The last time I used a storage cube it was called a cubby, and I shoved finger-painted cardboard and mittens in it because I was 5. I suspect I'm not alone. If Arthur Shmulevsky has his way, storage cubes will graduate to much broader use than crayon receptacles. His startup, Clean Cube, provides a space for all your drop off and pick up errands.
If you live in a building with a Clean Cube, you can send out your dirty towels at 1am or have packages delivered to a cube while you're at work. It's like the wardrobe that leads to Narnia but it leads to starched dress shirts and never having to schlep to the UPS Store again.
The idea isn't novel. There's already an entire industry built up around people outsourcing errands. You can order groceries, laundry, liquor, and even doctors for home delivery. It has never been easier to delegate chores, but Shmulevsky wants Clean Cube to streamline the process even more. He's currently working to add grocery delivery to the stable of services. So basically, if you're the type of person who likes to get your shit delivered, Clean Cube would be a one-stop service for all of your picking up/sending out needs.
Of course, the catch is that you have to live near one of the actual cubes to use it.
Right now, Clean Cube is only in select buildings in Manhattan (and one in Brooklyn). Let's be clear: This is a niche service for the affluent. The pricing is reasonable, but these cubes are placed in high-end buildings and you can't use them if you're living in the flea-dorm two blocks over.
The concept, however, has broad potential applications for city-dwellers.
Developing a platform to facilitate a wide variety of "on-demand economy" services is smart, and it makes a lot of sense in densely populated cities. The culture of instant gratification isn't going anywhere, and Clean Cubes are designed for the quickest and most painless chore-related gratification possible. They will probably do quite well as long as there's a class of people willing to pay for the amenities of having an old-school doorman but not wealthy enough to actually have a full-fledged personal assistant.
Picture: Clean Cube