TechPill: Take a hike (Google Map), moving round Lagos just got better with this
1 month ago
My first time in Lagos is still very fresh indeed. I had no friends there, save for Google Maps. It was my best friend, accompanying me as I took “danfo”, keke and even on bike. Anytime I look and I’m still on the route, there’s always the large smile on my face applauding myself for not being kidnapped.
One thing did not impress me though, this map by Google would make a very bad teacher. It could not explain and break things down for me. You don’t get? Like if I want to go from point A to point C, it should tell me in clear terms how to get from A to B, then from B to C. Biko, is that too much to ask?
People need products that’ll attend to their needs specifically as a human would. Just imagine you ask Mama Risika that sells food beside the hotel you lodged (on your first time in Lagos) how to get to Ebute Metta from Berger. She’d tell you to take bike at a certain place, then take bus at another, then trek too. But Google Maps would just draw one long line like I’d fly to my destination. Don’t get me wrong, the app made sure I was safe and on the right track though.
Somehow, I later got to know of Lara, and trust me, she’s the perfect replacement for “Mama Risika” that sells food near your hotel room. Lara gives you direction round Lagos like you were talking to a real person. It gives you the human feeling you need to understand every move you are supposed to take.
Founded by Sam Odeloye (CEO), Nnamdi Nwanze (CTO) and Ladi Ojora (COO) (I don’t know why they didn’t name it after themselves), Ladi proves to be an artificial intelligence system that assists users to get from one point to another by providing detailed, text-based, step-by-step directions and accurate fare estimates.
Well well, me, when next I’m going to Lagos, I’d only chat with Lara. But I’d still use Google Map to make sure the drivers don’t deviate from the route. Genius.
Other links to read:
This article thinks ending CoD wouldn’t solve Nigeria’s e-commerce trust issues. I think so too. Link.
This guy went from programming with a feature phone to working for an MIT startup. Link.
Venture Capital investment reach all time high in China. Link.