Hello everyone, I wanted to start a conversation with the topic of what made you start or join a mission/project and why did you decide to create an Open Collective for it.
When I started college I began driving. I was very concerned of how much traffic there was in my city. I joined a Hackathon called H4BC (Hack for Big Choices) One of the verticals was to create a solution to improve transportation. We were concerned about traffic jams, and first we thought that having a good public transport system would solve the problem, and I believe it would but it was very unlikely that we could change the transportation mafias in my city. We researched more about traffic and found out that most traffic jams are caused by car accidents. Then we looked at car accident stats and realized that distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents.
“Texting while driving causes 1 out of 4 motor vehicle accidents.”- Huffington Post
We realized that the solution back then to prevent texting while driving was to fine the drivers.
Before this measure people would text with their phone on the steering wheel. Traffic fines, although partly helpful, only made it worse since drivers started to hide their phone and stoped watching the road. Also, let us be honest; nobody likes to get a ticket, and there are not enough police officers to check all the drivers.
That is why we created Foynt, it’s basically an app that rewards you for the time and distance you travel w/o using your phone. You just have to lock your phone before driving, ignore it while on the road, and unlock it when you have arrived to work/school. The app then gives you points based on the distance and time travelled and you can redeem your points for rewards on participating stores. We managed to get McDonald’s to reward good drivers.
A friend from high school called Juan de la Peña helped us produce this video for Foynt:
Unfortunately the original hackathon team did not stick together and I had to push the project forward with people that supported it along the way.
I decided to create an Open Collective for Foynt to be more transparent with the people that want to collaborate, and help them understand the project’s financial requirements. One of the biggest problems in my country is the lack of transparency, we all complain about it. I realized that if we really want institutions to be transparent we have to start with our own projects.
Foynt currently has 15,000 registered users and over 50 companies sponsoring rewards.
I still strongly believe that by positively reinforcing a good habit we can change how people behave, especially young drivers.
I constantly find more videos and campaigns with the objective to stop texting while driving:
Currently I am the only one contributing to the collective and I have not made so much promotion to it. I’m looking for a partner. Someone who wants to collaborate with both, time and resources to make this project global. I have event thought of open sourcing it.
My idea is to get insurance companies to sponsor part of the developing and operating expenses, in exchange they get featured in the app based on their region.
You can visit our website here www.foynt.com, it’s in Spanish because we started testing the app in México.
So that’s part of the story of how I got involved in this mission to prevent distracted driving accidents.
You can visit Foynt’s Collective HERE.
What’s your story?
Share it, and let the world know if you need any help!