THE BLOG
11/07/2012 06:09 pm ET Updated Jan 07, 2013

I Fought the Law (And I Won)

With films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, All the King's Men, and The Ides of March focusing on the dark side of politics, it's amazing to realize that sometimes the political process can actually be used for good.

In 2009, the founders of San Francisco startup Getaround had an industry-tilting idea: Since the average car is idle most of the day, it would be more efficient for people who only need cars for short periods of time to rent from existing owners rather than buy their own or commit to a full day rental.

But there was a major hurdle to clear: Being the first business of its kind, Getaround had trouble finding an insurer, as using personal cars in car sharing programs wasn't yet legal.

So Getaround's co-founder and Director of Marketing Jessica Scorpio organized an effort to get a state bill passed allowing people to do just that. With no obvious opposition, it moved smoothly through the legislature and was signed into law in 2010.

Most fledgling businesses wouldn't know where to start when it comes to legislation. Not so with Scorpio, who had previously worked for the Prime Minister of Canada. "In a startup," she explained, "you use whatever skills you have. It happened to be that I understand politics."

Thankfully, a relationship with insurance titan Berkshire Hathaway followed, and Getaround was off. Apparently, it's been pedal-to-the-metal ever since -- the team's up to 40 and there are eleven open positions now.

Now go forth (and drive away).

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