The Wackiest Ubers

Uber for Underwear, Uber for Marijuana, and More Uber-Businesses

The Wackiest Ubers
November 20, 2015

Depending on your preferred source, either H.L. Mencken or P.T. Barnum said, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." If either gentleman were around today and observed the knockoffs of Uber offering convenient delivery of almost anything, he might put "laziness" alongside intelligence.

Uber-influenced on-demand startups and apps are offering delivery of everything from pizza to underwear. Fortune estimated that $4.1 billion was invested in on-demand startups in 2014. Arguably, many of these startups provide a service that is adequately filled and/or do not cater to a viable and interested market.

Here are a few of the stranger on-demand services that have popped up in recent years.

  • Push for Pizza – The self-proclaimed "Uber for Pizza" simply allows you to push a button, and pizza arrives 20-40 minutes later. Build your pizza with sausage, pepperoni, onions, olives, or mushrooms. Domino's and other pizza places already have apps that allow you to order pizza online with a greater menu choice, but here is the real question: Have we reached the point in society where it's too burdensome to call a pizza place with your order and, God forbid, interact with an actual human being?

  • Eaze – With the increased legalization of marijuana, this was bound to happen. Eaze is the first to offer online sales of marijuana from legal dispensaries to medical marijuana patients. It is certainly possible to see these services expand as marijuana is legalized in more places, but there are still many legal and logistical hurdles to deal with thanks to the conflict between state and federal laws. At least it is a less sketchy alternative to the long-established marijuana home delivery service, aka the "dealer."

  • Doughbies – On-demand cookies are supplied in the San Francisco area by Doughbies, and similar enterprises are popping up locally throughout the nation. Doughbies focuses on a single product and a relatively small area, allowing it to keep expenses and delivery reasonable. We wonder how many people use Doughbies after Eaze visits?

  • Drizly – Drizly is among several groups that are vying to be the "Uber for alcohol." They have been quite proactive in dealing with state and local laws, and have correctly identified one area where it is better for society if goods are delivered to the consumer. Nobody would argue that keeping the alcohol-impaired off the road is a bad idea.

  • Homejoy – The "Uber for maids" was shut down in July due to lawsuits claiming that employees were misclassified as independent contractors. However, the on-demand home cleaning service simply expanded too quickly based on introductory offers and could not gain repeat customers at sustainable prices. It simply wasn't viable.

  • UnderClub – Portrayed as the "Uber for underwear." UnderClub is targeted at women (sorry, guys) and offers a subscription service with one pair of underwear per month for $22, based on a size and style questionnaire.

    It may be a stretch to call this the Uber of underwear, since it's more of a subscription service than on-demand, but UnderClub is being portrayed that way. We have to think that an app truly supplying underwear on-demand would have a limited (albeit highly motivated) market and would have to charge a major "discretion premium."

Hmmm... marijuana, cookies, pizza, alcohol, cleaning services, and underwear. If that assortment doesn't say college student or recent graduate, we don't know what does.

All of these startups would be well advised to look at their inspiration a little more closely. Uber is a success with the public, but it has yet to turn a profit. Uber has succeeded to date because of the massive worldwide growth potential, and even that is a risky proposition based on the costs it will take to maintain the service. Uber may still succeed, but it will require a lot of investment capital to reach the tipping point. To expect the same growth potential in on-demand underwear is just bizarre.

This all brings to mind a few more quotes. Mencken said, "Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood." W. C. Fields said, "It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money." Those two quotes seem to sum up the state of Uber-induced startup mania. Gotta go; someone’s at the door, and we don’t know if it’s our pizza, cookies, bourbon, or underwear!


Photo ©iStock.com/izusek

  Conversation   |   13 Comments

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Erin | 11.20.15 @ 21:01
Ok, underwear is not something I would feel the need to have someone deliver to me. lol I honestly can't see many of these becoming successful, but I give the people behind them credit for trying!
Bobbie | 11.20.15 @ 21:03
That is pretty smart of the people that start up these "uber" companies. people want delivery and are willing to pay for it
Amanda | 11.20.15 @ 21:04
I can see and understand pizza and maybe even cookies, but all these other deliveries, have we seriously gotten this lazy that we can't even go to the store to buy underwear now?Wow, I honestly had no idea there was such a thing! or half of the list listed above!
Daniel Dohlstrom | 11.20.15 @ 21:05
So many original ways to get some income, hey some may sound strange but if it works alright
Carla Truett | 11.20.15 @ 21:05
Seems that theres an app for just about everything now but underwear? I had to laugh at that one lol.
Irene | 11.20.15 @ 21:07
Some of these sound pretty crazy, like underwear deliveries! I bet the alcohol and drug delivery does good business, it seems everybody has "medical" marijuana cards these days
Elaine | 11.20.15 @ 21:07
Really these are quite funny. Not sure how a few will make it but the pizza one might be big.
Sara | 11.20.15 @ 21:07
Some of these are just plain crazy. However, there is somebody out there that would buy it no matter what I think. Hey at least they are trying to do something.
Jackie | 11.20.15 @ 21:09
There seems to be a market for having absolutely anything delivered to your door. I wouldn't feel comfortable with having someone else choose my underwear and deliver them to me but I'd certainly go for having the pizza or cookie dough delivered, especially in bad weather.
Stokes | 11.20.15 @ 21:10
Those are some pretty smart cookies.
Steven | 11.20.15 @ 21:11
crazy what people will come up with.
Alec | 11.20.15 @ 21:16
Some of these make sense. Some of them are way beyond odd. If they can make it work though, I guess technically it's a good idea. I'd be the one ordering cookies in at 3am!
JIM | 11.20.15 @ 21:16
@amanda - the people using Easeup were going to go out of their house, but then they got high
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.09.16 @ 02:15
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