Sure, that might seem like boring news, but we recently read this Vanity Fair article about the upcoming robot revolution recently that makes us think differently about it. Here’s a random passage.
But these sorts of advances, while undeniably futuristic, only represent a small fraction of what their underlying technologies can accomplish. The number of jobs that will be affected, and rendered irrelevant, by robots, automation and artificial intelligence is going to be astounding and terrifying. And the day of reckoning is not decades away; it’s only a matter of years from now. Forecasts have noted that entire industries will be overtaken by vehicles that are controlled by little robotic brains and thousands of sensors. Truck drivers will likely be out of work; taxi and Uber drivers will see a decline in the need for their services, too. And this transformation isn’t going to happen simply in a vacuum. We will see cars start to drive themselves down the street while their passengers nap or watch a movie. Rather than fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco, you might get into your car at bedtime and program a destination so that you could wake up in the peninsula. Many U.P.S., FedEx, and U.S. postal service workers will be replaced by drones. (I’ve seen prototypes for huge gas-powered drones that can carry one-ton packages 40,000 feet in the air at speeds two or three times that of an airplane.) Construction workers will one day be replaced by 3-D printers that can literally print a home in a day by squeezing out cement and other materials like icing atop a cake.
It goes on (robot soldiers falling from the sky!). Anyway, point is it has made me take all this home delivery beer talk more seriously. We reported last month that MillerCoors is partnering with Amazon and Drizly to restock your fridge in a cool 60 minutes with Miller Lite On-Demand — a suite of connected home services hoping to modernize the beer shopping experience that includes a voice-activated Amazon Alexa skill and a custom AWS IoT Button.
Well, while we were at the Craft Brewers Conference, Delivery.com, acquired alcohol delivery service Klink‘s business operations. Founded in 2013, Klink has built a customer base in Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C., markets, which Delivery.com has targeted for expansion. Klink offers on-demand delivery of not only alcohol but also food, groceries, laundry/dry cleaning and other products and services.
Both companies offer convenient apps that connect users to local liquor stores for on-demand delivery of beer, wine and spirits. Now, Klink customers in Miami and D.C. will have access to Delivery.com’s vast nationwide network of more than 12,000 local businesses that deliver on-demand.
“Having been one of the first companies to offer alcohol delivery,” said Jeffrey Nadel, CEO of Klink, “we couldn’t be more excited to pass the torch to Delivery.com and allow our customers to order beer, wine, spirits and food — all in the same place. Delivery.com has been an innovator in this space for more than a decade, and there’s no company we would rather be joining forces with.”
Maybe it’s not apocalyptic, but read that Vanity Fair piece (I promise it is not as political as the headline sounds) and you might get the same “winter is coming” vibe I am getting when it comes to retail beer sales within five years. With this new world forming out of the laboratories of large established entities, well, we can’t help but be concerned about what it means for smaller brewers long-term.
On the other hand, maybe the robot delivery world will be a good thing by rendering shelf space (and geographic limitations) obsolete? We’d be remiss to not mention California craft beer delivery service startup Hopsy. So, who knows. What do you think? Send your thoughts via raven to our fallout shelter. If your raven flies true, it will know the way.