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JAMMED: Turning traffic jams into an opportunity

I guess we can all agree that being stuck in traffic is one of the top 10 worst experiences anyone can encounter in life. Being a Lebanese who grew up in Jounieh, a beautiful suburb of Beirut, I can assure you that i have experienced all shapes and forms of traffic jams.

Since I moved to Dubai in 2013, the traffic jams experience shifted. Dubai is not short of traffic jams, trust me, especially if you hit Sheikh Zayed road on a Thursday afternoon, going from Jabal Ali towards Dubai downtown. But Dubai have something special about traffic jams: They always find a solution. When a certain area suffers from traffic, within a month they build a huge 6 lanes interchange and solve the issue for good.

Dubai is not the norm. It is a success story for sure, but not something we can replicate in Jounieh for instance.

So we need to tackle the Jounieh issue from a different angle. During my last visit to Lebanon in easter this year, I was struct by the number people i encountered while roaming back and forth between Jounieh and Beirut. The amount of cars and commuters stuck on the highway is huge. So I thought WOW! You know how much money businesses are paying to put 30 people in a room to pitch them something? Around me where more then 2,000 cars, with 2 to 3 people in each car, in an area of less than 10km, stuck for an hour or more! What is staggering is that these commuters do the same trip twice a day, 5 to 6 days a week! Imagine if you could reach these people! know more about them, engage them, put a smile on their face! This is such a huge opportunity being wasted!

So i started thinking, and brainstorming, all while being stuck in traffic during easter, until finally, i got an idea... and I called it "JAMMED".

What is JAMMED?

JAMMED is a mobile app, free to download by anyone. Once you open it, it gets your current location. If you're on the Jounieh highway, which is a strip of 20km (give or take) it will automatically great you, and reward you with a deal for every 10 minute spent on the highway. The more time you are stuck in traffic, the more deals you're going to get! Sweet!

Where do the deals come from? Local merchants! Merchants will have access to all commuters, and will be able to target them with deals. Something like: "Free Burger and Fries from Sandwiched", or "20% Discount on swimwear from TeamNine". What is interesting is that merchants target their deals, since the app will get you age, gender, time spent on the highway, how many times you came in and out of Jounieh, etc. Off course merchants will not access your personal data, but they can target a specific segment that you will be part of according to your behavior. Deals you opt in for can be redeemed in-store, by providing your deal code to the cashier. Therefore every deal is unique, so that merchants can track their campaigns.

Amazing! So i pushed the concept, and I thought that we will need a moderator for all of that... Who better then the municipality of Jounieh! Can you imagine how much value JAMMED will bring to the municipality, and how much the municipality can do to promote and curate JAMMED? It's a win-win. That pushed me to broaden the scope JAMMED, by not limiting the app to deals, but by creating features like the "Jounieh TV channels", where commuters can view videos about jounieh, latest events, concerts, activities, kids series, video clips, or the "Jounieh Radio channels" and "Jounieh News".

Who will create the content? The citizens! Jounieh citizens love their city, and they are fed up with all commuters who keep on spreading negative vibes about the city due to the traffic jams. So students, producers, artists, adventurers, all can create their own movies, music, playlists, talk shows, news, and push them to the app.

What about monetization? how will we finance JAMMED? what about making money out of it? Well, the model is quite simple: Money will come from the merchants and advertisers:

- Merchants: For every deal redeemed by a commuter, the merchant pays a very small fee (Say 0.1$ for every converted lead)

- Advertisers: They will have access to a pool of commuters, with tremendous insights on commuters demographics, behavior, deals they opted in for, engagement frequency, ... This is heaven for advertisers!

Finally, why limit it to Jounieh? Let's not forget every single city suffering from traffic jams across Lebanon, and even across the world. This could be really big!

Well, enough said, you get the idea. I create below the storyboard / presentation, featuring the app and basic user experience. You can also find it here:

So if you are an entrepreneur, an investor, an advetiser or a member of a municipality, think about JAMMED. I could be able to help on many fronts. Otherwise, if you implement the idea, keep me posted, I would love to use it one day :)


Joseph Noujaim

Founder of

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