Tag Archives: Amazon

How planners can liberate the next Amazon – PLANETIZEN

There’s an archetypal American story that says a lot about who we are: an upstart entrepreneur, whether out of desperation or raw ambition, turns a great idea, elbow grease, and an empty garage into a thriving business. Like all mythologies, this story has its basis in reality.

While the humble home-based business holds enormous power in the American psyche, you wouldn’t know this by looking at any given city’s zoning ordinances. As we discover in a forthcoming paper for the American Planning Association’s Economic Development Division, many zoning ordinances continue to regulate home-based businesses to such an extent that entrepreneurs are practically required to keep their business under-the-table. This leaves many home-based businesses in the quasi-legal gray market, at the whim of code enforcers, unable to operate openly, scale up, and become the next Harley Davidson, Disney, or Yankee Candle.

Read more on Planetizen

Klink: Amazon, but for Alcohol?

It’s Uber, but for alcohol.

Actually, Klink is more like Amazon but for alcohol. Or maybe neither.

Picture this: You’re hosting a fancy birthday party for your spouse, but midway through the party you realize the champagne supply is running dangerously low. As the host, you can’t leave your guests without someone providing hospitality. Besides, you’ve been drinking and would rather not drive.

Enter Klink, an alcohol delivery company that connects retailers and customers. Whether you want $6.00 bottles of Andre or a $180 bottle of Dom Perignon, Klink will deliver it to you in under an hour for the product price plus $3.87 and taxes.

You can already use this service if you live in Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Miami; or Ann Arbor, Mich. Even if you live just across the Potomac River in Virginia, Klink can’t deliver across the state line without risking legal issues.

The Washington Examiner tested Klink to see if it was as advertised. For a 750-ml bottle of Bushmills Irish whiskey, the final price was $34.93, including tax, delivery and tip. At a nearby liquor store, the final price for the same product would have been $30.79, including tax. Not bad, considering the 10 percent tip was optional and we saved ourselves a walk. Delivery came in just 30 minutes, and the product was up to snuff, as determined by the editors’ rigorous testing.

It’s a nice innovation. But with Klink, as with many startups, government regulation reared its ugly head at the beginning.

“We spent almost 10 months doing nothing but figuring out ‘how do we structure this business legally?’,” Klink founder and CEO Jeffrey Nadel said at a Cato Institute event on Thursday. “The finger is kind of pressed on the scale in favor of not innovating, because the risk is heightened to innovating. ‘Am I going to end up on the wrong side of regulators?’ That’s what retailers ask themselves.” It took just 17 days for regulators to contact Klink after they started operating in Florida. Nadel also said Klink is similar to Uber, but operates under an entirely different regulatory framework given their different industries.

Read the rest at the Washington Examiner…