Thinking of a social roadside assistance company. For minor things like needing a car boost or locked out from vehicle. Or you ran out of gas etc..
What would be the obstacles for such a thing?
Ian's answer is great. He outlines how you can begin determining the potential customer interest in this which is very helpful. But even if customers respond favourably to this idea, I think you have to be really confident in the economics of the business which, just thinking quickly, I'm not. The measure of a healthy business like this this is a much higher LTV (life time value of the customer) then your CAC (customer acquisition cost).
Uber has the advantage of knowing that once they acquire a customer, that person is likely to use their service many many times over the course of years. By contrast, how many people will need your service more than a handful of times over the course of 3 years?
There are other even more practical concerns around the marketplace economics and behaviours that I'd be happy to address in a call.
I think that social roadside assistance is likely a feature of a bigger opportunity.
You might be onto a great idea. To answer your question: at this early stage there are literally hundreds of potential obstacles, but you won't necessarily run into them all. The key action for you to take right now is to talk to as many people as possible who would be customers of the service and ask them for their feedback. It's okay to talk to family and friends, but just be aware that many times they will be "nice" to you and not give you the honest feedback that you need to improve your product. Hopefully you will identify that there is a market need for your service, and that you can provide something unique that no one else does. Once you do that, you need to make a plan for how you are going to market this company. Social networks have a chicken and egg problem: they require a large number of users to become useful, but at the beginning there just aren't a lot of users so it's extremely difficult to get people to sign up. The solution is to identify a small niche that you can market to. As a related example, the 1st makers of the GPS did not attempt to sell it to consumers, because customers did not understand why the product was useful answer very difficult to market to the general public rather than a niche. Instead they studied the marketplace and determined that the niche of taxicab drivers would be an excellent audience to start selling GPS devices to. You need to do the same sort of analysis on social roadside assistance. There is a niche that will help you to launch this product.
I hope this helps and best of luck to you.
If you plan to create a social network that would be used for roadside assistance, then your biggest obstacle will definitely be competition from existing social network giants. People can currently use Twitter or Facebook to reach out to friends for help.
If, instead, your service will use existing social networks, I think your big obstacle will be ensuring the safety of users. A user will need to share his or her location to get assistance. You have to figure out a way to prevent criminals from taking advantage of that information to find easy victims for theft or worse. Also, criminals could pose as distressed travelers to lure unsuspecting good samaritans into a position where they could become victims. Once you solve that, your'll have to market your service as both reliable and safe.
Good luck to you!