Innovation isn’t flying cars or VR glasses

Last Saturday we found a new apartment in Shanghai through ZiRoom (自如). The app has zero flair and is pure efficiency. Through filters we narrowed down our options, listed on a map in north Shanghai (screenshots are just examples).

Most apartments have 360° photographs. We got an appointment in 10 minutes, and later that evening we decided to take it, and paid & signed the contract through the app. The WIFI & TV (with a free Chinese Netflix-service) worked within minutes, and ZiRoom also provide a weekly cleaning lady.

To me this is the kind of real innovation that will never win awards at Cannes Lions because it doesn’t ‘feel’ futuristic, and will never get mentioned in advertising blogs, because it doesn’t boast artificial intelligence or VR-glasses.

It’s underwhelming actually, but it’s so user-friendly — and if I ever use a traditional broker again I’ll surely look at it as extremely outdated. We got an apartment in the most convenient way possible.