What’s happening, Hot Stuff?
This last friday, zooKKs was honored to participate in an event with 1871 at the Merchandise Mart. Aside from being the office space we call home, 1871 is a unique hub of creative voices and innovative thinkers in Chicago. Founded in 2012 by Howard Tullman (the cool cat pictured in the yellow shirt), 1871 is more than an office–it’s an incubator for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow into successful and boundary pushing companies. 1871 is rife with networking opportunities, informational sessions, and tools necessary for putting ideas into action–which is why it has been the ideal place for zooKKs. Our modus operandi is predicated upon human interaction, active communities, making an office space like 1871 such a blessing and such an ideal fit.
Last Friday, we were proud to be featured at a community networking event called TGIF (Thank Glob it’s Friday, or something). There, we were able to set up a booth and talk with other members of the 1871 community about our business and our mission. We met so many wonderful people, business owners, interns, etc. that we couldn’t wait to tell you about it. The reason we find this so exciting is that through TGIF, we were able to talk with the everyday working people (like you, dear reader) for whom we have created our app.
We were able to have some valuable face-to-face, real time conversations with people who had questions about our service and suggestions for what they would like to see us do. We learned so much and met some truly brilliant people.
In just a few short days, this event has already done loads to help us help you. Ultimately, as awareness of our brand grows, we hope to create a rich channel of dialogue between you and us–one that ensures that we are all on the same page. An event such as TGIF is only the beginning of that dialogue and we promise it will only get more exciting.
As part of our demonstration on Friday, we set up a dry erase board and asked people to write down a word or two that they associated with their commutes. And we’ll be honest, we expected more negative words than we got. While the negative feelings significantly outweighed the positive ones, there were several words like: contemplative, productive, chill, or just “great.” And we think that’s “great,” too. We like that some people enjoy
their morning commutes. We want people to like how they get to work. But zooKKs also wants to take whatever experience you’re having (good, bad, or meh) and make it even better. Even if you’re satisfied with your commute now, we think it could be cheaper, easier, and more comfortable.
The bad feelings described on the board ranged from just “bad” to “How I feel about to Trump,” but we got the picture. Even if some people are satisfied with their current commuting situations, the vast majority of people are not. They are tired and financially strained because of the daily rigmarole that comes with working far from home. We met many people here at 1871 that commute from the suburbs and are tired of the overcrowding on public transportation and the climbing train fare. A few are newly moved to the suburbs and worried about what their commutes will be like during winter.But while winter may be coming, so is zooKKs.
At the end of the day on Friday, our team felt rejuvenated and more ready than ever to start changing lives. TGIF gave us the unique opportunity to start moving forward in a big way, and to make sure that we have open ears and minds to what commuting professionals need. So, we would like to say a big “Thank You” to 1871 and all of our fellow start-ups for hanging out with us and to the amazing real estate titans over at Cushman & Wakefield for having Portillo’s catered! Check out this video to see some pictures and footage from the event (I’m the nerd with the impractical footwear and my head sticking out of the curtain).
Stay classy, Chicago!