My happy place is: Looking through a telescope at the stars My pet peeve is: People who are greedy when they can afford not to be
Revolutionizing transport on a global scale
PROVIDING AFFORDABLE AND SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY FOR EVERYONE. Mark Seeger believes that people of his generation are responsible for using their skills to address the issues facing our society today. "Whether it's the climate crisis or social inequality, I don't believe we have the luxury to choose not to deploy our capabilities to addressing at least one of those. And I've tried to live up to that."
For Mark, that skill is mechanical and electrical engineering. His entrepreneurial journey has always focused on a 'do more, better, with less' mindset while having a positive impact on the world. After his first job as a product design engineer for Apple, he established GreenIdea to create biodegradable plastic bottles. A subsequent company, GeoCool, aimed to reduce the environmental impact of air conditioning. Even as entrepreneurs go, Mark thinks big.
"You must have the audacity to imagine the future and then believe you can affect that future's outcome. It's not humble at all. Humility has no role in this field."
Mark's latest venture is his most ambitious yet. In 2016 he founded Glydways, a company that aims to revolutionize mobility worldwide by designing a new mass transit system from scratch. The idea of Glydways is to give every passenger a personal electric vehicle, on-demand, any time 24/7, that rides on a discrete network that removes the usual bottleneck roadway infrastructures to offer traffic-free and non stop travel for the same price as a mass transit fare is today.
In keeping with his ideology to provide a better product at a lower cost and carbon footprint, Glydways operates with a negative carbon footprint, with the cost to the consumer being the same as a subway fare. The vision goes even broader than reducing car traffic across the world. "I believe that access to affordable, reliable mobility is access to economic and social opportunity. We're trying to create a business with a natural forcing function that says, the more people we move, the more everybody gains."
THE POWER OF RESILIENCE. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mark's bold vision for Glydways has its share of detractors. "That's when you know you're on to something because, for whatever reason, the human brain is wired to resist change. As long as you have the conviction that you're making the right kind of change for the right reasons, then resiliency is the one thing you need to bulldoze your way through that."
Mark realized the strength of his resilience in his early twenties. Born in Holland to Dutch-American parents, he moved to New Hampshire in his early teens. While studying at Rensselaer, he came out to his parents as gay. "They immediately turned on me, kicked me out of the family, and blamed me for all the ills in their own life. Couple that appalling lack of parental support with being a student with mild dyslexia, and a little bit of ADD, I had zero self-confidence."
Mark says the most significant transformation in his life was when he gained self-belief. "That is a source of all of your power and ability. If you can transform yourself to have that fear and negativity flow off you, that becomes a transformational capability you can carry through every aspect of your life." Now armed with fearless determination, Mark is relentless in his mission with Glydways. "The biggest economies in the world were built in the 1800s with the advent of rail. I think we can go to the next step, a bigger step, where we can create some of the biggest companies in the world by providing profitable, affordable, and sustainable mobility for everyone, everywhere."