One of the most significant social and economic trends that has emerged from technology entrepreneurs in 2011 is collaborative consumption.
Many of us have grown so accustomed to using social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect with each other, that we may have overlooked what research shows is a growing gap in our social lives, which is connecting with our neighbors.
A few years ago, Arram Sabeti was working for the startup Justin.tv, where one of his daily duties was ordering lunch. The company was hiring at the time, and went from nine people to thirty.
Looking back on that experience now, he recalls that dealing with everyone’s food preferences (from the carnivores to vegetarians to vegans) became “the biggest pain, the most draining thing I’d ever had to do.”
It may come as a surprise, therefore, to find out that today Sabeti is doing pretty much the same work, albeit on a far larger scale.
He’s running his own startup, ZeroCater, which arranges for some 14,000 meals a month to be delivered from 80 leading local restaurants to companies all over the Bay Area.
But the difference between how he did had to do this work back then and how his company does it now says a lot about how technology can turn formerly painful tasks into profitable new businesses.
And, it also helps explain why consumer-oriented startups are disrupting virtually every aspect of our lives here in the Bay Area and beyond.
Right now, Zaarly co-founder Bo Fishback is living that part of the dream every entrepreneur hopes for, having launched a company that – at least in its infancy – is rising like a rocket.
Zaarly is a buyer-led marketplace, sort of a reverse eBay or Craigslist, and a hand-held replacement for those anemic "Wanted" sections in the classifieds.
It launched just seven weeks ago and it works like this:
In the midst of a recession that seems to never end, there are plenty of people who need to find new ways to put some cash in their pockets.
Meanwhile, those lucky enough to have jobs often feel like they have to work so hard just to stay employed that they no longer have enough time or energy to take care of the routine tasks of daily life outside of the workplace.
To Michael Peggs, those two economic realities describe an online marketplace waiting to be born.
Meet Peggsit, a startup so young that you if you move quickly enough you could be one of the first 50 people to use it.
Within an hour of announcing the launch of his new philanthropic support network on Facebook this morning, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark already had over 250 "likes" from people all over the world.
Called Craigconnects, the new service seeks to build upon the success of the world's top classified ad site to forge a new network devoted to the "common good." On the new site, Craig explained his motivation for trying to raise the profile of worthy nonprofits and other organizations working to improve things on a number of fronts.
"This is the biggest thing in my life, and I’d like a little help from you," Craig announced on the site. "Together, we can work together from the grassroots up to make things better for everyone. I want us to use the Internet to connect and protect organizations that are doing good stuff."
I used to live within walking distance of Say Cheese. I don't any longer, which may be why this week's Craigslist Deal is so appealing — it's just around the corner from my favorite sandwich in the city.
But even though the thought of easily skipping out for a chicken and sun-dried tomato on ciabatta anytime I wish is enough to get me to sign the lease, there's plenty more about this apartment to sweeten the deal. Beautiful bay windows, hardwood floors, and built-ins provide ample charm, and the location offers easy access to the N Judah, not to mention Golden Gate Park and the Haight.
It's tea time. The tea industry is surging in America, and the experts want to know why. In honor of the nation's new-found appreciation for the brew, several of the world's tea and tech giants are converging in the Bay Area tonight at 5 pm to be featured on Samovar founder Jesse Jacobs' new video series "Tea With. . .", an entrepreneurial, inspirational show with bright businessmen who are trailblazers in their industries.
It's hard to deny the appeal of charming, tree-lined Dolores, or of the ample array of activities that surround it. This week's Craigslist Deal is located close to the tail end of the street in Noe, and while the vibe here may be more subdued than around 16th, you're still in a prime spot–Dolores at Duncan, if you're wondering–for navigating your way around the area's plethora of diversions.
There are a number of perks to living in the Castro. You get good weather, a central location with easy MUNI access, great food in the area, and a big park perfect for sunbathing nearby. But let's be real; you want to move there for the nightlife. There's always something going on in this bustling, fun neighborhood, and with this week's Craigslist Deal right smack in the middle of it, you'll be sure not to miss any of the action.