MonkeyParking is the rare kind of app that forced San Francisco's tech-teeming citizenry to throw up their hands and say "enough." The illegal app was chased out of town by the City Attorney after residents and politicians alike objected to a startup auctioning off public street parking to the highest bidder. Now the petulant programmers behind MonkeyParking are trying the business out again in Los Angeles.
CEO Paolo Dobrowolny is trying to make sure things go more smoothly this time, and has set up meetings with local regulators. But it doesn't look like Santa Monica officials like this idea much either.
"They do not have ownership of the space," says Frank Ching, the city's parking administrator. "That's unlawful. That's immoral. It's no different from a street bum [who] stands on a space, waves someone in and asks for a tip."
"We want to be regulated, not banned," [Dobrowolny] tells the Weekly. "The status quo of parking is so inadequate. Everyone complains about it. We thought it could be a benefit to the city and the citizens to try a different approach."
Instead of arbitraging the public's existing supply of parking and pocketing the profits, maybe MonkeyParking could try out a "different approach" to business. After all, taking a universally-hated business model on tour and expecting a different reaction is insane.