Be More Generous? There’s An App For That Too.

I just delivered a dozen cannoli and pound of cookies to my local firehouse, Station 15 here in San Francisco. And I didn’t even have to get up out of my comfy chair.

On Friday I was sitting at Peet’s in SOMA when a few policemen in uniform stopped by on break. Seeing them made me wonder how I could digitally gift coffee to police, fire and other first responders who serve on behalf of the city. Folks on Twitter suggested a few different ideas including my friend Ashley Brown who is VP of Operations at Get It Now – Postmates, a just-in-time delivery service. Ash recommended that I just use their service to send coffee to someone I wanted to thank. Their CEO/founder Bastian Lehmann even agreed to waive the delivery fee for this charitable endeavor. Operation Thank You was on!

This afternoon a Postmater named Jorge followed my instructions to pick, purchase and deliver the goodies to Station 15. He even snapped a picture

So many of the use cases we think about are based on satisfying ourselves – bring me this right now! It’s equally fun though to start conceiving about how Postmates, Taskrabbit, and other of these new mobile apps can be used to brighten someone else’s day instead of just our own. Seems like an opportunity for one (or all) of these products to build these use cases. Like a day of service, where taskrabbit helps coordinate rabbits to clean up local parks. Or Postmates does a Day of Thanks where all deliveries to firestations are free of charge. Apps that can be used to get can also be used to give.