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This Startup Founder Has a 770 Mile Daily Commute

Private airplane with red carpetPrivate airplane with red carpet

While New Yorkers deal with train pain, Curt von Badinski struggles with plane pain.

Von Badinski, who is the co-founder and CTO of fitness tracker startup Motiv, has a rather unusual commute. He starts and ends his day in Burbank, CA, but his office is in San Francisco. Traveling between the two requires two separate cars, two commuter plane rides, and six hours of his day.

No, really.

The extravagant commute isn’t quite as expensive as you might imagine. Von Badinski tells the BBC he pays a flat $2,300 per month for the flights, and he lives just 15 minutes from Bob Hope Airport, so gas isn’t a major factor. (He keeps a hybrid at Oakland airport for his drive into San Francisco.)

His days start at 5 am and he’s usually in the office by 8:30 or so (having landed at roughly 7:30). By 5 pm, he’s out the door and back home by 9 pm each night.

While it sounds like the height of dot-com excess, Von Badinski says it’s not, noting that he’s able to get work done without the daily interruptions other executives face. He also says it’s an effective way to get access to venture capitalists, who are stuck with him on the 90 minute flights.

Motiv was founded in Los Angeles, but later moved to the Bay area to attract a higher quality staff to help develop its fitness tracking ring.

“Unfortunately, the situation is such that I can’t uproot my family and bring them to San Francisco and I definitely can’t move the company down to LA, so I have to make sure that I can make it work,” he says.