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It’s right up there with sitting in rush hour traffic on the DC Beltway or hanging out in my doctor’s waiting room — the joy of picking up prescriptions. The local pharmacy was once a place with some communal value where you knew the pharmacist and (because the healthcare system was less laden with regulations) could expect to be in and out before needing to take a bathroom break.
When mobile devices first arrived, they promised to unlock entirely new consumer behaviors around products and services — with the most successful experiences still rooted in core human desires to connect and interact, as on the desktop. And it was all going to happen soon (at least that was my premise in 2000 as head of the spanking new AOL Mobile products and content group).
Pingup and EatStreet Set the Table for Simple Digital Food Ordering September 27, 2016 by Rick Robinson Leave a Comment Filed Under: Turf Talk Ordering dinner is getting a little bit easier. Two powerhouses in the chain that links that Chicken Phad Thai to the plate on your table are partnering to simplify the process of actually getting it there.
So you’re finally taking that big trip to Athens, Greece — the one you’ve talked about ever since daydreaming over pictures in a fifth-grade history book. You’ve got mental sketches of the incredible sights waiting to be colored in by reality: The Acropolis! The Parthenon! Zeus’s Temple! Beers with Mary! Wait, what? Well, maybe not necessarily beers, but certainly a party.
For starters, nobody wants to wear the headgear — those myriad virtual reality headsets that open a second life for our senses. Heck, people wouldn’t even wear the slender Google Glass to achieve an augmentation of their reality. As for the gamers and experiential entertainment enthusiasts, they’ll likely suffer the headsets just fine — during gameplay at least.
I’ve never really taken advantage of loyalty programs — at least not those that require me to do more than verbally communicate a number, like I do at my grocery store. Cards, coupons and their ilk (even when digitized) seem to slip into a clutter of potential savings that I have never seemed to tidy. But that’s me, and that was then.
Despite the fact that Facebook, Twitter and even Pokémon Go are all packaged neatly within our phones — making certain no waking minutes are left unfilled — when you’re actually waiting on line for something, none of that really matters. People still just don’t like to wait. This is not lost on TRAY cofounders Peter Kellis (CEO) and Philippe Dauman Jr. (COO).
Couple of thoughts: 1) I appreciate aggregation. Why ask me to traverse several sites when one destination pulls them all together in an easily digestible package? RSS feeds have enabled this sort of thing, as have many content plays over the years. 2) Anyone who has read my column knows that I more than appreciate great geo-centric services.
What would you do if you wanted to game Google into thinking you’ve got a vast network of local shops servicing area customers based on their search queries? No need to ask as some sharpies have already figured it out, according to a recent New York Times report. It seems the answer is to become a ghost — or thousands of them. Google acknowledges this is the case as well.
About five years ago the company I helped co-found (Urgent.ly) had designs on delivering on-demand home services to consumers who were fed up with calling a plumber — while standing ankle-deep in water in the basement — only to find they had no idea when the service professional would arrive. Ultimately we turned from the home services space to reinventing roadside assistance, ...
In short order we’ve seen a share of local commerce move from brick-and-mortar to digital to mobile, as SMBs discovered new ways to take advantage of the variety of platforms promising efficiency in connecting small businesses with consumers. But always through some conduit (Yelp for example, or Uber) and less frequently direct. Less… business owner-to-consumer. And that may now be changing.
If Facebook’s bot-centric announcements this week served as the call to arms to anyone hoping for a more automated future, one response came from a couple guys in New York arming up in a rather meta way. Brothers Pablo and Omar Pera launched — what else? — a “bot of bots” called Bot Hunter. “We thought what a better way to discover new bots than a bot that curates them for yo ...
If you told me 15-20 years ago while I was in charge of Community Products at AOL — where homepages were part of my purview — that we’d still be trying the crack business of Website creation today I’d have discounted your prescience. Well, discount all you like, late-90’s Rick, because you’d have been wrong.
Both augmented reality and virtual reality have their roots deep in the previous century, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that our mobile phones gave life to three-dimensional creations that seemed to waltz right out of our screens. And now, more recently, with bulky headsets, we can step into another world altogether with virtually rendered life all around us using technology like Oculus.
Hello world? Well hello there. And how are you today? Could I get you something? Looks like you could use a haircut… How about we schedule that? Uh… Welcome to the future — which is also a vision of the recent past. Today, location- and service-oriented bots are improving on what was attempted many years ago when in a crude manner (over AIM and other old-school messaging pl ...
How does a guy go from talking to Martha Stewart about the complex Federal spending data-viz he created to launching an endeavor that entirely rethinks local in the digital realm? Silos. Designer Jess Bachman recently found himself working at home (a well-known, self-taught designer with a past at Mint and Visual.
Broadly speaking, there are bullies and there are the bullied. Some people might suggest they are both — but most of us were among the latter camp while back in high school. Our memories can serve up painfully detailed recollections being publicly chided by some kid or other as friends stood idle and teachers looked the other way.
Keyboard shortcuts and commands are nothing new, and in fact date back to the earliest of those clunky desktop islands — grey hunks battling for desk space with the big metal boxes holding our motherboards. Ctrl + Alt + Delete anyone? But these multi-finger commands were most often used in the service of getting software to go from point A to point C by skipping B.
Turf Talk Redux: Looking for the Future in Companies, People, and Products January 12, 2016 by Rick Robinson Leave a Comment Filed Under: Turf Talk I like to be a little out in front of things. Not too far (hyperloops) and not too close (digital couponing). In my writing about local marketing and media (both here at Street Fight, and previously), I’ve generally been most c ...
On the Road: The Future of On-Demand Delivery Is in Motion July 9, 2015 by Rick Robinson Leave a Comment Filed Under: Turf Talk So many products are battling to reach consumers “on demand” — which is to say delivering of goods and services (e.g. dinner, car washes) to a designated fixed point (an address) typically using an app on the consumer’s mobile phone as an endpoint.