How can I make pilots' lives easier using apps?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Andrew Kim, Jan 25, 2023 at 4:13 PM.

  1. Andrew Kim

    Andrew Kim Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi pilots,

    My name is Andrew and I just joined Y Combinator (it is a accelerator that backed Airbnb, Coinbase, Dropbox, etc). With that said we are looking for problems to solve within the airlines industry.

    I've spoken with my dad, who mentioned that managing expenses using SAP Consur is a real pain. Also, the corporate credit cards provide no benefit at all.

    I was wondering if you guys have the same problems and/or if you have any other painpoints/issues within the industry, whose systems seem to be outdated/ can be made more efficient.

    Thanks and I hope to hear your thoughts!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 5:35 PM
  2. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    The one I'm thinking of is one that a lot of people share. We need an app that deposits cash each month in our bank accounts that doesn't come from any other accounts of ours so we can pay the inflated price for gas and maintenance. :D Of course, I don't think the airlines really struggle with that much.

    Maybe you guys should help Southwest update their scheduling software...
     
  3. Justin Brady

    Justin Brady Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If anyone wants to throw me some ideas I can then pass off as my own and make money with I'm here too.
     
  4. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A way to disguise our Ashley Madison accounts so our wives don't find out would be a big plus.
     
  5. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    If your father believes that SAP Concur is "a real pain" for managing expense reports/credit cards, I can't imagine what he thinks is going to be a better solution. SAP Concur works fantastic compared to a half dozen other big names in the industry. Generally very responsive, take a pic of the receipt with your phone and attach it to the expense (or leave in a cache of receipts to attach later. You can take a pic of the receipt at the dinner table before you leave the restaurant. They are pretty good for scheduling rental cars/hotel arrangements as well. Corporate credit cards aren't supposed to provide much of a "benefit" to the user, but they insulate the company from fraud just like any personal credit card, and they often come with a discount structure which helps the company's bottom line.
     
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  6. Andrew Kim

    Andrew Kim Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks @SoonerAviator for actually providing some real insights - personally I don't think that SAP Concur is a great solution based on competitor solutions with much better experience. Either way, I appreciate the insight and really will try to validate some hypotheses around your insight
     
  7. RyanShort1

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    You could build an app that watches internet inventory numbers and pricing to see if there are companies price fixing and buying up their competitors stock of stuff like oil and other choke points.
     
  8. MountainDude

    MountainDude Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Can you make an app with similar functions as ForeFlight at a much lower price point?
     
  9. RyanShort1

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    You mean, like FltPlanGo?
     
  10. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I heard SWA has some problems they want to solve and nothing is off the table there.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If I had to use Concur for travel on a weekly basis, that would be a pain. But, once a year to go to the sim isn’t that hard to do.

    The corporate credit card isn’t that hard to use either. While I’d rather not have to submit my receipts, the company just isn’t going to allow me to charge random stuff with no proof.
     
  12. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    30 years ago someone charged a Harley Davidson motorcycle to their corporate card, which was automatically paid. It took them 6 months to find it.

    An app…maybe a location tracking app for passengers? Turn on GPS and share it with family and optionally the airlines.
     
  13. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Build a good airport restaurant app that stays updated with hours and reviews.
     
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  14. Pinecone

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    A POA member did a website for that. But it needs to be an app

    I would like a nice app to track aircraft hours, required things, and expenses.

    Put in Tach and Hobbs hours, fuel purchased, price per gallon, oil added, oil change due. Sort of a log book for the plane.
     
  15. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I haven't used any of them in a "professional pilot" environment. However, as a Controller and end-user who traveled monthly for a decade, I've dealt with big expense platforms from Wells Fargo, SAP, and Expensify. Concur is the most seamless for expense and travel booking, as well as utilizing end user/approver relationships to make sure large amounts or travel arrangements are approved where necessary. Concur is more of an enterprise-level software (it is owned by SAP), so it's not designed with the flexibility of with a small company. If you don't need the travel integration and only want expense reporting, Expensify is probably the next best option, but that doesn't maintain spending limits or approvals as well.

    You might want to get more detail as to what you father had an issue with before looking at software solutions for it. He may not actually have as much of an issue with the software itself, so much as the travel/expense report rules of his company. If he has to submit a receipt for every single expense, even if it's for $0.01, he could be frustrated with that. However, that isn't a "Concur" issue, it's a corporate policy issue.
     
  16. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    How did you join YC without a product? When I started my business (well beyond seed round by now) in 2016, every accelerator was adamant about having a product in at least MVP form and some sort of traction, either users or better yet, revenue. Has that changed?
     
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  17. BPM

    BPM Pre-Flight

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    I'm interested to hear what Concur alternatives you prefer? I've looked, and not found a better expense reporting app, but I'm open minded about better alternatives.
     
  18. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm thinking the same thing. It's a little surprising in this competitive funding environment that YC would be picking up founding teams that don't have a product or even a fully articulated idea. It's kind of like jumping out of the womb not fully formed. But hey, it's their money!

    OP - I'm just a regular GA pilot (non professional), but here's my biggest pain points:
    - Finding shops with maintenance availability (avionics installs, oil changes, etc). I often have to call around a bit to find openings.
    - Securing ground transportation at an airport that I fly to. It sucks to not know if a courtesy car will be available. Often times rental cars aren't available either.
    - Getting overnight hangar space when I fly to another airport. If I could airbnb myself a vacant hangar it would be nice for overnight or extended stays. The FBOs don't always have hangars or space, but local tenants might. Unclear whether airport authorities would like transient traffic in the hangars though...
    - An easily accessible financial product to hedge AVGAS prices for GA pilots. Airlines can trade forwards/futures contracts to insulate themselves from price shifts, but GA pilots have no such option. That's a pain b/c a lot of us buy hundreds, if not thousands of gallons per year.

    Not sure if any of these have an automated solution, but they're my biggest frustrations :)

    Also... IDK why expenses would be so difficult for the airline industry. There's a number of vendor solutions out there for that which are applicable cross-industry... Expenses are always a slight PITA, but a lot of that is unavoidable when documentation is necessary. I guess I'd consider that a generally 'solved' problem?
     
  19. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think you might be confused a bit. Nowhere did he suggest YCombinator has funded him - nor does YCombinator fund everyone that hangs out with them. He will go through a couple month deal spending time with other startup founders, then demo what he came up with, and hope YCombinator will throw a couple hundred K at it. Then he needs to build more of a real product, get customers, and do a real seed funding round. Build more, then do a series A, and so on.

    Anyhow - if I were in his shoes - I would totally forget about coupling this to aviation. Instead, I would be focused on AI startup ideas. That is where the "hotness" in funding will be over the next 24 months or so.
     
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  20. MountainDude

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    Better than Fltplan GO in terms of UX/UI. I love Fltplan GO, but just paid a lot of money for FF, because it's so much less distracting.
     
  21. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a good point and clarifies it. I thought anyone in YC was instantly given something like 100k or 500k or whatever to build their app/widget. Apparently I was misinformed :). But best of luck in building the next big thing app!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023 at 10:40 AM
  22. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, to clarify a bit, after I've researched a bit more. It appears any company accepted into a YC "batch" gets the "YC Standard Deal" , which consists of a 500K investment in the form of a few different "safes". Whether he was accepted into a YC batch is unclear. "just joined YCombinator" could mean many different things from merely signing up for a newsletter, to going to their "startup school", etc. A batch typically gets about 20,000 applications with about 1% of those being accepted.
     
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  23. Chrisgoesflying

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    YC is probably one of the hardest (if not the hardest) accelerators to get into. I applied my startup twice back in 2016 and 2017 and didn't make it in, despite having an MVP and paying users. We did get into two accelerators that are one tier below YC though, ended up raising a decent seed round and turn profitable after that. Might do a series A to accelerate growth in the near future, but not sure yet. It would HIGHLY surprise me if YC accepted a founding team into their official batch that has no product or traction.
     
  24. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Call up the FAA and tell them you'll fix the NOTAM and Wings problem they have.
     
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  25. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Glad to hear no one saying FlightsForBites.com needs a replacement :)
     
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  26. TCABM

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    Just added Trailblazer Cafe that just opened at SSF. Would not take the google maps link (whitelabel error)

    https://maps.app.goo.gl/ySuNmykxcUA3TWej6?g_st=ic
     
  27. PaulS

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    Nice job.
     
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  28. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I updated the restaurant with this link. For security, I allow only specific domains. I'll add to the feature list including links starting with https://maps.app.goo.gl
     
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  29. Mahneuvers

    Mahneuvers Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I actually missed this post when I wrote mine about no one dissing FlightsForBites.com Oops :)
     
  30. texasclouds

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    It would be really cool if you could make an web thing that we could go to find information. You know like answer a question you may have. Basically how it would work is that you type your question into a box and it provides answers. I think that would be quite popular.
     
  31. Let'sgoflying!

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    FBOCookies
    An app with pilot reports of who has fresh, hot cookies waiting inside for you.
     
  32. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That exists. http://ashleymadison.com
     
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  33. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    A pricing app, kinda like skyvector when you turn on fbo gas prices, but for all things pilot related.
     
  34. Half Fast

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    Try iFly GPS.
     
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  35. Hector Parra

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    And app that yells at you "look outside!" when you're too much into your screens.
     
  36. Htaylor

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    Maybe bring back FBOhotties.com. :)
     
  37. schmookeeg

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    I think we need an app that looks for existing communities that are ripe to go plunder ideas from in exchange for literally nothing.
     
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  38. TCABM

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    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Pinecone

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    Comments above
     
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  40. ArrowFlyer86

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    I think the real takeaway here is that I need to build a refinery to save money on gas :cool: