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February 25, 2016

Old problem. New solution.

During the Thanksgiving break I wanted to visit a friend of mine in another city in USA when I was studying at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The easiest -and the cheapest- option for travelling was to go to Norris University Center and look for any announcements on the big billboard for suitable rides. And that’s what I did.

In his essay published in on 29 November 2015 Tim Adams reports about Frédéric Mazzella, founder of the French company BlaBlaCar, a company that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers who need to travel.

Like me but in 2003 he, a French IT worker, was trying to get from Paris to his parent’s home in the southwest of France for Christmas. He had left it late to book and all the SNCF trains were full. He did not own a car. There was no bus that did the 260-mile route. Surely, Mazzella thought, there must be other people who were driving the same way with spare seats? But how could he find them?

Since he did not have a Norris University Center to help him with a ride he came up with the idea of the BlaBlaCar app. ☺

Don’t try to find totally new business ideas. There are only very few of those. But there are enough “old” problems needing new solutions.

To read the essay by Tim Adams: My father had one job in his life, I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time

Song of the week: Youssou N’Dour ft. Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds (1994)

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