Waze is the crowdsourced real-time traffic and navigation app par excellence. Built on communities of drivers worldwide, it makes going places smart and social--and plays roles in everything from reduced commuting times to disaster relief.
Jessica Lessin interviews the Chief Wazer Noam Bardin about his company Waze, acquired by Google in the middle of 2013. For Noam it was a good decision:
"Google is leaving us independent despite being bought" - if a Start-up is to be acquired by a someone, make that someone is Google. Noam Bardin says he was able to negociate his deal with Google so he could retain his company's autonomy.
"Our services is now a little bit better than without Google, a little."
But what made Google wanted Waze? It's a map app like so many others, you might think. But Waze offers more than a horizontal experience, it's core case is commuting. The goal of Waze is to save you 5 to 10 minutes a day based on the question "What has changed since you drove last time and has it an influence on your way?" - and everything is real-time. The data is collected in real-time and it's crowdsourced by the users, active or passive. Everything leads to an expanding commuting experience.
This is very emotional - and totally different to Google. Using Waze is an emotional experience.
"Google is a machine-powered world, Waze is a community-powered world."
What's Google getting out of the deal? GoogleNow is partly powered by data from Waze AND Waze is still alive - maybe because of its users?! Waze is very transparent and offers a value to the user. Waze informs about why they want to collect data and for what purpose, they keep the users posted about it, and as a result they create a better experience around you.