In which I yell at new fueling startups to get off my lawn...
Awesome human and friend of the Missive Alex shared a zinger of a start-up idea on Twitter last night.
According to Bloomberg, a group of companies want to “make gas stations obsolete” by “bring[ing] gas to you,” i.e.: driving a vehicle with some form of fuel tank and filling you up where you park.
Now, as this article so prominently displays and the founders quoted point out: “this is a disruption to a fuel industry.” To which the San Francisco Fire Department says ummm, no, “it is not permitted,” and that San Franciscans should call the fire department if they see such a fuel truck.
Typically, I skew disruptor over disrupted in new businesses, and really don’t care if someone else is willing to pay a convenience premium for something I feel is frivolous. But when an investor in one of these fuel delivery companies says "safety wasn't so much a risk factor as a barrier to entry” in regards to regulatory challenges, I cringe.
Carrying a larger-than-normal tank of gas on a moving vehicle is regulated for not insignificant reasons like noxious fumes, environmental damage or really, really big fire balls. And while fuel delivery isn’t a new idea - as Bloomberg points our, "Construction companies, farmers and even some isolated homes” use them and AAA has had roadside fueling available forever - I am uncomfortable with “regular people with no certification” driving fuel trucks. And I can't describe why I'm more uncomfortable with that than I am with riding in a stranger's car or staying in a stranger's home, two new economy services I use on the regular.
Does that make me a dinosaur? Will I grow to love these ideas, in the way that I stay in Airbnbs and take Ubers? Or will I now be on the lookout for gas trucks with weirdly-spelled logos and lost-looking drivers and move to another lane?
Stay awesome, Misschievans.