Michael Osadon on Progress (& Problems) in the Digital Age
What is an urbanist? Simply put, we believe an urbanist is a person who deeply loves where they live and believes in using their work to make their neighborhood, their city, better. Through our Ask an Urbanist series, we’ll get to know the people who make our cities special. From diverse disciplines and backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: they make their communities better places to live.
Michael Osadon is co-founder and CRO of Bond, a startup dedicated to perfecting last-mile delivery through a technology-driven network of nano-warehouses. An entrepreneur from Tel Aviv, Michael has first-hand knowledge of the logistical and experiential pitfalls of traditional delivery systems.
As a co-founder of Israel-based online grocer Shookit, he and Bond partners Asaf Hachmon and May Shochat realized the pressing need to redefine the delivery experience for consumers and brands. Bond was born of that need and is busy expanding sustainable, consumer-focused delivery service throughout New York City, with plans to expand to other cities as the company grows. We talked to Michael to find out more about Bond, why he loves New York, and the ups and downs of the internet.
Q. Hands-down, what is your favorite city or town and why?
New York City—without a doubt! The energy, the people, the diversity, the feeling that I can get anything exactly when I want it is just liberating. It enables you to live a truly on-demand lifestyle that fits 2020.
Q. How would you describe the state of your city (Tel Aviv) right now?
The Bond team is traveling between NYC and Tel Aviv. On a day-to-day basis, the two cities are alike. Nowadays, it feels like we’re in a race of “which city will be back to normal faster.” Tel Aviv led this race until recently, and now NYC looks like a leader!
Q. What is the biggest challenge facing our society today?
To answer the high and growing consumer demand while prioritizing mother earth.
Q. What’s the biggest opportunity we have in rebuilding our communities during the COVID crisis?
To rebuild our relationship with our friends and neighbors, reshape outdoor experiences, and redefine the relationship between people and brands.
Q. What period in time do you find the most inspiring?
The beginning of the internet is mind blowing to me! It is particularly interesting to see how many human connections across the globe were made, and continue to be made, thanks to this invention.
Q. What’s the innovation you find the most useful, personally?
Well, considering my industry, I would have to say e-bikes. They are the perfect vehicle for nano transportation within the city, and they are fast, quiet, and eco-friendly.
Q. What innovation do you find the most detrimental, societally?
Social media. It’s the best and worst innovation in history!
Q. What’s the most urgent issue to solve in our communities, post-COVID?
Mutual help. Being there for each other isn’t easy in our age. Everything is so digital, and people are used to showing their support from their couch via a like or a repost. Problems don’t just live on a screen, they are real, tangible problems during this time.
Q. What’s the “silver lining” you find the most promising?
Next-gen logistics—a foundational layer in our life that hasn’t dramatically changed over the years while demand exponentially grew.
Q. If you had to pick one place to spend the rest of your days, where would it be?
In a small house near the beach with my family.
Q. What’s something that’s moved you—to tears, to act, to smile—whatever it may be?
During COVID, we used our platform and the brands that we work with to support medical teams in hospitals. It was one of those times you are grateful you’ve built something that can do good.
Q. What’s the biggest misconception you’ve experienced about bringing nano-warehouses into cities?
That the model doesn’t make sense, and that would be correct if you didn’t have the tech to support the model and make it work.
Q. Who are three innovators (people, companies) we should all be watching right now?