This key kiosk reveals a key to modern business success

One of the most important jobs of today’s entrepreneurs is to connect the physical and digital worlds.

If you’ve spent any time in hardware stores, you’ve seen the do-it-yourself key cutting kiosks, and may have even made copies yourself. We’ve used these many times, though recently I made a special trip to a hardware store I don’t usually go to in order to get a padlock key cut in person. The machine I regularly go to flashed a message that my style wasn’t kept in stock, then mailed me three that didn’t work.

The attendant who cut my keys was friendly and they worked, though I was surprised the bag they were placed in advertised the in-store, third party kiosk. Upon closer inspection I discovered one of my favorite ideas this year.

Walking by the machine, KeyHero seems like any other you’ve seen, but it offers a brilliant feature: it creates a digital record of your key that you can access any time, and gives you a shareable code to allow anyone else to make a copy. This is incredibly useful for anyone. Consider the ways it could especially save the day for a landlord, AirBNB business, frequent traveler…

More importantly, this displays an entire magical segment for entrepreneurs to serve. It connects a very tangible and very old technology with the convenience of the connection economy, in a remarkably elegant way. Nothing in the equation is unfamiliar to anyone, but adding them together the creators have offered a service incomparably better than anything before (why would I ever just get a key copied somewhere else?)

Follow this example. Look around at the physical and familiar world, and seek to find digital levers you can create for people.



bootstrapper, soil farmer, urban agriculture professional ||

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