Back in 2006, as a longtime frustrated train rider, I started what became Clever Commute. Our offerings have evolved over the years, but one thing hasn't: Commuters love Clever.
To be clear: I have a full-time job in NYC. I run Clever as a passion project. There are no investors...no venture capital. I use my own time and money and I am energized by building and running this service.
The pandemic caused me and many others to take a year off from commuting. The encouraging news is that nearly half of the people who work in Manhattan offices are expected to return to their desks this fall. I already started going back to my office. More on that later.
JFK said The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.
Did the last 12 months create an opportunity? Yes!
I was able to make some fundamental improvements which would have been very hard to do during peak commuting times. The "Covid lull" gave me a window to act.
(1) Overhauled our technology platform
- "Cloud" is the future and Clever is now fully cloud-based.
Our "back-end" is now faster and more resilient than ever.
We now also have the ability to increase horsepower on demand.
There are scores of other amazing benefits to the cloud as well.
- Re-launched the user-facing CleverCommute.com website
- Modernized the "front end" of the app itself.
(2) Added new features you can use
- Built new return to Office and Covid-related features
- Integrated the official info from transit providers into the free offering.
(this was previously a Premium feature)
The result: The end-user experience is now better, faster, and more stable than ever.
Are We Done?
In the time since our Version 1.0 product was released in 2015, we have literally made thousands of improvements (check out this video of our first version...and please promise not to laugh).
There are hundreds of known enhancements we want to make...and the list never stops growing.
Will the commuting experience ever look like it did pre-pandemic? Probably not...but what ever does stay the same over time? Certainly not technology and technology-based services such as Clever Commute.
Let's see what the future holds!
My mailbox is always open...and maybe I'll see you on the rails and roads soon?