I have recently learned about a number of exciting new startups and companies that are working to develop sustainable and customer-focused business models. Whether working in retail, logistics, manufacturing or services, these companies have developed new ways to organize resources that can create significant value for their customers and the society as a whole. Inspired by what I’ve seen I decided to launch a new series of posts where I introduce these companies and share what I’ve learned.
In the first piece of this series I am excited to introduce PiggyBaggy! PiggyBaggy is a crowdsourcing service developed by a Finnish company called Coreorient, which was founded in 2011 by several ex-Nokia experts. By developing PiggyBaggy Coreorient aims to crowdsource the transportation of goods in cities and help reduce the environmental impact of cars.
Here’s how the idea works: Let’s say you have bought a microwave from your friend so you can finally warm that sweet teriayki chicken casserole of yours without having to use the oven. Unfortunately your friend and the microwave are on the other side of the town and you don’t have a car. Taking the bus with the microwave would be very inconvenient and you don’t have anyone near you that could lend a hand.
What PiggyBaggy does is that it helps you find someone who can deliver that microwave to your home. It allows you to ask the PiggyBaggy community if someone is going to drive past your home and your destination. For example, some commuter might be able to pick up the microwave conveniently on her way to work. The driver gets a small fee for helping you out and you save both time and money.
Okay, sounds nice, but how does this help the environment? Let’s say that in the above example you did have a car and you wanted to get your microwave to your appartment. Even in such a case it would save you time and money to have someone who’s going to drive that way anyways pick up your microwave. From an environmental standpoint, having one car trip to accomplish two tasks – even if taking a detour – decreases the overall CO2 emissions dramatically.
At the moment there are over 900 registered PiggyBaggy users. In order to succeed PiggyBaggy will need to find enough users to reach the critical mass these types of customer-to-customer services often require. It will be interesting to see whether the service will grow to become an important part of the everyday life in our cities. However, even if PiggyBaggy failed I am confident that others will take its place to make our lives more convenient and sustainable while acting as new sources of smart economic growth.