Logan Green's obsession for improving transportation started early, while he was still in college and had to use public transport to visit his girlfriend. Whenever a bus broke down halfway, Logan was stuck there for hours - "It's moments of pain like that that really made me think, 'How can we do this better?'" he says. It was in a trip to Zimbabwe where Logan Green first got the idea of creating a ride-sharing company - deriving inspiration from the locals using crowd-sourced carpool networks to get around.
Logan Green started a company called “Zimride” to offer long-distance ride-sharing between college campuses. Through a Facebook post advertising Zimride, Green was found by another carpool enthusiast, John Zimmer. Zimmer was an analyst at Lehman Brothers and a Cornell grad, who had arranged trips between Cornell University and New York City during his college years. He reached out to Logan Green through a mutual friend, and Green flew to New York for a F2F meeting. They decided to start working together, and because Logan Green was still in college, John Zimmer was the one who funded Zimride initially. Zimmer quit his job soon after, and the pair moved to San Francisco to work on Zimride full-time. It was smooth sailing for a while after a $250K investment by Facebook, but they soon felt limited by Zimride's role of providing only long-haul rides.
"The bigger vision, which we've always had, was providing a full alternative to car ownership", Zimmer says. They sold Zimride and pivoted to Lyft to cater to the fast-growing on-demand, ride-sharing business. Unlike Uber, which was providing rides only in black cars and limos at the time - Green and Zimmer decided to make Lyft seem more friendly - their iconic 'pink mustaches' on Lyft cars are testament to that.