The 4 Pillars of our solution
After the initial problem definition and validation phase as described here, we moved into the second gear. We were absolutely convinced that technology was just a means to address the agony of our commuters’ experience. So before coming up with any solution we wanted to investigate and learn the experiences of our commuter community more intimately. We expanded our audience base for research. While we started looking beyond our family and friends, a whole new domain dawned on us called “Mobility as a Service”. We were all pleasantly surprised that there is so much going on in this space in terms of research, product development, industry support, and government initiatives. This bolstered our confidence and encouraged us to do our research more methodically.
Thus we collected and analysed lot of data across various aspects. From a supply perspective, we looked at population, demographic, transport network, train schedules, patronage data, infrastructure information, maps govt initiatives, funding, costing etc. On the demand side, we conducted many many interviews – some structured, some random and some via surveys. We then categorised the responses and, not surprisingly, we had rather large categories to consider. We had categories such as comfortability, affordability, productivity, value, convenience, serviceability, cost, reliability, dependence, flexibility and so on. Based on this we were able to define a goal of our solution.
A pragmatic solution that enhanced commuter experience.
With so many categorisations of the experience, we quickly realised that we cannot possibly address all of them. Hence we debated long and hard to articulate several examples for each category. Often the categories would overlap in definition but when we put an example against each then it was easy to differentiate. Eventually, we decided to chose “one and only one unique” category per team member as their primary category. This constraint naturally allowed us to cater for 4 distinct categories – the number of Xemo team members :). After many discussions spread over several days, we finally agreed upon Comfortable/Convenient, Affordable, Reliable and Easy.
We call these the 4 Pillars of the xemo value proposition. And it has got an easy acronym – C.A.R.E.
Some examples of experiences from our research are:
- “I am a single dad and due to my unreliable public transport options I hardly get a chance to drop my two daughters to school without taking a day off”. I have to send them to before and after-school program.
- “I have ended up paying almost 100 bucks on uber and daycare last month due to the train disruptions, delays or cancellations”.
- “I am driving every day from Mornington to CBD for almost 75 minutes wasting valuable time that I can otherwise use to do some work on my laptop”.
- “I wish my commute was less stressful and I did not have to worry about the pathetic parking at my station”.
We did not have any idea how important the 4 pillars would be for us while doing the exercise. However, later on, almost naturally we started using these pillars to prioritise everything we did during our ideation phase. Our agenda, product design, technology choices, financials, operations were all based on the 4 pillars. If and when we had disagreements on certain topics we would all look at it from the “4 pillar lens”, quickly come to a conclusion and move forward.
We were now ready to ideate solutions. The ideation phase was very challenging because of the impact we wanted to have and the scale of the impact. After all, we had the Melbourne commuter community in our mind as our user base.
After lots of whiteboard session, coffee walks, brainstorming sessions we finally defined the “what” of our solution.
We are a demand aggregation technology platform that aims to connect the commuter community with the service provider.
A non-technical way of saying the same would be:
We are the matchmakers for people who commute and companies that provide such service.
We at Xemo strongly feel that the current setup,facilities and management of our daily commute are a barrier to the “business class experience” mindset.
With an underlying goal of making small things easy, we are very adamant that our goal is reflected in our solution. This will be easily recognizable in our product and service. From the moment you book to the moment to reach your destination
In my next blog I have detailed how the product works and approaches the goal of providing CARE in commute.