Blake Dowling: Springtime in Tallahassee; there’s an app for that

turo
Remember, shop locally in person and digitally.

The older I get, the more I appreciate Spring in Tallahassee.

A perfect example was this past weekend: Watching hoops on the patio, grilling out, and spending some time with Big Brothers Big Sisters for the annual “Big & Little of the Year” event.

We honored some great people in our community.

I serve on the Board of BBBS with some amazing professionals including 223 Agency CEO Dustin Rivest. We got to catch up at the event; he asked me if I had ever heard of the app Turo. They used it when his staff went skiing last month, he said.

First off, very jealous, our company does not have ski trips; secondly, Turo is like the Airbnb of cars.

You can rent out your car (and vice versa) on the app. How cool is that?

Although my first thought was someone smoking a cigar in my car; once I got over that visual, I started checking out the app.

Simply described, Turo is a peer-to-peer car-sharing service.

Dustin shared the following on Turo: “Turo has really started to disrupt the rental car industry. Traditionally, renting a vehicle has never been easy if you ask me. You only know what type of vehicle you are going to get in most cases such as an SUV, Van, Truck, Car, etc. With Turo, you get to select the exact vehicle you are renting. The No. 1 thing I like about Turo is that the vehicle is parked in the regular parking lot at the airport. You don’t have to get a shuttle to a lot, stand in line, and hope the vehicle is ready. Your app tells you right where the vehicle is and you can remotely unlock it and be on your way. Five Stars for this app from me.”

Dustin and I discussed that Turo is in California and our conversation quickly moved to delivery services like Bite Squad and Uber Eats — also based outside of our state.

Specifically, we chatted about the millions of dollars leaving our state in the way of delivery fees to these companies since the pandemic. In some cases, it is not just Florida; the apps we use are not even U.S. based.

For years, there have been campaigns around our nation to shop locally; we need to start using that methodology and approach to the digital world. There are plenty of apps, tools and options available in the Sunshine State to get you started.

Let’s start with what is called “IT Town” by Florida Trend in their latest issue that highlights the Capital City, just in time for Legislative Session.

You can check out tech organizations: Mag Lab, Launch Tally, Ruvos, Applied Fiber, and a quote from yours truly in there.

Thank you, Vickie, Heidi and David from the Trend team for a great feature.

Also, another just-in-time-for-Session listing of the biggest associations in the Capital City is included in the new issue of Florida Trend — from the Florida Bar at the top to the Florida Tech Counsel and everyone in between.

Back to IT Town. Have you looked closely at the three to six different fees/services/taxes on delivery apps? If it were anything else, we wouldn’t use it.

But we are lazy (I get it), and during the pandemic, it felt healthier. Not the cheeseburger and fries you ordered, but staying in and avoiding crowds.

Want to start keeping those delivery dollars/fees in Tallahassee? Foodies Takeout and Delivery has its roots in Tallahassee and gives you the option to do just that. Their site works just like the others, pick a restaurant, place your order and Foodies find a driver utilizing all available drivers on existing networks. It is a very cool site.

Foodies Takeout & Delivery has eliminated the 15-30% commission, which should save restaurants lots of money on commissions and it’s also a better experience for the user.

I deleted Bite Squad from my phone after some sketchy behavior, so having a local option sounds good to me. The company also has plans to expand to Miami and Panama City later this year. Check them out at FoodiesTakeout.com

Our next stop on the Florida app tour is boats — and where better to talk about boats than South Florida? In Miami, a tech company called Yachtlife has burst on the scene upending what you might think of as a boat club.

A staff of 12 offers you the opportunity to pick from over 250 boats for an occasion that calls for something special.

Not it’s not just any boats either. As the title suggests, big boats, and very nice ones at that.

If I needed to pick one from their homepage, it would be the 85-foot Azimut out of Tampa that sleeps four couples in comfort.

Yachtlife also offers a membership club as well as a lounge for their clients.

Florida has a digital gold mine; just remember to look past Silicon Valley and China to find it.

Remember, shop locally in person and digitally from IT Town/Capital City to South Beach and all spots in between.

Regardless of what your Saturday in Tallahassee brings — Legislative Session, hoops, Hallmark Channel movie marathon — go ahead and order a sandwich with Foodies, rent a yacht with Yachtlife for a post-Session vacay and have a wonderful day.

___

Blake Dowling is the CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at www.aegisbiztech.com



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