When On-Demand Does Good


Women, the only segment of our species tough enough to show up for work at the U.S. Congress during a snowstorm, have been unable to get contraceptive delivery until just recently.

The startup Nurx is doing away with the need for a doctor’s visit and last month started making next-day birth control deliveries. Residents of California and New York can get a three-month supply for free with insurance, $15 without.

Removing pain points and barriers make for lucrative businesses. They can also help women who for whatever reason can’t visit a doctor or otherwise access contraceptives.

We can get almost anything delivered today, but both as a concerned citizen and a business person, it’s both smart and good to ask: Who is underserved?

Silicon Valley NewCo Matternet started drone delivery trials with DHL this month and the Swiss post office last year. It also intends to deliver medicine and other goods to rural villages. Attempts to make the same delivery with a car or truck could take much longer or mean danger if there aren’t adequate roads.

Entrepreneur Kai Stinchcombe made a fintech company that lets caregivers watch the financials of elderly family members after his grandmother was misled by salesmen and telemarketers. Marcie Rogo’s companionship dating website and Kyle Hill’s caregiver matchmaker website were also inspired by their grandparents.

So many of today’s on-demand economy services are based on what a male founder in his 20’s wants. These are not those kinds of companies. Depending on the context, the phrase underserved population can sound a bit pretentious. A better way of putting it: business opportunity.

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Photo Credit: UCI UC Irvine

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