Lyft’s John Zimmer On The Uber Rivalry

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With 30 percent of the app-driven ridesharing trips taken in the United States, a decade into its journey, Lyft is proving to be a formidable Uber competitor. And part of that is due to the firm’s structure, according to President John Zimmer.

In an interview with The Financial Times, Zimmer stated that the joint leadership role that exists between himself and co-founder Logan Green is one that allows for synergy and efficiency. As the executive noted, “we have twice as much time than if there [were] just one of us” in the leadership berth or at meetings.

Culture plays a role, and the contrasts are in place between Lyft and Uber, where the FT notes a credo is “always be hustling,” while Lyft looks to promote a mindset that allows employees to “be yourself’ and “uplift others.” The contrasts are also regional ones, the financial news publication stated, as Uber is international in scope, while Lyft is U.S. only.

The carsharing company has grown its market share vs. Uber from the low 20 percent level to the current 30 percent in the space of a year. That comes amid some anti-Uber backlash, but also as Lyft has put force in the form of capital in fundraising and marketing efforts.

To that end, Zimmer stated that the continued investment phase can be likened to the mobile phone companies that put effort into infrastructure, and then add subscribers at little cost. “Once you are providing three minute ETAs,” John Zimmer told the FT, “then it is a quality service, but until then, you need to invest.”

Expanding on the ridesharing concept, he said that transportation is reminiscent of a model where a hotel has low occupancy and high costs and few service alternatives. But alternatives come in the form of additional services and features — such as driver tipping.

The future remains bright for both Lyft and its carsharing rival, said Zimmer, who stated that combined, the two firms have 0.4 percent of miles traveled across the U.S., setting the stage for growth.