People of Prospect – Simple Park
We’d like to introduce Nidhi Doshi, CEO and Co-Founder of Simple Park. We sat down with Nidhi to learn more about what drives her and how her Simple Park App can reduce headaches for commuters everywhere!
Nidhi: Parking is a huge problem, we feel the pain every time we go to the city (San Francisco). When we have to go for a meeting we just budget another 30-40 minutes just to find parking. We’re pretty cheap so we don’t want to pay $40 to park; we prefer to find street parking. So then we go up typically to our destination and then start looking for spots around. We were there earlier this year and my husband actually mentioned, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just navigate to an open spot? Or when I’m leaving, why can’t I just tell my friends that I’m leaving so they could take over this nice spot that I’ve found?” That’s where the idea was born. Yeah, why can’t we navigate to an open spot? Then we looked and there was no good solution, so we decided to build it.
ProspectSV: How will your technology help people and cities?
Nidhi: Our goal is to help you get to an open parking spot. Spending time in traffic, on a congested road is extremely frustrating. You turn up to a meeting, and you can be a total mess as you’re frantically trying to get there. It will be nice if you could just park and walk in. It helps you budget your time better, not waste as much time you don’t have to go early. That’s how we want to help people. Cities, we want to help from the standpoint that we want to reduce the amount of traffic that is just circling around. It’s estimated that in a busy city like San Francisco, 30% of traffic is just looking for parking at any given time. If we can reduce that and if we can make some difference over there, it would go a long way in making everybody’s life more comfortable. The solution to finding parking is not always building a parking structure. It’s about using the resources that we have better. That’s what we want to do, to better distribute parking usage. That’s how we can help cities and people too.
ProspectSV: Who inspires you?
Nidhi: I’d say the biggest influence have been my parents, mom and dad. Getting me to leave home, not that I was just sitting at home and snacking all day on the couch, but getting me a good education and finishing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a foreign country, at a really good institute. With international fees this was quite a task for my family, but they still got me here. I’m pretty inspired by all that they did to get me to where I am today.
Other than people, a few companies inspire me. Top of the list is IDEO. They’re a product design company and they focus on human-centric design. They look at how does a human actually use a product. It’s a chair, but what will be most comfortable to a human? When trying to pull it in, does it get stuck, does it need wheels, how long will someone sit in it, does it need armrests, can it be stacked, how will it be stored, how will it be moved? So they look at all the difference aspects of using a product instead of just building a chair. That company really inspires me. As a user, if you can’t use something well it’s because it’s designed badly. It’s not because you don’t know how to use it. This is their philosophy, which is fantastic. I really like the human-centric design philosophy.
ProspectSV: If you had a free plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Nidhi: Could it be a plane ticket with any number of stops? If so, I’d like it to be a world tour. Spend six months and just go to a whole bunch of difference countries and have a good time. It will be nice if I can go with a companion since I don’t like traveling alone. But I think on top of the list right now is Japan. I really want to go see how they incorporate technology into their everyday lifestyle. They focus a lot of on human-centric design again, and I want to go see how they do it.
Simple Park is a sharing economy for parking spaces. It’s driving people to give spots to each other so nobody is driving around for 23 minutes to find a spot, but instead drive directly to a spot. This reduces congestion on the streets, pollution and makes the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists – in our cities and company parking lots.
Simple Park makes the last mile, point to point connection. Using a phone app and hardware, the spot Taker is navigated directly to the spot. Get more information at www.SimpleParkApp.com.