In 2016, the group transportation industry, comprised of limousine and charter-bus operators, seemed broken. Despite the advent of Uber and other on-demand taxi services, if you needed to book a limousine or charter a bus - you still needed to call around to figure out availability and get a quote. Then after you decide which operator to go with, you needed to go through their paperwork, and then coordinate with their office (and driver) via phone and email leading up to your ride. Needless to say, it was quite the run-around and, at the time, it seemed like a great opportunity to build an online booking platform that could disrupt the industry.
Later that year, members of our team founded Joyrides to modernize the booking process for the group transportation industry and streamline their operations. To do so, we built out a comprehensive solution including administrative tools, online bookings, and invoicing software that we rolled out with operators in the Denver area. Initially the operators we were working with loved us since we brought them over 1,000 bookings and contributed over $500k to their business over the span of two years. But, despite their gripes about declining business and the encroachment of Uber and other players - we quickly discovered they (and others) weren't ready for change for a myriad of reasons. Thus, after two years in operation, we decided to close Joyrides due to market dynamics and our team's shared desire to pursue other projects.
Looking back, Joyrides was an incredible learning experience when it came to bootstrapping a startup but it also taught us to be more precise and frugal with our time - which is your most valuable asset.