DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E47 – The Future of Parking with Mosstyn Howell

On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony talk to Mosstyn Howell, founder and CEO at UbiPark, a startup that streamlines the parking experience for drivers in the greater Melbourne area. UbiPark has completely digitized the entire parking experience. They call it SNAP: search, navigate, access and pay—directly from the app. This allows customers to automate the whole process of parking, removing troublesome fees and interactions with staffers.

Mosstyn shares his experience as a parking lot attendant to eventual tech company founder and how all the work along the way opened him to the idea of automated parking. One thing Mosstyn hammers on in this interview is the importance of the team. That no matter how foolproof your idea is, without the right team, it’s going to be very difficult to translate that to real market value. Andrew and Anthony also discuss funding strategy for business ideas like these, when you only have friends and family to help support the costs initially. Mosstyn is fortunate enough to reflect on the fact the UbiPark has seen delightful returns for his earliest investors.

Finally, Mosstyn and the hosts talk about growing a business in the middle (and wake) of a global health crisis. Mosstyn opines that there has been a trend in the tech world for some time now to move to a remote work model, it just needed a catalyst to set it off. He believes that the world will more than likely transition to more remote work options after analyzing the great cost real estate is to business. He shared one story of a company paying $8M a year for parking spaces alone. Remote work, along with automated parking to ease congestion, could grow the bottom line like we’ve never seen. Mosstyn is excited to be on the frontline of this change to the way we think about parking.

Topics Covered:

  • The challenge of finding the right people to come around.
  • Raising funds on your own in the initial phases.
  • Building the product based on feedback.
  • The restrictions that Apple often places on developers.
  • What do you do when you don’t have all the answers?
  • Bringing development in when you have the funding to do so.
  • Clarity is key.
  • Remote working as a trend ahead of COVID.
  • COVID’s changing mindset around tech and productivity.
  • How UbiPark is providing the platform to spring into other value markets.
  • Do your due diligence.

Key Quotes:

  • “I needed the best app in the parking industry.” (5:35)
  • “Every time I took it to a new tech company, they said we had to start again.” (8:25)
  • “By the time you set it up and get it out to market, it’s probably not exactly what they need anymore.” (13:00)
  • “We want our customers to search, navigate, and pay for parking right from the car’s touch screen.” (16:20)
  • “Listening to the customer is the number one thing.” (18:10)
  • “There’s no right or wrong way to build a product.” (21:35)
  • “If you don’t have a documented plan in place, it becomes very difficult.” (30:00)
  • “There are pivots that are required, and there are trends in the thinking.” (38:30)
  • “They’re going to invest in YOU.” (41:00)
  • “The key is to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page.” (56:40)
  • “You have to make sure you’re going into it with the right idea.” (1:00:00)
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