A Proper Goodbye


09-30-2016


Filed under: open-letter, featured

15 months ago, I walk into Easy Taxi, only to realize that it is an operation company. Today I leave Easy Taxi, proud of the transformation in product and organization, of what we have achieved as a company, especially with technology team.

Without any doubt, market recognizes the massive advancement of our product offerings. I have heard positive feedbacks repeatedly from not only our drivers and passengers, but also leaders of our competitions. Though what I truly treasure is the personal bonding and trust we have built through product transformation.

By focusing on people, we have built a trusted environment where product, engineering, and QA work in harmony and deliver features at high cadence. By crystalizing a mission, our people work towards the same goals that is to create efficient, cost-effective, and high quality transportation service. By encouraging innovation, we have deployed easy share, easy stand, easy van, easy connect, and many unique offerings that are new to LATAM markets. By promote learning, we have morphed into fearless polyglot developers who break the boundaries in technology.

We care more than the bottom line of business; we believe in better human life and society through technology. We do not passively follow instructions but proactively create features that we believe beneficial. We have delivered a result that is the transformation of Brazilian taxi industry. A transformation that few believe or expect a Brazilian startup can achieve. The biggest component of this transformation is the 30% price reduction of taxi fare. Many people have asked me how we convince drivers to accept fare reduction. The truth is that we have developed a bullet-proof software taxi meter to control fare for regular and shared ride, which is functionally superior to physical taxi meter thus making it obsolete. We have tweaked our dispatching algorithm to reward more rides to motorista amigos who are willing to work with the discount. We have gradually shown to drivers that their income increases with fare reduction due to more demands. Our local competition follows our steps and eventually provides same level of fare reduction which cements industry standard of taxi-hailing. We are the first LATAM application that ever supported carpool with taxis and even get banned in Rio de Janeiro prior to the 2016 Olympics due to city regulation (or the lack of). With billions of transactions in our platform, we have also transformed into a big data company providing data wholesale for traffic information and leveraging data insights to better our product offering.

Together we have achieve a lot, and I know we could do more by taking bigger market shares and bringing Easy from break-even to profitable. However I leave with no regret. I see a tightly-knit, talented team that not only reins technology but also well-versed in entrepreneural product thinking. I see a fearless team marching on, making courageous decisions along the way. As a leader, I could not ask for more.

Even though I am not sitting in the office daily listening to Bruno’s singing voice, I feel close to all of you. There is a part of me that remains with Easy. I am still wondering if PRs in Gerrit are kept within one page and why I am not seeing iOS V5 release (I have downloaded Testflight version with a beautiful confirmation screen that is going to make our competition cry).

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vini and Iwai for all the advise and truth that keep me on the right path; all tech leaders (Milhomem, Paulo, Pascutti) who believe in me by providing tremendous dedication to team management and product development; product (marketing) team for bridging IT with the rest of the company, shaping iterations and scalign product deployment; and everyone who showed up at my last-minute drink-ups and those who wrote to me. I feel blessed. Finally I would like to thank Alex, who has the only non-tech job in a technology organization. But it is also the toughest job to recruit and retain technologists.

15-month is not a long time, but we have created a team bond that will last forever. I am glad that I have known and worked with each and everyone of you. I know our paths will cross in the future in some shape or form. So bye for now.

Muito obrigado,

Zhao