Dallas Innovators Within the On-Demand Economy

The character Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was famous for repeatedly saying, “I want it, and I want it now!” While society is not as bratty as Veruca, we are conditioned to expect most anything we desire on demand. Dallas startups are tapping into this instant gratification trend, providing real-time service to customers who crave ease and immediate access.

Leading the charge of on-demand commerce are ground transportation, grocery and restaurant services. Open your app, place an order and within 30 minutes or less, your driver or delivery arrives. Investment in on-demand services has reached more than $4.8 billion, and the return on investment is already evident for companies such as GrubHub, a restaurant delivery service that generated more than $1.6 billion in revenue in 2014.

Locally, Eat Greedi is tapping into the $683 billion U.S. restaurant industry by providing simple ordering, tracking and friendly delivery services. Artizone offers curated artisanal food, prepared meals, beer and wine, gifts and more from the best local purveyors. Both these companies provide a service to the businesses they feature and to the customers they serve, giving restaurants and food providers direct and efficient access to customers and allowing the customer to enjoy a hassle-free method for receiving their favorite foods.

What these companies are doing for dining, Blown Away does for beauty, providing professional stylists who arrive at your work, home or hotel to create a customized look for you, eliminating the need to drive to a salon.

PickUp provides an on-demand service for those who need to move large items but don’t have immediate access to a moving van or a pickup truck. With drivers — mostly off-duty firefighters and veterans — who’ve been screened and are insured, PickUp fulfills the age-old problem of needing to borrow a friend’s truck for a project.

Two factors are pushing the rise of the on-demand economy: the simplicity of scheduling deliveries and the reduction in the customer’s time and energy required to complete a transaction. Businesses that make use of on-demand are empowering consumers who want what they want, when they want it. Businesses that integrate on-demand features into their marketing and offerings will become part of one of the fastest-growing segments of the new economy.