Project 100 started just over a year ago with a simple belief. People are happier when they can more easily connect with the people and places they care about. Most people heard of us thanks to our plans to acquire a significant number of Tesla Model Ss. But that was only part of the story, like focusing on the carpet order for a massive art museum.
We aim for our soon-to-be-members’ use experiences to be incredibly simple, while the complexity of what we do rests in the hands of our team, behind the scenes. In our core service area, first in Las Vegas and soon in other cities, we will enable people to be on their way riding, driving or biking within five minutes. We’re combining small city cars, larger sedans, shuttles, bikes and more into a single monthly membership designed to remove your thoughts about cost as a factor in whether or not you should go somewhere. By the end of the year we will not only replace your car, but we’ll deliver so much more than your car could ever deliver. And we’ll be far more affordable than you might think.
Our aspirations are large but we see the path clearly. We will enable cities to develop themselves differently. No longer will you necessarily need to live in the middle of an active urban center to experience it as you would if you did. If we can equalize the time it takes for you to get to a place you care about from your home a mile or two away with the time it would take for you to walk there, imagine how a city could change. Imagine how many more people could live “in the heart of the action” if the pressure on centralized real estate were lessened.
We believe mobility is broken. We believe that the titans of today’s transportation innovation are taking broken systems and making them marginally better. We believe the system needs to be rebuilt. We believe we can do it better.
Over the past year we’ve teamed up with advanced mobility thinkers from our key partners at Daimler, Renault and Tesla. We’ve forged collaborative relationships with the Nevada Transportation Authority and the Regional Transportation Commission. We’ve started building one of the most advanced optimization engines in transportation. We’ve internalized the development of the hardware that will control our fleet. We’re building what we’ve been told is likely the most powerful consolidated electric vehicle charging station in the country. We’re building member apps in iOS and Android simultaneously (because it sucks when companies don’t). We’re building systems and experiences that will blow your mind. We believe we can do it better.
Jack Dorsey describes the story of the Golden Gate Bridge as a marvel of design and engineering when you study it, but to most people, a utility that has one purpose: do not fall down. The products that last, the products that become a part of your life are the ones that, when studied, are beautiful ballets of complex objects. But on the surface, those product simply get out of your way and become a utility you can’t live without.
Our business is a promise and we can never fail. We don’t aim to be everyone’s private driver, an EV company or a car sharing company. Our mission is to connect people to the places and experiences they care about.
Today we’re excited to announce a few things that get us closer to living out our vision. This week we closed a $10MM Series A funding round led by my friend Tony Hsieh. In 2013 over a drink at the Hard Rock Hotel during a Super Bowl slash birthday party, I shared with Tony the idea that would become Project 100. He believed in the idea enough to make it one of his largest single personal investments. Over the following year I moved away from my other work at Downtown Project and Zappos to focus full-time on building this company.
This funding enables us to launch our vision to change the way you move in a city, to test our assumptions and make countless people’s lives better. I’m lucky to be joined in this mission by a growing team of 22 of the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked with. And we’re just getting started.
If you’ve been around Las Vegas over the past few weeks you’ve probably seen me or someone from our team rocking t-shirts that say Shift by Project 100. When we technically launched the company last year it was to place our Tesla order and we had to name the company something. Because we were placing an order for 100 cars we simply called the company Project 100. We knew that was a silly name but we knew had time to figure out what felt right.
Project 100 is becoming Shift. As you hear from us more over the next few months leading to our full public launch, we will be Shift. The journey we’re embarking on is long and sure to be filled with challenges. Our team is up to the task and we’re looking forward to taking you on the journey with us. The obstacles don’t scare us because, as you know, Shift Happens.