What an unusually long escalator can tell us about innovation and business
This was such a fantastic article, Klaus. It was funny and informative and--my favorite of all--totally reframes the problem so that we readers say, “Of course! THAT’S what’s actually going on!” I’m the case of these apps, they’re not solving a problem. They’re just adding an (unprofitable) layer of commerce.
Speaking of that economist joke, about thirty years ago, when I was a grad student at the University of Chicago, I found a $5 bill (about $10 in today’s money) on the ground on two separate occasions in a single week. This seemed so weird to me that I assumed they were there for a scientific experiment being conducted by Chicago economists, who were all acolytes of Hayek and Friedman. I gave the money to two homeless guys I was friendly with. Take that, Chicago School economists!
If we're ever going to get food delivery drones they'll need to come from building management companies rather than restaurants or middle men. A new-build residential skyscraper could include a food delivery escalator into its design then buy the drones and create a custom app to handle the orders for its local area. Maybe existing buildings would retro-fit the same design once it took off.
Right now we've got drone companies trying to sell to residents in buildings that each have different impediments between the road and the customer's front door, which is basically impossible to solve.
Oh, and your point about the casinos was so interesting! I’m reminded of a problem with NJ public schools. One reason NJ spends so much money on them, making NJ property taxes the highest in the nation, is that each township--about 600!--has its own separate school district, with its own bureaucracy, administrative facilities, superintendent, etc. Our town of 28,000 was surrounded by several towns of similar size, all of which were wasting money on their own bureaucratic apparatus. But it was totally impossible to get towns to consolidate and share services. (As you can imagine, the rich towns didn’t want to include the poor towns.) Madness.
The ghost kitchen idea truly makes sense.
“I enjoy getting restaurant food delivered to my house, even if it’s not always the food I ordered.”
Haha! But on a more serious note:
It’s hard to imagine that this is not profitable when it costs $37 to get a cheeseburger delivered to your house. I assumed GrubHub and UberEats were drowning in money.