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  • What was the project?
    • SNAPP (FORMERLY TAXIYAAB) is the UBER of Iran, the largest online taxi booking company in the Middle East, cofounded with Rocket Internet SE.
    • I co-founded SNAPP in 2014 with my other 2 co-founders and also with Rocket Internet SE.
    • The company is now the largest ride-hailing company in the Middle East, fulfilling millions of rides every day.
  • When was that?
    • 2014 to present
  • What was my role in the project?
    • I was co-founder and VP of product in the first year.
    • Then I became co-founder and COO of the startup in the second year
  • What was the challenge/situation?
    • Building 3 apps (passenger, driver, back office), in a startup context, in parallel from scratch, while disrupting an old industry: Taxi industry
  • Who were the key stakeholders?
    • My other cofounders, i.e. executives (the CEO, and the CMO)
    • The engineering team of 6 (1 CTO, 1 iOS, 1 Android, 2 Backend, 1 Frontend)
    • The design team of 1
    • Sales and operations team (driver side)
    • Marketing team (passenger side)
    • Call center/ customer service
    • External: riders or passengers, drivers, social media influencers, beta testers
  • What actions did I take, individually and with my team?
    • Defining the 3-year product strategy (vision and roadmap) along with the startup strategy (broken down to 3-6 months sections) (product portfolio roadmapp-ing)
    • Managing the backlog for the whole portfolio
    • Running tons of user research, customer development initiatives, one-on-one interviews, online and offline surveys, various focus groups with both types of users (i.e. passengers or riders and drivers), and plenty of agile experiments (hypothesis-driven experimentations)
    • Running several A/B tests to ensure data-driven decision making
    • Developing multiple wireframes, mockups, and prototypes (for the driver application)
    • Analysing users data through Google Analytics (GA) and our built-in BI (business intelligence)
    • Circulating relevant information on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to corresponding stakeholders, through both written and verbal communication
    • Facilitating creative problem solving through organizing brainstorming sessions
    • Taking care of the project management-side of the product development (i.e. ensuring deadlines and requirements are met)
    • Taking care of project risks, using risk-response analysis
  • What tools, techniques, frameworks, methodologies did I make use of?
    • Tools: Google sheets, Jira, Github, Balsamiq, Google analytics, Slack, Zoho CRM
    • Frameworks: Agile (Scrum), business and strategy competitive analysis frameworks (Porter, BCG, CCC, STP, 4P, Systems Dynamics), PMBOK project management methodology
  • What were the results/outputs/outcomes? (at months 12 and 36)
    • 150,000 downloads (passenger app)
    • 100,000 users converted (installed and requested a ride) (46% growth MOM, 10 million users)
    • 15,000 drivers on-boarded (15% growth MOM, now 90,000 drivers)
    • Achieved 95% uptime
    •  Handled 15,000 rides per day (growing at 50% MOM, now 1,000,000 rides per day)
  • Lessons learned?
    • Agile, smart, purposeful experimentation with ideas should be at the core of every action we take.
    • Testing/experimenting features and products and observing users while using them in actuality is worth 100 times interviews and focus groups
    • Having a reliable broad divers beta tester community is so helpful 🙂
    • Don’t launch a major new feature without having done a well-thought-out A/B testing!

 

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