Uber for Snowplows: Startups Dig Out of the Blizzard

Two startups are trying to bring the traditional model for clearing your driveway into the era of apps

A snowplow at work in 1937

Photograph: Seattle Municipal Archives

With a blizzard gathering over the ocean, J and R Lawn and Landscape decided to send part of its snowplow fleet on a 300-mile drive. The landscaping company operates 20 snowplows in and around Cicero, N.Y. A tech startup called Plows and Mowz—sort of an Uber for snowplows—had promised there would be lucrative work in Boston. "It only snows where it snows,” says Ted Hoffman, who handles sales and marketing for J and R. His small company was willing to bet four plows, eight workers, and money for gas and hotel rooms on a faraway post-blizzard boom.

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