+1 vote
asked in Product Design by (73 points) | 1.8k views

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+1 vote


* this is very open, and I would ask a ton of clarifying questions as below

* I decided to do an inverted CIRCLES, 

 - we are offered a solution

 - go backward from List solutions - LCIRCLES

 - go back to solutions and add alternatives solutions to the use case

 - end with Summary 



Clarify - 

Is the 1000$ per person/direction the price to the passenger? 

What’s the margin and the cost per trip to google?

How does this technology work? based on how it works, and the context in which it was developed, we could identify an immediate target market?

Is the technology portable (can we license it to 3rd parties) - transportation solution providers, if not, google needs either build a transportation service or partner with someone?

Does google want to get into the transportation business? (Besides waymo)

is it anywhere to anywhere in SF/Seattle? are there pre-defined pickup/dropoffs  station?

Is there any limitation as to how many people can use this service at once?

Do we expect economies of scale by licensing or mass adoption?

Do we expect for this to work for or between other destinations?

Do we expect for this to work for greater distances?

Completely different - if the actual cost to  use for google is cheap, and can be used in mass, google could use this recruit specialists in remote places

Are there any  physical side effect to this type of transportation? 

  • circumstances  - as a PM at google, Define an objective for the product
    • our goal is to maximize revenue from the new technology

  • identify the personas - Choose and identify the most appropriate target customer
    • assuming no economies of scale, in what cases is the value one gets from reducing the trip between SF and seattle by 90%
      • high value specialists in the field of medicine, law or others that required to be physically present
      • real estate agents for luxury/high value properties 
      • high value business executives 
      • personal emergencies 
      • companies that employ remote employees and need them to come into hq once a week

  • report needs - Empathize with the target customer
    • As a highly valued medical specialist, I need the ability to perform more procedures a day by extending the geo in which I can operate within a single day
    • As a highly valued defense lawyer, I need the ability to increase my regional footprint and appear to courts in a single day
    • As a highly value surgeon or lawyer, I need to get effectively to the pick up/iinal destination as fast as possible
    • as a highly valued specialist, I need a comfortable way with superior service while traveling

  • cut - prioritize , Articulate use cases (aka pain points)
    • As a highly valued surgeon, need the ability to perform more procedures by extending the regains in which I can operate within a single day
    • As a highly valued defense lawyer, I need the ability to increase my regional footprint and appear to courts in a single day
    • As a highly valued surgeon or lawyer, I need to get effectively to the pick up/iinal destination as fast as possible
      • since this already removed 90% of the travel time, there are multiple easy alternatives to transfer 
    • as a highly valued specialist, I need a comfortable way with superior service while traveling
      • since it only 15 minutes, the added value of luxury service is low
  • List solutions - 
    • the solution is to build a simple service which we call “beam” - that transports an individual from a constant point A to a constant point B between Seattle and SF and vice-a-versa for $1000/p/direction
    • Alternatives is a private jet service - owns airplanes More expensive/slower
    • Airport VIP service that  - manages the pre and boarding process but uses the  less epensive/slower
    • ground transport - trains -> too slow
    • car - too slow
  • Evaluate alternative 
    • every other technology to transport people is either significantly slower, or requires a significant time investment to use (due to security, checkin process)  that stem form the shared aspect
    • The only alternative that is similar enough is a private Jet which costs more and provides less value in terms of travel time
  • Summary
    • We are going to start a service for high value professionals that need to be in person in Seattle or SF in order to perform their job. we are not providing last mile services, and there is no need to create a 1st class service. 
    • our GTM and price point could be justified to this segment by comparing their alternatives and prices.
    • However, we need to verify that Google is interested in entering this market, if not, we better broadly or exclusively license, and let the market figure out the best service
    • Assuming the development of the technology is s a sunk cost, I’d also evaluate the price to maintain and further develop the technology in order to assess viability 
    • Considering this GTM decision - the ROI would need to be evaluated, while the use case and product could be a fit, I’d need to verify now whether there is scalable business for this solution by evaulating the number of trips that could be taken /day/month/year and the relevant variable costs


answered by (23 points)
Hi I didn't see where did you prioritize your target users. Are you going to launch the product for all use cases?
0 votes

Google is working on a tech that allows people to travel from SF to Seattle in 15 mins with a cost of $1000 / per person one way. What would you do with this tech?

1. First I'd like to clarify my undertanding of the opportunity and problem we are trying to solve. Can we clarify the following:

  • Can you describe the technology? Is it through air/water/route ? How many people can travel together? Can we use it for longer distances? Any phyiscal sides effects for the traveler? Is there a special departure/arrival stations/airport or it can deserve any destination? patent? ahead of competion? Profit per customer?
  • Let's assume I gathered these info from interviwer and answers are - flying engine, 100 people max, can be used wide range of miles, from/to airport, patented proprietary and unique technology. Profitable, no margin info yet.

2. Second, let's see who are the potential users and target a unique personna we can use as early adopter to drive product adoption.

  • General: High end traveler not sentive to price  or emergency travelers
  • Specific: Professional who needs to be physical present in far away distand location the same day. (executives, entrepreurs, sales...)
  • Humour: Somebody who forgot her cat in Seattle and needs to go back to take it quickly ;-)

3. Customer journey and needs for High end travelers:

As a high customer traveler, I want:

  • Comfort, and Luxury services but it is not 15min trip...
  • Convienence
  • Safety

4. Let's explore what extension of the use Google can explode:

a. Develop a network of this tech to help travellers travel to multi-destination in 1 day.

  • pros: Generate scalable Revenue with growth adoption
  • cons: required high upfront cost to build and manage departure/arrival stations. ROI over years to be profitable

b. Franchise the tech to 3rd party operators such as:

  • Airlines for private passengers Pros: disrupt airline industry with faster flight. Cons: higer Cost
  • Transporation companies: Pros: faster delivery Cons: cost
  • Governements for military uses. Pros: Speed Cons: exclusivity vs wide spread to other gvt
  • Medical field: to transport organes for uregnt transplant Pros: Save lives Cons: Align need with departure schedule
  • Space exploration: Pros: Fast Cons: other physical constraints to go in space
  • Environement: transport cars to reduce C02 emission

We have multiple use cases, all with their pros and cons. My favorite use case is the commercail transportation use case  for 3 reasons:

1. Moving (commercail) good/products is a huge and growing market worldwide.

2. The Techno is ahead of any other transportation mode in speed delivery.

3. With scale, we can reduce the price/mile to enable a larger adoption.


Conclusion: I'd recommend to invest in infrastructure to build a market place where users can bid for the space or volume in the transportation machine. The machine will leave the station to destination only if x%occupency which generate minimum acceptable profit. Start with Cali> US> Intl. Goggle can become the leader of commercial transportation WW.


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