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Opinion | How Waze Modified the Way We Drive

In 2009, Waze began serving customers in Israel as a navigation app based on real-time traffic data. Levine was the chief executive liable for management, recruitment and capital raising. Shabtai was the chief technology officer and Shinar was the vp of research and development.

From the start, Waze used network effects. The more people use it, the higher it gets, which inspires much more people to affix. Some enthusiasts add or edit roads using a pc, much like how people edit Wikipedia pages. Last month I discovered one entry from Australia in regards to the road deteriorating from “reasonably graded gravel to an extended stretch of hard-to-navigate farm road, with deep puddles of tire grooves and grass in the center almost taller than our hood.” Added: “Please consider all possible ways to downgrade this section from the wayfinding algorithm.”

A less time-consuming solution to help the Waze community than editing a map is to report road hazards and the like. But even those that don’t still support Waze since the system learns from their anonymous GPS data how briskly or slow traffic is on their routes.

However, none of this happens without first reaching a critical mass. Following its success in Israel, Waze launched the app worldwide in late 2009. “It just wasn’t ok – really, it just sucks – aside from 4 countries: Ecuador, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Latvia,” Levine wrote within the book. There was a powerful local partner in Ecuador; Levine told me he wasn’t sure why it caught on in the opposite three countries. “Everywhere else,” he wrote within the book, “people would download the app, try it out, and hand over.”

There is a long-term debate in technology over concept minimum feasible product. Engineers are willing to tinker with a fairly bad product if it’s interesting enough, but the general public is less tolerant. Release something that may not up to straightforward and you can alienate customers ceaselessly, says one argument.

Levine doesn’t buy it. “The risk of losing customers is zero because you might have no customers. What are you going to lose? he asked. He and his partners made several attempts to run within the United States. “Each iteration was run with the idea that it might succeed,” he said. The team learned from every failure. “What makes startups successful is perseverance and perseverance,” he said.

Waze’s fortunes within the United States rose because of Carmageddon, when a bit of Interstate 405 in West Los Angeles was closed for a weekend in July 2011 as a result of project expansion. ABC7 Eyewitness News has teamed up with Waze promote application and inform viewers about traffic disruptions.

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