Before retirement, I ran a mobile car washing franchise business. It was a company I started in my teens, built up and franchised in 23 states. Long about 1995 I had considered that it made sense for us to invest in technologies and put GPS devices on all of our work trucks so that people could call up, or go online and see where all of our work vehicles were. Then they could drive and come find us to get a carwash. Yes, I imagine that concept was well ahead of its time, as we didn’t have the mobile technology we do today.
Still, I can remember Bill Gates explaining prior to the CES show in 1996 or 1997 how all this could be possible. After having attended The Consumer Electronics Show the next year in 1998 and looking at all the automotive GPS devices available, I was certain of it too. Now then, today in 2012 we see that all of the mobile technology and apps for the iPhone and android, along with all the other knockoffs pretending to be one or the other that it’s time for these business tools to come to fruition.
The other day I was considering all this, because now I am retired and have no need for it in my business, but it seems that it would be wonderful if there were Ice Cream Man Apps. This would be where a parent or a child who wishes to know where the ice cream man was could estimate the exact time they would show up, and when they were on the next block. They could also track the ice cream man as he moved around the city, always knowing where he was.
All the ice cream company would have to do is make that app available online. An entrepreneur could have many ice cream trucks in any given city running their routes while all their customers watched in anticipation, figuring out where they might go next, and when they would show up on their own street. Further, using text messaging the kids and the parents could hone their skills in knowing within minutes the approximate time that vehicle would show up.
Lastly, if they have the mobile payment app from Google, or one of the other mobile payment vendors, there wouldn’t be any cash on the ice cream truck, all the kids could pay with their smart phones. This would prevent the ice cream man from getting ripped off or robbed.
The specials of the day could be downloaded to all the most frequent customers and actually alert them when the ice cream man turned onto their street. Then they wouldn’t have to blast that noisy music quite as loud, or wake up any old people trying to take a nap in the middle the day. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.