SpotScout: Local (Parking) Search

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I just read an article about SpotScout. Think of it as OpenTable for parking — sort of.

I think this is a very creative — in some ways inspired — idea that will probably fail as a business. For their sake I hope I’m wrong, but it requires behavioral change on both the consumer and provider (garage inventory) sides.

Still, kudos for addressing a problem and being clever.

Anyone think there’s a chance here?

2 Responses to “SpotScout: Local (Parking) Search”

  1. Colin Pape - GeoVerticals.com Says:

    Interesting idea… Hard to say if they’ll be able to gain traction though…

    Unless finding a parking spot takes an exorbitant amount of time, or there’s some lugging parcels back and forth between vehicle and destination, I can’t see people taking the time to flip open their phones and trying to track down a spot… And what if there aren’t any spots available? It would only take one or two tries with no results before people will go back to their usual routines…

    Their strategy for targeting garage operators makes sense on paper – but where’s the incentive for a garage that’s always full to use the system? And if a garage isn’t full, and is looking for parkers, doesn’t that indicate that the location isn’t in demand – therefore providing no reason to scout out a spot?

    I like the idea of private parking spot owners being able to use the system to broadcast space availability to a vertical marketplace… In theory, that sounds like something people would do… But then there’s probably a reason that these people don’t just post signs advertising their spaces for rent – either their spaces require a tag or are matched to their license plates, or they just don’t feel like becoming parking attendants…

    If the entire process was automated and tied into a vehicle’s GPS/Nav system, and if they could ensure available inventory, I think it could do well… But until then, it’s definitely an uphill battle…

    Probably another idea that’s ahead of its time… I sure know how that goes!

    Colin

  2. Kelsey Test Blog » The Next Subject for Local Search: Parking Spots? Says:

    […] Greg Sterling points out an interesting company called SpotScout (having “spot” in a company name is becoming something of a trademark for companies with interesting models, i.e., Spot Runner ). […]

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