Earlier this month, Leon Kaye wrote about how Zimride merges social networking with carpooling. I had a chance to sit down with co-founder and COO John Zimmer to explore how Zimride leverages existing communities to break through the trust barrier. It was a rough ride for Zimride at first, when even Zimmer’s alma mater Cornell was unwilling to promote Zimride’s ride share program. But inspiration hit when Cornell signed up to not only promote, but also pay for a ride share program that is customized and limited to the Cornell community. That’s when Zimmer realized the power of leveraging existing communities. Today, there are over 70 communities on Zimride, a large fraction of which are university campuses. Zimride is extending to corporations too. It won’t be long before we really get to know our neighbors, at home, at school and at work.
Connie Kwan is a GreenTech Marketing professional based in Silicon Valley, CA. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied.