Between client work, I’ve been toiling away on my “collaborative consumption” ride sharing application. Here are some of the interface designs I’ve created:
Since sociality is a vital aspect of the car-pooling concept, I built in a lot of the familiar functionality / semantics of social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, including group & private messaging and real-time notification. Surprisingly, it was probably this feature set, and not the geo-spatial mathematics, that turned out to be the most technically challenging part of the application. Admittedly, the question I asked myself was: “what’s the most intuitive process flow I can imagine?” not “what’s a reasonably intuitive experience, that won’t be a nightmare to implement?”. But I’m glad I was ambitious because I learned a great deal working through the adversity.
My co-founder and I, flew down to Melbourne two weeks ago to pitch the application for a spot in an venture seed-capital incubator called AngelCube. We beat out 200 other start-up applicants to make it into the 20 team pitching round, and beat out a further 10 teams to get into the final interview round. In the end however the investors passed due to Australia’s taxi law, which prohibits profiting from offering a ride without a taxi licence. This was a worry I’d had from the beginning in terms of commercialising the application. Though, I still feel that a subscription based service could be profitable. Regardless, its been a fantastic experience already, not only from the creative and technical standpoint of designing and developing the application myself, but from a business and networking standpoint as well.