MyTaxi’s disruptive platform makes taxi drivers their own dispatch center

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Johann Voelkers, CEO of MyTaxi Spain and an alumnus of LaSalle Barcelona Engineering School, recently visited us to discuss the origins of MyTaxi and his current efforts to expand the app internationally from its native Germany to here in Spain.

MyTaxi is an app to conveniently order a taxi from wherever you are. You can track the taxi’s progress on a map, and the meter doesn’t start until the taxi arrives. They’ve recently added the ability to pay the fare directly through the app.You can filter the type of taxi you want, even setting up a list of preferred taxi drivers, and when the trip’s over you can rate your experience.

MyTaxi is a multi-sided platform, or “business which connect two or more groups of customers such that one group increases demand by the other group(s) or vice versa” (Hagiu 2009). One of the greatest challenges in creating a multi-sided platform is the chicken-and-egg problem. Of course, before you can attract passengers, you first need taxis. As Johann explains it, the initial idea for getting taxi drivers on board was to work with the dispatchers to have them adopt MyTaxi. When the dispatchers rejected them, they decided upon the current disruptive model, offering their solution directly to the taxi drivers. Now taxi drivers can become their own dispatchers, managing their own clients, accepting credit cards through the MyTaxi app, enjoying better transparency and saving money through the pay-per-trip model instead of the monthly subscription model that most dispatchers offer.

References:

  • Hagiu (2009), “Note on Multi-sided Platforms: Economic Foundations and Strategy”, Harvard Business Review

Paul Fox, Associate Professor and Director of the La Salle Barcelona Master en Digital Entrepreneurship.

http://twitter.com/profefox

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