Startup Brilliance: Let's Call Part-Time Laundry Workers "Ninjas"

Silicon Valley alchemy doesn't just create dazzling new things—it dazzles us into thinking mundane old ideas are new again. Take the idea of hauling away someone's dirty clothes: at LA startup Washio, you're actually a "kickass laundry ninja." What a difference a smartphone makes.

Use your ninja-quick reflexes while reading this job description, and see if there's any difference between it and any other delivery job:

We offer a FLEXIBLE schedule, NORMAL hours, GREAT pay and the chance to be a part of a AWESOME growing company where your feedback is always welcome. This is a fantastic opportunity to make money on your time in your car. Our ninjas are compensated competitively at $20/hour and your pay is based on time alone (not determined by the number of drop offs or pick ups during each shift). You can sign up for as many or as few shifts that fit with your schedule each week.

Twenty bucks an hour is double the state minimum—which is great!—but it's part-time only, without any benefits, and you're driving your own car around to get from job to job. If that doesn't convince you, maybe the promotional photo of a black guy picking up a white lady's laundry will pique your interest—perhaps it would have been wise to spend less time thinking up the term "ninja" to describe this and more time not using that picture.