BCG Henderson Institute

The ride-share company HopSkipDrive was founded in 2014 by California-based mothers to provide vehicle-for-hire services for schoolchildren, elderly adults, and other vulnerable population. The little-known startup recently made headlines when the Denver Regional Council of Governments asked the company to arrange door-to-door transportation to COVID-19 vaccination centers for older adults—selecting it over more popular companies Uber and Lyft.

HopSkipDrive is unique in how it embeds trust into its operating model, in ways that far exceed the various U.S. state regulatory standards for transportation network companies (TNCs). Not coincidentally, HopSkipDrive is an iconic example of a successful ecosystem.

A business ecosystem is a dynamic group of largely independent economic players that create products or services that together constitute a coherent solution. As of 2020, seven out of the world’s 10 most valuable companies are ecosystems, and this new governance model is disrupting more and more industries. We have discovered that trust is an essential building block for their sustainable success.

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