Warm Gun: Designing for Peer-to-Peer at Lyft

by November 22, 2013

In his presentation at the Warm Gun Conference in San Francisco CA, Frank Yoo shared how Lyft balanced the supply and demand side of creating a peer-to-peer marketplace. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • Marketplace dynamics require you have supply and demand. You need both to get things working.
  • Lyft started by creating supply. They started by reaching out to their existing driver netowrk on Zimride.
  • To make a marketplace, do you create two apps? One for the suppliers and one for those with demand?
  • Lyft made one app with the idea that the best suppliers have been users of the marketplace themselves.
  • Lyft uses foot away designs and audio cues for their driver interface and a simple, trust building interface for those seeking rides.
  • As demand grew, supply was quickly becoming the bottleneck.
  • Lyft created a waiting list for new users which seems like a bad idea at first. But it actually helped the best users get the supply they needed and kept new users eagerly anticipating access.
  • Those who signed up for the wait list, were prompted to become drivers. If they did, they were able to jump the line as riders. In effect, this turned some demand into supply.
  • This gave Lyft the idea of converting passengers to drivers. They exposed the driver features to all passengers.
  • Driver leads through the app skyrocketed when Lyft added a simple button that prompted passengers to become drivers themselves.
  • 27% of drivers only provide rides. 73% of drivers also use the service as riders. Think in terms of one product, one community, with two modes. Don't divide your supply and demand.