Correction: An earlier version of this article displayed a different video (YouTube "MyPark in 30 Seconds"), one that did not fully reflect the current user interface. It was replaced with an updated version (YouTube "MyPark - May 2017").
When you’re really desperate for parking, you might pull the Los Angeles classic: getting a friend to stand in that sweet parking spot you just saw until you can circle back to it, even if someone else is closer and ought to have first dibs. Don't do that. It's not nice and besides, in some areas, a robot will do it for you.
MyPark, a Miami-based parking reservation service, deploys mobile space blockers to hold spots for customers willing to pay a few dollars for the convenience via its smartphone app. The company was born of Cofounder Ricardo Blanco’s own difficulty with parking. He already had a reserved space at his construction firm, but the office was adjacent to a bank whose customers helped themselves to his space for quick transactions. There was on-site security, but people would still pull in. Blanco would talk about it with his eventual MyPark Cofounder Luis Mayendia. To really have parking waiting for him, he figured he would need the security guard to stand square in the middle of the spot to keep people out, and only step aside the moment he arrived.