Skylar Buffington is the founder of AFFIRM, a non-profit membership association providing a voice for the ride share driver community.
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After two amazing internships at Dell, Skylar Buffington landed what might have seemed like a dream job right out of college – $65k a year and living in Austin, TX. His family and friends thought he had it made. But, he was utterly unhappy. His work was horribly unfulfilling and he was fighting depression. He found himself craving an escape hatch, asking that question many of us ask, “What will make me feel fulfilled?”
He signed up with Lyft to be a ride share driver while he figured things out. The money started flowing right away, and it seemed like a great way to make a few dollars between independent consulting gigs. He found out he really enjoyed making the human connection he had been denied in his tech job. He also found that driving for Lyft helped him fight off the depression that consumed him.
He dove in deep. He became a “driver event coordinator” for the close-knit community of Austin ride share drivers (they even gave him a t-shirt for that). He was rewarded by Lyft with additional opportunities to interact with customers when he wasn’t driving. He was startled to discover that being a ride share driver made him genuinely happy.
But things came crashing down when the City of Austin’s citizens voted for ordinances that drove Uber and Lyft out of the city. The opportunity that pulled Skylar out of a life-threatening depression was suddenly gone.
Today, he is scraping by, dealing with financial difficulties while trying to launch a new membership association for ride share drivers.
What’s it like when the thing that saves you is suddenly taken from you?
How to Interact with Skylar
His Personal Website
American Federation For Independent Ride-Share Motorists
A membership association for ride share drivers.
At the time we published this podcast, the AFFIRM website at www.affirmdrivers.org was no longer working.
Things We Mention In the Show:
Austin City Limits
Music festival held in October each year in Austin
South By Southwest
The big tech, music, and film festival that happens each March in Austin.
The blog he wrote during the Prop 1 fight in Austin that got a lot of circulation.
AFFIRM’s forum on Medium
Right now, Skylar Buffington is loving…
Interactive game by Niantic
Center for Neighborhood Technology
Organization that delivers game-changing research, tools, and solutions to create sustainable and equitable communities.
Right now, T.J. Sullivan is loving…
Conference for podcasters. Join us in Anaheim in 2017
An amazing storytelling podcast you must subscribe to. Hosted by Glynn Washington. Find it on iTunes and any other podcast hosting site.
Death, Sex & Money Podcast
A podcast about the things we think about all the time and need to talk about more, produced by WNYC and hosted by the amazing Anna Sale.
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Executive Producer and Host: T.J. Sullivan
Associate Producer: Mindy Sopher
Engineer: Shannon Hernandez
Voice Over: Mia Voss
Social Media: Aryonna Richard
Music: Jason Tollen
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