Fast Fast.io

A Guide to the Concierge World


  • A new world of message based personal concierge services are here and are quickly growing
  • To access two of the best concierge now try GoButler and Operator. Facebook M is coming soon.
  • Check out a list of all the new concierge companies on Product Hunt
  • If you run a business consider adding messaging. It can lower costs and can be a competitive advantage

The Concierge World

Yes, there is a chat for that

The world is changing. Businesses are making it easier than ever to purchase from them. You don’t have to sit in line and wait for hours to get what you want. You don’t have to take countless trips to the store to purchase the goods and services you need. Everything is online now. Friction is reduced and companies are coming to you.

Tech startups like Uber have clearly shown the world that they can grow to be $50 billion dollar behemoths by challenging the status quo and thinking fast. Consumers are voting with their wallets and it’s clear that they want high quality goods and services delivered as fast as possible. This is a rapidly changing world, and the slow will not survive.

I feel blessed to be a part of this renaissance. There is a tremendous amount of interesting new things happening in this new fast and on demand world.

A Healthy Perspective

Before we begin, I would like to pull back for a beat and begin from the point of view of respect and gratitude. It is amazing that we get a chance to live in the future and experience this technology and all these great services. We live like kings. In fact, we probably live considerably better than most kings throughout history.

A great deal of this technology is still new and needs refinement. It will take decades for the world to switch over to the fast and on demand way of doing things. It will require a great deal of patience from the early adopters who know there is a better and faster way. I for one, can get pretty frustrated when things don’t “just work.”

It is essential to remember the people behind the scenes. We must always value the fundamental dignity of every human person. As this on demand economy continues to grow, and lots of money is made, we need to respect the hard working individuals who are working behind the scenes and on the ground to provide us services.

“There is no magic to the on demand economy (ODE). Burritos don’t just appear, and self-driving cars don’t shuttle you home each day. More often than not, ODE businesses are simply people providing you a service.” — Marcela Sapone, CEO Hello Alfred

It will be interesting to tell your kids that you were alive before Uber, Facebook M and Amazon Prime were even invented. I bet many of these services will be such a staple of life in the future that your kids and grandkids will not understand and will react like those teenagers in the Youtube videos who just can’t seem to understand old technology.

Three New Concierge Services

Three of the best new concierge services that you should be checking out

Facebook M

Facebook launched its new concierge service Facebook M recently. This was big news in the small but quickly growing concierge industry and has helped validate the space. Facebook has seen the incredible growth of its Messenger and WhatsApp chat programs and now they are building on those valuable platforms with the ability to chat directly with a human assisted artificial intelligent system. Facebook M will be using a team of human trainers to continually improve the AI within the system.

Facebook M is led by David Marcus. Marcus previously was the CEO of Paypal and oversaw a staff of over 4,700. Mark Zuckerberg convinced him to come over to FB and lead the Messaging team at Facebook. Marcus leads a team of over 200 who are working on Facebook Messenger and M and creating an incredibly valuable chat platform for the future. Facebook also recently acquired Wit.ai, a tech powerhouse of natural language processing.

It will be fascinating to watch in the upcoming months as M continues to scale. What portion of the 1.5 billion users of Facebook will M be able to reach? How good will M’s artificial intelligence soon become? What tasks will be able to be executed at scale and which ones will be too time intensive or difficult? And how quickly will you be able to watch the AI improve over time.

As Josh Constine has theorized, maybe M will be integrated directly into Facebook’s advertising in the future. Imagine seeing an ad that you are interested in and being able to hit one button to begin immediately chatting with a representative or robot from that company.

How to get it: Honestly, you probably can’t yet. Facebook M is currently only avaliable to a few thousand people in the Bay Area of California.

Additional reading:

Meet the Wizard behind Facebook M by Alex Kantrowitz

Facebook M’s top requests by Josh Constine

Facebook M — The Anti-Touring Test by Arik Sosman

GoButler

www.GoButler.com

GoButler is a cool new concierge startup that was started by a number of Rocket Internet employees. It is lead by Navid Hadzaad and Jens Urbaniak.

GoButler saw the work that Magic was doing and built upon that idea to create a similar concierge service. One the advantages they currently offer to the consumer over Magic is that they currently offer their services free of charge. I believe they are going to be focusing on the affiliate model and I have also seen them begin experimenting with asking for tips after a task has been completed.

One of the best things about GoButler is the enormous width of their services. You can chat with them and make just about any request. It is pretty amazing. Their hardworking team will work with you to try to accomplish your request.

If you can dream it, and have the money for it, Butler can help you do it

UPDATE: GoButler recently released an app as well. Search “Go Butler” in the IOS App store

How to Get it: Drop your phone number into GoButler.com or directly download the app

Operator

www.Operator.com

Operator was one of the first concierge companies that really caught my eye. The beautiful animated teaser page design by Vitor Lourenço stood out in a sea of bland landing pages. They are building a smartly designed concierge company that is acessible exclusively through their app.

When I first got a chance to use Operator I was very impressed. It is a clean and simple interface that allows you to talk with an operator who works with you to get you whatever products you would like. All the purchasing and receipt delivery happens seamlessly in line within the app. It is beautiful. Originally Operator was focusing on physical products, but I have seen them pivot a bit to offer sporting tickets as well. Just send them a message to see what they currently can and can’t do.

A video showing many use cases of how Operator and concierge services can make your life easier

Operator is part of the Expa family. Is funded by numerous Uber investors, and is led by Robin Chan.

How to get it : Head over to Operator.com and drop in your phone number or directly download the app


Fast Fast collection on PH

Fast Fast Concierge collection

Take a closer look at the all the new concierge startups mentioned here. We are actively compilying a list of the new concierge companies and also note that we are keeping a close eye on some great on demand companies as well.

View Concierge Companies


Make Life Easier

This industy is fascinating. There are always new things coming out. Here is a recent announcement of how Facebook Messenger is now going to be working directly with Uber to provide the ability to chat with and book an Uber.

Also there are a number of additional new service-based companies that are making life easier for people. I would like to discuss two of them — Alfred and Managed by Q. These companies are somewhat similar to the concierge companies above, yet have a more specific set of services that they offer.

You can use the Alfred App to manage a person who can help you keep track of your house, groceries, and cleaning

Alfred — Alfred is a concierge service for your home. They won the TechCrunch disrupt award in 2014 and have been steadily growing in New York City. Their goal is to make life easier for busy people. They offer an app that allows customers to book their cleaning, their groceries, and other additional services. Alfred is run by Marcela Sappone and Jessica Beck. It is currently avaliable in the US for its home concierge service (which I often use to order groceries) and avaliable in NY, Boston, LA, and SF for its on the ground Alfreds who can come to your home.

Web: www.HelloAlfred.com

A simple screen to control all the elements of keeping your office clean and stocked

Managed by Q — Managed by Q is like Uber for your office. It is an interesting new company that helps office managers keep their offices running smoothly. They have a sophisiticated software program running on an iPad that is provided by Q. With one tap of a button you are able to request supplies, cleaning and handyman services.

One of the things that I respect about Managed by Q, is their principled approach to working with their employees. Throughout their literature and on their site you can see a consistent respect for the employees that they work with. They also have some great Yelp reviews. Managed by Q is led by Dan Teran and Saman Rahmanian.

Web: www.ManagedByQ.com


Helpful Devices are Coming

We are getting closer and closer to a future where you can make a simple request through a smartphone or a device and get that request fulfiled immediately. Concierge services and digital assistants are converging and are available to help us with the numerous details in our lives.The advent of the personal computer was revolutionary. We all learned to interact with a machine that can assist us in our daily life. There is a new layer now with the ability to have a digital or physical concierge to help us get our tasks done even quicker with even less friction.

Amazon Echo — Amazon Echo is one of the world’s first home personal assistants. It is designed to be used simply with your voice (it has no screen) It is hands-free and always on and has seven microphones. Echo can hear you from across the room — even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can select “Alexa” or “Amazon” as your wake word.

Buy: Amazon Echo for $179

I think there is going to be an whole bunch more of these types of devices in the next few years. Check out this video below to see the Cubic team and their ideas for their latest device. It is fascinating to think that this type of reality is coming within the next few years.

Amazing video on what is going coming in the future. Digital assistants like Cubic will be able to make our lives easier

It Just Gets Faster & Faster

This is pretty amazing seeing how quickly these different services can deliver goods and serices to you

One of the most important aspects of this new economy is the speed at which companies can execute on delivering their goods and services. Consumers are not going want to wait an extra 30 minutes for a taxi dispatch service when they can simply click one button on their phones and b0ok an Uber within seconds. Why wait an hour for food delivery when Sprig can bring it within minutes.

Amazon get’s you your stuff quick

It would be fascinating to draw a comparison between the growth of these new startups and the speed in which they are able to execute. I think there would emerge a direct correlation between fast-moving companies and high revenue growth. Consumers today are impatient. They have lower and lower tolerances for waiting.

Uber closely watches wait times and works to reduce them in all markets

Friction is Everywhere

Iosit here this evening writing this in Mountain View, California. I am in the heart of Silicon Valley just a few miles from the headquarters of the worlds biggest tech companies; Google, Apple and Facebook. These futuristic companies are innovating around the clock just a few miles away yet there is still a tremendous amount of friction that surrounds me in this little town.

It takes me about 45 minutes to get food pre-ordered and waiters at the local restaurant are confused by the process. Groceries take about an hour or so to be delieverd. A hotel can be booked pretty quickly with numerous apps such as Hotels.com, or Expedia, however, apartments on Craigslist and Airbnb are very slow and take me days to go back and forth before coming to an agreement with the host or owner. I try to hire an asssistant off Taskrabbit and it takes me approximately 18 hours to do so. Eesh. Craigslist is even slower and requires a great deal of back and forth, back and forth to try to find someone to hire.

SpeedLancer is a new company with a great idea where they offer to get work done within 4 hours, however they currently do not offer any in-person options and I would have to work with a person overseas. I think you can push a button and book a haircut, but I didn’t get a chance to try it. I don’t believe there’s any on-demand services currently avaliable that allow me to simply push a button and get clothes or a tailor brought to me immediately. But I’m keeping my eye out for them.

Friction is Reduced

It is awesome being able to push one button and get what you want. Uber and Lyft have enormous networks of drivers and you can often summon a driver who is just a few minutes away. If I want prestige, I can select the option for an Uber SUV to show up at my door within about 6 minutes. Amazon is doing incredible work to tirelessly continue to reduce the amount of time it takes to get your packages to you. Large big box stores are going to have to step up to this new fast way of doing things. Life is getting better and easier for consumers as these tech companies continue to grow.

As Tim Oreilly says it so well,

The other day, on the bus, I watched one old man show another how the little blue dot in Google Maps followed them along as the bus moved. The newcomer to the technology was amazed. The rest of us now take it for granted that our phones know exactly where we are, and can not only give us turn by turn directions exactly to our destination — by car, by public transit, by bicycle, and on foot — but also find restaurants or gas stations nearby, notify our friends where we are in real time, and even report where they are when they are lost.

Google Maps was a unicorn. The original multi-touch iPhone (even before the App Store) was a unicorn. Heck, the World Wide Web was a Unicorn, even though it didn’t make Tim Berners-Lee a billionaire. I still remember showing someone the World Wide Web in 1993, clicking on a link and saying “That picture just came from the University of Hawaii.” People didn’t believe it, thought we were sh*tting them.

Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are unicorns. Uber and Lyft are unicorns.

These things are unicorns not because of their valuation, but because they are the kinds of apps that make us say WTF?!

Can you still remember the first time you realized that you could summon a car, on demand, to pick you up wherever you are? How cool that was, before you started taking it for granted, even complaining about it.

Education is Essential

This is a new world. Outside of the tech scene, a large majority of the general public are yet to know about all of these new companies being launched. Most people know about Uber, but they probably don’t know that you can get your groceries delivered and a cleaning person to come to your house for a decently low price with just a text or the push of a button.

There is value in paying for extra free time

We’ve been conditioned since we were young to think that the only way to get groceries is by going to the supermarket. However there is an easier way. A few taps on an Walmart or Amazon app or a quick text message to a concierge service and your groceries can be delivered right to your front door. I have enjoyed being able to send one text message to Hello Alfred that simply says “Same as last week” and the groceries soon show up on my front door. It is amazing. What used to take me over an hour now takes about 5 seconds.

Another interesting aspect of this is actually educating the workers in the on demand world. In the last five Uber rides in Silicon Valley that I’ve taken, I’ve asked each of the drivers if they knew of other on demand work opportunities that they could pursue. I often mentioned TaskRabbit, yet not a single driver had heard of it, even though their hourly rates can be considerably higher. ($30 an hour vs. about $15 an hour)


Additional Concierge and Virtual Assistant Companies

An cool map of this new economy by Omar Bohsali

In addition to the main three concierge companies, I wanted to take some time to discuss a number of additional companies that have been popping up lately.

Magic: Magic came out of a company called Plus labs. This was the team led by Mike Chen that put a 3-D printer on the international space station. Pretty cool stuff. The Magic idea was actually a pivot from a blood pressure startup that they were focusing on at Y Combinator. Magic became a viral hit and customers flooded their service when the landing page went up. There was a real desire in the marketplace for customers to be able to order whatever they wanted by simply sending a text. They have been growing incredibly rapidly recently.

Awesome video from Brent Rose about his experiences with Magic

I have a great deal of experience with Magic since I began using their service on day 6 after they launched. I have sent them countless requests and have been one of their most engaged customers. I have also promoted Magic to hundreds of my friends and followers and was able to sign up 62 new customers to their service. Unfortunately, I have had challening experiences with them. They closed my accont without warning, deleted a number of recurring payments to a few charities we had set up together and wouldn’t respond to any of my ten messages that I sent them. I currently do not recommend them to my friends and followers. My experiences with Magic show the need for caution when being an early adopter. There is sometimes a big difference between working with an established company and a small startup.

MySecond — The team at Need/Want has been cranking out quality products for a number of years. Recently they purchased Jarvis from Omar Bohsali and have rebranded it as MySecond. They are beginning to build out their concierge service for their early beta testing customers.

Converse.ai— Converse was originally launched as Helpa.io. It was a basic, concierge app. It was great to see Tony Lucas begin early experiments with natural language processing to try to proactively understand customer’s requests.

Zirtual — Zirtual was one of the most well known virtual assistant companies. It hit the news recently with it’s collapse. They were purchased by Wil Schroter at Startups.co (who also swooped up Clarity.fm not too long ago) Will and the team have begun resurrecting their servces.

Fancy Hands — Fancy Hands is an on demand work force lead by Ted Roden and Joshua Boltuch.


Speech technology

Speech to API mapping done by the talented team at www.Wit.ai

I’m actually writing this on my computer not by typing, but instead by voice. I’m using the voice dictation feature on my Mac. If you set it up you can press the “fn” button twice and it will pop up a little microphone.

I believe speech is the future. You won’t have to tap out every imput you are sending to computers; instead they will get better and better at understanding exactly we are trying to say to them and will react accordingly.

Speech to database matching technology will radically accelerate this industry

This is incredible. A glimpse into the future.

Major players in Speech to Text

Hound : Hound takes speed and accuracy to a whole new level by combining speech recognition and language understanding. Just recognizing words isn’t good enough. Hound does language understanding at the same time. This speech-to-meaning capability makes Hound a way to search and do things faster without typing. Hound is lead by Keyvan Mohajer.

Viv.ai : Viv is lead by Dag Kittlaus who is known for his work building Siri and selling it to Apple. Viv is positioning itself to be the bluetooth for the speech to text world.

Wit.ai : Wit turns speech or text into actionable data. If you give it voice or text, you get back structured data. Wit.ai was aquired by Facebook recently and is lead by Alex Lebrun. Alex currently works on building Facebook M.

Challenges

Building a fast moving, concierge company with excellent customer service is no easy feat! These new companies faces a great deal of challenges. One of the main challenges is trying to find the balance between profitability and continuing to provide high quality, hands on customer service. After the initial millions of venture funding, will these companies be able to find a sustainable model?

Filling a call center with human representatives working 24/7 is very expensive. Will the companies be able to leverage the advances in AI to result in reduced costs and increased scale for their ventures? In the next decade it will be fascinating to watch this landscape and see which companies can leverage this new way of doing business and build profitable companies for the long term.

“Facebook M is incredibly ambitious and hard to do” — Alex Lebrun

I belive another challenge is partnering with established startups. Established startups may not going want to share their APIs and data with the new concierge services. Is Postmates, for example, going to want to spend tens of millions of dollars establishing its brand only to be superseded by text messaging or a separately branded concierge app or chat? Or will they allow people to order things like Lyft has done in its integration with Slack. It will be interesting to see how the startups that may be considered “fulfillment companies” position themselves going forward and what mutually beneficial deals are struck on the backend.

Privacy is also paramount in this industry. I experienced this pain point first hand as I shared a great deal of personal information with Magic. When they deleted my account, I did not know what they did with my data. There were no transparent data collection policies in place. There was no way for me to get a copy of what data was on my file.

People often get frustrated at Google and Facebook for their willingness to scoop up every ounce of information about a person so that they can sell it to advertisers. These new concierge companies will also need to begin to establish safeguards for their customers so they feel confident and sharing personal information with them. Working with a concierge service can quickly become a very personal thing. The concierge company gets a chance to begin learning a great deal about you. They learn all sorts of personal things such as your habits, your likes, dislikes, where you live, where you shop, where your family lives.

The Explosion of Messaging

500 billion messages a month and counting

Social Media is on fire. Yet social isn’t the fastest growing sector of the tech world. Messaging takes the first place spot. Every month over 500 billion messages are sent through FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple messages, SMS and others.

Messaging is such an ingrained and important part of customer behavior. For the past 15 years people have been constantly sending SMS messages to each other. Only recently has the world of messaging began to more closely integrate with businessess.

In the past you had to go through a lot of hoops to contact a business. You often had to wait on hold for a long time to talk to a customer service representative. You would send emails and have to wait for response. Or maybe even you had to resort to sending and receive snail mail which took weeks and weeks.

This old way of doing business is not going to fly in the near future. Customers are not going to want to sit around on hold when there is a competitor waiting around the corner to offer a much faster and effective way to get a task completed.

It will be fascinating to see how messaging helps reinvent customer service over the coming decade.

All these messaging services are growing like a weed. Check out FB messengers meteoric growth. @Michael Wolf

Leading B2C messaging companies

There are a number of business to consumer messaging companies that are being launched that can be used to better connect with your customers. One of the main barriers to entry is that many small and medium sized business don’t yet know of these companies.

Pypestream — A messaging app connecting businesses with their customers
in real time. The CEO Goodhart told Techcrunch that “The call center as a model is absolutely broken, it is an extraordinarily frustrating” experience.

Sonar — Sonar enables companies to communicate with customers on channels that are more effective than email.

Textline : Talk to your customers the same way they talk to their friends, by text. They ask, instead of calling, why not have a customer text instead?

Twilio: Twilio is a cloud communications company that specializes in digital communications for companies. They work with companies such as Uber, Home Depot and Nordstrom.

Intercom : A fundamentally new way to communicate with your customers. Add an easy to use chat widget right on the page. Intercom has raised over $65m in funding.


Additional reading:

-Wikipedia has an exhaustive and interesting entry on text messaging

-Intercom has a great article on how messaging is just getting started

Here is what the full version of WeChat looks like for people who speak Mandarin. You can send money, order a car, book a flight, and even play the lottery.

The On Demand World

A button for everything


Notable On Demand Services

For this project I originally began trying to compile all of the on demand startups. Our research team created a huge spreadsheet and began trying to organize the thousands of on demand companies. This quickly proved to be a fools errand. There are thousands of them and many new ones are launched or going out of business every few weeks.

One of the best parts about working directly with the higher level of the concierge services is that you don’t actually need to try to keep all the on demand companies in the front of your mind. The concierge service can determine the best on demand company to use to get you the goods and services that you request.

I have put together a few of my favorite on demand startups listed in this Product Hunt collection.

The Major Tech Players

This project is heavily focused on the new players in the hands-on conciege companies. However, let’s not forget about some of the major giants in the tech industry. Apple, Google and Amazon

Google Now is doing some incredible work and is led by Aparna Chennapragada. Over the course the next number of years it will be fascinating to watch as it proactively works to understand your needs.

Siri is still lagging a bit behind Google, but Apple is continuing to invest into making Siri better. I wonder if soon there will be deeper integrations with both Siri and Google. I would like to be able to speak into my iPhone, “Siri grab me a Lyft” and a car would arrive shortly thereafter. Currently this is not possible.

Amazon has been doing some impressive AI work with their new Amazon Echo product. You simply speak to it from anywhere in the room. I wonder if someday soon we will be able to acess their “Alexa” system directly from a seperate app. Also I just recently noticed that you can speak directly into the Amazon apps on phones and tablets. There is a little microphone button next to the search box.

Tipping points

This is going to be pretty crazy when this happens, but we aren’t there yet. Most tasks still must be done by humans.

At some point in the not to distant future, tasks that are assigned to concierge services will be fulfilled over 51% of the time by computers rather than by humans. This will be a historic day that will probably come and go without any fanfare. When you put a request into a system in the near future you might not know whether it was completed by a human, a computer system or maybe a combination of the two. Currently Facebook’s M is working on this idea of “human trainers” that work with the artificial intelligence to deliver quality goods and services.

The ability for computers to be able to execute valuable affiliate revenue generating activities is a powerful proposition. Imagine complex and well designed computer systems that could be bringing in revenue 24 hours a day.

Coming Soon

The Future is being invented right before our eyes

The future is going to be amazing. I am looking forward to a number of things in this “get things done quick” space. Some of them include:

  • Order a car with your voice — Being able to book a Lyft right to my current location just by saying “Siri/Google, grab me a Lyft
  • 10 second grocery shopping — I’m looking forward to being able to walk into my kitchen in the evening and telling Amazon Echo or my phone “Same groceries as last week.” And have them at my door the next morning. Or maybe working with Hello Alfred to be able to send them one emoticon to order my weekly groceries“📦”
  • Chat/text based financial management — I would love to use a simple financial messaging system. Imagine a system that would simply check my Mint.com account every month and then send me one text message with the amount of money that I saved. For example the text message could read, “Congratulations Dave, you saved $225 this month. Good job.” It would be like a financial coach, encouraging me along my journey.

UPDATE: Awesome! this pretty much exists now. Check out Penny the financial planner. It’s an amazingly simple and effective way for you to keep track of your finances by simply chatting with an AI. Very cool.

  • Work concierge — Imagine being able to use a concierge service for work! Maybe one day you will just be able to start chatting with Envato Studio and they could take care of everything you need for design, writing, etc. (Note Awesome tried to do this but has since pivoted from this model and now charges $485 a month for virtual assistant services)

It would be awesome if you could use these new services to quickly and efficiently hire someone to get work done.

I’m waiting for the conciege service for work to be invented

Some of the companies that I am keeping my eye on that might eventually begin to offer fast delivery of a worker to help you out might include:

Upwork / SpeedLancer / Fiverr

HourlyNerd / TaskRabbit / Hired

It will be interesting over the next 5 years as the services continue to grow. I believe there is tremendous growth that can happen in this on demand work sector of the economy. The merger between Odesk and Elance was an example of the continued consolidation and expansion of this sector and I believe that this space is going to be very competitive going forward.

Also an important note. If the Uber for work is invented, that could cause major havoc to hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be replaced by a well known on demand work company. It will be interesting to see how this plays out since there is both positive and negative aspects to the issue.

Devices and Robots

Ivee home assistant. In the future, many people will own a device like this so simply they can just request things.

Today everyone has a smart phone in their pocket. Perhaps soon personal robots will be commonplace as well. Robots will be able to assist with cleaning, cooking, teaching languages, keeping an eye on the house, And they can be a friendly companion as well.

Meet Pepper, one of the first widely avaliable personal robots for the home

Pepper is a humanoid robot by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank. They are currently selling the robot at a loss for $1,600. The robots typically sell out within the first minute of them being released. Here is the website where people are purchasing Pepper robots when it is released.

Roomba –knowing somebody that had a vacuum robot that automatically cleans your floors used to be a rare thing. However in the near future I believe most people will probably use this amazing new technology.

Rumba has can been continuing to innovate with all of their latest models. They offer a simple and effective way for you to keep your house nice and clean without having to actually do much work at al.

Check out more at iRobot.com

Conclusion

The Future is Coming

This new world of concierge services is fascinating. I’ve been watching the incredible growth of this sector of the tech indursty almost every day on Twitter and Product Hunt. Affordable personal concierge services are being rolled out to the general public. It is simply a matter of who is going to build the best one. It will be fascinating to watch as these companies battle it out for the customer. In the end, the consumer wins. Consumers will receive the fastest, highest quality goods and services.

This space is the convergence of two of my favorite things. Technology and humanism. I think it’s amazing how the engineers are building technology that can directly help improve people’s lives. We can go beyond the status quo and invent ways that make life easier for customers. Entire industries may be challenged by this new way of doing business.

As mentioned before, I think it is essential to have a 100% humanistic approach to all this new technology. As Marcela is quoted above, it is humans that are doing almost all the work in powering this new economy. We must always remember that.

These are exciting times. The world is improving and changing right beneath our feet. The future is going to be awesome. You will be able to simply speak into your phone and tell it what you would like and then behind the scenes the companies and API’s and technology will do the hard work and deliver the products and services that you want. We are blessed to experience all this.


How Can I Help?

I love this industry. There is so much happening in this space right now. The next 5 years are going to be a whirlwind and I can’t wait to see what direction this all goes. I think this is going to change the lives of millions of people. I love following this sector. I read about it obsessively and participate in it everyday. If you are considering using messaging for your business or would like to learn more about the world of concierge services please drop me a line. I would love to take on a few great clients who are passionate about this new sector of the tech world. If you would like to work with me simply send me a text message 434–242–0584 or a tweet or a Facebook message and we can get started right away. Feel free to read my about me page if you want to learn more about my story and life’s work.

Send Dave A Message On Twitter Now

Available for hire and for consulting

Additional Resources

Extra ideas & resources

There is so much to be improved and so much that hasn’t even been invented yet. I would love to discuss a few of the tools and services that may help people build more great services. Feel free to send me a tweet if you have any additional suggestions, I want to keep adding more information to this document as this industry continues to grow.

Build your own chat app

One the most exciting aspects of this new industry is the ability to participate and build great things within it. A few tools that you can use to build your own chat app include:

FrontApp: The simplest way to work with team inboxes

Intercom : A fundamentally new way to communicate with your customers

Smooch : Connect with your customers with mobile and web messaging API & SDKs for apps and businesses

Intercom is doing some great stuff with their easy to use chat program

There are a number of brand-new tools that allow start ups and developers to begin building on this amazing technology. Simply send me a message and I would be glad to share with you all the information I have regarding these best-of-breed tools to build a service like this.

If you would like more information on building a chat/concierge app feel free to connect with us in the hackathon hackers group online. We would love to discuss this more with you and help you along your way.

A Couple Additional Companies To Watch

There are a few other interesting digital assistants that are emerging on the horizon. :

Clara and X.ai — Clara and X.ai are two virtual AI services that can help you schedule meetings

Carla.io — program the service to send you a text message to remind you to do things

Luka.ai — find great restaurants nearby with this chat app

Assistant — this app, is beginning to build out a whole suite of virtual assisstant services that it offers.


My Current Workflow

I have really enjoyed getting an opportunity to work with these companies recently. I've been able purchased things using Operator, keep my house clean and stocked with groceries with Alfred and send countless requests to GoButler. I am able to leverage Amazon Prime free shipping by sending my requests through GoButler.

Alfred and Butler have been so helpful recently . I just send them a text and they take care of my groceries, cleaning, etc

Premium Research

Over 4,000 data points on the entire concierge and on demand industry

My research team and I have begun researching this entire industry. We have created one of the most comprehensive spreadsheets the covers this entire marketplace. We are currently tracking over 147 companies valued at over $1 trillion. If you are interested in getting access to the spreadsheet please send me a message on Twitter.

We are actively tracking the top 125 companies in this space, 3,450 total data points Send Me A Message To Get Access

The Live Pulse

In addition to the comprehensive spreadsheet of this entire industry we have also created a private Twitter feed where we closely track everything that is going on within all these new CEO’s and their companies. This private twitter feed has up-to-date information on the newest growth within the industry and can help anybody quickly get an understanding of what direction these companies are going in.

The whole industry in realtime with the key players. Send me a message if you would like private access.

Send Me A Message To Get Access


ADDITIONAL READING

ADDITIONAL VIEWING

  • Her — a withdrawn writer (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his computer’s highly advanced artificial intelligence operating system (Scarlett Johansen)
  • Iron Man -Billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark uses his intelligence and ingenuity to build a high-tech suit of armor with his AI robot Jarvis.
  • 2001 Space Oddysey — One of the most influential of all sci-fi films — and one of the most controversial — Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity — and folly — of mankind.

FOOTNOTES