What is it?
WRENCHLESS is a platform to connect riders and mechanics in Vietnam.
What are our goals?
- To give an opportunity to make informed decisions where to bring their bikes depending on their needs
- To give users the venue to write their honest feedback about mechanics
- To provide opportunity for big garages as well as small mechanics to be on the radar
- To be a catalyst of change: it is hoped that through the feedback system, the quality of the services of mechanics would improve over time
Why is this relevant?
There is a lack of a singular source of information when it comes to mechanics in Vietnam. There are different existing venues like motorbike forums or Facebook groups. Forums are becoming outdated and not user-friendly in finding information. Another problem is that none of these could cater both to foreigners and Vietnamese.
With the app, information about mechanics and garages are in one source. User-generated review websites such as Tripadvisor (travel), Yelp (businesses) and Zomato (restaurant) would provide an insight on how reviews of services could generate long-term interest in users and also in monetizing the app. Social recommendation, according to a Nielsen study, is “leading reason they buy a product or service.” https://blog.kissmetrics.com/social-recommendations-from-friends/
The power of this app will probably be that you can promote to change the way of working of all the mechanics as now users can promote other garages by giving reviews. Also in most regions of the world garages don’t have website and if they do the SEO is badly done which makes them really difficult to find. Other consumer insight: have you ever heard people not complaining about their garage? Everybody does because mechanics provide services that are not controlled.
Vietnam is a country where 90 million people live and have 40 million motorbikes registered (more if considering unregistered ones.) Mobile users are growing in Vietnam. 3G is cheap (70.000 VND or 3.3 USD per month only for mobile internet), hence a lot of people are more and more connected and reliant on mobile use. In 2012, there were 10 million registered 3G users according to Vietnam’s IT minister, as mentioned in Techinasia.com. 30% of mobile users in Vietnam has a smartphone according to Nielsen, June 2012.
More insight on the Vietnam mobile use landscape can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/Phuongbi/vietnam-digital-landscape-update-2013-sep2013mindshare
Name: Johnny Tran, 31 years old
Keywords: #travelbug #knowledgable #saferider
Tech savvy: 5/5
Frustrations: Bad mechanics, motorbike breakdowns
Goals: Find reliable garages, travel more with my bike
As a motorbike owner, I want to bring my bike to a reliable garage so that I can maintain its good running condition.
As a motorbike rider, I want to be able to find a nearby mechanic during my long rides in the countryside so that I can have it fixed if it breaks down.
It’s a hit-or-miss with garages. I have to try their service before I know if they can be reliable or not. This costs me money and I worry about me and my bike’s safety.
It can be hard to find mechanics especially whenever I travel in remote destinations.
After doing rounds of garages in the city, I can finally find a reliable one where I can always bring my bike for fixes or customizations.
I can be a source of knowledge to friends and fellow motorbike riding enthusiasts of where to find help in case bikes break down when traveling.
- As a motorbike owner, I want to see the nearby mechanics so that I know which one can fix my motorbike now.
- As a motorbike owner, I want to share my personal experience with mechanics so that other motorbike owners can learn from it.
- As a motorbike owner, I want to be able to read other people's feedback on a mechanic so I can make an informed decision whether to bring it there or not.
- As a motorbike owner, I want to buy motorbike gear so that I can customize my motorbike.
- As a motorbike enthusiast, I want to know about the latest in motorcycles so that I can have interesting topics to talk to my peers.
- As a motorbike owner, I want to find a reliable marketplace where I can sell my motorbike so that I can easily find a buyer.
Based on these user stories, Wrenchless has three major components:
- List of mechanics, with the ability to read and leave feedback
- Marketplace to buy and sell
- Lifestyle content section (possibly a mix of original content and user-generated ones)
After an initial user testing, we got feedback that users find it important to see content on the go. Hence, we decided to start focusing on mobile.
Building the product had a lot of challenges.
1. Finding the right technical partner. Even with a clear brief and a discussion of technology that had to be used, we always ran into some technical difficulty that the dev cannot solve. It was a mix of communication problems and on our end, a lack of understanding of the developers' strengths and weaknesses. We assumed that any full-stack developer would be the perfect fit for this project. That statement could be true, but I think it's important to see the developer's range and depth of projects, and understand their specific responsibilities in those projects.
2. User-generated content paradox. To User-generated content means there has to be users. In the launch there are no users yet, and as I want to avoid a chicken and egg situation, so I need to populate the app with engaging content so that others can also feel engaged to share theirs. Which meant had to reach out and pay for content writers or influencers. This adds unnecessary complexity to the problem I'm trying to solve, which is to connect riders with mechanics.
3. Running out of resources. I still truly believe that this app will provide value to the daily lives of motorbike riders and mechanics in Vietnam. However, we couldn't do everything ourselves and finding the key people to help us get this app launched takes a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, my partner and I had to postpone production but hope to pick it up one day.