Turns Everyday People Into Couriers to Get You What You Need When You Need It

Admit it, our busy schedules stop us from getting stuff done (I know—the irony!).

The solution: We share resources and help each other. Vancouver-based is making it happen with a selected group of “lifestyle couriers” that retailer, customers and normal-every-day-busy people can trust.

Forty-eight hours after launched in November 2013 (hailing from New York-based Zipments), they’ve received over 200 applicants wanting to be “lifestyle couriers.” It goes to show that there is indeed a market in a sharable economy, one where we don’t always have to rely on postage stamps, tracking numbers and expensive charges. Perhaps the public is starting to have trust in the real world interaction, especially as they hear more talk about people staying in companies such as AirBnB, and see more people driving Zipcars.

“The sharing economy is brought to us by the 2008 recession quite frankly,” CEO of Zipments, Robert Safrata told Techvibes. “People were starting to ask themselves, ‘instead of using more, how can I use what I got?’ And that is one of the reasons why I believe the sharing economy has blossomed.”

Unlike the big players in the delivery industry, operates nights and weekends. Which means there are less chances of a sticky notes appearing on your front door, informing you that there had been a failed delivery. In those cases you either have to call in, reschedule or pick up the item at your local post office. Not a big deal, but a hassle nonetheless. But’s flexibility enables both the courier and the customer to live their life and make the exchange at their leisure, thus allowing 100% success.

“Someone made an order out in UBC,” said Safrata, “they wanted to receive the delivery between seven to eight at night. [The item] was available to be picked up at a store at four-thirty. Now there is a big gap where the professionals will say they can’t do that or it’ll be very expensive. But with the lifestyle courier, using Zipments, they can look at the job and say, ‘I can do it.’ One did, and went and picked it up, kept it safe in their car—like the Fedex guy would in his truck—went to yoga (only in Vancouver) and then delivered it out to UBC.”

Every city and community is unique and Vancouver is a city of obstacles. Bridges, constructions and mountains make for some beautiful architecture and scenery, but commuting is often a time consuming pain. Vancouverites, like people anywhere simply want what they need without disrupting the flow of their day.

“People in Vancouver tend to feel that if you pass one bridge you’ve really gone out into the country, and if you pass two bridges you are in another country,” said Safrata. “I see that as a great opportunity for [Zipments]. If someone doesn’t want to cross a bridge they’ll get someone else to do it for them.”

As Canada Post gradually phases out home delivery, many are savouring the last days of waking up to a mailbox full of correspondences, subscriptions, and bills (mostly bills). While Canada Post has their plans, also has much to consider in the future. The trends are definitely changing and what was once considered to be a luxury for businesses is now becoming a service anybody can have.

“People have done without [couriers],” said Safrata, “yet people are getting busier and getting used to having stuff come to them. And they are valuing their time.”

Smartphones and the advancement in app technology have offer users a convenient solution to most of life’s problems. Chances are, you’ll have one weather app, one map app and one banking app on your phone. Well perhaps it’s time you also include a delivery app.

Canadian Startup Lazymeal Delivers Quality Meals to Your Door

A good meal is worth every penny. A good meal delivered to your door, well, that might just be the jackpot.

Vancouver-based Lazymeal is aiming to improve your odds of enjoying quality food in the comforts of your own home or office. The innovative food ordering website allows normal everyday people the luxury of dinning in without the hassle of cooking.

With deadlines and responsibilities clouding our judgments, determining what we want to eat is an absolute challenge. Yet nourishment is essential. So, Lazymeal does the heavy lifting for us by researching the highest rated restaurants in your area and assisting in the process of selecting dishes and placing order. All we have to do is sit back and wait for the knock on the door or the chime of your novelty doorbell.

“We are not trying to have any kind of restaurant,” Shervin Enayati, a cofounder of Lazymeal, told Techvibes. “We want to maintain a balance between service and quality. Our requirement is that they have to have delivery. Without delivery it is not going to work. We find the best delivery restaurants in town, get their menu digitized for our platforms and from there you can just order.”

Only the best restaurants make it onto the website. Using Yelp and Urbanspoon ratings, the crew at Lazymeal handpicks the top restaurants in different cuisine. Greek, Thai, Japanese, the possibility is vast, yet the process is concise.

The idea for Lazymeal came in 2011 during a rainy day in Vancouver, go figure. When the weather conditions caused phone lines to go out of service and ordering food became almost impossible since most restaurants operate with landlines.

“There has to be a better, more efficient way,” thought Enayati. “We moved from building software for clients to building software for ourselves. We evaluated the market, realized what is missing in the current food ordering market. It was a market space that has already seen traction, it wasn’t one with zero activity, but we realized there was a lot of improvement left to be done in the food ordering experience.”

By incorporating pictures and statistics, Lazymeal offers a sophisticated approach to what was once considered a tedious task. Although food delivery services is not as popular as other metropolitan cities, Lazymeal believes that as the city continues to grow, food delivery will inevitably improve.

“If you go to a bigger city, like New York,” explains Ryan Charmley, lead technologist at Lazymeal, “delivery is so ingrained into daily life of people there. There are bicycle couriers delivering food everywhere and all these little boutique shops offering their own little delivery. It is a very convenient way to access food when you are busy.”

Lazymeal allows us to fit a delicious meal into a hectic schedule, even though delivery food is often accompanied by a slight stigma.

“It’s usually the traditional pizza or Chinese food,” notes Charmley, “there is no real movement. I’m hoping that everything moves in the same way as the food carts that have happened over the past few years. It’s been popularized and ingrained in everyday lifestyle.”

Perhaps this is the beginning of a dinning revolution or maybe it is just an alternative to the hustle and bustle of eating out. Either way, Lazymeal is hungry for change and they are leading the charge.