Wednesday, June 10, 2015

There's an App for that...hood style...

So, my mother called me Friday morning really excited. What was the good news? Apparently, my cousin La-A ( pronounced La Dasha) and her baby daddy Ray Ray ( real name La Raymond) were getting married ( about time, the "baby" is twenty-two). Here's where I came in. They wanted to have a pre-wedding luncheon  for La-A and the wedding party before they went down to City Hall to tie the knot. And, my dear mother had volunteered ME to plan it! As if that wasn't enough, next came a laundry list of requirements. There had to be food, the ability to Skype at the venue, so the rest of the family could share in the event and finally,  everyone in attendance, in person or by Skype needed a memento of the event.( Geez..would you like me to walk on water and negotiate world peace too?)  All of this needed to be done in four hours before Ray Ray changed his mind.

  I was in a real conundrum. I mean, I already had a lot of things on my plate. I had planned to use the day to go apartment hunting, I was expecting an important package and I needed to ship back a vase that I'd ordered that wasn't the correct color. Plus, little Coffy Brown Jr. had a violin lesson that day ( she's a child prodigy ) , and our dog coffybean  needed to go to the Vet. How on earth was I going to get all of this done! I didn't panic. Here's what I did:

Liquid Space

I took out my trusty smart phone and hit the app for Liquid Space. LiquidSpace is the leading real-time marketplace for flexible workspace. You can instantly find and book a great place to meet or work. Thousands of work spaces  are available to rent by the hour, day or longer - across 600+ cities in the U.S., Canada and Australia. I found a nice  meeting room  fully equipped for any type of presentation including Skype at a local upscale hotel. I rented the room for three hours, ordered food through the app, paid and sent out an email to all attendees with the address! 

Rad Pad

  1.  Next, I hit the Rad Pad app on my Smart phone. RadPad is a photo-based mobile application where renters can find a new apartment, condo, or home easily via a transparent process with property owners. Renters can pay rent through the app on a major debit or credit card. I scrolled through and found a place in the area that I wanted to live in, sent the owner an email, got a phone call back and went to view the place. I liked it. So , I hit a button and paid the deposit and fees all through my Rad Pad app. 

  1. As I said earlier, I was expecting an important package that would probably be arriving at the start time for the luncheon. But, I remembered that I had used my doorman app to have it delivered. Doorman has re-imagined package delivery for e-commerce by perfecting the most important moment of shopping: when you actually get your stuff.  You can schedule home delivery of your online purchases until midnight, 7 days a week, same day or weeks away. They give customers a new shipping address to use whenever they shop online, and once your packages arrive at their depot, you simply use the Doorman app to schedule delivery to your front door up until midnight, in convenient 1-hour windows, 7 days a week. The price is $3.99 per package or you can pay a monthly fee of $19 for unlimited deliveries with a two hour window, or $29 for unlimited deliveries with a one hour window and unlimited returns. I hit that app and rescheduled the delivery for 11:30 pm that night. Got that covered.


You will recall that I also needed to ship a vase back to Pottery Barn.For that I used my SHYP mobile app. What is SHYP?  SHYP is the easiest way to ship your stuff. The mobile app provides an easy on demand shipping experience.  You take a photo of the item and make a request thorough the app. A SHYP representative comes to you ( they call them heroes), collects your item, takes them away to be professionally packed and shipped to your destination. The cost for this service is a five dollar flat fee plus the cost of shipping. Now, let's get to shipping costs, SHYP has a  Low Price Promise: they price compare across all major shipping carriers to give you the lowest rate possible. Shipping cost is determined by weight, dimensions, destination and your selected shipping option. Slight variations among these factors can significantly change shipping costs. Shyp considers all factors and selects the service that meets their reliability standards, while ensuring the package is delivered in accordance with your selected shipping option.Someone arrived within an hour to pick  up  and ship my vase. Done.


So, with all of that handled, I just needed to find a way to get Coffy Brown Jr. to her violin lesson. I then remembered that I had already scheduled the ride yesterday  with Shuddle.  Shuddle is the only transportation service designed for busy families. It's a new Uber-like service that arranges car rides for busy families. Shuddle, which does not yet offer on-demand ride hailing like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and the like, allows parents to arrange scheduled pickups for kids. Rides from home to school or school to soccer practice are Shuddle’s bread-and-butter. In its first metropolitan area of San Francisco, prices are $9 per month, plus regular per-ride fees. Most rides run in the $20 range depending upon distance. Once I scheduled the ride, I received a bio and photo of the person who would be coming to pick up my child. Shuddle only hires people who can provide good references in a child care related field. ( teacher, nanny etc) Each person is given a face to face interview, a criminal background check, a motor vehicles records check, vehicle inspection, and an in person training. Once the passenger reaches the final destination, a message is sent to you and Shuddle HQ to confirm that the ride has ended safely. You can track the ride in real-time via GPS. You say you're still not comfortable allowing your child to ride with a stranger? You actually know more about the Shuddle driver than you do about the carpool, school bus, or city bus driver that your child rides with every day. 

Vet Pronto,

So next, I need to get the dog to the Vet. Well, as the saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. I just hit my Vet Pronto app and scheduled an appointment. A Vet arrived within an hour. Vet Pronto offers on-demand house call veterinary services for dogs and cats, allowing customers to skip a visit to the clinic or just see a vet at a more convenient time – like on evenings and weekends, for example.A house call is $150 dollars , this includes the visit, comprehensive exam, unlimited questions and answers, and any consultations or prescriptions required. They also offer a full range of other veterinary services at an additional cost. However, veterinarians receive a flat rate of $100 per house call, so there is no incentive to sell you additional items that your pet doesn't need. For now, the service is only offered in San Francisco, but as the idea catches on, I'm sure that will change.

So, with all of that handled, I was ready to get dressed and go to the event. When I arrived, everything was set up exactly as I had arranged. The food was delicious but, then I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten the dessert and the party gift. No worries. Here's what I did:


I went in to my browser and found the doughbies website. Doughbies delivers freshly baked goods on demand- in twenty minutes or less. You can send a gift, or have something delicious delivered for yourself ( or in my case, some demanding folks at an impromptu luncheon.) Everything is handmade by their team of local bakers with a focus on the utmost care and quality.They deliver fresh baked goods in twenty minutes. The dessert arrived right on time, and no one knew that I had forgotten! Next, I had to deal with a memento for each guest! 

 For that, I used my Social Print Studios mobile app .  Social Print is an app that allows you can print photos from your social media accounts and turn them into masterpieces. They make a variety of items, posters, stickers, magnets, tshirts, framed prints,gift cards, greeting cards,you name it! I ordered each guest a mini keepsake booklet for $12.00 a piece featuring photos that I had taken during the event. I ordered the bride and groom a large photo book which was $25.00.  Later,  to the delight of everyone present, I kindly informed each guest that their  keepsake mementos would arrive at their homes in four to six weeks. 

So, as it stands, few family events can go off without a little drama. Ray Ray's other baby mama Caprice showed up insisting that their baby was in the car sick and that he needed to leave immediately with her to take the baby to the doctor. ( just FYI, this baby is also twenty-two. They call those "ghetto twins"). I told Caprice to bring the "baby " in to sit a moment and while she was having her drama queen fits, I hit my Heal app. Heal is an on demand house call family doctor and pediatrician service.I hit the request a doctor link, paid $99 and a highly qualified doctor was there to see the "baby" within an hour. Caprice was livid. Honestly, it was the best $99 bucks that I've ever spent. 

After that, La-A and Ray Ray went off to the courthouse and got hitched.I was exhausted and just went home. But, once I arrived, I was still a nervous wreck. I pulled out my phone and hit my Zeel app. What is Zeel? Zeel delivers a top quality massage to your home,hotel, workplace or event in as little as an hour. They offer a variety or techniques and options including couples massages and back to back massages. Meaning that you can have a couple of girlfriends over and do your own little in home spa day.Zeel massage therapists are the best in the industry. They are licensed, screened,background checked, and fully vetted by the Zeel Team.Their therapists are chosen for their excellence and further trained by Zeel to reach the highest levels of customer service and experience.(Ahem, clearing throat) All that being said, professional massages are the ONLY fee for service option that Zeel offers. no funny business.The price starts at $99 dollars . Prices can vary depending upon length of massage and other options.But, payment is made online and includes the tip. So, you don't need to have any cash on hand.

In all honesty, I don't really have a cousin named La-A and,if anyone volunteered me to set up a wedding luncheon in four hours, the answer would be "hell to the no"! But, the reality is that we live in an increasingly demanding world and being able to order and receive goods and services on demand is not only the wave of the future, but it relieves a lot of stress. Besides, the fact is, having a doctor, or a vet, or a cookie delivery at home is certainly not a new practice. Once upon a time, doctors made house calls and there was a milk man who collected empty milk bottle and brought fresh milk. Now, I know that you're going to say that everything that I ordered in my imaginary scenario cost money, but the fact is, the most valuable commodity that you have is not your money, it's your time. In closing, if you find yourself in need of some of these on demand services one day, you now know that they're available. I'd like to thank the folks at Tech in Motion for hosting the event where I was able to learn about all of these fabulous services. And, I'd also like to thank the folks at Geekdom for providing the venue.  Until next time...

Keep it hot and sweet,

Ms Brown


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