Self-driving cars. Google Pay. A global genetic database.
Sure, the tech world has a lot to be proud of this year, as start-ups continue their global quest to “disrupt” entire industries, solve health crises, and, you know, fundamentally change the way we live. But as an average dude with a higher-than-average fondness for spending money, I’d like to offer up my own favorite technological achievement of 2015: a stylish, affordable couch.
OK, home furnishings may not sound as cool as virtual reality, but trust me: They’re a hell of a lot more useful. And, lucky for you, right now there’s a bevy of all-new online companies—one helmed by a former Apple designer, another launched by an alum of e-commerce fashion seller Bonobos—rushing into this $100 billion market to fill the huge gap between the ultrahigh-end (see: Eames, Henredon, Restoration Hardware) and the tragically low-end (see: everything else). That means you can score superstylish, modern, and—if prefab—easy-to-assemble midpriced furniture without tapping your grandparents’ pockets, dipping into your 401(k), or even getting off that black, faux-leather Ikea couch you’re still rocking.
Sound innovative enough for you? Good. Let’s go shopping.