Fast forward a few months Make it work in Internet Explorer (ugh) ...Add logging, backups, metrics, feedback, error reporting, email system, administration features ... 347 commits later 142 ﬁles changed, 19624 insertions(+), 644 deletions(-)
VanTrash API• Leave the data better than you found it• HTTP (REST) interface• Provide garbage API for other projects
VanTrash SMS (Text Messages)• Wanted to add SMS notiﬁcations• BUT • We do not wish to support incumbent mobility companies in any way.• Decision: Focus on Twitter instead
Motivations• Be a good citizen, leadership by example• Show Gov’t, Business what nice, simple APIs look like• Help our neighbors• Learn, take a project start-to-ﬁnish• Have fun
Epilogue• Vantrash ran for ~20 months with no problems. Ideal!• Thousands of users, word of mouth marketing only.• Receive LOTS of praise from friends, family & strangers• It’s genuinely useful!
My BM Gen Process• Brainstorm every possible detail/idea• Stare at it• Split into distinct business models• Compare / Contrast• Try, blend, iterate!
VanTrash Models• We came up with these options: • Sustained by citizens • Sustained by municipalities • Infrastructure as a Service • Public Open Source Service
Sustained by Citizens• Provide basic service for free, charge for enhanced services (SMS / Voice)• Citizen not willing to pay too much• “Freemium”
Characteristics• Requires marketing, but no sales team• Requires many paying citizens• Hard to market to target customers • Non-techie citizens• Easy to execute, few barriers
Sustained by Municipalities• Provide services to citizens for free, city pays for infrastructure costs• Not incompatible with “Freemium”• Value is more towards reducing costs• Municipal ads & admin features
Characteristics• Sell to Municipal decision makers• Looong (long) sales process• Administration features needed• City handles marketing to citizens• Too cheap for cities to buy
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)• Offer tools to run VanTrash as a service to others• Let hackers in other cities easily create their own• Common infrastructure saves time
Characteristics• Very little marketing / sales needed• Hackers localize the service for their area, market it to their citizens• Money from any party that wants to set it up• Too niche?
Public Open Source Service (POSS)• Idea: poss.gliderlab.com @progrium• No proﬁt incentive• Citizens collectively pitch in to cover costs as needed• Donations => Account => Hosting fees• $$ / run rate = months of service
Characteristics• Content to be small• No $$ motive to expand, enhance• Good model for established infrastructure that can be run cheaply & is hard to accept money for