Weird! Start-Up Company Will Wash Your Car Wherever It's Parked

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mullins.jpg

Startups do all kinds of things. Some of them sell weapons to the military. Others work on solar power. And yet another, Cherry, which launched yesterday, will send someone to wash your car, no matter where it is. (At least if you live in San Francisco, the service's first market.)

Here's the idea. First, you sign up for the service and put a credit card on file. Then, any time you want your car washed, you check in online with the car's location, and someone arrives to wash it there. $29 gets charged on your credit card and that's it. I spotted the service when Shasta Ventures' Jacob Mullins tweeted he was getting his car done. That's the photo up there that he posted.

While I think Cherry is interesting as it is, when I first saw Mullins tweet, I thought it was a much more wide-ranging service. "Ask and you shall receive. will arrive at my office to wash my car in 33 mins. Amazing," Mullins wrote. So, naturally, I thought Cherry was some kind of real-world errand running service. You tweet what you need done and someone does it. How awesome would that be? Like Mechanical Turk for the real world!

UPDATE: Oh, wait! Such a startup exists. It's called TaskRabbit: "Get just about anything done by safe, reliable, awesome people." Stay tuned for more on them.

Image: Jacob Mullins, @jacob.

Could this sort of errand service spread to other parts of our lives? If so -- awesome!

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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