How we’ll take ride-sharing into the future

[SlingRide] was asked to blog about how its product or service has changed since starting JOLT.

The most incredible thing about the JOLT environment is being surrounded by such seasoned and varied entrepreneurs. Canada’s reputation for having entrepreneurs who just don’t think big enough is false; incubators like JOLT will only prove this. In just four weeks, thanks in part to this community, SlingRide has both narrowed and expanded the scope of its ambitions.

When SlingRide entered JOLT, we had grand plans to revolutionize transportation. We had a sense of the current economic, behavioural and technology trends, and we were building for that. Thing is, that kind of “Hail Mary” manoeuvre is nearly impossible to do; mostly because success comes as much — if not more — from execution quality rather than the idea itself. Getting user feedback early and often, even in a unrefined product is critical.

So, we’re in the process of hunkering down and determining the minimum viable product to launch in the most fertile channels, which will provide us with the validation we need to move to the next revision. As such, we’ve had to narrow our focus.

At the same time, we’ve met some pretty incredible product people. In our first JOLT meeting, Satish Kanwar (part of the JOLT network) from Jet Cooper (a user experience design agency here in Toronto) blew our minds. What he told us was beautifully simple, “starting a two-sided marketplace from scratch is hard. You guys should lock down one side while building the other.” I’m not going to provide details, but this spun out a business design that is fundamentally different and disruptive to even the most innovative players in the space today – one we can’t wait to introduce.

For now, we’re taking the advice Andrew Chen (a Paolo Alto-based entrepreneur and blogger) offered in his recent piece, “pitch the future while building for now.”