Today, TechCrunch introduced me to Bloomthat, a start-up operating in my area that TechCrunch crowned as the Uber of Flowers: “the start-up… tries to take the friction out of delivering flowers so that customers won’t just think of them solely for birthdays or anniversaries.” By offering a limited amount of bouquets and promising a 90 minute delivery window Bloomthat is “trying to change the way people think about flowers — that they’re not obligatory.”
I have nothing against Bloomthat. It’s a flower shop that does a great job at marketing itself to its affluent target audience: Bay Area techies already used to buying everything with an app and expect a fast delivery.
I do, however, question the wisdom of calling every new commerce app the “Uber of” anything. Uber disrupted the car hiring industry by allowing more drivers to participate and by making it easier to hire a car. Airbnb allows people with a spare room to offer that room to paying guests. Those two are the essence of the so-called “sharing economy.”
The flower equivalent would be allowing casual gardeners to sell bouquets and deliver them locally. Say I have a few beautiful rose bushes. When they bloom, they bloom excessively and I can make 10 rose bouquets, but only once a month. If I could sell those to people in my area looking for a bouquet, that would be true sharing.