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Episode 117  |  34:46 min

Rapha Cohen, CPO of Waze: human-centered experiences

Episode Thumbnail
Episode 117  |  34:46 min  |  01.27.2021

Rapha Cohen, CPO of Waze: human-centered experiences

This is a podcast episode titled, Rapha Cohen, CPO of Waze: human-centered experiences. The summary for this episode is:

Announcer: Hey there product lovers. Welcome to the Product Love podcast, hosted by Eric Boduch, co-founder and chief evangelist of Pendo and super fan of all things product. Product Love is the place for real insights into the world of crafting products, as Eric interviews founders, product leaders, venture capitalists, authors, and more. So let's dive in now with today's Product Love podcast.

Eric Boduch: So good morning lovers of product. I'm here today with Rapha Cohen, the Chief Product Officer of Waze, which is an exciting product. I know I'm a big Waze fan. It's my go-to app because of things like traffic and alerts and maybe drive every once in a while a little too fast. So it's good to have those kinds of alerts too. So, Rapha, tell me about your background and then we're going to have to of course get into your story of Waze.

Rapha Cohen: Hi Eric. Thanks for having me. Thanks for using Waze. So I'm actually an electrical engineer, not much to do with product management, certainly not of internet and software products and B2C. I started my career as an algorithm engineers. Then moved to product, which at the time was much like a CTO role, not really a product, but it was called VP product management. Although I had no idea what it meant and Waze product management. And from there, I kept going deeper and deeper into product management and started doing other things, software, first embedded and then consumer software and then mobile apps. And when I joined Google and then Waze.

Eric Boduch: So talk to me about learning about product management as a craft.

Rapha Cohen: Now that's very interesting. So as you know, there is no degree in product management. Everyone has to figure out by themselves. And it's a tricky journey. Usually it starts with... I always think as the product management skillset as a triangle. You have business skills, you have design skills, and you have tech skills. And you have to have at least one expertise when you begin the journey. And then you have to figure out how to develop yourself and your skills into two other dimensions. I came from tech. I'm an engineer. And as you go, when you learn about a new product, new businesses and new users, you have to develop and learn and grow onto two other dimensions. For me, it was business first when I was... because I started my product journey in the hardware industry. And then when I started doing software and B2C, I started learning about design and I started learning about UX and UX research, UX design, UX content, all those things, only five or six years ago. I had no idea what those meant before.

Eric Boduch: So talk to me about that, business design tech, right? So you came from a strong tech background. What are the important skills on the business side do you think good product leaders need to learn?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah, I think it's becoming increasingly clear to everyone. Maybe not. It was not as clear, I guess, 10 years ago that you cannot build great products that are not scalable. And by scalable, I don't only mean on the tech side that you can serve hundreds of millions of users if by mistake you are being successful, but also sustainable on the business side. So you have to think from day one on the unit economics about the lifetime value of your users, the cost of acquisition, all those things. You have to really think about them from day one. It's of course far from being enough. Of course, we will talk, I guess, about user needs and UX research, about the tech that supports them. But thinking in those terms from day one is super important, because if you don't, if you can't demonstrate that people want your product in the sense that they're ready to pay for it, then you're not learning the right lessons. And that's very critical to understand. If you give away your product for free or not at the right price range, you'll end up learning lessons that are not really relevant for after you scale, when you can't keep pouring money on your users so they use your product. So that's very, very important.

Eric Boduch: You talked about business design tech, right? And you answered the question about what you learned out of the business side. What do you think is the hardest for people coming in to learn? You came with having a background in tech and learned some of the other areas. What do you think is the hardest for people to learn?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah, I don't think there is one, a single answer that applies to everyone. I think it depends on people's abilities. I think it also depends on people's interests. And to me, I know that design was the hardest because I started relatively late. And also because I had very little background on this dimension. But on the other hand it was so interesting. So it was very easy to get into it. I think like typically all... every PM is interested in the three dimensions. Have met very few PMs that are not interested in tech, not interested in business or not interested in design. I would say that it's very difficult to have the discipline to think about the business side from day one. That's from my experience the most challenging part, because there is a culture, especially in Silicon Valley, that think about user first. And it's like almost taboo to talk about other things. And if you talk about anything else that user needs, then you're not in a sense doing your job. And that's something that people are increasingly aware of. It makes no sense to talk about user needs if you can't talk about the business and about whether you can build a sustainable business and sustainable product to serve the user that you are looking at. So I think that's the most challenging part from our experience. Not because people don't have the abilities or because it's the most difficult part, but because it's not part of the culture often.

Eric Boduch: And tell me, how does soft skills fit in, right? How do those skills that they were attributes to of... attributes in form of like things like empathy, curiosity, how important is that for product leaders and then soft skills like communication, right? I mean, I've heard a lot of analogies used for product managers, some of which are people poo-poo a lot these days, like the CEO of the product-

Rapha Cohen: The CEO of the products-

Eric Boduch: crosstalk traffic controller and all those kinds of things. How does soft skills fit into your triangle?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. So that's I think the... We've heard about the CEO of the product. I don't think it describes the full extent of the responsibilities of the product manager. But I think like, I know it sounds like a cliche, but really the part of having impact without authority is the most tricky part and it requires a lot of soft skills. It's very challenging. And I think it's very important for PMs not to have the authority on the engineers or on the business side to make things happen because it forces thinking, it forces them to be very data driven and to have the right tools and the right data to convince people and to enlist them to do the right thing or what the product manager thinks is the right thing. So it's a cliche, but it's very, very true. And I think it's by design. I think a PM who has the authority to make things happen often will end up not doing the right thing.

Eric Boduch: Now it's interesting. I have an engineering degree too, electrical and computer from Carnegie Mellon, got into product, got into the marketing side of the house. One of the things I've seen is that people that have a strong technical background sometimes struggle to develop the soft skills. Do you see that too where there's a challenge with a technically based product manager that come from that area of the triangle, developing the soft skills they need to be a good product leader? And if so, what advice do you give them?

Rapha Cohen: I don't think so. I don't think it's specific to people with a tech background. Of course, as I have a tech background, maybe I'm not just aware of it, but I don't think. I think it's a stereotype that's not really true. Developing empathy is... You can find empathetic people everywhere and with people from all backgrounds. And that from my experience, just the awareness is enough for people to understand that they need to work on this and to start looking at the different stakeholders and respect their point of view. It can be challenging not only for people with a technical background. It comes from everywhere. People have a tendency of underestimating the difficulty and the complexity of tasks that they don't understand. So if you're an engineer, you will tend to think that the business side is easier. If you're a business side, you think that design is easy. If you're a designer, you'll think that the actual coding is easy. If you're a coder you'll think, or a programmer, you'll think that QA is easy. And that's a tendency that all humans have, and I don't think it depends. It's really correlated to the fact that there's a tech background, but that's something that we all need to work on in my opinion.

Eric Boduch: Yeah, yeah, I would agree. And I didn't mean to imply that engineers can't be good verbal communicators or can't be empathetic. I feel like... I hope I'm an example of that being true, that we can be, so. Talk to me a little bit about Waze. What's the big challenges these days at Waze, and what were the big challenges as Waze grew? Can you kind of step me through some of that process?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. Very small challenge. We just want to eliminate traffic. That's all, globally and fast. So that's the challenge. That's our mission. And we won't stop until we've achieved it. The challenge is that we think we can be successful in that mission because we have the right brands, the right sentiments, the right community, and the right user base in order to achieve that. The challenge is that our users now get tremendous value from our historical and actual products, the navigation paths, the navigation app. And it's very difficult to balance this app that works at scale, that people love, that is ubiquitous in the whole world and that's powered by those huge communities. And on the other hand, the startup that we have within Waze is called Carpool. And that is which goal is to match drivers who drive in the same direction in order to take cars off the road and eliminate traffic, and having those two products and those two use cases living in the same product and the same app is a tremendous challenge. So we need to be careful because we want to see Carpool as a feature of Waze. It's just an evolution. It's the logical next step for us in our fight against traffic, because we quickly realized that you can't outsmart traffic anymore, right? This was our step one mission, outsmart traffic altogether. It cannot be done anymore because there's traffic everywhere. And traffic is now ubiquitous and there's nowhere to hide. So the next logical step is to match people together and take cars off the road. So we want to look at this as an evolution, but we're not sure that our user sees it that way. They just want the core value of Waze to evolve and to keep developing. Of course, we want that too. So we have to find the right balance between those two things, keep the products relevant, keeping up to date, keep improving it dramatically, and on the other hand, keep developing their mindsets in a sense that we want them to think about how they drive and how they move in general in different ways.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. I mean, that's interesting. I feel like if maybe if I talked to one of your users and said,"What's the mission of Waze," they would be like,"Oh, it's about getting me from here to there faster," right? But the mission of Waze is about eliminating traffic. That leads me to asking you about what do you see as the future of transportation? You talked about step one with Waze is outsmarting traffic. Step two is this push to take cars off the road because you can't fully outsmart traffic. Talk to me about the future of transportation and what you guys see it looking like.

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. So the future of transportation, often when people think about and talk about this future, they tends to have, especially in that industry of transportation, that's very interesting, they tend to have a very tech centered approach of thinking about the technology first, thinking about autonomous cars and electric cars and connected cars, all those things, which are obviously extremely important and they are part of the future. But they don't think necessarily, I don't know why, I'm not sure why specifically in the mobility industry, you don't think about user needs. And the urgent needs now, and of course, climate change is the challenge of our era and electric car play a central role, and safety is super important. That's why we want to have autonomous car. But the urgency now is that people suffer in traffic, hours every day. And they suffer. Their health suffer, their mood suffers, their marriage suffers, their healthcare system suffers. Everything suffers from the fact that we just have too many cars on the roads and not enough roads in general. And we can't keep up with this strategy of adding more and more and more roads. It ruins our cities and our communities. And we need to make this paradigm shift and change our approach. We need to take cars off the road, take cars out of our cities and our communities. I think about the future of transportation in very simple terms. Dense cities without cars, with bikes, with people who can walk in a safe way, and go from hub to hub by different means, maybe it's public transit, maybe it's carpool, maybe it's other things. It doesn't matter. The needs is for our cities, for people to live in livable cities, where they can feel safe and we can have children playing outside without feeling threatened by metal beasts that are cars. So this is how I think about mobility, just people living more densely, more closer one to another, leveraging, working from home and video conferencing, et cetera, et cetera. But we want them to move. We want them to be able to move and to meet in person. At Waze, we truly believe that the moving part is an important part of the equation. So we have to find a mobility solution. And if they want to move from one hub to another, we do believe that with the existing infrastructure and with the existing tech, basically cars, we have to make the mobility shared. That's the key. Shared is more urgent than electric, is more urgent than autonomous, and it's more urgent than connected. All those things are tremendously important, but the urgency is on the shared part, I believe.

Eric Boduch: Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. I mean, I share a similar passion. I absolutely hate traffic. By extension, I think I hate lines too. I used to do everything to avoid it when I lived in Silicon Valley. I lived in San Francisco for a period of time and worked down in the Valley. So I would get up as early as I needed to to avoid traffic. And at a certain point you just can't do that anymore. Right?

Rapha Cohen: It's a nightmare.

Eric Boduch: It just stops working. So it's interesting that Waze has changed from looking at or the evolution of Waze and how it's going to change. Right? So in a world without cars or world with a lot less cars, what does Waze look like?

Rapha Cohen: Oh, we're about to offer mobility solutions. So right now we are focused on driving, very much focused on driving because this is where our users are and this is where their most urgent needs are. Of course like bikers have needs, but I don't think this is like an emergency now to solve those needs. And people right now drive cars. They drive them alone. This is where the needs are and this is where we want to be part of the solution. But in the future, there is nothing about Waze, the strategy that says that we will always be about driving. I'm not too concerned about Waze. I'm more concerned about society and about our cities are fun to live in and the safety of our children. About the future of Waze I'm sure that we'll figure it out. If we are part of the solving the problem, I'm sure we'll find a solution about what to do next.

Eric Boduch: Yeah, no, absolutely. That's great. And one of the things you touched on is human centered experiences. Right?

Rapha Cohen: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Eric Boduch: Talk to me about that. Talk to me about creating human centered experiences and the challenges of doing it, the mindset you need to have.

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. It's interesting that you are asking about human centered experience. I think people talk a lot about user centered experience and I see those things are dramatically different. And if we were a bit crisper on the difference between those two, I think we'll live in a better society. I think user centered is about user needs. And it's great of course to look at the user needs rather than at only at the business needs, but that's only the first step. You don't want only to solve a problem for the user. You really want to solve the problem for society at large, right? And you want at the very least to make sure you're not harmful to society, right? And often those things are not necessarily compatible and you can do things that solve people urgent issues like lust or boredom, but on the way of achieving this goal, you can be very harmful to society. So human centered design is really about thinking user needs in a broader perspective of what your product does to society. And I think that should be the filter for decision-making for any good product organization.

Eric Boduch: Now, do you think all of the good... Well, let me say, let me remove the word good. Do you think all of the software organizations, all the product organizations, all the tech organizations out there, think that way?

Rapha Cohen: Oh no. No, no, not at all. I think that's... It's not about good that you said. I don't think in those terms of good people, bad people, good companies, bad companies. I don't think that's useful. But I think it's useful to think and to talk about the useful frameworks for developing products. And just the mere fact of talking about human-centered products rather than user-centered product and what the difference mean, I think forces thinking, forces everyone to think about those problems and to be more mindful of them. I don't think in those terms of good companies or bad companies. Often you have people... It's the same people moving from company A to company B, and just the mere fact that the culture is different in one company and in another or the process there are different, people tend to change the way they look at their business or their product. And it's useful too. Just the discussion, the mere discussion of human centered design is important to have in my opinion.

Eric Boduch: So talk to me about the audience for the Waze app. Got to be really diverse. You have to get a lot of different feedback, different approaches too, different thoughts on how to change Waze or where Waze should go. So first let's start with like, how do you build for those different diverse experiences? And then second, how do you manage all of that feedback? Let's start with building.

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. This is by design at Waze. This is something that is very profound in our culture. And I love to tell that story, but when Google Maps tried to understand why is Waze so popular in Latam, they went to Brazil and they started interviewing users. And the users often have the same answer, which is,"Well, we use Waze because it's a Brazilian app. So that's why we use it." Of course, it's not really a Brazilian app, but in fact it is in some sense, because the community really builds the map, the data layer. They contribute to the product. And we see our role as a product team to empower communities to build the product. We don't build the product. We build the structure for the community to build the product. And this is the only way we know to build truly hyper-local products at scale. Those things could be contradictory, but we do our best, and we think from day one at how to build the right structure for different communities, to build the right hyper-local features or experiences that are relevant to them in their specific locations. So the driving regulations are very different in Brazil and in France or in Indonesia, for instance. So we have to think about what is common between those restrictions, what can we build in the product team and what should we leave the community building the map editor or in the various user generated contribution that they can do to our map in order to finish, complete the product.

Eric Boduch: Talk to me about the feedback side. Similar, you must get a ton of feedback, different feedback from different communities. How do you deal with that? How do you categorize that, organize that, and respond to it?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. Our community is super engaged, is passionate, and is not representative of our user base. We are aware of that. The community is aware of that. It's still tremendously helpful, and we would be nothing without our community because they here to surface the insights, the hyper-local insights and the hyper-local needs from their area. But when we build something and want to get feedback, often we don't rely only on our community. We need feedback from less engaged users, because our users will always use Waze and we will always find very creative ways to use our product to achieve their goals. But of course, for 99% of our user base, it's not always the case. So we have to rely on different feedback channels. And this is where UX research comes into play. And this is where support comes into play, et cetera, et cetera. All those feedback channels are critically important in the different stage of the design of the product.

Eric Boduch: That's great. That's great. And then you have to integrate that also with the feedback you get internally, right? Product direction, design, sales. Talk to me a little bit about the challenges of balancing that. I think that's one of the big challenges product managers have, product leaders have, is balancing push and pull from very different constituents, very different directions, both externally, like you talked about, but also internally.

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. That's a very tricky question because I think there is no right answer that fits everyone. And even within Waze, for instance, we have different product teams with, I think should have different processes and different design mindsets. I'll give you an example. Our ads teams, which builds like the ads experience, but also like the support side and how to reach out to advertisers, they need a long-term roadmap because they need to talk to customers with budgets and then you'll need to plan long-term. So they need a roadmap. This is very important. But for B2C, I think that roadmaps are outdated, right? This is not the right way to build the product, right? We have to be very careful to build the MVPs that are... that actually validates very basic and simple hypotheses, put them in front of users, being very careful not to be harmful on the way of doing that, getting feedback, iterating fast. We never commit on anything, right? We just commit on the outcome, but never on the output. But on the B2B side, on the ad side, you have to commit on the outputs, not only on the outcome because different people have to plan accordingly. So I think it really depends on what your business is, what your product is, who your stakeholders are. And there is no one formula for any product team to incorporate feedback from different stakeholders. What is tremendously helpful is whatever you do is to having all the stakeholders as early as possible in the process. And if possible, not right away in the same room. I have like a method of the concentric circles I call it, where you get an idea. You first run it by one person. Maybe it can be engineering. You get feedback. You iterate on your own idea. And then you loop in another person, et cetera, et cetera. And you enlarge the circle slowly, but surely. First of all, your idea gets better in time. So every time you pitch it, it becomes refined and better. And also, after two or three iterations, it's not your idea anymore. It's everyone's idea and it's much easier to get buy-in. So that's the method I use, but the way of doing that, who are you looking and when depends on the product, depends on the team, depends on politics in your organization unfortunately, and on many other things.

Eric Boduch: Interesting. Does this tie into... We talked a little bit about and read a little bit about the idea of thinking like a product manager. Is this part of what you think means to think like a product manager?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. Thinking about the product manager to me is having a strong, yet adaptive worldview of how the universe looks like and how it interacts with your product, and adapt it every time you get a new piece of data. So you start from a worldview. You have an hypothesis on how your product is going to impact the universe. And every time there is an interaction between your product and the universe, or the users or society, you see what happens and you adapt either your worldview or your product. That's what thinking about the product manager is. You can't be data driven. You can't let only the data drive you. You need to have a strong hypothesis about how users and society behaves. So this is why it's very important to have a broad base of many areas and not only in tech and not only even in product management, but much broader than that.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. And your concentric circle pitching system so to speak is a good example of that, right? As you're incorporating feedback from each individual and then that circle quickly or slowly, one of the two, gets larger.

Rapha Cohen: Yes.

Eric Boduch: Talk to me about how experimentation fits into that idea of thinking like a product manager.

Rapha Cohen: I think I don't need to emphasize how important experimentation is to product manager and to data scientists and to tech organizations in general. I think what's worth emphasizing is that most likely you don't need an experiment. That's I think... People experiment too much. They do too much A/B testing. They do too much, well, let's just try both and let's see what happens. And it's often unnecessary, either because the outcome of the experiment won't really impact your decision-making or because you just have such a strong opinion that it won't impact what you do anyways. Right? Often people just, they know what they're going to do, and they'll still run an A/B tests because they want to appear that they're driven, but only if the outcome of the experiment suits their beliefs, their prior beliefs. So I think that the automatic reflex to do an experiment on anything we build, I think is harmful because you can't run as many experiments as you want. Especially if your user base is small, you want to achieve statistical significance fast. So you need to be very crisp and very sharp on what are the decisions that you're trying to make and focus on those. Not automatically build any feature as an experiment. It works for Facebook. It works probably for Uber. It also worked for Waze on the core side. But if you have a small product with a small user base, you need to be very careful and disciplined about what your hypothesis are, what your worldview is, and what is the decision that you're actually trying to make, because every experiment is extremely expensive.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. I think that's an important thing for people to remember, that there's a cost associated with experiments. And I think in a lot of cases, people don't take that into account when they're talking about a culture of experimentation and what that should mean.

Rapha Cohen: Absolutely. I often tell people, you probably don't need an experiment. You probably know what you need to do. You probably know what you are going to do. So just do it, right? So don't pretend that you are going to be data driven if you don't really intend to be. And also, you can't prioritize all of your decision based on data. It's not possible. Be very clear on what are the hard questions and focus on those. Otherwise, the time of learning will be multiplied by orders of magnitudes and you'll never converge. Right? So start from the hard question, do an A/B test 50/50 on your small user base and take it from there. But at every point on time, you need to have a very limited set of questions that you're trying to answer.

Eric Boduch: I think that's a good point too, because people sometimes gravitate to doing the easy experiments and not necessarily the experiments that the results are going to be the most meaningful to them.

Rapha Cohen: Mm-hmm(affirmative). By meaningful, we mean driving decision-making, that's the key point.

Eric Boduch: Absolutely.

Rapha Cohen: If you don't intend to make a decision with your data, don't bother.

Eric Boduch: So talk to me a little bit about COVID now. How has that affected your product team, product roadmap, Waze in general?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah, it's bad. It's very difficult to collaborate from remote. We've onboarded many people now that we've basically never met in person. I don't think it's great for culture. I don't think it's great for productivity. We still managed to get a lot done because things, there are things that are better to do from home, right? If you want to write a document or even to write code, it's better to do it. There's just no need to come to office for doing those things. But if you want to do design sprints or to collaborate on ideas and to iterate fast and to just brainstorm, it's very, very difficult to do this online. I believe that the future of work is not pure working from home. It's not also... I think it's great that we learned that some things can be done from home. You don't really need to be in office five days a week. Probably not. But you also can't be five days a week home month after month after month. You just have to get to know people for real.

Eric Boduch: Yeah, no, absolutely. It's definitely, I think you're getting to know people when you can be there in a shared physical location. You talked about collaboration being a struggle. Are there ways you've tried to solve that problem, that remote collaboration, things like how do you do design sprints remote? Are there tools you've used or things you've tried or things you'd like to see?

Rapha Cohen: No, truthfully we're struggling. It's very difficult. I don't think the tech was ready for a real effective and productive collaboration. So we are using... We don't have a secret trick that nobody knows about. We use the same tool as everyone. We use Google's Zoom equivalent Meet. We have a Jamboards. We have things like... We do our best. Docs of course is tremendously helpful, but it's not the same. I'm afraid I can't recommend something that nobody knows about and we figured it out. We haven't and we are struggling.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. You mentioned Google Meet. If there's a Google Meet product manager out there listening, I would really like it if the hangup button and the mute button weren't right next to each other. I'm not saying I've done that. Well, maybe once or twice, but if you would please move them a little farther apart, maybe put another icon in between. I don't know.

Rapha Cohen: That's a surprisingly good point.

Eric Boduch: Especially for those of us who might not use it every day, you know?

Rapha Cohen: Yes. I think that's the point, when you are using it... It had never happened to me for instance, but I struggled with Zoom. Right? I use it. It's like once every two months. So yeah, it's very difficult to use your muscles and your reflexes from one product to another. That's a very good point.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. I'm product person at heart. I always want to give people feedback. It's funny when you use different applications. Like,"Please take my feedback because then my life would be better." So talk to me about the product community going into next year. How you think it's going to change? Any new tools you might be adding to your stack? What you see as kind of the big trends for product management.

Rapha Cohen: Yeah. It's difficult to predict that. I think it will depend on where the industry is going in terms of working from home. I think that's one big change. If the industry is going to work from home, I think it will be, product managers will have to adapt because a lot of the work of the product managers happens in corridors when you meet the engineer and you're having those impromptu discussions with them. I think it's a very important part of the story and the influence skills that you'll have to build if you're working from home are probably going to be different and we'll have to train people to do them. But I'm not convinced right now that this is going to be the outcome of this pandemic. I think soon enough we'll return to some kind of normal with the right adaptations.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. It seems like we bounce back and forth between the normals and the non-normals. And hopefully those bounces to the unnormal become less and less often. So.

Rapha Cohen: Yes.

Eric Boduch: Let's talk a little about Rapha as we get to these last few questions. Right? So what's your favorite product?

Rapha Cohen: Oh, that's a very good question. So last time I was asked this question it was five years ago when I interviewed for Google. And I don't think my answer has changed since then. I love the Mobileye on my car. I think it's a great product. It basically sensors that... It's built for safety, but I think it's a great product because it's extremely simple, intuitive, and it teaches you how to drive and makes you a better driver. Right? So I think this is why I love this product. It's not fancy. It doesn't have many buttons. It doesn't have any button actually, but just with the two or three actions it's able to make, it just makes you a safer driver. So I think the simplicity on the one hand and the outcome that it achieves on the other hand is something I think is really well done and interesting.

Eric Boduch: That's awesome. I think it's always interesting hearing what products people come up with. I have heard Waze is people's favorite product. I'm sure that makes you happy. There are a lot of fans of Waze out there. It's interesting too, to think about Waze coming about in a space that already had Google Maps and had Apple Maps moving into the space. It's interesting to think that you can still revolutionize an industry that maybe had a large incumbent player that seemed like they had kind of solidified that position. What do you point to as Waze's success? Like how did that come about? Was it because they thought about things differently from a different mindset?

Rapha Cohen: Yeah, I think so. I think it's different factors, and I can talk freely about those because I was not part of the success. I came relatively late to Waze. So I think it's a combination of a few things, the design centric approach and the very unique design that makes Waze feel and look different is very apparent. And when I joined Waze, I first asked our CEO whether we were considering to move to material design, which is like the design that defines Google. It's very useful, right? Because you have all the design patterns and design system already figured it out. So why not? It's very... It makes development easier. But the look and feel of Waze is what makes its identity so strong and it's part of the success, the brands and the design centric approach. And of course the hyper-local look and feel. The fact that the community builds the features for us I think it's very unique to Waze and makes people all around the world feel like the app is local. It's been developed by locals and it's made useful for them.

Eric Boduch: Interesting. Yeah, I definitely see that community feel and that feeling of being local as a big differentiator. So along with just the focus on what ends up being your mission, which is traffic, right, that always got me involved because I like, I guess most ways I'm a hater of traffic.

Rapha Cohen: Yes. Yes. Most people actually, but I viscerally hate traffic. That's for sure.

Eric Boduch: I am the same way. Like I said, when I commuted to San Francisco, I would... I'm not a morning person. I would get up two hours earlier than normal, just to make sure I could avoid traffic in the morning. Well, thanks. This has been awesome. I have one final question for you today. Three words to describe yourself.

Rapha Cohen: Three words to describe myself: coffee, water, and wine.

Eric Boduch: Nice. Nice. I like those answers. This has been great. I've greatly enjoyed this. I hope you did too.

Rapha Cohen: Thank you, Eric. I enjoyed it very much. And talk to you later.