The on-demand economy is characterized by digital marketplaces, where consumers expect immediate gratification and service providers require precise location intelligence to meet their needs. In other words, you get what you want when you want it. Uber and AirBnB are notable examples of new services created by this environment, let's explore a few others.
Wear this now
Supply chain technology is so sophisticated now, out of stocks are mostly avoidable. On the other hand, holding a lot of inventory can be risky. Instead, why not manufacture on demand? That idea is seemingly in the works at Amazon -- at least on the apparel front.
In certain regions, Amazon is already well on its way to as on-demand as it gets (for now) delivery of goods in 30 minutes. Already a clothing powerhouse, the company was recently awarded a patent for a system of on-demand apparel manufacturing that includes a textile printer, textile cutter and computing device.
The new concept brings together a normally "geographically-dislocated suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, and retailers" in order to speed up clothing production.
Wash and shine
Between kids, pets, morning coffee and eating on the run, dirt and bugs from the commute, cars get messy. Yet, most people don't want to waste a few hours on the weekend sitting in a car wash line.
With Spiffy Services a "highly-trained", insured technician backed by the company's 100% satisfaction guarantee will show up at home or work and clean your car without a trace. Services are done on an environmentally-friendly reclaim mat to leave no soap or water behind.
Booking is via app, website or call and from a menu of packages that range from "just-a-wash" to "totally awesome." Payment and rating comes after the service in a cashless transaction. Spiffy currently operates in the Research Triangle Park and Charlotte area of North Carolina, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia. A company rep says, "Our goal is to be in every major city in every state."
That's what Drizly co-founders Nick Rellas and Justin Robinson wondered, and now they are: "Transforming the way alcohol is shopped, sold and shared." According to Crunchbase, the company recently received $17M in Series B funding.
Drizly operates in 40 markets by partnering with local retailers and either ships or delivers alcohol depending on regulations. A user enters his address and can virtually shop the shelves of liquor stores near the location.
Learning for all
Eren Bali was unsatisfied with his one-room school education, a limit of his small village in Turkey. Then he discovered limitless resources online and taught himself math well enough to win a medal in the International Math Olympiad.
That was the inspiration for Udemy, an online, on-demand global marketplace for learning and teaching. The organization now has 17 million students, 55,000 courses, 20,000 instructors and serves 81 languages.
Courses in business, IT and software, design and marketing offer real-world skills for career advancement. The arts are supported with courses in music and photography and a plethora of options further personal development. Students can learn anytime, anywhere, from any device.
There's nothing like hanging with a local to enrich the travel experience, especially when you can stay for free. On a practical level, Couchsurfing links travelers in 200,000 cities with a network of people who are willing to share not just their homes, but their way of life as well.
More nobly, the company believes that such cultural exchange will create meaningful connections, greater tolerance and raise the appreciation of diversity. Community members can set their status based on their willingness and availability to be a local resource or share their couches.
HERE provides its own tools for on-demand services. Take a look here to find out more.