Is technology making us lazy? | Arab News
Is technology making us lazy?
I am not usually in favor of the argument that technological advancements have made us lazy. I believe that it always depends on our approach. Most of the technologies are driven by needs, they can make us lazy but they can also make us more productive as well.The same concept applies to the new, apparently booming market of grocery delivery applications.Yes, It may feel weird that you would lie back on your sofa, and order a couple of milk bottles, some tomatoes and a bag of chips through a mobile application instead of visiting the nearest supermarket.It might be surprising to know that the idea is not that new. Service or delivery companies were part of the early 2000s dot-com bubble. One of the companies that are cited as examples of failure in that era was Kozmo, a venture capital funded online company that promised a free, one-hour delivery of videos, DVDs, games, music and books. The company’s business model came under huge criticism. Analysts cried that its strategy was not sustainable and it was doubtful if it will make any profits to cover the high costs of delivery in such a short period of time. Analysts’ prediction were spot on, and the company went out of business in about three years; it started in 1998, and was out of business by 2001.Now, the wave of new delivery companies whether in the United States or in our local market are resurrecting the same debate about how profitable this type of businesses are and whether they could survive and grow in the long run. Shipt, which is working in yet a small scale in certain cities in the United States is reporting a huge demand. “Our biggest challenge was trying to meet the demand,” said Shipt CEO, Bill Smith, to Tampa Bay Times. Here in the local market, such companies are still struggling to consolidate their positions.The noticeable change compared to the bubble time is that there is a slight shift in the business model, they are demanding a fee for the delivery now, and employing part-timers instead of full-time staff. Nevertheless, analysts are still skeptical.Venture capitalist Fred Wilson, who lost money on Kozmo in 2001 “is not confident the numbers are in favor of (delivery) startups,” as reported by The New York Times.“It’s exactly that fear keeping Wilson from investing in more delivery startups. No one quite knows how much people will pay to be lazy, and if they’ll pay enough for delivery apps to turn a profit. I wish we knew the answers to these questions,” he told the paper. “But we don’t.”Now as everything is turning into an app or taking social media platforms as a market, we can only wait and see how things will turn out to be.