December 19, 2019

"HELLO, WORLD!" - WeRoute is on the Internet!

evanProduct

So I've been waiting to post WeRoute here for quite some time. But we just uploaded the pre-launch landing page (www.WeRoute.co) and started our social media profiles (@WeRouteApp), so I feel that now is the time to say hello to Indie Hackers!

WeRoute is a rewards app that helps solve the epidemic of urban traffic congestion, using incentives. Users accumulate a "traffic relief score" by taking alternate routes πŸ›£, departure times⌚, and modes of transportation (like boarding transit, biking, walking, and carpooling).
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Participating merchants then offer users cash-back discount rates relative to their traffic relief score (and merchant loyalty).

The idea for this app came to me naturally. I moved from LA (the worst traffic in the US) to Denver about 6 years ago, where I’ve driven for a living (rideshare and delivery), and have experienced first-hand the traffic epidemic that came along with this population boom.
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The reason I created WeRoute is simple, to fight back against this epidemic. And to make a unique product that would be fun and challenging to work on for years to come; a solution that harnesses behavioral economics, marketplace platform dynamics, and good ol’ gamification!

So that’s what I’ve done all year since the spawn of the idea, hacked together WeRoute on my spare time between shifts. (Including while working- talking to hundreds of Uber passengers ).

A little about me as a founder.

I'm certainly not "technical" (am not a developer per say, nor have a computer science background). But I do have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and have started (and failed) two previous "non-tech" startups in my life- an online tropical fish store right after high school (2004) and a hot dog stand chain right after college (2011).

Although a non-tech founder, after consuming enough motivation (from endless podcasts, developer friends, and most importantly spinning up my first website) I felt confident enough to just start learning some basic coding and development to start building the WeRoute app myself...

So that's what I did! And within the span of mostly October, probably spun up over half of the entire MVP myself, as a non coder, (in code - React Native, GraphQL, nodeJS ). Including the backend on AWS and the various microservices APIs and configurations.

To be clear, I have no personal or raised capital, and am still grinding this out mainly solo, only on my shiftbreaks from my full time driving jobs. But I'll be documenting my journey (rollercoaster) here!

I'm planning on the WeRoute MVP to be released in the app stores for LA and Denver markets by Spring 2020.

Progress as it stands today:

  • 50%+ of Front End (in React Native)
  • 50%+ of Back End spun up on AWS.
  • APIs staged, scoped, and configured.
  • Landing page and Social Profiles up.
  • Early signups /warm-market support
  • Some strategic partnerships in progress
  • Pre-Revenue / Pre-Capital /Pre-Launch
  • Signup Phase and Market Validation

Next up on the Agenda:

  • Strategic "Holiday Traffic" IG+FB Ad.
  • Getting to at least 1000 email signups.
  • Onboarding merchants in LA and CO.

Near-Term Challenges:

  • Merchant onboarding (B2B sales strat)
  • Completing market validation process
  • Deploying the app MVP by Spring
  • Recruiting a team
  • Securing seed capital.

It goes without saying that I'm open to feedback (criticism, suggestions, questions, or anything), it's the main reason I'm here - in addition to the accountability and motivation. And of course I will be browsing your projects and threads and offering my input as well!

In particular, let's start with:
how do you like the landing page (www.WeRoute.co)? How about the concept? (Of incentivizing drivers to avoid traffic using programmatic merchant discounts).

Really excited to finally take part in this community I've been following for a year now. Looking forward to gaining steady traction on WeRoute every week, and sharing in my journey real-time right here with you all...

Mandatory gratitude shoutout to Courtland for all the work you do to organize and inspire the community with IH and the podcast. Its largely because of content like the IH pod that I felt even remotely confident enough to take the challenge of solving traffic congestion head-on.
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Lastly (but definitely not least - maybe even first), we're in need of some development and marketing help! So if the vision (of significantly reducing traffic congestion in big cities - using gamification and incentives) piques anyone's interest enough that you'd like to get on board, let me know! We need a traffic-slayer (or three) to join us in the mission. πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€πŸ‘©β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸš€

  • Evan
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