The “Instant Future” of Enterprise Economy



There’s a good argument to be made for the fact that tech’s true value lies in its ability to save users time. Way back in 1440, for instance, the printing press unlocked an ability to produce multiple copies of manuscripts every week, rather than the previous 1-2 that might be produced by handwritten transcription each year. Then, in the 19th century, we saw even more leaps, with machine-powered transportation taking us further and faster than ever before. And today—in what is undoubtedly our greatest feat—we can see a piping hot chimichanga delivered to our home within minutes.


Our expectations for technology have evolved during this time, and—in recent years—have hit a peak, giving way to what many have dubbed “The Instant Gratification Economy.” Dan Primacy of Fortune describes the phenomenon well:


“As time becomes a more and more precious commodity — particularly with technology blurring many of our home/work lines of demarcation — it isn’t surprising that we continue to ask technology to take over some of our more mundane tasks (particularly if that technology creates new service jobs).Yes, there can be inherent value in doing things for yourself, but there also can be more value in spending 15 extra minutes in the office or playing with your kid or sleeping. Picking up your own dry-cleaning isn’t exactly the same as learning to fish.”


With the final days of the year now seeping away, we’ve been contemplative about the areas most affected by this revolution in 2015. Below are our top three trends to predict the “instant future” of the instant enterprise economy: Read more

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Improving The Human Sensor




In the past few months, we’ve dug pretty deeply into the current value (and importance) of “The Human Sensor Network™.” But, as the year comes to an end and we set our sights for 2016, there’s still plenty of reasons to believe that The Human Sensor has room to grow.


Now, for clarity, we’re not talking about “improving” human beings. Instead, we’re simply considering ways in which emerging technology might create a more seamless approach to understanding what tenants want and need from their facility. Below is our “wish list” for 2016 on how to improve the input from a Human Sensor:

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Facility Management Holiday Gift List Two: Security Tools



In part two of our “Holiday Gift List” for Facility Managers, we’ll take a look at some of the security systems that could turn your building into a paradise, and make your the job for building professionals a whole lot easier.


You should treat yourself, as the holiday season is about you, as well as the property you manage. Let’s dive in.
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Are Amazon’s “Dash Buttons” the Future of Restocking?


Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled a new way to order goods via its massive online storefront: The Dash Button.


The concept is pretty simple: each Dash Button is WiFi enabled and associated with a single SKU on Amazon’s website. By clicking the dash button, you’ll place an order for said item and should receive it in a day or two. While Dash Buttons can be customized for virtually any product, they’re currently being marketed primarily for home goods (such as detergent and razor blades).


As facility managers, we can’t help but think there might be strong future applications for applying this technology toward office supplies. Doing so would solve a few problems:

  • Busy workers would be less likely to “forget” when they’ve seen low inventory (they could click to order right away)
  • Facility managers / office managers would be able to crowdsource (at least portions) of their inventory needs


According to Fortune, Amazon has already resolved the market’s concern over “multiple orders” (which would almost certainly preclude its potential for office implementation):

“The simplicity of one-button tasks are appealing, although it could lead to a mess of packages ending up at people’s doors if Amazon doesn’t try to minimize waste on its end, by grouping shipments together when possible. People on Twitter seem mostly concerned about pets and small children playing with the Dash Buttons and ordering multiples of their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese boxes, although Amazon notes that if the button is pressed more than once, the order doesn’t go through on the second time, and you’ll get a smartphone notification about it.”


Of course, applications for the Dash Button would depend on the availability (and competitive pricing) of goods via Amazon. But, for inexpensive, basic needs—such as coffee, copier paper, etc.—some companies may be willing to enable purchases to decrease the probability of being understocked, and to make employees feel more “at home” in their own offices.


We’ll be interested to see if Amazon feels the same way we do, and if they release more “enterprise-minded” options in 2016! More importantly, we’ll be looking for other companies to begin building “open needs” WiFi buttons, which could be used for virtually any purpose. Indeed, some consumers have already begun “hacking” the dash button for pretty creative uses.


This is a classic example of the Instant Enterprise Economy, where modern technology coincides with the desire for instantaneous services. As tech consumers, the CrowdComfort team believes that even more examples will come to light in the near future! 


What are you thinking about when it comes to the future of re-stocking? What other examples do you see of the “Instant Enterprise Economy?”

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“Tech to Expect:” Our Technology Predictions for 2016



The past year has been a big one for tech. Rapid advancements in the world of technology spanned a number of different fields—from medicine, to space exploration, to consumer products like smartphones and tablets. As we look at 2016, there’s a great chance we’ll be seeing even more.


Here are our top predictions for “movers and shakers” in 2016: Read more

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An Energy Bar, Product News, And the Instant Economy



Over the last few weeks, the CrowdComfort team has been getting excited for an event called “Energy Bar,” held at our current incubator, Greentown Labs.  While they hold several Energy Bars throughout the year, this was special for a variety of reasons, including that it was the last Energy Bar of 2015. We appreciate the support Greentown has provided us, and have our recap below.


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Facility Management Holiday Gift List One: Cleaning Gadgets



It’s holiday season, and people are usually looking for clothing, jewelry, or some extravagant gizmo to gift to someone. For you, the immaculate, shining facility manager, you’re looking to upgrade your cleaning arsenal. Cleanliness and hygiene of facilities is a task that needs to be expertly handled, or else risk other problems that affect your buildings and tenants.



In the first of our series, here are a few tools and products from Karacher, 3M, and EcoLab that we have added to our master “Facility Management Gift List.” 

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“Smart Automation” builds Smart Management



We have talked about the limits of automation in the world of facilities management in our last couple of posts about the topic. However, that doesn’t mean that automation doesn’t have a place in the world of facilities management. In fact, we believe that any automation, and similar technologies that utilize the internet of things, will improve the field of facilities management.


The case being that a symbiosis of tech and (human) touch will increase the overall improvement of facility managers’ work. Let’s dive in:  Read more


Automated Systems aren’t Human Exclusive



Today, most of us carry handheld devices that are orders of magnitude faster and more advanced than the computers which took us to the moon half a century ago. And, every day, these devices only get better at anticipating and fulfilling our needs.


As such—and because of our all-too-human propensity toward error—it should come as no surprise that we’re increasingly relegating a number of safety-related tasks to machines that have outpaced us in speed, reliability, and attention to detail. These reasons are why automated systems are gaining steam in all industries. However, a human touch and human intuition carries greater ethical decision making, that machines can’t make for us.  Read more

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“Automation” doesn’t equate to Automatic Safety



It’s been over 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic, but we still retell the legendary ship’s story with great regularity—both for interest in the vessel’s feats of engineering, and for the tragedy of its untimely demise. But, in recounting this story, it’s impossible to avoid mention of the ship’s perceived “unsinkability,” as well as how this egotism led to an inadequate number of lifeboats and subsequent loss of human life.


In fact, one might argue that the Titanic’s story survived specifically because of its value as a cautionary tale.


Today, facility managers are thrust into roles not so different from those of the Titanic’s crew; both must define risks for those under their care and prepare for them as best they can. As we look at this comparison, an obvious question arises: has our technology made us overconfident, and—as a result—underprepared? Are we, for instance, less likely to enact company-wide fire drills because modern smoke detectors are so accurate that forewarning of a problem should provide us with enough time to evacuate? Read more