How You Can Live Your Life via Digital Mobility
A few months ago I decided to move from Berkeley to San Francisco. For a foreigner like myself the challenge seemed significant: so much to do, so little time! Luckily, I had great friends to lean on: my iPhone and my web browser.
The more I searched for places, the more tools I was discovering. As I was browsing through Lovely, Zumper, Hotpads, ApartmentList, Apartment Finder, Trulia and others I couldn’t help picturing my dad on the couch going through newspaper classifieds. Yeah, tech is changing everything!
It took me 3 or 4 months to find a great place (San Francisco’s housing market is just awesome), and during my hunt Lyft, Uber and Sidecar were often essential to help me visit my potential new homes. The cost can add up but it’s hard not to fall in love with the simplicity and great service these guys provide – no parking or navigating woes; they are just everywhere in the city and the chance of me actually showing up on time for the many appointments increased significantly (yeah, Brazilians do have a hard time keeping up with their schedules).
Then came the best part: actually moving my stuff. I needed to bring both all my stuff from North Berkeley to Duboce Triangle and to do the classic Ikea trip to get some more things. Luckily for me, Zipcar now rents vans, so I could move everything myself.
With its super simple design and lack of significant updates we almost take Craigslist for granted these days, but the service can really be a lifesaver. I bought a brand new bed for less than half the original price from a sweet girl who was moving to London – great deal! Except, of course, I needed to pick it up at her house, disassemble and then move it and put it back together at my place. I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it by myself, with my complete lack of real skills…
So here’s how I went about it: I sent the money to the girl using the Paypal app for iOS and quickly created a task for an EXEC (similar to Task Rabbit, but better). A couple of hours later the bed was magically assembled back in my new room, all for a mere $25!
I now just needed the Ikea stuff. Using SimpleNote, a great cloud-synced note-taking app that works across multiple platforms, I wrote down the references for everything I would need in the store and almost succeeded in not spending 10x the necessary amount of time there. I had some trouble finding a Zipcar nearby (which sometimes happens over the weekends), so I decided to use CityCar Share instead to do my drive to Emeryville.
After having an amazing experience with EXEC, I was absolutely comfortable about posting another job to them. After a few hours, I had all my Ikea furniture perfectly assembled and positioned in my room. I officially had a new home! I clearly remember the first thing that crossed my mind at that moment: “Hooray, I can now order all my groceries from Instacart!” 🙂
At the end of the day, I know I spent more money than I really needed, but I also saved a lot of time, which can be more valuable than money. And within reason, that’s a trade-off that I’m always willing to make.
Christianne Poppi, Digital Marketing, UC Berkeley
Chris is a Brazilian marketing professional passionate about helping cool services, products and causes find large and engaged audiences. Previously, she has worked for several ad agencies and managed the online strategy for one of world’s top education NGOs.