How Q-commerce startups reuse innovations invented 100+ years ago

You probably know that many years ago, in some countries, milk was delivered to houses daily, just due to the lack of good refrigeration. Horse-drawn vehicles were used for local delivery from around 1860. It was also common for milkmen to deliver products other than milk, including butter, cream, cheese, eggs, meat, and vegetables.
A New Orleans milk cart in 1903. New Orleans, Louisiana. Source - Wikipedia
In 1963, nearly 30% of consumers in the U.S. had milk delivered. By 1975, the number had dropped to 7%, and by 2005 - to 0.4%.

But it seems this story took a new turn thanks to new technologies. Covid-19, Q-commerce, and the Food Delivery boom are changing consumption patterns again. And now self-driving and robotics startups like Starship, Nuro, and Waymo offer a fully autonomous delivery service in partnership with leading grocers across the U.S.
Nuro, autonomous vehicles startup. Source -
One more interesting fact. One hundred years ago, in some areas, apartments and houses had small milk-delivery doors to allow groceries or dairy to be placed inside the box when delivered and when collected by the resident.
Milk delivery door
Some of them even had special ordering dials on the inside of the door, allowing the apartment residents to specify what they needed. One of the first delivery ordering interfaces looks cool for those times, doesn't it?
Ordering dial
And you likely would not be surprised knowing these delivery doors are returning to our homes. For instance, Fresh Portal provides delivery-receiving solutions remotely controlled via an app. Deliveries stay at the right temperature until you're ready to get home and deal with them.
Fresh Portal Concept. Source -
One more idea in this area came to the mind of the Pipedream Labs founders. They decided to connect delivery doors with pipelines. And now they are developing something that remotely resembles teleportation, building a network of underground tubes that offers near-instantaneous delivery of objects to and from homes and businesses.
Pipedream Concept. Source - Pipedream Labs
It is interesting to see how innovations work and how we reuse almost the same ideas from the horse milk delivery times. One thing that is changing is technology. And I look forward to seeing many more super-fresh next-gen solutions in hyperlocal ordering and delivery areas.
Foodtech - is my passion for the last 10 years. Being a founder of a food delivery marketplace, ghost kitchen chain, and q-commerce software company, I'm inspired by great ideas and innovations in this area. And I'm happy to share my thoughts and insights here in Foodtech.Live. All updates are available on my LinkedIn and Twitter. See you there!
Yaroslav Tsyhanenko
Founder / CEO @ Dots Platform
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