustache on the grille of every car (now you know who to blame). We loved the fun and irreverent look of the appropriately named Carstaches, and most of all we loved how they made people smile.

We had originally planned to use the ‘stache to help set a tone and create buzz for the first few weeks of launch. Instead, it ended up evolving into the Glowstache, and seeing us through four exciting years of growth. As we look forward to the many years ahead, we want to double down on its spirit while amping up the Lyft experience.

Introducing Amp

Today, marks the next chapter: We’re saying farewell to the mustache and introducing a fresh new look. Meet Amp, an industry first, which we know will make you smile. Amp is more than a fun take on our logo — it’s also an in-car communication tool to make it easier for passengers and drivers to find each other. And it’s another way to make each Lyft ride a bit more magical.

Ride on the Bright Side

Along with announcing Amp, we’re also excited to share our new brand campaign, Ride On The Bright Side, which adds some humor to the many reasons why millions of community members are choosing Lyft.

The campaign celebrates that 9 out of 10 Lyft rides get a five-star rating, drivers have earned $100 million in tips, and 97% of people who have used Lyft in the past six months are likely to recommend it to their friends.

Thank you for letting us serve you — we look forward to continuing to earn your stars and smiles.

John Zimmer

Written by

@Lyft Co-Founder. Life is better when you share the ride.

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