A new startup has launched hoping to disrupt the food services industry and democratize the experience of having a personal chef. Munchery aims to bring personal chefs to the masses, giving consumers a way to access high-quality meals delivered to their home by professionals.
For most of us, employing a personal chef is not financially possible. But many consumers don’t have the time, patience or interest to cook healthy, delicious, well-balanced meals. Carry-out is an option, but this doesn’t ensure the quality of the food. Munchery allows personal and professional chefs to sell their meals online, upload menu choices, set minimum orders (you order by meal), specify areas where they deliver, schedule of delivery, and more.
Consumers can search for chefs by the zip code they deliver to (the site currently features chefs in the San Francisco Area), and will eventually be able to browse chefs by city when the site expands. Once you select a meal and quantity, Munchery takes care of the payment process, but chefs and consumers coordinate the delivery process.
Currently, Munchery features personal chefs, caterers, and even chefs who work in restaurants. Here’s Dennis Lin from San Francisco’s Burmese Kitchen). Co-founder Tri Tran says that each chef has to cook in a commercial kitchen, and be accredited. Meals range from $12 to $22, but Munchery is offering $10 off for every first meal purchases through Munchery. Consumers can also choose to order multiple meals per week to lower the price.
This isn’t the first startup that aims to bring professionally cooked food to homes. Gobble also offers an online marketplace for home-cooked food. I love this idea. Similar to AirBnB democratizing housing and apartment rentals or Uber brings private car services to the masses , Munchery and Gobble are able to bring the experience of a personal chef to those who would otherwise not be able to afford this luxury. Scaling the service will undoubtedly be a challenge for Munchery, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they can expand beyond San Francisco.
The lads here, mostly Devin and Matt, were talking about Everyday Carry, a website dedicated to the things we carry in our bags, pockets, and purses. Most of the EDC gear looks pretty heavy-duty – many EDCs include guns and long stickin’ knives for, you know, those times when you need to stick stuff (Merlin Mann’s is particularly interesting, for example) – and from the looks of the site it seems lots of people have totemic items, items of power that they carry to get things done. You’ve got Leathermen and diving watches. Little Moleskine notebooks. Pocket cameras and Space Pens.
I remember my first totemic item, a fat Wenger 30-tool Swiss Army Knife my father bought me when I turned eleven. My dad picked it out for me at Lev’s Pawn Shop on Main Street in Columbus, Ohio, and that knife held great power to me. I carried it everywhere, used it on my “projects” and learned how to take care (or not take care) of good things by learning to care for that knife. I still have it, a quarter century later, and it holds a place of honor among my tools, a veteran fading away next to my harmonicas and a nice Gerber aluminum-handled stickin’ knife. These items still hold power and they are important to me.
But we’re fast reaching the end of that era. What do we do that requires a knife? Our food is pre-portioned and cut, our McDonald’s apples sliced into shards and vacuum packed, our cheese pre-packaged, or meats pre-marinated. We don’t hunt – most of us don’t – and we don’t tinker – most of us don’t – and we carry most everything we need in one or two disposable devices. Who needs a Leica when we carry an iPhone? Who needs a notepad when we carry a Nexus S? Who needs a book when we carry an iPad? These devices don’t have the same import, the same heft as their simpler counterparts but does that really matter? They do the job well enough or better.
I worry that Everyday Carry is a window on a vanishing cargo cult, a group of men and women who thing that something out there needs tightening and that at some point they’ll need to tell the time and the power will be out and the world will have stopped and the only thing running will be an automatic Seiko diver in blaze orange strapped to their wrist. It’s the survivalist instinct in miniature.
They’re going away. Instead we now carry one or two items – maybe keys and a phone – and go through life in a soft cushion of air conditioning. It seems that everywhere you go, there are eyes on you who will frown if they see your potentially lethal Leatherman or (and I find this inscrutable, but I’m not other people and so I won’t judge) your licensed firearm. As a watch fiend I learn the risibility of wearing a nice timepiece on an almost daily basis. After all, the cellphone has a clock right on it, right?
So maybe we’re losing totemic items or maybe we’re replacing them when magic items, items that the makers of the first knives and the first leather notebooks and the first pocket watches would have considered mesmerizing at best and witchcraft at worst. I’ve often said that if Ben Franklin came back today, what would we be able to show him that would prove he had not landed on an alien world? We’d bring out a knife, a watch, a notebook and say “Look at that. We’re still here. We still exist. We made it through ages of darkness and we made it out and this is what survived that crucible. We’re still human. This is us.”
While this device may look like an old Fisher-Price Tape Player, what we have here is a bonafide music playback device designed for Google (probably as some sort of Tchotchke/giveaway) by Chord Electronics. The stereo is a variant of Chord’s Chordette Carry with inputs on the back for multiple devices as well as Bluetooth support.
Why this thing needs so many inputs is beyond me, but clearly this was supposed to ship at Christmas and since I didn’t notice anyone mentioning that they just got their “schweet Google stereo for being an affiliate marketeer” back in December, we can only assume that this gadget fell through.
Here’s the Chordette for context.
itwbennett writes “Kevin Fogarty is blogging about new specs outlined by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) that outline the requirements for ‘any network designed to carry data instead of just electrons.’ What’s needed, in short, is ‘a Common Information Model for the format of data in the network, interfaces to allow it to go from one device or substation to another, exchanges between control centers and communications protocols that will add security to the net.’”
We have seen several analysts and industry insiders talk in the past few weeks about the possibilities for Verizon to launch a CDMA iPhone later this year. According to some reports, Apple has already contracted Pegatron Technology to manufacture the CDMA iPhone handsets for release early next year.
Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar however had pointed out late last month that the new CDMA version of iPhone was likely to launch during this year's holiday shopping season.
Despite these strong speculations, Apple has remained tight-lipped about their potential partnership with Verizon. The carrier too has refrained from explicitly confirming or denying the speculations. In a recent interview with Beet.tv, Verizon spokesperson, John Johnson noted that his company had "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future". Instead, Johnson expressed enthusiasm over Android-based HTC Incredible which he claimed was "outperforming just about everything else out there".
Johnson's statements may come as a disappointment to a lot of iPhone users waiting to switch from AT&T to a more reliable network carrier. Nevertheless, if recent moves from AT&T are any indication, chances for Apple to announce an end to AT&T's network exclusivity during WWDC still appears likely. Last month, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega noted that the company was not worried about losing the exclusivity deal with Apple. Also, the carrier announced new data plans for the iPhone yesterday that would consequently bring tethering to iPhone users after a long wait. We have also heard rumors that iPhone 4G might be coming to Sprint this month.
One must also note that Johnson has not categorically denied the Verizon iPhone rumors. As we had noted earlier, Verizon is expected to carry the iPhone only around November of this year. Considering that this is still over five months from now, Johnson's statement about Verizon not carrying the iPhone in the "immediate future" is entirely subjective and open to interpretation at this point.
You may watch Johnson's interview with Beet.tv embedded below. As always, do not forget to tell us your views on the story in the comments below.
[via Business Insider]