An upstart mobile app company, Haystack, is creating chaos in Boston.
The app is among the most disruptive forces the city has ever had to endure. That is, if you listen to the rhetoric of lawmakers.
If the crisis isn’t squelched soon, Bostonians could take to the streets.
The app has only been downloaded 5,000 times since it launched three weeks ago, but there’s fear that it could become as popular as “Uber.”
It’s easily the most hated app in the world.
So what does this app do?
It lets a person sell their parking space to someone else.
Haystack originated in Baltimore, where Wall Street Daily’s headquarters reside, and it hasn’t gained any noteworthy traction here. Of course, the competition for parking spots in Baltimore can’t rival that of Boston.
Either way, Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, isn’t happy…
“Here we have a company that wants to come in here, create an industry, and profit from it,” Walsh told the Boston Business Journal.
“They’re basically squatting in publicly owned spots and selling those spots. You’re selling something that’s not yours… It’s just not fair.”
Walsh hasn’t threatened any legal action against Haystack yet, but City Councilor Frank Baker wants to impose a $250 fine on anyone who uses the app.
Predatory Apps Called “JerkTech”
Parking spots are selling for an average of $3, and it’s being reported that Haystack pockets $0.75 per transaction.
Haystack is the latest among a new breed of predatory apps that have been dubbed “JerkTech.” These apps seek to exploit vulnerabilities in the public infrastructure to make a buck.
According to TechCrunch, which coined the term, “All of these apps are essentially tools for scalping a public good or open resource. They don’t deserve to take something that’s supposed to be free and first come, first serve so they can sell it.”
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Another JerkTech app, ReservationHop, places phony reservations at the hottest San Francisco restaurants, and then sells them for $5 or $10 apiece on its site.
The app makes it virtually impossible to book a reservation using the standard practice of calling the restaurant, since all the spots are taken.
Oh, and if ReservationHop doesn’t sell the reservations it booked? Tough luck for the restaurant, which has a bunch of tables reserved for “phantom” diners.
Innovation is Meant to Be Painful…
Pardon me if I don’t jump on the naysayers’ bandwagon, but…
The evolution of these disruptive apps will force cities and industries alike to adapt new, innovative ways to conduct business… the offshoot of which can be very profitable for savvy investors.
Take Uber, for example.
Back in April, I wrote a column describing how Uber was disrupting a long-standing industry that hadn’t changed in 50 years.
In the article, I said, “It’s ready to push the taxicab industry into extinction… By November, I expect cabbies will be scrambling to survive.”
I even recommended a backdoor way to play it, that is, since Uber is a privately owned company.
Well, we’re nowhere near November yet, but anyone who took action could already be up big.
Better still, the world finally has an alternative to a dirty, smelly cab.
Thank you, JerkTech!
Onward and Upward,