Notifications for Everything

yo-app-2

Yo. What seemed like something that was just too simple to actually be practical, the Yo app has grown to over 1 million users and tons of press. The app lets you send a message to your friends who use it. All you do is tap their name and they get the message “Yo.” It seems useless considering this is just slightly easier than sending a text with the same content, right? Well, today’s update to Yo adds a few updated features that makes it even more useful.

yo-index-412x640

There is a new feature called Yo Index, which allows you to receive automatic Yo updates in conjunction with other services. For example, you can sign up to receive a Yo message when your package arrives from FedEx or when your Citi Bike rack runs out of bikes (as well as when one is returned there). Anyone is able to submit a feature for index meaning the possibilities are endless. It looks like a way to streamline notifications and receive them for just about anything via one single app. This feature seems to hold a lot more possibilities and usefulness than just being able to say, “Yo” to your friends.

What Sparks our Fire: An app evolving to become both useful and impressively effective.

What would you like Yo notifications for?

Sleep Tight

casper

Buying a new mattress? While it may not be something that you have to take care of regularly, it sure is a hassle when the time does come. Retailers carry a large amount of slightly different mattress, which you can go and sit on for about 10 minutes at a time to try and then you pick one that you will sleep on for a few years. Not to mention the difficulty of getting it delivered and brought into your house or apartment to the bedroom.

Casper is a new startup based in New York City that sells just one mattress in five different sizes. What makes Casper special is the convenience factors that they easily provide. First off your mattress comes with in five days anywhere in the US – and same day delivery in New York City – packaged up the size of a mini fridge. And once you set that bed up, you have up to 100 days to try out the mattress, and if you’re not satisfied you can send it back for a full refund.

The reviews of the product also point out that the bed is exceptionally comfortable – which is highlighted by the fact that Casper did over $1 Million in sales in just their first month.

What Sparks our Fire: Innovators making turning a rigorous process into something hassle-free

What other industries need someone to step up and make it hassle-free?

The Changing Times

NYT-1

It’s nothing new or surprising to learn that traditional newspapers are struggling. Online news sources are both cheaper and more efficient for consumers. But, there is still something to say about the quality and trustworthiness of old-school newspapers, especially the likes of The New York Times or The Washington Post.

There are reports that The New York Times may soon introduce another subscription, a shorter newspaper, to try and keep it’s print business as profitable as possible. The newspaper would be offered at a lower price point and likely include a digital subscription. This version could have a positive influence on the younger audience who want a quick-to-read newspaper that fits their lifestyle of needing information in the most efficient way possible.

It will be interesting to see the influence this change will have on print newspaper advertising.

What Sparks our Fire: The New York Times looking for new ways to continue engaging consumers and addressing the shift to digital.

Would you be interested in a shorter version of The New York Times?

Say Goodbye to Parking Tickets

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.41.42 PM

Getting a parking ticket can easily ruin a day. They are frustrating to receive – especially when wrongly accused. The price of a parking ticket is just marginal enough that for many people it isn’t worth the time to fight it, causing them to simply pay the fine.

Fixed is here is help you out. The app, currently only available in San Francisco, coming soon to Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, will fight your parking ticket for you. All you need to do is upload a picture of the ticket into the app and a representative will file the complaint and handle the rest. Fixed will only charge you if they win the case (According to VentureBeat they’ve won 20-30 percent of their cases so far). So if you lose you pay the ticket, but if you win you pay just 25% of what the fine would’ve cost you, to Fixed – a bargain considering it’s a 75% savings with no time spent.

The company has just completed $1.2 million dollar round of funding which will help them expand to more cities across the country. Keep Fixed in mind next time you get a parking ticket and don’t have the time to fight it.

What Sparks our Fire: An app that helps save both time and money.

Have you ever gotten an undeserving ticket you just paid instead of fighting?

Mushroom stuffed houses

blog pix16

In Green Island NY, a company called Ecovative Design, has developed building materials derived from mushrooms. The company makes mycelium-based bioplastics and hopes to one day replace the world’s plastics with natural organisms such as fungi. There are a number of advantages to using the mushrooms over the conventional insulation. These  advantages include resistance to fire and settling, air-tight seal formation and no toxins.

What sparks our fire: A green and edible alternative to inefficient and toxic building material.

Will this trend catch on?

Enjoy!

-Canopy Team