It’s been half a year already since Waze was acquired by Google for a not-so-bad $1 billion. Having expected it to be turned into sort of a ‘feature’ within Google Maps to improve its ‘social’ riches, was quite normal. It proved not!
In one of the first-day panels at DLD14 conference, Noam Bardin, the ‘Chief Wazer’ of the Waze, clearly states that they are still independent as a company and very happy to be owned by Google. He says he had the chance to defend company’s independence with Google and their crowdsources real-time traffic and navigation services have been improving ‘a little’ after the acquisition.
Built on the feeds that the communities of drivers across the world pour in, Waze helps people in route-planning im many cases, from commuting in city traffic to disaster rescue services. So it is heck of a smart and socially responsible service one big boss would not want to sacrifice just because it wants it to be a part of its corporate tree.
Actually, that was the reason why Bardin favoured the acquisition. “Google is leaving us independent” he tells Jesscia Lessen of theinformation.com on stage. The startup is still autonomous in its sales and marketing procedures. Bardin says “If a start-up is to be acquired by a someone, make that someone is Google”.
He sounds very happy also because Google seemed to have understood this very core feeling of the users. “Google is a machine-powered world, Waze is a community-powered world” says Bardin. It’s apparent to everybody that Wase is an emotional service after all.
It’s a map app that offers more than a simple routing layer. It collects real-time data from its users about the changes on the routes they use everyday, and the impact of this change on their travel duration.
The purpose is to convert these data into a set of information for users to shorten their commute 5 to 10 minutes a day. The larger the community is, the better the estimates and saved time are.
Finally, it’s the income issue; When asked if they make money with Waze, Bardin answers “We have been making money before the acquisition. It’s Google’ problem now.”