Tech For Good – Feat. Esoterix Systems

We were lucky enough to interview Liz Davidson, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Esoterix Systems, a specialist intelligent mobility technology provider.

The purpose of the Tech For Good series of interviews is to create a platform that showcases and champions companies, products and technologists who are using technology as a force for positive change in the world.

Can you please introduce yourself, what your business does and what makes your business and offering unique and a force for good?

Liz: Hello, my name is Liz Davidson and I’m a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Esoterix Systems.

Esoterix is a data and technology company working to improve the delivery and experience of travelling by public transport.

The idea of being a force for good sounds a little … intimidating, but we do our best to do good work, aligning behind principles of inclusivity, integrity, innovation, bravery, and excellence.

Can you share the story behind the origin of your business and Service / Product?

Liz: Esoterix is actually the brainchild of my co-founder, David Stewart. He’s a mathematician and network optimisation expert. As is often the way, when you have children, you want the world they’re growing into to be the best place it can be. When his children were young, he became frustrated by the inefficiency (and danger) of streets clogged with cars alongside frequently empty buses. They used the play a game of ‘shoot the empty bus’. Our children used to play together, so we became party to the game.

When smartphones and GPS began to emerge, he could see that they had the potential to change how transport is delivered, and Esoterix was borne.

What we found early on is how little operators know about their passengers and that’s where we have focussed our attention ever since.

Can you share some tech challenges or barriers you had to overcome to create a Product / Service offering with potential, whilst remaining ‘for good’?

Liz: This is an interesting question. The main tech barrier is that you’re rarely starting with a clean slate. Public transport networks have been around for a long time and that means there is a lot of legacy to cope with – physical and digital systems as well as politics and practices.

However, on the whole, the transport sector is a committed community that understands the difference it makes to people’s lives and the real value that its services bring to society. In the end, there’s a willingness to collaborate which is one of the things we love about the sector.

Why do you think is it a growing trend for tech professionals to seek out opportunities to work in purpose-driven businesses?

Liz: Given the numerous opportunities in tech, why wouldn’t you choose to work towards something that you believe in?

What has been the key thing you’ve learned about ‘tech for good’ and your target audience specifically?

Liz: The most important lesson I’ve learned is to listen. Listen and test. It can be easy when creating ‘tech for good’ to become a blinkered to any alternative views of the world.  People won’t buy your product just because it’s good, it has to be valuable to them too.

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