Mission-Driven Cities with Marc Lore

After starting and selling Jet.com for $3.3B and then building Walmart.com, Lore is devoting his time to building a new city that is equitable, fair, and connected.

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🎧 Episode #18 | Mission Driven Cities with Marc Lore

Listen on AppleSpotify, Pocket Casts, and on YouTube (audio)

Marc Lore is a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold Jet.com, among other companies. He now runs a venture fund called “Vision, Capital, People” alongside baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.

What about Earth?

Many of the world's billionaires are focused on space, but Marc Lore thinks we have work left to do to perfect our model of society on our home planet first. He recognizes that Utopias typically fail, but also says that Utopia itself isn't the goal. He doesn't believe that humanity has found the best model for society yet, and he thinks a new system for organizing our urban life called "equitism" may be a step in the right direction. To that end, Marc Lore is planning to build a new city.

This new metropolis is to be called "Telosa" and comes from an Aristotle-coined word "Telos," meaning "a higher purpose." It is so named because Marc's goal is to build a city grounded in three core values: Fairness, Transparency, and Connection. His argument is that if the city's organizers nail its values first, then experts can help design the infrastructure to help Telosa meet its lofty goals.

Building a mission-oriented city

Before a new city erects a building, seeds its first 50,000 residents, or buys a sports team, Marc wants to make sure that his city of the future can create an equitable and sustainable future.

One of the ways to make sure the city lives up to its aspirational goals is by carefully measuring specific quality of life metrics. Marc imagines that if the city sees high happiness, respect, and inclusion scores, other cities will take note and implement some of the same tactics that Telosa plans on executing.

Living off the land

One mechanism for creating a values-driven city may derive from how the city owns the land. Lore argues that the scarcity/cost of our land resources is one of the primary reasons why our current cities fail to work for all of their residents and instead only work for the wealthy. For example, local property taxes fund local education, so poorer neighborhoods have worse education systems almost by definition. Marc posits that if a city could use the value of its land to create a trillion dollar endowment, then that endowment could fund essential housing, education, and healthcare programs to raise the floor for everybody living in that city.

Once those essentials are addressed, Marc gets excited to think through some of the more futuristic aspects of building a city for a new millennia. How might we put our garbage system underground? How might we support a network of personal electric air vehicles? How might we maximize our ability to recycle water?

All these questions and more are covered in the conversation with host Marshall Kosloff.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on AppleSpotifyPocket Casts, and YouTube (audio)

Mentioned in this Episode

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See you next week!


The Deep End is hosted by Marshall Kosloff and produced by On Deck—where top talent go to accelerate their ideas and careers.