Meet the Haneke Design Internship program graduate and creator of a mobile app that’s changing the way we split road trip and carpool expenses.
The awkward moment of asking your friends to chip in for gas is a thing of the past with new mobile app, DivyMe, which launched last month. Created by Zach Burmeister, the app is outfitted with a custom calculator that tells you how much it will cost to get from point A to point B, and voila… you can invite your friends to pay right through the app! Zach was able to squeeze in a few minutes to tell us all about his latest venture…
Zach Burmeister graduated the Haneke Design Internship Program.
Haneke Design: First things first, in your own words, could you please tell us what this disruptive mobile app called DivyMe is?
Zach Burmeister: Absolutely, DivyMe is a simple trip cost calculator that assists travelers in splitting the gas cost between their riders!
HD: What made you come up with this idea? Was it difficult to get it up and running?
ZB: Being an avid skier in Colorado it is common for me and my friends to venture a couple hours up the mountain for a day of skiing. Because the drive is typically around 120 miles round-trip it is common practice for the others in the car to throw the driver some gas money. Although it is usually expected I still get uncomfortable asking, mainly because I want the accurate amount from everyone. I saw this as an opportunity to build a simple utility app that would assist in the calculation and alleviate my discomfort.
The difficulty I encountered revolved around Swift. My previous two applications were built in Objective-C so this was an excellent opportunity for me to get my hands dirty in the Swift Programming language.
HD: What’s been the response towards DivyMe? Has it been all support or have you gotten any push back?
ZB: I have received incredible support from most of those around me! It is really exciting for me to release an app that has relevance to my life and to the life of my friends and family.
Calculate the cost of your journey based on your car’s MPG and price/gallon of gas.
HD: Person-to-person apps like Venmo and mobile banking apps have been on the rise. What’s the difference between DivyMe and the means we have already?
ZB: Currently, DivyMe does not support in-app transactions. My intention was to create a utility that simply assists in the calculation and allows for the users to easily inform their riders how much they owe, leaving the method of payment up to the user.
HD: Which audience do you see this app resonating with the most?
ZB: I think DivyMe will find a comfortable place on the devices of travelers and adventure seekers. Additionally, I think DivyMe will be popular with college students since we are always trying to save a few extra dollars.
HD: Are you a one-man band with this or do you have a staff that helps you?
ZB: Yes, but I am hoping to find a team for my future ventures.
HD: Many apps have a ‘freemium’ concept, where the app is free to download, but you have to make in-app purchases to unlock features. How do you plan on monetizing DivyMe?
ZB: DivyMe relies on the ‘freemium’ model. With the basic download, DivyMe assists users in calculating the cost of their trip by entering the number of people, the distance traveled, and the approximate MPG and price per gallon. After upgrading you are able to select your vehicle to find the predefined MPG and track your gas station visits. By saving your gas station visits DivyMe will be able to accurately calculate the cost of your trip. Additionally, users who upgrade are able to use the location feature to find the distance between two locations. The final and primary feature of the upgrade is the ability for users to text their riders the amount they owe.
DivyMe is free to download on the App Store.
HD: Where do you see DivyMe in the next 5 years?
ZB: In 5 years I see DivyMe as a common utility used by travelers and drivers to easily record, calculate and split the cost of their trips.
HD: To you, what would be the pinnacle of success for DivyMe?
ZB: Seeing a steady daily active user count with a high number of users taking advantage of both the fill-up tracker and trip cost calculator will really define the success of the app.
HD: Can you think of any stand out moments while interning at Haneke Design that gave you the strength to pursue creating your own mobile app?
ZB: My time at Haneke Design helped to fuel my passion for both development and design. I learned that these two categories of the app creation process should be intertwined from the start of the project all the way through both the release and maintenance of the app. Neither can create a successful app without the other. I am incredibly thankful for everyone at Haneke Design who continually support and encourage me.
DivyMe is now available for iPhone on the App Store