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An explosion of on-demand apps gives a modern twist to some old traditions and even delivers us some new ones we didn’t know we needed.
October 29 was a typical workday for thousands of people in the US, except for one thing: a fuzzy kitten showed up on their desks.
They had 15 minutes to cuddle and snuggle with the purring furballs, thanks to a service offered by ride-sharing company Uber on National Cat Day.
“It’s been a little over a week after #UberKITTENS and we are still recovering from the cuteness overload,” Uber wrote in a blog post earlier this month after getting 30,000 requests for the kitten visits this year, the second time it offered the delivery service. “Everyone went catnip crazy and together we almost broke the Internet.”
Welcome to the world of on-demand services, where everything from haircuts to snowplows to ice cream on a hot day and even beer and marijuana are a just a smartphone away. On-demand mobile apps are even reviving some traditions, like physicians’ house calls, which faded into obscurity in the 1960s. Some companies offer services that defy categorization, like same-day weddings, skywriting and mariachi fiestas.
This delivery app boom marks the beginning of a shift in how busy people navigate today’s modern world and feed into what Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has called the “give me what I want and give it to me now” attitude.