It is interesting to note the big trends in PropTech and this recent article on how the biggest of players is seeing the built environment piqued our interest.
And when it comes to Google, as the article argues, they know no bounds in terms of ambition, both in terms of global reach but in technology. Specifically their principles of place are a really useful way of thinking about the built world around us. A place is, or should be, about community they say. An interesting metaphor when we have – arguably – collectively destroyed our sense of place by our everyday use of the internet. There is a myriad of articles and stats about the death of the high-street but also how people, both young and old, are content to be in virtual space rather than in public. When buying a gift can be done by asking Alexa to buy and deliver you one, there is no need to get off your couch. Similarly generation X see no need to sit on a bench when everyone they know is a WhatsApp away.
But that said Google ARE delving into their own experimental mini-city and showing how the best in talent could perhaps address this apparent paradox. Re-energising city spaces and making the most of small spaces seems to be their remit as well as of course making digital the core. We and the Proptech community will be watching this closely.
We hope that whatever tech and ideas the team come up with it will be used for social good.
Once upon a time, at a Cybersalon lecture on Smart Cities, one of the speakers said “The Smart city is never a poor city”. He went on to give evidence to back this up – for example that smart energy meters charge more, on average and that in theory poorer people could have supplies turned off, if their profile did not fit.
You could argue that HiP fits into this trap of the smart city, rich city. And to start with, yes, we will be helping commercial owners and developers to make better use of the funds they have, and we will be helping investors to make their assets more liquid – thus generating more cash. But we have a vision that wants to help ordinary people – home owners and especially first time buyers – to participate in and benefit from wealth that we feel should be legally theirs. Hence Helping Lives by Creating Financial Freedom. In short we hope that Fintech/Proptech can help society.
Read the full article on PropModo
-Sam Collett. Co-Founder of HiP