RelayRides Chief Community Officer Shelby Clark On Eliminating Friction To Grow

What’s the biggest lesson you learned in 2012?

“2012 was a big year for RelayRides–we launched nationwide and kicked off our partnership with GM–and we learned quite a bit throughout the year. The biggest lesson of 2012 was that friction in the onboarding process kills growth. In March, we eliminated a great deal of friction from the onboarding process by enabling car owners to list their cars for rent in under five minutes and dumping the requirement to install technology in the car. As a result, growth has taken off. In just over six months we’ve expanded the number of cars in the marketplace by over 15 fold, and we’ve expanded to almost 1,000 cities.

How do you think you’ll apply it in the year ahead?

Moving forward, we’ll continue to focus on making it easy and delightful to try RelayRides. It is challenging, however, to lower barriers for trial without compromising the quality of the marketplace. We’re working hard to ensure that the lesson for 2013 will be how we learned to maintain growth while driving engagement from members, even new ones, leading to an ever more robust marketplace.”

More Lessons for 2013 from some of today’s most innovative business thought leaders here.EBB