In March of 2017, Drive Beehive (Apis Ventures) and TextNinja Co. merged to form a stronger team and more capable company. The resulting flagship product became Motovate, an app-supported incentive platform that improves driver behavior and reduces distracted driving.

My Responsibilities

  • Lead the newly established team through a major product pivot and brand change
  • Establish team roles and operating procedure
  • Manage the development of the new product, Motovate

Some Highlights

  • Successfully launched Motovate in April of 2018
  • Established a task board using Trello that organized weekly team sprints and broke the team into four parallel streams:
    1. Development
    2. Marketing
    3. Operations
    4. Sales
  • Implemented the use of InVision to revamp the UI/UX design and nail down key flows in the app
  • Defined and managed the delivery of strategic key features:
    1. Sponsor a loved one (see below)
    2. Invite & create personal teams
    3. Sponsored contests
Trello for Teams

Organizing with Trello

We had three boards for tasks that allowed us to focus on the week's tasks at hand, load up a backlog when we had good ideas or future items to plan for, and celebrate our successes of the week.

  • Backburner - This held future items
  • In Action - These were the priority tasks to focus on
  • Completed - Each week we could view what tasks were completed and by whom
  •   See Example

    Personal Rewards Feature

    This feature allowed us to use a person's loved ones to influence them to start driving with the app. This got around the awkward marketing snag where we were essentially telling people they were doing something wrong (not a good way to win over a customer).

    See it in Action
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    Chasing Bubbles

    Chasing Bubbles is a documentary that tells an epic story of a sailing adventure and the life of Alex Rust. During the production of the documentary, Alex tragically passed away on a trip to India. While this would cause most teams and projects to come to a screaching halt, it inspired myself and the team working on this project to not only complete the film, but to also include the dramatic twist and dedicate the project to raising money for a memorial fund.

    A major difficulty in telling the story was that it involved hundreds of sub-stories and tangental plots. To get around this and help give the viewer a more complete experience, I spearheaded the design and build of a living website that shared the complete list of ship logs in blog form, along with a custom interactive map of Alex's circumnavigation route that linked to those blog posts.

    The Result

    • In 2016, the film debuted at the historic Logan Square theatre in Chicago, IL and went on to be a featured favorite in the Milwaukee Film Festival
    • The complete movie is free to view on YouTube and has earned over 500K views
    • Google Analytics for the site reports around 1,000 vistors per month from over 170 countries
    Chasing Bubbles Integrated Map Feature

    Integrated Map Feature

    The circumnavigation route was meticulously mapped by Alex Rust and the corresponding ship logs were neatly kept for record. This gave us a unique chance to tell a story in a visual format, utilizing a customized Google Map embedded in a WordPress blog.

    See it in Action

    Documentary Website

    The documentary is available for free on YouTube and is embedded in the movie website alongside the blog, map, and ship's crew bios.

    Learn more
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    TextNinja Co.

    TextNinja is a gamefully designed solution to texting and driving that uses bluetooth technology to help drivers focus on the road.

    Some Challenges

    1. People are sometimes addicted to using their phones, so getting them to stop doing it while driving was a behemoth goal.
    2. iPhones are inherently strict about what apps can do, so silencing text messages was going to be difficult.
    3. We were on a bootstrapped budget and had 4 team members.

    My Role and Key Results

    • Successfully drove the delivery of an MVP on Android that utilized OBDII Bluetooth technology.
    • Adopted the use of a grunt fund to fairly divide ownership based on effort.
    • Ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness and funding for the iOS version.
    • Released an iOS version of the app that used an improved Bluetooth Low Energy version of the device to be compatible with iPhone.
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    Gameful Design

    We employed gameful design into the app in order to overcome the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) with a positive incentive.

    • Levels were ninja belt colors
    • Miles driven safely became points
    • Special milestones earned badges
    Learn more

    IoT Connected Car

    We tapped into the power and convenience of OBDII dongle devices to not only provide accurate car data, but use as an indicator that the user was actually driving (as opposed to riding on a train or bus).

    Learn more