business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Financial Times has a curious piece about how appliance maker Electrolux "is exploring starting an 'Uber for laundry' in which consumers would use their own washing machines to wash other people’s clothes."

CEO Jonas Samuelson says that the idea has potential, since most washing machines have a lot of down time when they are not being used. On the other hand, he says, "there are enormous complexities such as what happens if the clothes come out and are ruined?"

The story notes that " Samuelson is seeking to make the company focus more on the demands of consumers by, for instance, making ovens that cook a joint of beef until it is rare rather than requiring the customer to set the temperature and time."

There is a broader goal in mind here - "boosting its profitability amid tepid revenue growth for white goods such as dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and tumble dryers."

And it illustrates, I think, what every company has to do - consider even the most unlikely ideas to see if there are grains of potential and possibility to be mined. An "Uber for laundry" may seem like an improbably construct ... but perhaps no more improbable than Uber itself sounded in 2008, the year before the company was founded.

Could be an Eye-Opener.
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