How we accidentally gave one user a lifetime supply of ParkEasy

How we accidentally gave one user a lifetime supply of ParkEasy

In a startup you have limited resources and little time to get things done. As you might expect, things are rushed and sometimes mistakes are made. We've made many and here's one of them. We accidentally gave one user a lifetime supply of free credits. To find out how that happened and what happened after, you gotta read on. 

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Dinner by Symphony Walk in iOi City Mall

Image Credit to gowhere.my

Image Credit to gowhere.my

It's almost a cliche to see water displays with lights at hotels or shopping malls. But I assure you, Symphony Walk is no cliche. 

I was tired from a long day of work when I decided to go to iOi City Mall for dinner. Looking at the flickering lights in the distance from the ground floor entrance, my fiancé and I were drawn towards Symphony walk. We didn't plan a romantic dinner out, but there we were. The gentle breeze from the open air, glistening lights and skipping waters danced in sync to the rhythm of the melody playing in the background. It was effortless romance.

Extravagant restaurants with breathtaking views are great for eventful dinners such as valentines day or an anniversary, but once in a while you just want somewhere with a relaxing ambience and a dinner that doesn't break the bank.

If you're planning to have a fulfilling meal by Symphony Walk, you have the option of Morganfield's and Johnny Rockets. If coffee and tea is more your speed, they have Starbucks and Dal Komm Coffee too. 

Symphony Walk  features musical fountains paired with dazzling lights. It's playlist includes; Titanium by David Guetta, The Moon Represents My Heart by Teresa Teng, Happy by Pharrell Williams, Good Time by Owl City and Without You by David Guetta.

Symphony Walk Musical Schedule
Monday to Thursday
7:20PM | 8:00PM | 8:30PM | 9:00PM | 9:30PM

Friday to Sunday
7:20PM | 8:00PM | 8:30PM | 9:00PM | 9:30PM | 10:00PM

There's nothing more frustrating than having to look for parking in the brink of starvation. Do your belly a favour and reserve your car park at iOi City Mall.  

Download the ParkEasy app and make your parking reservation today!

Why we're focusing on ParkEasy Reserve

by Warren Chan, CEO of ParkEasy

On 24 March, ParkEasy Share will be discontinued in favour of ParkEasy Reserve. This is why.

The Beginning

On 27 Sep 2016, ParkEasy announced ParkEasy Share to the world with much fanfare. The idea was to put the power to solve parking into the hands of those who suffer from it.  The idea was to solve the parking problem together as a community. 

It's quite simple - allow people who want parking to exchange with people who are leaving their parking. Voila! Problem solved.

People were already doing that without ParkEasy, and we believed that with the help of an app, we could make it easier and thus happen more.
And guess what? We did. We succeeded.
 
In the few months that ParkEasy Share operated, we processed close to 8000 requests in 2 of the most congested malls in the Klang Valley - Sunway Pyramid and Mid Valley Megamall. The response was great with lots of positive feedback and happy repeat users. With all this great news, why terminate the service?

ParkEasy Share has Parkers and Leavers. Those who want parking, and those who are leaving. In an ideal system, the number of Parkers equal the number of Leavers. Unfortunately, we often found there were more Parkers than Leavers. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one was the Parker to Leaver conversion rate. We found that 7 out of 10 successful Parkers will become a Leaver. Ask anyone and they'll tell you this is an impressive conversion rate. Yet, it was simply not enough. 

Imagine on a normal day ParkEasy's first round of exchanges has 100 successful Parkers who later become 70 Leavers. 
Then on the next round, the most you can have is 70 Parkers, who later become 49 Leavers (70*70%). 
Then on the next round, the most you can have is 49 Parkers, who later become 34 Leavers (49*70%) and so on and so forth.

As you can see, unless you have (a) 100% conversion rate; or (b) enough 'new' Leavers who were not Parkers first, you will always find the number decreasing. Furthermore, even if you manage to get 100 Parkers to become 100 Leavers, that is only enough to maintain the user base, not to grow it. 

Two of the most famous startups that leverage the power of user communities is Uber and Airbnb. Uber has Drivers and Riders, Airbnb has Hosts and Guests, ParkEasy has Parkers and Leavers. While it may seem that ParkEasy Share is using the same model, there is a fundamental difference. While one Driver may serve many Riders, or one Host may serve many Guests; one Parker may serve only one Leaver. 

Due to this unavoidable spanner in the clockwork, we have decided to terminate ParkEasy Share.

 

ParkEasy Reserve

Since January this year, we've been operating ParkEasy Reserve in iOi City Mall with an amazing response and growth. Through ParkEasy Reserve, all you need to do is press "Reserve" to guarantee yourself a space for just 1 credit (RM1). Once a reservation is made, you have 1 hour to reach and claim your parking spot or else it will be forfeit together with your booking fee. 

Our vision is to emulate countries like Australia, UK and US where car park bookings have become normal. Rather than everyone visiting at the same time and fighting for parking. Customers can book appointments so that they arrive at different times and get to park instantly.

I hope you get the opportunity to try us out at iOi City Mall soon or elsewhere as we expand. 
Think of anywhere where parking is hard, like malls, shop lots, universities, schools, hospitals. 
If you or someone you know manages such an area, please let us know and we'll see how we can solve their parking problems.

After all, life is too short to be spent on parking. 

Have a Parking Awesome day!

5 reasons to go to Icescape in iOi City Mall

ParkEasy Icescape iOi City Mall

There's just something therapeutic about ice skating. Some might tease it's a feminine sport but head over to iOi City Mall and Icescape will prove to you that both male and female find it an enjoyable past time. 

If you've never ice skated before, particularly in iOi City Mall, these are 5 reasons why you should.

1. Skate like an Olympian. 
Okay, sort of. Icescape is the first and only Olympic sized Ice Skating Rink in Malaysia. So if you ever want to brag you did anything like an Olympian without doing any hard work, say you skated like one.

2. Awesome Prices
You're looking at spending RM30 on a weekday and RM35 on the weekend, school/public holiday. If you want to just tag along as a visitor and not skate, it's RM5 per entry. Pretty good for a top notch ice skating rink!

3. Awesome Coaches
If you're the type A kiasu person that needs to be the best, they even provide coaching lessons! You could walk in, or schedule a private or group coaching and the price ranges from RM65 per person to RM380. But RM380 gets you 5 one-on-one lessons with their head coach. Don't play play, their ice rink manager, Mr. Phua was trained by the Olympic coach, Matthew Smith in Los Angeles, USA. He also performed in "Disney On Ice", the world's largest ice show!

4. Rails
And if you're the type that likes to wing it and play it by ear, Icescape designed rails to aid inexperienced ice skaters. All you've got to do is keep your foot on the ice and shuffle forward.

5. These penguins!
Aren't these the cutest things?! These are Penguin Skating Aid for kids. Though, I suppose if you insist, you could use 'em too. These go for RM30 per hour, money is no object to your kid's safety. 

Image credit to hiphippopo.com

Image credit to hiphippopo.com

Head over to Icescape iOi City Mall and get your Blades of Glory on. But before you do, reserve your carpark in iOi City Mall to save time on parking and spend more time on ice!  

Download the ParkEasy app to make your parking reservation today.

Dengan Hanya RM1, Tempah Slot Parkir anda di IOI City Mall!

Dalam keadaan ekonomi yang tidak menentu ditambah pula dengan kenaikkan harga barangan, trend berbelanja kebanyakkan rakyat Malaysia semakin berkurangan. Demi mengurangkan beban pembelanjaan rakyat, ParkEasy menawarkan kemudahan perkhidmatan parkir secara online booking dengan hanya RM1. Mulai 14 Januari 2017,  kini anda boleh menggunakan aplikasi telefon pintar ‘ParkEasy’ untuk menempah slot parkir di IOI City Mall pada setiap hujung minggu. Aplikasi ini boleh dimuat-turun di Play Store bagi pengguna telefon pintar Android manakala bagi pengguna  telefon pintar Apple aplikasi ini boleh didapatkan di App Store.

Dengan aplikasi ParkEasy  anda boleh menyemak kekosongan parkir yang terdapat di iOi City Mall dan  menempah slot parkir untuk kenderaan anda dengan menekan butang yang terdapat di paparan skrin aplikasi tersebut. Slot parkir ini akan dibiarkan kosong atau reserve untuk anda selama 1 jam bagi setiap tempahan yang dibuat. Bagi mengelakkan tempahan anda diambil, sebuah penghadang automatik yang telah dipasang di slot parkir tersebut akan dinaikkan sebaik sahaja transaksi tempahan anda berjaya.

 

Jika tempahan anda berjaya, anda akan diberikan tiket maya serta dinyatakan tarikh dan juga waktu tempahan yang buat. Di paparan tiket itu juga dinyatakan nombor slot parkir yang dikhaskan untuk anda. Apa yang anda perlu lakukan adalah memandu ke slot parkir tersebut. Sebaik sahaja tiba di parkir slot tersebut, anda perlu buka semula aplikasi ParkEasy dan kemudian menekan butang “I’m here” yang terdapat pada paparan skrin aplikasi tersebut. Kemudian secara automatik penghadang yang terdapat di slot parkir anda akan diturunkan bagi membolehkan anda parkir kenderaan anda. Begitu mudah bukan!!

 

Aplikasi ini adalah percuma untuk dimuat-turun dan bagi setiap permulaan, ParkEasy memberikan 10 kredit secara percuma yang mana nilai 1 kredit bersamaan dengan RM 1. Bagi setiap tempahan, ParkEasy mengenakan caj 1 kredit dan ditolak dari nilai baki yang terdapat dalam aplikasi tersebut. Namun anda boleh menambah nilai kredit melalui aplikasi tersebut dengan menekan butang tambah nilai.

“Perkhidmatan valet tradisional perlu mengenakan bayaran tinggi supaya dapat membayar kos tinggi gaji pekerja dan insurans. Sebab kami menggunakan perkakasan pintar, sistem ParkEasy adalah automatik dan tidak perlu diawasi. Oleh sebab kami tidak mengambil kunci ataupun memandu kereta pelanggan, kami tidak membayar insurans tinggi.” dijelaskan Warren Chan, CEO ParkEasy.

Tempat parkir ParkEasy Reserve di iOi City Mall adalah di lokasi yang amat mudah untuk pengguna. Ia terletak di bawah satu tingkat Premier Parking di zon C berdekatan dengan lobi lif utama Centre Court. Ini pasti menjadi keutamaan penonton wayang filem kerana lif ini bersambung terus ke pintu masuk GSC Cinemas.

 

ParkEasy Carpark iOi

“Ia adalah visi ParkEasy untuk memodenkan cara kita letak kereta. Kalau ParkEasy mendapat sambutan baik daripada ramai pengguna, matlamat kami seterusnya adalah untuk mengintegrasikan yuran tempahan dengan bayaran tiket parkir biasa supaya semua bayaran boleh dilakukan secara ‘cashless’.” seperti yang diterangkan oleh Eric Tan, CTO ParkEasy.

Jadi, apa tunggu lagi muat turun sekarang untuk telefon bimbit pintar Apple dan Android daripada App Store masing-masing. Jangan bazir masa dan minyak kenderaan anda mencari parkir. Kini parkir anda ditangan anda.

 

Bagaimana Merezab dan Parkir di IOI City Mall:

  1. Pergi ke Carpark C
  2. Selepas melimpasi Premium Parking, anda Sephora akan berada di kiri anda. Pandu ke depan dan pandu ke kiri dan menuju ke LG (a).
  3.  Ambil tiket letak kereta anda dan teruskan ke ruang letak kereta yang digambarkan dalam peta di atas.
  4. Jika anda sesat, gunakan arahan kami di tiang!

Bagaimana Merezab Parkir anda dengan ParkEasy:

  1. Muat turun aplikasi ParkEasy
  2. Togol "Rizab" dan bukan "Share" di bahagian bawah skrin anda
  3. Pilih lokasi anda sebagai IOI City Mall
  4. Berpeganglah pada "Reserve a bay"
  5. Tiba dalam masa 1 jam dan navigasi ke tempat letak kereta anda
  6. Beritahu kami anda berada di tempat anda dan letakkan kereta anda!

 

 

The Future of Valet for only RM1

Gone are the days where valet is a service used only by those who can afford it. In a time where every Ringgit counts, Malaysian startup ParkEasy has released a new service offering to help with the hard times. Launching on 14 January, ParkEasy’s new ParkEasy Reserve service gives you the convenience of valet at just RM1.

Using the ParkEasy app, you can now check for parking availability in iOi City Mall. If you see parking available, you can then use the app to reserve a spot. Then, as long as you arrive within 1 hour of your booking time, the bay will be kept just for you to park.

Upon arriving, you will see that your parking bay is reserved via a smart parking barrier. Just tap a button on your ParkEasy app, and the barrier will then lower for you to park your car. Easy!

 

ParkEasy Barrier Gif.gif

For this service, ParkEasy charges only 1 ParkEasy credit and each new user account already has 10 free credits. Just like a regular movie ticket booking fee, it is a one-off booking fee and it doesn’t matter how long you park for. But don’t forget, you will still need to pay your regular parking ticket.

“Traditional valet services must charge a high price to cover salaries and insurance. By using smart hardware, we eliminate the need for on-ground supervision. And since we neither drive nor hold the customer’s keys, we need not purchase expensive insurance. All this means cost-savings that are passed on to our users.” explained Warren Chan, CEO of ParkEasy.

The ParkEasy Reserve bays in iOi City Mall are in a great location, directly one floor below the Premier Parking zone. The bays are located immediately next to the Centre Court lift lobby. This is sure to be a favourite of moviegoers as the lift can be taken straight to the GSC Cinemas entrance.

 


“It is ParkEasy’s vision to change the way the world parks. If the service receives a good response with many users, our next goal is to integrate the booking fee and parking ticket payment so everything can be done cashless through the app.” added Eric Tan, CTO of ParkEasy.

How to Reserve and Park at iOi City Mall

 

  1. Head to Carpark C
  2. Pass by Premium Parking. You will see Sephora to your left. At this point, keep left and drive down to LG (a).
  3. Take your parking ticket and proceed to the parking bay illustrated in the map above.
  4. If all fails, look out for our directions on the pillars!

How to book your parking with ParkEasy:

ParkEasy-Reserve-Tut.png
  1. Download the ParkEasy app 
  2. Toggle to "Reserve" instead of "Share" at the bottom of your screen
  3. Choose your location as iOi City Mall
  4. Hold on to "Reserve a bay"
  5. Arrive within 1 hour and navigate to your bay
  6. Tell us you're at your spot and we'll unblock your parking!

Free credits for your holiday parking!

We're giving away 10 FREE CREDITS for you to use this festive season! 

Don't waste your holiday on parking, it's the season to spend time with the loved ones (as well as shopping!). 

To redeem your 10 FREE credits:

  1. Go to "Promotions" in the ParkEasy app
  2. Copy the Promo Code below and key it into "Enter Promotional Code"
  3. Submit! 

 

Promo Code: XMAS10

 

Use the Promo Code now! Promo Code ends on the 31st of Dec.

Get free credits with ParkEasy

Fret not dear leavers, your goodwill has not gone unnoticed.

How to get free credits with ParkEasy

We were thinking that it would suck as a leaver if they had to give up his time looking for a parker, only to not be matched with his parker and not get his +3 credits back. Feels bad mang.

That’s when we decided just because you couldn’t match with a parker shouldn’t deprive you of your credits! 

Park Easy is rewarding you +3 credits every time you act as a leaver, parker or no parker. 

Now you'll never be out of credits! Park with ParkEasy today. 

Call your parking partner

ParkEasy Call Feature

Ever notice that little call button on our app? If you thought that it connects you to your matched parker, you're not alone. As it turns out, everyone thought our helpline button was a way to talk to each other.

Why didn't we think of that?

Origin of the 'Call Button'

After multiple “accidental” calls and ad hoc message delivering, we decided enough is enough. 

We brainstormed multiple ways to go about this problem. At one hand, we could just connect users like a normal phone call would, but that would risk users giving out their phone number to other users. 

Decisions, decisions.

So we thought, what if we made users acknowledge that to use this “call” function, they’d have to be willing to display their phone number? Similar to Whatsapp’s “last seen” function, only users that authorise ParkEasy to display their phone numbers could communicate with each other.

We kind of liked that idea, then the possibility of only the minority would allow their phone numbers to be seen. Wouldn’t the call function be redundant then?

The Verdict

Eventually we decided that our user's safety was our upmost priority. So we decided that instead of calling via phone line, users call with their data instead!

Now everyone can connect with their parking partner without compromising their identity. Also, because you’re calling on data, the call is (somewhat) free!

And if you're part of the minority that actually do want to talk to us, just click on the “Help” tab on the right side of the app, and we'll answer your call. 

Need more credits?

Stay tuned for our next update!

ParkEasy, park safely.

ParkEasy_Allianz_Banner.png

 

You might have noticed in the recent update that ParkEasy parkers are now protected by Allianz Malaysia. So  recently, Allianz and ParkEasy has formed a beautiful partnership to keep you safe, and it’s entirely free. 

Allianz is notably one of Malaysia’s top auto insurance companies, which is kind of why we’re ecstatic to team up with them.

It all started off with Allianz approaching us for a collaboration. But before anything, we had to decide what exactly we want to insure. So, we sent out surveys and wanted to see what our users would like to have insured. Also, since drivers already have car insurance, we didn’t want to provide benefits you already have.

We found that the majority of users would like their personal belongings to be insured. Second to that is insuring their personal safety.

Get insured for up to RM1,500

We decided it’s best to provide our users with the coverage of accidents involving self and their personal belonging:

1.   Accidental Death/ Permanent Disablement – Sum Insured of RM1,000

2.   Break – in / Snatch Theft – Sum Insured of RM 1,500

Accidents involving accidental death or permanent disablement refers to your injury while in the designated shopping mall.

Accidents involves break-in or snatch theft refers to your loss and or injury while in the designated shopping mall.

It’s not a claim, it’s a relief

Unlike a claim where you’re only reimbursed for only the damages caused, ParkEasy is offering you a relief. In the event that you do face an accident causing break-in or snatch theft, you will be compensated for the full sum of RM1,500.

Make your claim

There’s a few things you’ll have to do to claim your insurance. Firstly, these are the documents required:

1.       Mall management incident report

2.       Onsite photo of break-in and physical damage of named vehicle due to break-in

3.       Police Report

4.       E-payment form

It is important to note that this coverage is subject to a police report and mall management report being lodged within the twenty four hours of the incident of break-in or theft.

Things you need to know

There is no application form. Once you’ve made an account, you’re already entitled to this insurance package.  

How much do you have to pay? None at all! This coverage is completely free

Of course, to use this app, you’d have to be parking at shopping malls available to ParkEasy. To validate this, you need to make sure that you have allowed ParkEasy location services. This insurance is only applicable to ParkEasy listed shopping malls.


If you’d like to know in full detail the specifics of the insurance, you may look at the product summary sheet here.

 

60 Days into 2016, What Say We ?

ParkEasy has recently gone Open Beta (download here), and that means the office is getting much more busier and exciting. In the midst of pushing for more wins, let’s talk about what has changed, and what we are learning since the beginning of this year.

In the space where our ideas flow, ParkEasy office has expanded from 360 sqft to 720 sqft. After months of squeezing way-too-many-people in a small office, we had to get ourselves more space to grow bigger, putting in more hard work. Think buying one-size bigger pants to prepare for the weight you’ll put on before holidays (okay maybe not). Jokes aside, as much as the entrepreneurial spirit burns in us, we know while adapting to change we should also:

always be prepared for more.

The team is also growing with people getting their hands on more responsibilities, and going out of comfort zone doing new things (I won’t go into how working in a startup itself is already considered as one, “comfort zone” in this context refers to job scope, not career choice); Sometimes it gets a little awkward working with new team members while sometimes saying goodbye to some is unavoidable. However, t’s really pretty exciting to see how everyone is stretching and growing themselves. We are embracing this! So,

stretch yourself.

So here’s a sharing of our 2 simple takeaways, and we really wanted to say — WE ARE EXCITED!
 

Us in the office, what say we keep getting ready for more and do more?

How We Found Our iOS Developers

Two months ago we started iOS Trainee Programme with our trainees — Jon and Voon. They have now completed the training and are continuing this journey with us, #ParkEasyTeamExpands.

This short diary entry is not to teach about how hiring developers shouldwork. This is a sharing of how we found the people who are the right fit for our company. We always believe that they’re out there, looking for an opportunity that matches their aspirations and skills. There we were too, searching for people like them.

When the team started looking for iOS Developers, we almost gotten a little panic attack for how few Malaysian iOS developers are ready. (Hint: Coders, think supply and demand.) After searching for few weeks and considering the resources we have, the team decided instead of finding iOS Developers, wetrain them. We decided that we will invest in people who will invest their time and skills with us.

Changing the game a little, we began carefully structuring the programme, setting goals and requirements. It didn’t take us long to attract some potentials. We then started screening through, meeting and evaluating the people who will eventually be part of the team.

Here are some questions we asked ourselves:
Time is crucial for a startup, are we willing to risk our time to train people?
Do we have the capacity to train people with workload lining up?
Do we have the resources to train people to be very good?
Here are some questions we asked in interview:
Why are you interested in us?
What do you want to do with your life?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

After a series of selection, Jon and Voon got chosen. Jon who returned from studies in Australia found us even before we publicised the programme. He came with the intention that he is even willing to be an intern, just so that he can work and learn with ParkEasy. When we offered him trainee position, he said yes without hesitation. Voon on the other hand, after just one Skype interview, agreed to relocate from East Malaysia within two weeks upon the offer.

Now that the programme has ended, the team are happy that they are staying with us, adapting change everyday and driven to achieve goals together.

Will we recommend this method for others out there looking for developers? Will we do it again ourselves in the future?
It depends on situations at the time of recruitment, weighing some of the pros and cons:

Pros:
1. You and trainee can “experiment” working together as a team.
2. You get to hire a person whom you can see potential and you help to realise the potential before the person is discovered by others.
3. You have less cash outflow as compared to hiring professional developer (only in short term, in the long run you wish the trainee to be professional and you can pay them very well).
4. You are at work developing someone, instead of keep searching among limited pool of talents (this is very skill-specific).

Cons:
1. You may realise at the end of the programme, the person is not a right fit for your company, or the trainee leaves you after the programme.
2. You are basically saying no to continue hunting for a professional developer, because you spend time focusing on developing this person.
3. You realise you are spending too much time training instead of doing actual productive work for your startup.
4. You screw up the training, and the trainee is left hanging.

Trainee programme for a startup, in a way is a form of investment, a huge one considering our current resources — much smaller team as compared to big corporation. This means that each team member carries broader as well as stronger responsibilities. We are also spending a huge portion of our absolute sum of time we have for organisational-level learning versus doing productive work. In contrast, if we hire an experienced developer, the person could take off immediately, without needing other team members to spend time for training.

Reflecting on this programme, aren’t we all “trainees” in our own profession in a way? Aren’t we also learning and improving our skills, getting evaluated by not just the impact of our work, but also our attitude to it?

Does a trainee programme ever actually end?

The Heart of ParkEasy

For Original post, please click here.

My name is Warren Chan, I am the CEO of ParkEasy — a small, mostly unknown Malaysian startup which has suddenly become a hotly debated topic in Malaysian media as of this morning. It all began with an article in The Starand has now become publicized on several other media including radio stations. Last I heard, we were just debated over on Mix.fm (wow!).

Enough said, if you’ve reached this article you may have already seen us on some of this media and you would know that the reviews are mixed. Nonetheless, to any one who took their time to give their thoughts on us via comments or private messages, I would like to start this post by giving a great big heartfelt thanks.

When I see so many people discussing the topic, I know that it is one which people feel and care for greatly. The last time I saw so much discussion was regarding the implementation of English as an official language in Sarawak. Obviously matters that matter evoke emotions that spur action.

And speaking of people who care about parking, I can assure you that those who care most about it are the ones who left their cushy jobs and bright careers to work right here at this small Malaysian startup — ParkEasy.

One of our teammates working while in hospital today (we told her not to).

One of our teammates working while in hospital today (we told her not to).

Thus the reason I write this blog post- as much as I would like to respond to each person individually, it’s a bit difficult with the resources we have. Hence, this post is to communicate to you as directly as I can, the heart and spirit behind why we at ParkEasy do what we do and address some concerns that have been raised. To start things of…

How we began

The idea of ParkEasy arose out of a common problem faced by myself and many other Malaysians. Malls are an integral part of Malaysian society and any urban Malaysian will need to visit one some point in their life. Unfortunately, there is simply no way that a single mall can adequately have sufficient parking. A 100 persons, either in their cars or just standing next to each other are vastly different in the space occupied. To have sufficient parking, the parking area would have to be many times larger than the mall itself!

Hence the problem — there is simply insufficient parking. The result of which is that many Malaysians spend a good amount of time circling car parks looking for that elusive car park so that may leave this carbon-monoxide filled car park purgatory. And this is where ParkEasy comes in…

It was a year ago and I had a movie date in a popular mall. With the wonders of technology, I had booked my movie ticket via an app and did not have to queue for it. Unfortunately, though I did not queue at the box office, I did have to ‘queue’ at the car park. Although arriving a good time earlier than my movie, I ended up being late because I simply could not find a car park. By the time I reached the cinema, I was faced with an angry date and had to jump into a movie well past the intro.

All this while I was circling the car park, frantically searching for a spot, I kept thinking to myself why not apply the same process I had used for my movie ticket to parking. Hence the idea was born — ParkEasy.

The heart of ParkEasy was never to extort parkers for their last dime, nor so people can be more ‘kiasu and lazy’. ParkEasy was born to solve a real problem faced by many Malaysians — the long search for finding parking.

Here are some of the recurring comments:

If you only want to make parking easier, why charge people for your service?
When we came up with the idea, ParkEasy was FREE. But we soon found that setting it for free would lead to abuse. People who were not intending to park would simply book up the entire day, leaving an inefficient, empty, car park.

How does this solve the parking problem? We don’t need a booking system, we need more car parks!
As briefly covered above, the amount of car parks needed to adequately service a mall would need to be several times larger than the mall itself. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t commercially feasible for any mall developer to do this. There are some promising solutions abroad (e.g. car park elevator), but are still too expensive for Malaysia.

Sure, but that still doesn’t mean that booking will solve the problem.
To answer this, imagine you are the owner of a restaurant which has more customers than tables, you have 3 options:

  1. Increase the number of tables.
  2. Remove the need for tables (offer a take-away service).
  3. Implement a booking system.

Solution 1 is difficult for malls as stated as above. As for Solution 2, there are already amazing innovative apps doing this, such as another Malaysian startup I personally admire: MyTeksi which will remove the parking hassle for you entirely. Solution 3, this is where we see a gap in the market and where ParkEasy comes in.

A booking system will decrease the number of people who get to enjoy a mall as you will have empty bays. First come, first served is the most efficient.
Imagine a doctor who can see only one patient every 15 mins. If she works for 8 hours, she can service 32 patients in a day. If all 32 patients come early in the morning, they will have to wait a long time til they are attended to. If more than 32 patients show up, they are likely to wait the whole day and finally be turned away.

This is a classic case of limited supply and overwhelming demand. It is the same for parking in Malaysian shopping malls.
Do you remember the last time you spent circling the car park looking for a park even though you ‘came early’? Have you ever experienced going to a shopping mall only to leave frustrated a while after because you could not get parking?

The future that ParkEasy envisions for shopping mall parking is that people come to the mall when there is space available for them, rather than circling the car park waiting for that space to appear. In the perfect scenario, we want the experience to be that you come in right after the previous person leaves and that is the level of efficiency we will strive towards.

This service is only meant for the rich! Why is this needed when premium parking and valet parking exists?
We exist because most people can’t afford premium parking or valet. What has not been clear in the media thus far is our pricing. Usual valet services chargeat least RM15 and above. We plan to charge only RM2–5 one-off per booking, a fraction of what a valet would cost. In a way our tagline could be ‘Now everyone can valet!” (kudos to another Malaysian startup I admire)And once again, the objective of the fee is just to limit others from abusing a free service and booking up the entire day.

You are promoting laziness
Personally, I believe I am a very productive person and I love the idea of ParkEasy. I am not sure how others will use it, but I plan to maximize my time. Instead of arriving at 10am for a 12pm lunch appointment, I plan to arrive at 12pm. With the two hours I save, I plan to use my time to do other important things with my day.

What about those who are not tech-savvy, or do not have smartphones. (OR) I do not want to have to book a car park every time I visit a mall.

It is our last wish to force you to do something you don’t want to. Even after ParkEasy is implemented, you can still go about parking the usual way. We are not going to occupy every single bay in a car park. We are a service available for those who want it and thus will only occupy a section of the whole car park. Furthermore, we offer you FREE services to help you find your car park (if you have a smart phone).

Free services?
The free services our app offers:

  • Our birdseye view function allows you to see all available bays in a car park and can navigate you to them free of charge.
Birdseye View

Birdseye View


  • After you’ve parked, our app remembers where you’ve parked so you don’t have to.
Remember your Carpark

Remember your Carpark

Your app is buggy
You are wrong. Our app is very buggy! ParkEasy hasn’t actually launched yet. The article that was published was supposed to be a tag-along article regarding innovation. Some things happened and long story short, it somehow became our launch article, haha! Although unintended, we are grateful for whatever has happened because the feedback has been immense and will only serve to further strengthen our product for when it is ready to officially officially launch.

In the meantime, you can still download our app if you have an Android and catch a glimpse as to what the potential of the idea could be. But for now, we really do appreciate your patience in waiting for when the proper app is released.

Closing thoughts

When I say the feedback is mixed, I mean really mixed. One social media commentator called us ‘capitalist blood-suckers’ whilst another private messaged that we ‘embody the innovative spirit of Malaysia that will make a mark on the world’. If this post receives the same level of publicity, I’m sure the feedback will be mixed too. Either way, we’re really just a bunch of Malaysians trying our level best to solve a problem in this world and the feedback received thus far tells us that it’s definitely a problem worth tackling.

Malaysia, thank you for your patience, support and thoughts. -Sincerely, Warren Chan, CEO, ParkEasy.

 

We’re nominated on Asia tech portal Vulcan Post for ‘Most Promising Startup 2015’. Vote for us! (Psst..don’t let Singaporeans win :P ). http://awards.vulcanpost.com/#/parkeasy

We’re nominated on Asia tech portal Vulcan Post for ‘Most Promising Startup 2015’. Vote for us! (Psst..don’t let Singaporeans win :P ). http://awards.vulcanpost.com/#/parkeasy