There’s a silent revolution in the way some businesses operate and that is worth taking notice.
That was a confluence of a few factors; because of the economic downturn and employment becoming scarce, people were looking for ways to make ends meet.
At the same time, much was written about new apps that “shared a car”, like Zipcar, Car2Go, Getaround and more. Put your car to work for you, they said. Why not make money while you are at work and the car is parked for 8 hours? Let others ‘rent’ it from you for a short time, measured in hours, and get paid for it.
Then Lyft came into being, an app that lets people drive others for a price that is paid online through credit card. Sit in front, strike a conversation with the driver, and don’t discuss fare. When you reach you destination just say goodbye and walk away. It’s like a friend is driving you, they said, plus you’ll get to meet new people.
Uber came with a bit of a different philosophy: Have a reasonable car? Want to make extra cash? Drive people around for a fee. For a short distance, you can pay as low as $4.
Whether they planned for it or not, their service became a blessing for parents of teenagers, and elevated the fears of drunken driving. “just take an Uber” became a line very often used in those households.
Those two companies bit a huge chunk out of the taxi business, with its exuberant fees the drivers had to pay just for the privilege of driving people around.
But this revolution didn’t stop there. As we saw, it spread to the trucking industry, and these days even to Amazon.
Amazon Flex was launched recently. It’s an on-demand service that promises to deliver your package within an hour. It will be part of Amazon Prime Now and is already testing in a few cities. How will they be able to do it? By relying on hourly contractors who have their own cars and smartphones to deliver packages.
Uber launched UberRUSH “Now business owners can use that same technology to get customers pretty much anything in minutes.”
Why did they come up with it? Jason Droege, Head of Uber EVERYTHING says “Why are we partnering with local businesses to improve delivery? Think about all the times you hop in the car to pick up groceries, house supplies, or Sunday night takeout. These little runs seem harmless but they add up. In fact, 20% of all trips in the US are just to move things from A to B* – and we’re wasting thousands of hours and gallons taking them.” This model is also on trial in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.
Those ideas can create opportunities to build a new freelance delivery industry. “As the demand for more delivery goes up, it’s likely that more and more people may launch a part-time or full-time business, performing deliveries for both Uber and Amazon.” Writes Smallbiztrends.