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No Such Thing As A Bad Idea?

Not all civic life-hack apps disrupt in a good way.


Apr. 2014–July 2014, Spring 2015–Present
Pitch: Auction off your parking space.
Backlash: San Francisco, L.A., and Boston all banned the app. In spring 2015 it returned, allowing residents to rent out their driveway spots.

Nov. 23, 2015–present
Pitch: $1.99 a month for private water fountains.
Backlash: Much web mockery over repackaged 19th-century infrastructure ideas.

Aug. 8, 2014–Feb. 2015
Pitch: Navigation based on crowd-sourced warnings of “sketchy” areas.
Backlash: Widespread condemnation of white paranoia. Soon renamed and pivoted.

Aug. 28, 2015–Present
Pitch: Tenants bid against one another for rent and deposit terms.
Backlash: Quoth Gizmodo: “The Startup of Your Nightmares.”


Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco

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