If you’ve wandered around San Francisco lately, it’s quite possible you’ve laid eyes on cars sporting large furry bright-pink mustaches hanging over their radiator grilles. Those mustaches signify the driver is part of Lyft, a new on-demand ride service that launched in 2012 and has rapidly grown in popularity as a unique form of shared transportation.
San Francisco residents have long complained about the state of taxi cab service in their city, which is often blamed on bickering companies and a lack of vehicles on the street. Lyft’s co-founder John Zimmer recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that his company is merely offering a more enjoyable alternative that is competitively-priced and emphasizes a “personality experience.”
It’s that latter idea about Lyft’s personality experience that signifies how the service or “experience” economy is the new standard among companies seeking to find a path to success. While new service-based companies have not escaped criticism altogether, Jennifer Hyman of Rent The Runway says today’s fastest growing businesses place value on service rather than product.