Founder Daniel Griggs was recently featured in an article on the Forbes, Inc. website about the responsibility tech entrepreneurs have in supporting and creating social change.
In the article, Griggs describes his inspiration for creating the school bus tracking software Bus Kids Safe, as well as the lessons he learned along the way.
The Bus Kids Safe app uses GPS technology to allow parents and schools to track school buses in real time and get notifications about pick-up times, drop-off times and delays.
Griggs created the app after a nerve-wracking incident in which his son’s school bus was over an hour late to the stop. He said the process of creating, developing and marketing the app revealed several important lessons about how to use digital products to address pressing social issues:
- Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes the most sustainable change is incremental change. Trying to progress too far too fast could actually be counterproductive. Bus Kids Safe took something that already existed (bus driver check-in processes) and digitized it instead of creating something new altogether.
- Borrow from other industries. Chances are, something that is working in one industry can be cross-applied to another industry. The solutions to some of our societal challenges may already exist and just need to be adapted to address specific problems. For example, GPS tracking of public transportation already exists — Bus Kids Safe just harnesses the technology for the education industry.
- Incentivize early adoption. You may have the greatest app in the world, but it cannot create social change if you don’t have users. Focus your marketing efforts and incentive programs on getting early subscribers for your app. This can create community buy-in and organic sharing of your product. The Bus Kids Safe technology is currently free for local schools and parents, motivating more districts to get on board.
It is the responsibility of tech leaders to use their power to create something better. Let’s start innovating!