Sheesh. The objections on this thread (SV bubble), expected objections (first world problems) and counterarguments to both (don't worry! time saved will go to raising kids, curing cancer & cooking quinoa!) make this discussion sound so puritan.
Curing cancer is great. So is raising children. Exercising. Reading. Etc. But are we saying that a laundry service is only valid if it can be justified with time spent on something wholesome or saintly? Prim sounds quirky in that it's startup-ish, but basically it's a service that does your laundry. Some people don't want to do their own laundry and will pay money to have someone else do it. Simple.
Do people that start a business doing other people's laundry really need to justify themselves?
Do people that start a business doing other people's laundry usually find themselves celebrated as a 'startup' and receive venture capital funding?
This is a news story because it has YC's name attached.
The objections and counterarguments, to me, provide valuable insight into what kinds of startups ought to be both celebrated and funded, as well as to gauging wider public reception for a service that is going to have to rely heavily on some significant pickup and economies of scale to not be a wasted investment.
That, and there are plenty of other social, economic, and environmental impacts a service like Prim poses that many, including myself, consider to be of significant concern and worthwhile evaluation in funding and celebrating such a service.
You're not concerned about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of this laundry service? This has a far greater potential footprint than a simple neighborhood dry cleaners or wash-and-fold. Especially when it's billed as a 'startup' and pitching for venture capital or other investment to reach the point where desired economies of scale will only increase that footprint in order to provide any level of viability and persistence.
I find lack of concern for the variegated impacts any business has on social, economic, and environmental dimensions far more problematic than exhibiting and evaluating such concern. At least engaging the concern can allow someone the ability to assess such impacts in determining whether or not to fund and/or celebrate such a service.
Absolutely not. This business is common all over the world and as old as houses.
I'm not objecting as such, but I do wonder what's novel about it. I suppose making national/international business out of it is quite novel as most operations of this type tend to stay small and local.