The Fundamental Challenge
Part of the fundamental challenge UrbanForm faces is that, in the US, each city has its own zoning code and system. The solution UrbanForm provides is the same: a quick answer to: “what can I build here?” But the inputs are completely different for each new city.
It took two years to develop the technology to communicate Portland’s zoning code. But that was just one city. We were happy we could prove the concept. But scalability was essential to both our technology and our business plan, and we knew we needed to do it again.
The next city, Seattle, meant reconsidering many aspects of the UX and data architecture for multiple cities. Two is much harder than one. Things that weren't yet scalable needed processes to become so. Seattle took months to develop. But our UX, data architectures, processes, and understanding all got better.
Our third city, San Diego, was meant to further refine our process for incorporating new market geographies. We could take what we did with Portland and Seattle and do it better and faster.
Our goal was to make incorporating new UrbanForm cities as efficient as possible, and we wanted a solid understanding of the time and cost. So we wanted to focus our process of incorporating San Diego on speed and efficiency.
But during this process, we hit a hiccup. In our rush to take San Diego live as fast as possible, we discovered some omissions late in our processes that meant that we had to essentially re-do some early work. We are dealing with that now. At the same time, we’re adjusting our processes to make sure such omissions don’t occur again.
And while getting San Diego live hasn’t happened as fast as we hoped for, we have a more solid understanding of the time and cost to incorporate new UrbanForm cities. We’re very happy with it. And it’ll only continue to get better.
So this week, we’re working on that. Look out for an announcement on UrbanForm San Diego shortly :)
So forwards and onwards for UrbanForm.