Ride-sharing apps have undeniably changed the way people move around cities. If you dwell in a metropolitan area (or even a college town) you can’t deny the pervasive power of these on-demand services. Vehicles at your behest that cost less than a taxi? You’re an Emperor! It should come as no surprise then, that copycats continue to pop up across the transportation industry.
A company called JetSmarter states on its website that it is “Bringing aviation back to its roots. Private.”
Aside from the paradox of aviation being grounded by said roots, JetSmarter presents a tantalizing prospect: The transportation startup has made its mission to build the Uber of the skies. Being able to hop a plane whenever you want via an app sounds dope if not unfeasible. But, if you’ve got an extra $9,000 a year, you’re privy to the fleet of private jets and 35,000 hours of flight time the company has purchased.
The service comes in the form of JetDeals — spontaneous one-way flights — and JetShuttle — shared, scheduled flights between major cities. When you see the quotes from JetSmarter’s founder, Sergey Petrossov, in a recent TechCrunch article it’s hard not to chuckle:
“We’ve really democratized the private jet space.”
Apparently there’s no security check and the service is becoming increasingly affordable. Now anyone can be a super villain. It almost reads like a page of The Onion. But it’s hard to argue with the $20 million in Series B funding the company has secured from moguls like Jay-Z and The Saudi Royal Family.
Tech ventures fail constantly. Look no further than Blackjet, essentially a JetSmarter competitor that shut down in 2013. It would seem easy to doubt the app’s future, however, long ago people scoffed and said that humans would never achieve flight. Jeering from the sidelines makes you just another one of history’s oafs.
That’s why I’ve opted for early adoption. I don’t mean that I’m subscribing to the James Bond Bad Guy service. Rather, I’m looking for the next opportunity to break into the transportation sector. Here are my top-three ride-sharing pitch ideas:
3. Dog Sleds
Is there any terrain more treacherous than icy, barren planes? The movie Balto would suggest there isn’t. Crossing Siberia or the Great White North with limited means doesn’t have to be a perilous endeavor. Just download the “Ruff Riders” app and you’re ready to open up shop. Simply enter your location (i.e. “Next to the Tree”) and a team of highly-trained huskies will retrieve a wooden sleigh for you. Don’t forget to tip your driver. The dogs get hungry.
2. Fan Boats
Expedient swamp travel has been called “man’s final frontier.” This new app puts an end to the Stone Age days when one could only ride a fan boat for the purposes of touring marshy waters and spying alligators. Between working as stunt doubles in high-speed chases with Burt Reynolds and that rascally racist sheriff, our skilled fleet of nautical navigators can get you all over southern Louisiana. Note to the investors: I plan to achieve profitability quickly and then parlay an acquisition. “Bayouber” is the working name.
My prized idea. How many times have you realized that you need to get to St. Louie post-haste? We’ve all been there. Putting on Sunday’s best and strolling down to the ol’ train station to purchase a ticket in advance simply isn’t the modern man’s game. Wouldn’t it be great to hop the clown wagon of a black snake and skinny out to the territories for a fee much lower than the folks at Union are charging? Sure, the fixed track creates some limitations for on-demand train rides, but the team of licensed hobos and vagrants working for “The Trainsporter” will teach you how to dodge attendants and switch cars mid-ride. I’m looking for investors who want to be part of a cutting-edge technology in a growing industry. Send word of your interest by telegram.