Smooth ride for global commuters

19 Dec 2012

Author: Samantha Mattila

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It's a good principle in business that solving a simple problem can also be the most profitable. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) about his solution to connecting friends on campus, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) about creating a virtual bookstore, or Post-it-notes.
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The list of business genius' with simple money spinning ideas is long. We can now add Lance Stewart to that list.

Aussie-born Lance is the man behind Tube Exits, an app that solved a simple question for commuters everywhere - which carriage should I get in to be closest to my destination's platform exit. This simple idea has been rolled out across multiple markets and has been consistently one of the top 10 most popular travel apps in the UK since launching over 3 years ago.

You might think that Lance might like such certainty in his own journeys, but his first journey to the UK a decade ago, was filled with uncertainty as the Commerce & Law graduate stepped off a plane in London with no job to go to after a successful career in commercial strategy with Qantas.

Lance explains that he was prepared to take a risk in coming to the UK.

"Like many Australians, I was attracted to London for the adventure," he said. “It was both daunting and exciting to arrive in London without a job."

The risk paid off and he landed dream jobs in the Virgin Group, firstly at Virgin Holidays and then at the Virgin Group’s headquarters.

"Australians are prepared to 'roll the dice' on a bigger stage, with the safety net that if things don’t go as planned we can always return to Australia, which is a pretty good Plan B."

Lance's next adventure was starting his own business.

"On the back of our initial success we created Wavana, a software development business focused on creating genuinely useful applications” he said.

It was a move that paid off with his former Virgin boss, Sir Richard Branson tweeting enthusiastically about their next app, “PayByPhone”, that manages car parking payments in over 100 cities.

“An app designed to help beat parking wardens?...sounds good to me!”, Sir Richard Branson tweeted.

Lance and his team at Wavana have continued to solve problems for an enviable client list that includes FTSE-100 listed companies.  However their biggest passion has been to build a product that solves problems across an entire industry.   This February sees the launch of the product that Lance hopes will do just that - Showcase®, a web and app-based product for trade shows.

Showcase® has the potential to transform the way people interact and do business around trade shows all over the world. I am excited about this next adventure”.