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TaskRabbit Community Meet-Up at HQ

Last week we invited Bay Area TaskRabbits to drop by our San Francisco office for a good, old-fashioned meet-up. Forty-five TaskRabbits attended along with twenty TaskRabbit staff members, and a great time was had by all.

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The evening started simply enough with everyone grabbing a name tag and a slice of pizza. TaskRabbits began meeting each other and mingling with the team, and before long the room was abuzz with excited conversation.

TaskRabbits exchanged stories about tasks and how they got started — some folks had been TaskRabbits for more than two years, while others were brand new. TaskRabbit staff joined the discussions, and everyone appreciated being able to connect in-person over the experiences and community we all share.

In another room, our talented designer Nazir set up lights and a backdrop for any TaskRabbit who wanted a professional headshot taken for their profile.

When the pizza was gone, it was time to get down to business and talk TaskRabbit — the website, the experience, the community, and anything else people wanted to discuss. Our COO Stacy Brown-Philpot kicked things off by taking questions from the crowd. TaskRabbits asked about the larger goals for the company, what cities we’d be heading to next, and what they could expect as we continue to grow.

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Erika and I continued the conversation and answered more questions from the group. We touched on a variety of important subjects including safety, reviews, and ways we could improve communication between TaskPosters and TaskRabbits. Some of the more tenured members of the community stepped in to provide insights from their experiences on tasks, explaining the strategies that have helped them succeed.

In the end, our team learned a lot from the TaskRabbits who came and spoke about what mattered most to them. Based on the smiles and parting comments from TaskRabbits heading out the door, it sounds like the TaskRabbits had a blast as well. We hope to host many more events just like this in all cities. Keep an eye out for when we’ll be headed your way!

Thank you to everyone who attended the HQ meet-up and made it such a special evening.

Boston harbor and skyline

Task of the Week: Send My Love to Boston

Boston harbor and skyline

Like many of you, we’ve been mighty worried about Boston this past week. Not only is it our founding city, it’s also a place that many of us here at TaskRabbit HQ still call “home.” It’s been difficult to witness our neighbors, family, and friends go through this very trying week, knowing that there’s not much we can do to help from here in San Francisco.

One thing we’ve learned this week is that any little bit of love can help bring some comfort. We’ve been truly inspired by the way our community is using TaskRabbit to help show Boston how much they care. From San Francisco’s Hunter W. hiring TaskRabbit Stacie S. to deliver some cookies to the Watertown Police Department to Ashley M. sending TaskRabbit Minh T. to buy a round of drinks for folks at a neighborhood bar, you guys are really showing some love to our neighbors in Boston. Keep it up!

TaskVan Sketch

Behind-the-Scenes With Blue Genie, Creators of the TaskVan

TaskVan Sketch

A lot of people have been asking us what it was like to drive around in the TaskVan all week: It was awesome. There’s nothing like people running up to your vehicle for a hug, or taking some time to pet your fur, or taking photos en masse of your every move. People absolutely loved the TaskVan, and we felt that love in a big way. People didn’t love it just because it was weird, people loved it because it was beautiful and friendly, with a personality all its own. [pullshow]

That’s exactly what the creative team responsible for making the TaskVan a reality had in mind. The artists at Austin’s very own Blue Genie Art Industries built the TaskVan from a simple idea and a van borrowed from a local rock band. Along the way, they battled rain, gravity, and a wicked case of maker remorse. We caught up with Kevin Collins, principal artist at Blue Genie, to find out more:

When TaskRabbit approached you with the idea for the TaskVan, what was your first reaction?
“That I never have seen Dumb and Dumber.”

How many hours did it take to design and build the TaskVan, and who on your team helped?
“Most of my team and interns worked on the van; conceptual design by Justin Field, production design by Josh Krezinski. From concept sketch to finished work was about a month; building the van actually only took about 7 days. [pullthis]The fur was flying. Also the white tail was leftover material from a yeti chandelier we just installed in Denver.”[/pullthis] TaskVan fur

What was the biggest challenge during the build?
“Building it in a way that was functional, road-worthy, and temporary, as we did not own the van. It’s all held together with a combination of strapping, spray adhesive, and good will.”

What’s your favorite part of the TaskVan?
“Children hugging it, and getting a ‘Good job, Dad’ compliment from my 7-year-old. I took it to my local gas station, filled with locals and neighbors that have nothing to do with SXSWi, but they loved it like any art car or parade float. It’s a big thrill of what we get to do; making enhancements to ordinary people’s lives.”

What types of materials went into building the TaskVan? That fur was beautiful!
“You may be happy to know that fur is straight out of Cali; Shannon Fabrics in LA. The rest is upholstery foam to give it some body, and the features were all EPS styrofoam — a material we use a lot in our large scale sculptures.”

On the day you finished the TaskVan, it started to rain. Were you worried?
“It’s hard to promote brand awareness when your marketing tool smells like a wet dog, so I was worried for the TR team. They dodged all of the rain like champs.”

Did you and your team grow attached to the TaskVan during the build?
Furry Steering wheel“One of my favorite parts of Blue Genie is that we try to put everything we have into our projects, what we call value add, because it’s our reputation and we simply do not like to do work that isn’t of a high quality. One of our guys calls it maker remorse, where you are sorry to see it go. But you get to look forward to the next wacky thing.”

The TaskVan is pretty weird, but you guys have built some other strange stuff. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to create?
“A lifetime achievement award for Weird Al Yankovic. Our concept was too weird and had to be toned down. Right up there is a series of interchangeable hats for a giant squirrel, including a pirate hat. Go Pirates!”

Anything else you’d like to add?
“I am grateful for having clients, who often become friends, who believe in the power of this type of experiential.”

We can’t thank the Blue Genie team enough for the dedication and creativity they put into making the TaskVan a reality. A big shout out to all the people who made it happen:Blue Genie Crew

The Blue Genie Crew
Kevin Collins
Chris Coakley
Lindsey Wohlgemuth
Justin Field
Josh Krezinski
Dan Morrison
Joseph WIlborn
Carl Shnack
David Leediker
Jaden Black
Lance Green
Sean Lomba

Thank you!

PS: Did you know Blue Genie also built the HootSuite Bus?

TaskVan Leah Busque

A Week in the Life of the TaskVan

Well that was fun! This week, Team TaskRabbit had a blast roaming the streets of Austin in a giant, mobile bunny. With its regal fur waving in the Texas wind, the TaskVan was the most majestic thing on the streets of SXSWi. We spent each day delighting conference attendees, smiling for photos, and doling out some pretty incredible goodies. Here’s a rundown of some of the week’s highlights:

TaskVan Pizza Party

We loaded up on pies from Austin’s beloved Home Slice Pizza and handed out slices to everyone waiting for their badges in the enormous registration line.

TaskVan T-Shirt

We handed out custom TaskVan T-shirts and awesome TaskRabbit shades to everyone who came near the van.

TaskVan Sesame Boxes

We surprised people with gorgeous Sesame Gift sets throughout the week. The lucky recipients loved the beautiful packaging and thoughtfully curated gifts Didn’t get one? Find Sesame on the web, in the iTune store, or on Facebook.

TaskVan Ice Cream Truck

We picked up delicious treats from Amy’s Ice Creams and turned the TaskVan into a furry ice cream truck on the hottest day of the festival.

TaskVan Fab

We handed out awesome gifts from Hotel Tonight, Uber, Sincerely, Fab.com, BIRCHBOX, and Instacanv.as.

TaskVan BBQ Lambert's

We picked up some delicious barbecue sliders from Lambert’s and held an impromptu picnic, complete with custom TaskRabbit bandanas.

TaskVan Austin

We posed for photos with all kinds of awesome people, including the hardworking Austin Police Department.

TaskVan HootSuite Bus

We said hello to our BFF, the Hoot Suite Bus.

TaskVan Swag

We rocked some of the rad TaskRabbit gear ourselves. Here’s Jim H. from our mobile team in full TR style.

TaskVan Leah Busque

We stopped by to give our founder a hug before her featured talk.

Thanks for a great week everyone! Share your favorite moments with the TaskVan here, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Have You Seen the TaskVan?

Task Van SXSW

Isn’t he a handsome bunny?

The TaskRabbit Crew is having a blast driving around Austin in the TaskVan. We’re roaming the streets handing out goodies and treats galore. We’ll be surprising people all week with awesome goodies from Lambert’s BBQ, Amy’s Ice Cream, Home Slice Pizza, Hotel Tonight, Uber, Sincerely, Sesame, Fab.com, BIRCHBOX, and Instacanv.as. We also have some pretty sweet TaskRabbit surprises up our sleeve.

This gorgeous, furry beast was custom-built for us by the awesome Austin-based artists at Blue Genie Art Industries. If you’re in Austin and want to see the TaskVan, simply grab the latest TaskRabbit app. You’ll be able to track us around town all week — you can even hail us from the app. Even if you’re not in Austin, keep it tuned to #TaskVan on Twitter to see what we’re up to:


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Austin City SXSW

Five Things TaskRabbit Loves About SXSW

Austin City SXSW

We’re pretty excited about heading down to Austin this week. Leah will be giving an exciting talk about the role of social reputation and trust mechanisms in our lives, and TaskRabbits will be on the ground helping companies, brands, and attendees. Since we still have to wait another day to pull on our cowboy boots, we put together this list of the five things we’re most excited about at this year’s festival:

Panels, Talks, and Sessions
This year’s lineup of speakers is overwhelmingly awesome. We wish we could clone ourselves and soak up all the knowledge that will be doled out around town during the week. The things we’re most looking forward to? Lyft / Zimride Co-Founder John Zimmer will chat about the role of UX in peer-to-peer marketplaces. RelayRides Founder Shelby Clark will speak alongside Airbnb’s Nate Blecharczyk and Etsy’s Juliet Gorman on the power of the sharing economy. Tumblr Founder David Karp will talk about building tools for the 85 million creators on the social content platform. Productivity guru Tim Ferriss will teach us all how to learn more efficiently in his session on meta-learning. Jane Pratt, founder of Jane and Sassy magazines and editor-in-chief of XoJane.com will dole out secrets discovered from 25 years of disrupting media. And our very own Leah Busque will discuss the role of social reputation in our lives — and the future of trust in our society.

Eating Our Way Through Austin
Where do we even start? We plan to have barbecue sauce on our faces 24/7. We’ve got a handful of favorite BBQ joints, but we’re really salivating for the brown sugar & coffee rubbed brisket from Lambert’s. We also can’t wait to get our hands on the tried and true pies from Home Slice Pizza. And, of course, we plan to try as many flavors of Amy’s Ice Creams as possible while we’re in town.

Austin Beerworks & Spec’s
Sure, we’ll drink our fair share of Shiner Bock while we’re in town, but what we’re really excited about is getting our paws on some cold cans of Fire Eagle from Austin Beerworks. We’re suckers for craft beer and amazing brand design — Austin Beerworks gives us both! We plan to pick up our beverages at the very cool Spec’s — the Texas superstore with a smart looking rabbit in the logo. How can we resist?

Texas TaskRabbits!
South by Southwest pretty much runs on the friendly, reliable Austin TaskRabbits. We’re endlessly impressed by this hardworking bunch and love heading to Texas to see their smiling faces. Plus, like many conference attendees, we know we’re gonna need a hand while we’re in town. TaskRabbits can help with everything from point-to-point deliveries on the ground (iPhone chargers and coffees and umbrellas, oh my!) to supply runs for you and your team (Whole Foods, Target, whatever you need).

Hanging Out With You
Those of us heading to Austin from TaskRabbit HQ can’t wait to hang out with you! Follow @TaskRabbit and be sure your TaskRabbit iPhone App is up-to-date to get the latest on where we’ll be when.

America's Next Top Doggie Model Zeus

Fashion God Zeus and Haute Dog | SF

America's Next Top Doggie Model Zeus

Here’s Zeus — America’s Next Top Doggie Model?

On Friday, February 8th we’ll be sponsoring the hottest event in the doggie fashion world. Okay, so it might be the only event in the doggie fashion world — but we’re still really excited! Haute Dog | SF will take over the San Francisco Design Center for an evening of puppy couture, with all proceeds benefitting one of our favorite causes — Canine Companions for Independence.

Representing TaskRabbit’s canine contingent will be the mighty Zeus. He’s six pounds of fabulous with more steely looks than Zoolander, and we know he’s gonna do great. If you’re in San Francisco and you’d like to support Zeus and the fantastic pooches of Canine Companions, grab your tickets now.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Haute Dog | SF event site.