After the Storm
Sharing is Caring
The worst of the weather has passed, and it’s time for many New Yorkers to start getting back to work. Only, with the subways and many of the tunnels out of commission, anyone attempting to get from point A to point B is dealing with a traffic disaster unseen since the days when horse-and-buggies clopped their way down Fifth Avenue.
Which is why someone–or hey, multiple someones! Let’s convene a hackathon!–from the tech community needs to step in and hash out a useful service to help us navigate this hot mess.
What's Mine Is Yours
Traveling in the company of strangers has been around since long before Amtrak or those super cheap (and equally as sketchy) Fung Wah buses. Chances are our ancestors had to deal with the hot breath of a Western-bound fur trapper, who looked like he might be coming down with typhoid, along the Oregon Trail–or give up their seat for a pregnant woman on the overbooked Mayflower.
Earlier this week, a new ride-sharing service called Zimride launched in New York and Philadelphia to make carpooling with strangers a little more friendly. The service, which requires you to log in using Facebook, lets users sell a seat in their car or bus. Drivers can determine the amount they want per seat, which gives them a chance to split the cost of gas. Members can search by time of departure and destination. But the defining feature are user profiles that import limited personal details Facebook, like the kind of music or sports you like, along with a profile pic, to help people find a better road trip or commuter companion.
Brooklyn Bowl, the hippest bowling alley east of the East River, was invaded—not by bushy beards and skinny jeans—but by New York techies vying for the approval and adoration of a brutally scrutinizing panel at last night’s Common Pitch, an uncommon sort of pitch competition for startups with a collaborate consumption bent.
Nine startups, narrowed down from an initial pool of about 70, pitched the panel—including a two time Grammy winner, Foodspotting cofounder and Fast Company editor—for a shot at $3,000 (in singles), expert advice from strategist Daniel Karpantschof and other prizes. Each startup had five minutes to make their pitch. If they went over, cofounder Alex Bogusky would throw a yellow penalty flag (read terry-cloth dish towel) to let them know they had 30 seconds to wrap it up. Panelists would then react and tell the presenters what they liked—or didn’t.
Onto the pitches!