by Warren Chan, CEO of ParkEasy
On 24 March, ParkEasy Share will be discontinued in favour of ParkEasy Reserve. This is why.
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.
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!