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186: TaskRabbit Was Ahead of its Time, But Leah Busque’s Vision and Persistence Made it a Game-Changer: TaskRabbit Founder Leah Busque tells us how she built a local errand-running startup into a game-changing national business.

186: TaskRabbit Was Ahead of its Time, But Leah Busque’s Vision and Persistence Made it a Game-Changer: TaskRabbit Founder Leah Busque tells us how she built a local errand-running startup into a game-changing national business.

ИзFoundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan


186: TaskRabbit Was Ahead of its Time, But Leah Busque’s Vision and Persistence Made it a Game-Changer: TaskRabbit Founder Leah Busque tells us how she built a local errand-running startup into a game-changing national business.

ИзFoundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan

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Длина:
30 minutes
Издано:
Feb 15, 2018
Формат:
Подкаст Эпизод

Описание

No Task Too Big Leah Busque launched TaskRabbit and became a pioneer in the sharing economy. Now she wants to empower other founders as she transitions to venture capital. Picture this: You’re sitting at home on a February night in Boston, where winter temperatures dip well below freezing, and it’s snowing outside—not exactly a good time to find out your hundred-pound Labrador retriever is out of dog food. So what do you do? Do you don your boots and trek through the snow in pursuit of kibble? Do you ask your spouse to do it? To a 28-year-old Leah Busque, the solution should have been simple: Why not hire someone in the area to run that errand for you? “[My husband and I] were certain that there was someone in our neighborhood that'd be willing to help us out,” Busque recalls. “Maybe even someone at the store at that very moment, and it was just a matter of connecting with them.” After some geeky brainstorming with her husband, Busque grabbed her iPhone—it had come out a few months before—and bought the first domain that came to mind: RunMyErrand.com. Four months after that, she left her job as a software engineer at IBM and locked herself in her house for 10 weeks to build the first version of the site, all because a service she wanted didn’t yet exist. Thanks to Busque’s creativity and persistence, now it does—TaskRabbit. Think Big, Start Small: From Back Bay to the Bay Area In September 2008, RunMyErrand launched in the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown, where Busque was living at the time. “I was very targeted,” she says. “[I] really wanted to focus on one geography and create a peer-to-peer-network in that geography that was liquid, that would have high supply and high demand … and from there it just really started to snowball.” Word traveled fast. People in Charlestown started telling those in Beacon Hill about this new service that let you hire locals to run your errands. Word traveled from Beacon Hill to the residents of Back Bay and Cambridge. Soon enough, Busque was recruiting Taskers from all over the city of Boston. By the summer of 2009, Busque was invited to participate in an incubator program run by Facebook, leading her to change the name from RunMyErrand to TaskRabbit before launching in her second market—San Francisco. A Pioneer in the Peer-to-Peer Sharing Economy Here’s how TaskRabbit works: First, you post a task on the platform (mobile or web), such as, “I need help mounting a 32-inch flat screen TV on my wall.” Next, you get matched with vetted Taskers in your area, and you can view their ratings and hourly rates. Then, your chosen Tasker shows up, completes the task, and gets paid securely via the app. A simple enough idea for any smartphone user today, but you have to remember that TaskRabbit launched in 2008; most people were still rocking flip phones, and the term “sharing economy” hadn’t yet made it into the consumer vernacular. “These technologies were so new and so emerging, it wasn't an obvious thing to be able to utilize your mobile device to connect with people in real time,” Busque explains. “Certainly, no one was going to jump into a stranger's car off the street and grab a ride with Lyft or with Uber. And so the consumer mindset was completely different. Trust was a big barrier. Letting a stranger into your home to hang shelves, or hang curtains, or clean your house—these were all very big decisions that the consumer was making.” It’s been almost a decade since TaskRabbit’s inception, and the company’s come a long way from that neighborhood in Boston. The service has expanded to about 40 markets (including London), raised more than $50 million in venture funding, and last year was acquired by Swedish furniture giant Ikea. According to Busque, TaskRabbit gets more than 15,000 applications every month from people who want to be Taskers. And on the buyer side of that marketplace, people have hired Taskers to do errands as varied as waiting in line at a store, rushing a passport to the airport,
Издано:
Feb 15, 2018
Формат:
Подкаст Эпизод