Eradicating Small Frictions through Smarter Software

June 30, 2014 Clinton Bonner

Perhaps it was said best in the mid-90’s when Hootie crooned, “Time, you ain’t no friend of mine.” Twenty years on, multi-billion dollar valued businesses like Uber are being created with the sole purpose of giving back humans our most precious resource, time. You can also look to traditional industries like car insurance and banking to see examples of digital innovations that save time by eradicating a traditional friction. Whether we’re watching a GEICO pig better enjoy vacation or a busy mom deposit a check by snapping a photo via her smartphone, it’s evident, eradicating traditional friction is absolutely huge business.

Time to Get Physical and Turn Our Attention to the Real World

Worry not, this paragraph will be mostly void of Eric Neis references, but it is important to understand that the successes of a company like Uber represents the beginning of a movement, not the culmination. Why? Simply put, the world is receiving a layer of digital skin brought about by an infusion of sensors into our physical existence. Whether you call it the Internet of Things, the Internet of Everything, the 3.0, or M2M (standing for machine to machine), it doesn’t matter. What matters is your ability to capitalize in this environment and create applications that people adore, because it saves them time.

One Small Step for Saving Time, One Giant Hassle Eliminated

A great example was shown to us at Google’s I/O event last week. HotelTonight – the application that allows you to book a hotel room based on geo-location at sincere discounts right when you need it – showcased their new mobile check-in and keyless entry features, powered by Brivo Labs. The idea is simple, yet brilliant. You book your room via the HotelTonight app, you’re delivered your room # via the app, you walk right into the hotel, go directly to your room and access it securely via your mobile device. No formal check-in procedure, no check-in lines, no need to slap your credit card on the marble counter to cover potential incidentals while making small talk with a seemingly courteous human. This small, but significant hassle is eliminated because of the creation and application of thoughtful technology that takes advantage of 3.0 enabled devices. Most importantly, the digital innovation makes the physical experience better and saves people time.

That combination will win, every time.

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