This key kiosk reveals a key to modern business success

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.

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