Buster is a transportation technology startup based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's the only place to search customized prices for charter buses, limos, and vans, and book your trip online.
As VP of Product and Operations at Buster, I led all aspects of product during a rapid development phase. In 2015, that meant taking a raw v1 product built with our vendors (old-school bus companies) in mind, and doing a complete overhaul with our customers in mind. The new Buster was a consumer-friendly product with a smarter algorithm and a simpler experience.
In 2016, after six more months of learning from our customers, we realized that people booking buses don't think about itineraries or journeys. Coordinating a bus or limo for a group is just a small detail within a much bigger, more important story. So I designed a conversational itinerary planner that let our customers talk about their trips as a story, they way they already understood them. The tool was still totally algorithmic, but it acted a bit like chat. It walked through trip planning like a phone conversation, with a back and forth style that gives instant feedback to a customer, confirming their answers or clarifying any problems. It guided customers to answer easy questions, one at a time, and didn't bog them down with labels like "round trip," "one-way," or "shuttle" - labels we learned don't mean much to most people.
When we released the tool, it was the first fully-automated conversational itinerary builder in the transportation industry. Here's what it looked like:
I also led operations - creating our hiring and onboarding processes, ramping up new team members as we doubled our size in 6 months, and designing our goalsetting and feedback structures. And I led marketing, from the brand narrative down to our Instagrams. And released my favorite piece of swag, a sticker in collaboration with illustrator Hiller Goodspeed.