Inc.: He Saw Uber Coming Before Uber Did. Here's His Next Big Idea

Read more about George Arison's latest venture Shift in Inc. by Tom Foster:

A garrulous man with a round, perpetually stubbly face and a big grin, the self-assured Arison does not come off as humbled by the experience. He says he learned a lot from his failure to invest Uber, and that he's applying that knowledge as he builds Shift, which launched three years ago and which Arison claims is the single largest seller of used cars in the Bay area. He's just raised $74 million for Shift -- from heavy hitters such as Goldman Sachs, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Highland Capital Partners -- and the company broke even this fall in San Francisco, its largest market. (It also operates in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., areas.)

Certainly Arison has learned one of the hardest lessons of entrepreneurship: Take your licks and move on with hard-won wisdom. Watching how Uber succeeded is helping avoid some of the traps that snared Taxi Magic. Shift is on track to become a good used-car business. Whether it can become a transformative force in its industry, as Arison hopes, is a different question altogether. 

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