A year Ago in August 2014 I decided to join Mexico city and its entrepreneurial environment. Working in an innovation technology center (CTIN) and spending the rest of my day in communities for programmers and hackers (as DEV.F). trying to figure out a pain that most of people suffer and it’s funny because being in this city for 6 months is easy to think as normal spending 2 to 3 hours in transportation for join the office if you use a car, near to 1.5 to 2 hours in public transportation that is not comfortable, secure or even safe. That’s when I realize the pain I was looking for was there “A lack of quality in public transportation service over Latin America (not just Mexico)”. Transportation should be easy, affordable, comfortable, trustworthy, safe and customer first. That’s how the whole idea of combining on demand routes with Van sharing comes up.
What it does
Bussi is a transportation network that gives the possibility to transport groups in a Van, linking people with same routes. we make dynamic routes based on traffic behavior and people destination. Through a platform that gives unique user experience to people who wants to move between hard dense urban points to jobs and principal places in main cities with a mobile app. Our goal is to give an affordable cost service atmosphere with help crowdsourcing and on demand service.
How I built it
First we create a website where people share where they want to go, which days and what time. Then we make a city heat map and start to propose where the route should exist, the most voted route is the one officially opened. Finally the route is integrated to a very simple mobile application where users can see the Van in turn, check schedule and reserve a seat.
Challenges I ran into
There are so many challenges in starting a product, first and one of the most importants is Team. Bussi needs the right team right now we are a small group in deliver what people wants. we are probably not complete yet but we are still working on it.
Second thing is convincing Van owners to try Bussi model, is a hard task we are accomplishing step by step, also we need to have user demand and making growth so both Van owners and users might be satisfied. This is probably a very common challenge in two sided markets.
Third is cultural shock, most of people in cities like mexico city are custom to own a car but carpooling or van sharing is something they don’t understand at first, as well people thinks spending 2 to 3 hours in transportations services that lacks quality and safety. So comming with a solution that changes the game in order to penetrate these markets takes a while.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Since very beginning Bussi has been well accepted for must of people, which make us strongly believe we are in the right path to something interesting. Also we have been present in important events like web summit 2014 in dublin. Back in Mexico we have been part of Posible 2015 an event for entrepreneurs where we also provide a transportation service for more than 150 people. And currently we are working with dev.f in Mexico city to transport around 120 group of people. And now we have more than 450 active users in the last 3 months.
What I learned
Transportation and customer service needs a change in Mexico and Latam. The key for us is traveling with our customers, see what they care for and keep going with what is important. everything else is a distraction. for very specific points, safety and economy is what most of our users care more. Also in case of b2b model, the way to organize events to move big groups of people is what matters.
What's next for Bussi
We are currently serving users with a couple of routes, with a very small mvp. To scale is necessary to improve our application, the way people join and ask for a route which also means to have more Van owners and reduce cost. For what we need programmers, and investment to accelerate our penetration process.