For the past few weeks I’ve been exiting my taxis like a boss. No weird on screen prompt, no credit card swipe, no fumbling with cash – I just hop out of the taxi and say thanks. Sometimes even the cabbies are surprised and yell after me for my change – before I even turn around they realize my payments went through. The app is called way2ride and it’s as big a deal as Uber, Seamless and OpenTable for New Yorkers and yet no one is talking about it, or apparently using it!
It’s simple – you open the app, click “I’m in a taxi” and then hold the phone microphone up to the Verifone speaker that’s under the screen. The phone buzzes and automatically has my billing information and default tip setup. That’s it, when the ride is done I hop out of the boss and save an awkward minute with the payment system – I feel like a boss. It only works on Verifone cabs for now, but that seems to cover 80% of my trips.
The app is made by Verifone, the behemoth credit card processing company. I’m not sure if they paid an outside firm, or did it themselves, but they get high marks from me for reliability, user experience, UI and performance. A+
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
– The Who (Won’t Get Fooled Again)
In the past few months, I’ve been getting asked about whether it’s strange to work for a female CEO and move out of the CEO role for my second company. Back in June when Kegan asked me to start this company with her, neither of these potential issues even entered my mind. After a few months of operation, and tons reflection, I’ve got a much better understanding of both issues.
Let’s start with the easiest issue, working with a female CEO. Kegan is a badass whether you compare her to other girls or to guys. I don’t see any specific traits that make her better or worse at being a CEO because of her gender. Maybe her ability to deliver hard messages with compassion is one, but that’s it, and I’m sure many guys have that skill too. The biggest change seems to be the differentiation we automatically get and the outsized interest from press.
On the issue of not being the CEO, it’s really not a big deal. As co-founders, we’ve shared major decision making worked towards a decision through debate and influence and have resisted striving for compromise. We’re both really willing to see different perspectives and go with what makes the most sense. There has only been one decision where we just disagreed and she made the final call. Technically I’m working for Kegan, but it doesn’t feel that way and importantly that’s the point. It’s not management by consensus or autocracy, it’s a culture built on management by influence.
So basically, not being the CEO is fine because of our culture and management style and a female CEO is no different than a male CEO except we get more attention.