Jews live weekly on a weekly Parasha – Torah Reading. A Rabbi I used to learn with once explained that the Parasha does more than teach you laws, stories & Jewish philosophy – it gives you insight on what will happen that week.
Making the World Better
Yaakov Avinu – Jacob, Our Forefather – in Parasha VaYetze – it says “VaYetze Yaakov MiBe’eer Sheva vaYelekh Harana.” (Beresheet /Genesis 28:10)(Beresheet /Genesis 28:10) And Jacob went out from Be’er Sheva and he went to Haran. Rashi SaysRashi Says – we know that Yaakov was in Be’er Sheva from previous verses. Why does the Torah have to teach us that he left Be’er Sheva? This is obvious. Rashi answers – Yaakov was such a person that made such an impression on the area he went to – that when he left – so did the light leave, so did the glory leave, so did the beauty leave.
Apparently Yaakov – tried to make every place he went to better. That is the goal of our lives as Jews – to make any place that we come to better than it was before.
My father, of blessed memory said he learned in being in the scouts in Morocco that every campsite that you visit, you should leave it better than it was before. A similar concept.
So here is my idea for a better world – at least in the retail (or wholesale) business.
Amazon Took My Idea 🙂 – Selling Online
But Before I tell you the Idea, I want you to know that before Amazon or even the Internet existed, I had the idea of selling things online. In the good old days – when people had computers with names as such as the Apple II plus, the PET, the Commodore 64, the Amiga, the IBM PC – people would buy hardware called a modem. A modem is basically a phone for computers. Instead of going online – on the Internet – people would dial using phone lines into a computer BBS (Bulletin Board System). I thought – perhaps I could sell knapsacks – from Israel (Steve’s Jerusalem Packs) on a Bulletin Board System. People could download the catalog and then call me or send me a message on the BBS to order or mail me.
Why do I tell you my about great ideas? To make you admire me? No. I want you to know of a Torah concept. G-d gives ideas. G-d also releases ideas at the proper time for the world to advance. The nature needed to make computers and drones existed since the time of creation. The ideas to tap into them – came at a certain time based upon what G-d thought was appropriate. He releases the ideas. Thus you have Amazon.
The 2,800 year-old Drone
Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon invented a mechanical bird that was able to fetch him books or scrolls from his library. Thus the idea and technology for drones was there – but it wasn’t time for it to become widespread.
Amazon’s Hiddush / Novelty
Amazon has tapped into a customer that wishes to save time or money by doing shopping on-line. Their experience shopping on-line – although not as interesting as going to a retail store – gets the job done.
They are efficient but lose the human and product connection. The customer loses part of the shopping experience. They talk with an Alexis or a Siri. But that will never match talking with a human.
Getting Customers Back to Stores.
So how do retail stores get their customers back?
Let me coin the term the “virtual clerk” ™ or if you want the clerks name to sound more warm and human – the “Home Clerk.” ™ The “Virtuclerk” ™ is a human employee of the store that is on-site in the store itself. He or she has a cell phone. You call up the store. They connect you to a home clerk.
You want shoes – the home clerk brings you down the isle – as you watch on your cell phone. He or she shows you the shoes. “Yes. I like that one.” You choose the shoes. He or she rings you up. You can choose to come to store to pick the shoes up or they can send it to you.
Technically – this opens new doors. A person from New York can buy a coat from Israel or vice versa. You have a favorite store – but don’t feel like taking a 20 minute drive there – searching for 20 minutes – and then driving back. You can search before you get to the store – then drive there just to pick up the merchandise. No waiting on line to pay. You already paid before you arrived. If you don’t find what you like, you saved 40 minutes of driving. Or If you do find what you like – you save 40 minutes of driving by asking them to have it delivered.
A store can develop an app or they can just use whatsapp to implement the HomeClerk ™ idea. Perhaps the big boys – Google, Apple, Paypay and Amazon can incorporate it into their payment apps or their shopping systems. You can have an option “Shop live.” ™ Where the customer presses a button and you are connected to your favorite department store or retail store’s Home Clerk ™ HC(tm).
Physical Store Home Clerks ™, Public HCs & Private.
A Home Clerk can be private, a store employee and/or a public employee. A retail store can hire these Home Clerks ™ and customers can be directed to them via an app or a computer program. Customers can choose to turn off their cameras – as to not be seen by the Home Clerk ™.
A private agency can charge a certain amount per hour for shopping. If it is for groceries – they might charge 10$ an hour and also get a part of their wage from the store itself.
A public agency can use these Home Clerks ™ to help the elderly or infirm. They would be hired like Uber drivers – after a small period of training – and be called upon demand. They could do food shopping for the elderly and the like.
Someone who applies to be Home Clerk ™ employee can decide what schedule they prefer – if they want a 9 to 5 job – they can opt to be a Retail Store HC. If they want more flexible hours they can apply to be a Private or Public HC.
You heard it here first.
Remember Ohr Binyamin with a generous donation when you make your first million on the idea. 🙂
Make the world a better place.