Are you just passing by and don’t want to pay per night in a hotel? How about paying per minute? That is what Recharge, a startup from San Francisco does. You go in the website and pay to use all the hotels establishments that someone gets when paying for the whole night, but per minute. That means you can use the gym, swimming pool, spa, take a nap, a shower or a bath without having to pay for an absurd price.
This comes with the trend of not wasting spaces, just like seats2meet does for workspaces. We don’t even let people waste workspaces at their own houses. We have an imaginary scarcity of space. I say imaginary because if you look around there is a lot of empty spaces, the only reason they are not available to us is due a matter of pricing or inaccessibility.
When we offer them in a different way both sides can win. The people and companies that have an abundance of space can win money or social capital. And the consumer has a place to work or to take a nap. The hotels in that case have their rooms available for a period of time, or during the low seasons and during that time they are not rentable. Recharge changes that. They can rent it in a different way.
Beyond fulfilling a demand and the spaces in abundance it is extremely practical. As the website explains there is no need to book in advance or to tell the hotel how long you are staying. The room is available to you the moment you book. Music for the ears of the jetsetters and digital nomads, I guess.
Right now they are in the pilot phase and work only in San Francisco. The payment is fixed of 67 cents per minute or 40 dollars per hour. In an interview to Tech Crunch, Emmanuel Bamfo, the CEO of Recharge told the company is growing 104% month after month for 10 months now and the users are the most variable, they had users staying 12 minutes and others staying 25 hours, there is no minimum or maximum stay. It’s totally flexible.
Now if you are used to Motels, as the Brazilian use them, if you know what I mean, be aware that it is different. The app is focused on business people who are in-between meetings or in short stays in a determined city and want to refresh, get ready or even wait for a late flight. As you can rate the hotel, the hotel can also rate you. Just like Uber and Airbnb.
It might be a huge success or not. But initiatives as Recharge do show a trend that is long coming. Charging for abundance in a different way and optimize what you already have with new businesses models. So if you have a brilliant idea about how to use something that already exists, in a different way, now is the time.