By Ryan Goodman
I started Rideshare Sellers with a simple goal to help Uber and Lyft drivers who own their own businesses. These entrepreneurial drivers include personal trainers, music instructors, photographers, authors, DJs and many other professionals drive part time. Taking the time to understand WHY drivers sign up for Uber and Lyft, I found that many use the supplemental income to pay bills, children’s college tuition, medical bills, or extra cash flow for unforeseen circumstances.
While business owners who drive Uber and Lyft hand out business cards, I felt there had to be a better way to spark a conversation, create a “call to action”, and monitor where and when passengers show interest. I created SeatSCAN and released a low cost headrest cover solution to solve a simple problem and test the results.
Our vision is that by putting as much money in driver’s pockets a possible, we can potentially influence a new class of driver without negatively impacting the passenger experience and driver rating. We wont know if it works until we try, so we have to work with the best drivers who are just as passionate about what they do as we are to help.
We released the first version of SeatSCAN in early 2018 and spent time listening, iterating, and blueprinting the ultimate approach to grow RideshareSellers beyond driver owned businesses to local and national advertisers. During that time we met with community influencers, monitored the current ecosystem to fully understand the driver ecosystem, market challenges, and opportunity.
We have a LOT of work ahead to ensure Rideshare Sellers is the system of trust for connecting drivers, businesses, passengers without impeding on the overall rideshare experience or driver rating. To do that we understand that drivers need to remain the center of our universe.
Coming out of Stealth Mode
In July 2018, we were announced as a Tech Crunch Top Pick for Disrupt2018 for mobility and transportation. At the time of this article we are getting ready to share for the first time with media, investors, and potential partners what we have been quietly cooking up!
Our Mission Explained
Understanding the massive opportunity in front of us and hill to climb, I took a giant step back and slowed down development of Rideshare Sellers from Jun-July 2018. With all of the intelligence I gathered, I needed to re-evaluate Rideshare Sellers mission knowing a novel idea could grow into something big. As an entrepreneur, I wanted to ensure I was approaching the opportunity for the right reasons. The outcome of that reflection was re-defining WHY Rideshare Sellers exists:
“Empower drivers to be socially responsible entrepreneurs”
I chose these words carefully knowing every driver has a different circumstance and pre-existing ability. Some drivers are already socially responsible and donate their time and money to charitable causes. Some drivers are already savvy entrepreneurs. Some drivers consider themselves full time drivers and nothing more… And some are already Rideshare Sellers!
I wanted to ensure the business started from day 1 with the right attitude and goals, and attracted the right people. Our role at RideshareSellers is to provide technology, resources, and an platform to not only generate revenue but also help people.
Thinking Beyond the Headrest
Internally we say “think beyond the headrest.” Though we have to market ourselves as in-vehicle advertising at times, the problem we are solving is helping drivers maximize their earning potential while using the same platform to help raise awareness to important social issues.
One of those social issues that we want to focus on initially at Rideshare Sellers is destigmatizing mental health, specifically in the area of suicide prevention.