San Francisco: the On-Demand Metropolis
7 startups that you should know about for all your needs.
There was a time not too long ago when the American Dream was to be an owner of things.
But not anymore.
Look around your home: do you utilize half of the items that you shelter routinely? The answer for many is an astounding no.
The changing American value system is about the efficient use of resources and having access to items instead of filling our garages, closets, nooks and crannies with stuff.
People are becoming more mindful of our carbon footprint and looking for ways to minimize the trash we accumulate.
There is an evident social and cultural shift towards valuing the use of goods and services rather than ownership, aka “Access over Ownership.”
Overcrowding populations lead to a scarcity of available resources and facilities.
Not all apartment complexes have a washer and dryer unit or a place to store a bike or camping equipment. Going to a laundromat or purchasing gear for use a few times a year is inconvenient and costly.
Having access to what you want when you want it is more important than keeping idle or under-utilized resources that takes up space.
So, in comes the inception of the on-demand Economy movement fueled by consumer need. Instant gratification. And San Francisco is where it all began.
The on-demand economy is thriving in this city!
Here is a spattering of local businesses that make the lives of locals and tourists more convenient!
Postmates is an on-demand food and goods delivery service that can courier anything sold in any store or restaurant, 24/7. Simply place an order behind the convenience of a mobile phone app with a wide range of restaurants to choose from. If soaking your tired feet in the hotel tub sounds more preferred over eating out on the town while you’re hungry/hangry, this company is for you!
Dougbies, “the World’s Largest Local Bakery,” promises to deliver freshly baked treats when you want them. With just three clicks — 1) pick your area out of three locations, 2) pick your treat of choice, and 3) place your order — those craving something a little sweet in their lives are well on their way to receiving a boxful of goodies. They offer same-day delivery to the SF and Silicon Valley region and next-day delivery to other parts of California. Sink your teeth into a decadent dessert!
Similar to the more visible transportation providers, Uber and Lyft, iCars is another option that partners with hotels to offer on-demand and future reservations, flexible billing (directly to your hotel room, allows your hotel to book a ride for you, or you can secure and pay for the ride yourself).
Most notably different is the absence of surge pricing during peak times. Boasting as “the safest ride in town,” their professional drivers commandeer regulated and maintained vehicles as a certified transportation provider.
Aside from hostels, hotels, and Couchsurfing, Airbnb is a notable Sharing Economy marketplace founded in San Francisco in 2008 to enable people to list, find, then rent home and room rentals.
From castles to villas, apartments and everything in between worldwide, Airbnb has over two million listings to offer tourists a unique travel experience at any price point. It is also an easy way for property owners to monetize extra space in their dwelling.
Using a green cleaning method, both Rinse and Washio provide a speedy turnaround for its drycleaning and laundry service. Even clothing donations! In the event that red wine spills on your top or a mysterious stain appears on the suit you planned to wear to a business function, these two companies offer a quick turnaround after expert cleaners provide world-class care of your inanimate yet sentimental garment.
Equipment and Gear
Last but not least, Cloud of Goods is the New Kid on the Block (cue: the 90s boy band hit “The Right Stuff”…oh, oh, uh-oh, oh). It offers convenient and affordable gear rentals for all your needs and wants, especially for travelers on the go.
Rest assured that Cloud of Goods offers a selection of quality goods, all of which are given a deep cleaning after each use. Delivery arrangements to a location most convenient for you is scheduled hassle-free as well.
A wheelchair, stroller, carseat, etc: you can make a reservation online or over the phone with a guaranteed delivery within two hours. Two hours!
In brief, maximize your vacation and check out all of San Francisco’s on-demand services for yourself!