This past Sunday I was visiting a friend. She had a bag of popcorn on her kitchen table and I asked her if I could have it.
I took the bag of popcorn home, but realised I didn’t have a microwave. I had been meaning to buy one recently, but just hadn’t gotten around to it.
The weather was bad and I didn’t want to go out and get one so I decided to try out a new app called WunWun.WunWun stands for “Whatever You Need Whenever You Need It.” The 24-hour fulfillment service was born from CEO Lee Hnetinka’s idea to create an on-demand service for anything. That was late last year.
Fast forward to today: Hnetinka has a six-person staff helping him run the startup.
And it really does work. WunWun employs real people who will run errands for you. It’s only available for Manhattan residents right now.
On Sunday, I entered my request through the app and within minutes I received a text message from the WunWun helper that was assigned to me, Zora:
Because I didn’t specify a type of microwave or a place to get it from, Zora suggested Best Buy.
I looked up a a microwave online and asked her to see if she could find that one.
About 20 minutes later, I got a text from Zora with a photo of the available microwaves. I selected the one I wanted, she bought it, and Zora arrived at my house about 20 minutes later with my new microwave.
Overall the experience was seamless. I didn’t leave my couch but got exactly what I wanted, and fast.
With WunWun you download an iPhone app, enter your credit card information, address, and a few other pieces of basic information, then you enter a request.
(WunWun is currently invitation-only, but if you’re itching to try out the service, WunWun is giving Business Insider readers a way to jump the waiting list. By clicking this link, you’ll get instant access and a $15 credit to try WunWun out. Remember: WunWun currently only works in Manhattan.)
WunWun is a hat tip to the buzzy-but-failed startup, Kozmo.com. Kozmo was a web courier service that shuttered in 2001, four years after it was introduced.
Kozmo promised to deliver just about anything you wanted in about an hour. The company sold brand-name products from its own distribution centres (something WunWun doesn’t do). Kozmo’s then-CEO cited expanding too quickly into too many markets as one of the biggest reasons for its failure.
That’s a lesson Hnetinka is taking to heart.
“Our plan for expansion is to own Manhattan,” Hnetinka said. “Once we are at a point where we feel Manhattan is ours and sort of ubiquitous we’ll move to other places.”
WunWun takes the best from Kozmo and another popular service called Postmates, which is available in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. But Hnetinka is making sure he avoids Kozmo’s mistakes by slowing his expansion.
“We’re more into the fulfillment business rather than just a delivery service,” Hnetinka said.
You’re charged a $15 flat fee for any delivery, plus the price of the merchandise.
Users can also request helpers to stand in line for concert tickets, clean up after a party, or put furniture together.
The company is always looking for new helpers and you can check out job opportunities at wunwun.com/jobs.
WunWun is available for iPhone for free. If you want to check out the service for yourself, the company is letting Business Insider readers skip the waiting list plus a free $15 credit. Sign up for the app by clicking here
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