Tuesday Tip: What’s the Craze with Waze?

by Tony Rushin

I don’t go for the cool, new app just because someone mentions it.  My time – just like your time – is too valuable to waste learning a new app that may have limited productivity gains.  My rule of thumb is to wait until three people I know and trust tell me about the app… or it’s a Tuesday Tip written by David or Richard.

In this case, it only took 2 people – with an assist from my Vistage Chair, Larry Hart.  Larry shared Mary Meeker’s (Queen of the Net) recent “Internet Trends” presentation at our group last week.  When Larry got to the slide entitled, “Re-Imagination of Navigation + Live Traffic Info…” and the punch line was Waze, Dara – a member of the group – exclaimed, “Waze is great!”

waze-logoWaze, according to Mary Meeker’s slide, is a “User-Generated Digital Map / Live Crowd-Sourced Traffic Data”.  What that means in English is best summed up by Dara Summers, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Premier Surfaces:

“Living in a city like Atlanta, traffic can be a real problem.  Waze helps make commuting around town a bit easier and cuts down on time and frustration.”

I’ve been using Waze since last Thursday and can see why Dara – and Mary – are so enthusiastic.  I haven’t needed it to help me navigate around traffic jams yet but it’s Atlanta… it will be helping me soon enough.  I’m still learning the full power of the app (here’s a brief overview) but it is 3 for 3 in predicting the exact amount of time it would take me to get home on my evening commute… pretty impressive for a highly variable commute like mine up 400 every day.

To get you a little more oriented, here are the top three questions I had when I started:

Do people need to enter data while they’re driving to make it work?  If so, that seems dangerous.  Waze captures info automatically while you’re driving.  You can provide active feedback (accident, police, traffic, hazard) but this can be done via voice commands.

Is it a full GPS or is it only for commuting?  It was developed for commuting but as long as you put in the destination address it will get you there.  Note:  since the maps are derived from users, I’m guessing it’s not as accurate as a GPS in some rural areas; but then again….

What’s a “baby Wazer”?  You’ll have to find the answer to that question all by yourself.

The busy attorneys – and law firm staff – I know could really benefit from this app:  less time on the road means more time helping clients.

Tony Rushin: In his role as VP of sales & marketing, he is responsible for hiring, managing and coaching the sales team and always staying on top of (and meeting) the needs of clients. Under his leadership, the company has steadily grown each year.

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