I have an idea for a ridesharing app that would connect passengers and taxi service operators that works as follows:
1) Users would book a taxi on the ridesharing app
2) If a user wants to share their journey, then the app will automatically search for a potential co-passenger travelling in a similar direction
3) Once done the bookings would be uploaded onto a auction system on which service operators can then bid for them
In addition, taxi service operators have access to the auction system (which they pay a monthly subscription for - and this is how the business makes money), on which they can not only just bid for jobs but also post jobs (for example, if they are busy and cannot fulfill the booking) and trade jobs. So the idea is basically a universal mobile booking standard for taxi companies and customers. Admittedly, we are not the first people in the world to come up with this idea.
The problem I now have is bringing this idea to market. It is relatively easy to develop, but I am worried about getting the execution all wrong. So far I am seeing a few areas of concern:
- The idea has already been done, and larger companies have revenue, infrastructure and a proven model. I am somewhat behind the curve.
- Cab sharing is not ideal with women. The idea raises big moral issues with single women.
- How on earth are we going to afford the marketing and advertising budget to get taxi service on board? We have no idea of how to calculate the actual cost of getting an reasonable uptake of this kind of service in a new area?
- Furthermore, trying to launch this concept to the public leaves me with a chicken and egg scenario. Suppliers will not sign up to the service unless you can say you have a volume of customers wanting to use the service. Customers will not use the service unless you have a number of active suppliers engaged and willing to offer cabbing services. To launch the service therefore requires a timely bringing together of the two entities, which is a marketing and advertising campaign, or I either run the service for free or a massive discount for a month to get people using the service.
- All taxi service operators have their own system already of assigning jobs, so this is another barrier to entry. How would we convince them to make the switch?
Can anyone suggest how to best tackle this issues? I'd be ever so grateful.
here is my simple advice which should save you a lot of time and money.
your journey should start identifying whether or not you have a problem worth solving. Most of your issues, assumptions, solution you put forward is irrelevant until you have done this. Don't get me wrong, your idea is sound and it often starts from a vision or an intuition that your idea is great.
You now need to take a step back and do a coue of things:
- what problems does cabsharing solve? Share the cost? Meet new people? Etc.
- how would you rate the pain i.e. have people been dying for someone to co.e up with such a concept or is it simply a nice to have
You have to come up with a porblem statement, good understanding of the problem and start testing this first. Get out there and interview people. Measure. Learn.
If you have not heard of it yet just follow the lean startup approach (i recommend ash maurya's blog that will give you plenty to start with - his book running lean is also a great and practical resource).
If you need help structuring it all or formalising your initial lean canvas I am happy to help. The most important thing is to test and validate key assumptions before you embark on something bigger. Many ways nowadays to do this, give me a shout in less than am hour we can get you up and running.
Hope that helps, good luck the exciting part is just starting now: making it happen!
You have done a very good job of identifying the challenges, which is a promising sign.
There is 1 very specific area I can help you with – precisely because you are a ride sharing app. But I'd like to discuss it privately. Please send me a message. This won't be a paid consultation, and it's definitely worth your time.