Lean In TaskRabbit

Team TaskRabbit Leans Way In

A few weeks ago, Leah handed out copies of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg to everyone here at TaskRabbit HQ and gave us a homework assignment:
Lean In TaskRabbit
Read the book from cover to cover and get ready for a real discussion.

Armed with questions, comments, and concerns, we all gathered around the lunch tables, ready to dive in to a Lean In-themed Learnch. Learnch is a weekly lunchtime seminar series here at TaskRabbit  designed to help us share knowledge, ideas, and inspiration amongst the staff. Typically, a Learnch lasts for about an hour — this one went on for three hours. We had a lot to discuss.

Our COO, Stacy Brown-Philpot, kicked things off by sharing her personal Lean In story and explaining why she believed this book was necessary reading for everyone — men and women — working in startups today.

Then Stacy opened it up for questions and we got to the meaty stuff. Is it okay to cry at work? What’s it like being a woman engineer in 2013? Does a company with an all-female C-Suite really need to think this much about gender stereotypes?

Over the course of the conversation, which centered around “Creating a Level Playing Field,” an education module by Stanford’s Shelley Correll Stacy asked us to watch in addition to reading the book, we were surprised to discover that even the most gender-enlightened among us were holding biases. “I didn’t realize until after reading this book and watching this module that saying something like ‘I have no idea how she does it’ is actually rooted in stereotype,” offered our very own Johnny B. “I would never look at a male COO who’s also a father and comment on how incredible it is that he juggles it all, why do I do this with a woman COO?”

The conversation will continue here at TaskRabbit, and we hope you’ll consider joining in as well. Keep an eye out for Lean In stories from the TaskRabbit team here in the weeks to come. Can’t wait? Here’s a couple to get you started:

Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO

K. Tighe, Head of Content

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?

Lean In grid

TaskRabbit Signs On As Launch Partner For LeanIn.org

Lean In grid

TaskRabbit is thrilled to announce today that it has signed on as a launch partner for LeanIn.org. Catalyzed by the book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In’s mission is to create a global community dedicated to supporting women “leaning in” to their ambitions. With an all-female C-Suite and incredible women at every level of the organization, TaskRabbit is a natural partner for this incredible new movement.

[pullthis]“TaskRabbit is leaning in because we’ve seen first-hand what happens when women lead,” said TaskRabbit founder and CEO Leah Busque. “Talented, dedicated men and women at all levels and in all departments have built this company and helped shape a movement in the technology world, and I look forward to further championing this ideology as a Lean In partner.”[/pullthis][pullshow]

As a Lean In launch partner, TaskRabbit joins an impressive array of companies and organizations including Linkedin, Google, Virgin America, American Express, and Teach for America.

LeanIn.org consists of three integrated programs. First, the Lean In Community, an online group tightly integrated with Facebook, provides daily access to inspirational ideas and people, conversations on topics, and insight from senior leaders across business, government, and academia. Stories of women, such as TaskRabbit’s COO, Stacy Brown-Philpot, and men who have overcome challenges and personal uncertainty to “lean in” to their ambitions are shared to provide inspiration and a sense of empowerment for Lean In members.

Next, the Lean In Education program, a video series in partnership with The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, is an educational resource for Lean In members to learn first-hand the essential tools needed to succeed in business, with topics ranging from negotiation skills to team dynamics. Finally, Lean In Circles present an opportunity for women to participate in structured group meetings to explore professional topics and exchange personal experiences in an out-of-the-office atmosphere.

“Lean In combines the best of social networking, online learning, and small peer groups to create a community that can move us towards a more equal world,” said Sheryl Sandberg, a co-founder of Lean In and the chief operating officer of Facebook.

TaskRabbit Gap Holiday Partnership 2012

TaskRabbit Partners With Gap To Lend a Helping Hand for Your Holiday To-Do List

TaskRabbit Gap Holiday Partnership 2012
Everyone loves the holidays, but they do have a tendency to overwhelm people. From holiday shopping to gift wrapping, decorating to preparing for out-of-town guests, there’s a seemingly endless To-Do list that can put a chill on the month of December.

That’s why today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Gap to take the stress out of the holiday season. Between TaskRabbit Gap Marketing PartnershipDecember 8th and 24th, Gap shoppers who spend $75 or more at participating Gap stores in San Francisco and New York will receive a $25 TaskRabbit voucher, valid toward any Task this holiday season. We’ve also built a custom web portal for Gap shoppers that makes it possible to outsource Tasks like gift wrapping or waiting in line to meet Santa with a single click.

Shoppers in New York and San Francisco will also benefit from an in-store experience that makes the holidays even easier. The TaskRabbit Concierge Desk will be available weekends in December at New York’s 17th & 5th Avenue Gap store and San Francisco’s Market & Powell Gap store. Both locations will have TaskRabbits standing by to help Gap shoppers redeem their $25 voucher for a holiday Task right in the store. We’re also helping shoppers check a Task off their holiday To-Do list on the spot with a free, professional holiday photo. TaskRabbit photographers will be on hand to capture newly de-stressed shoppers (and their friends and family!) reveling in the realization that their holiday To-Dos are magically disappearing.

So, where can you snag one of the TaskRabbit vouchers?
2159 Chestnut St. San Francisco, CA 94123
165 Stanford Shopping Center Palo Alto, CA 94304
1542 Redwood Highway Space C-1 Corte Madera, CA 94925
1511 Third Ave New York, New York 10028
734 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10022
1988 Broadway New York, NY 10023

And where can you visit a TaskRabbit Concierge Desk at a Gap store?
890 Market St. San Francisco, California 94102
122 Fifth Ave New York, NY 10011

Pepsi Next Extra Hour TaskRabbit

The Pepsi NEXT™ Extra Hour Sweepstakes, Powered by TaskRabbit

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Pepsi NEXT™ to show their fans what a 25-hour day feels like. Between October 16th and November 12th, Pepsi NEXT™ fans will enter to win the services of a dedicated TaskRabbit for one hour. Each week, 50 winners will be chosen over the nine participating cities.

Contest participants simply choose which Task they’d like the TaskRabbits to tackle — everything from preparing dinner to cleaning house is fair game. The winners are selected at random each week, connected with their TaskRabbits, then presented with a Pepsi NEXT™ and an entire hour of extra time. The Pepsi NEXT™ team calls it “a double dose of the unbelievable” — a 25th hour in the day and real cola taste with 60% less sugar. We agree: That’s pretty unbelievable.

To enter for your chance to win an extra hour from Pepsi NEXT™, visit https://www.taskrabbit.com/pepsinext

Introducing TaskRabbit for Etsy

Introducing TaskRabbit for Etsy Sellers

We have a soft spot for entrepreneurs here at TaskRabbit, so we’re thrilled to announce a new and innovative method of supporting some of the most creative entrepreneurs we know. In a first-of-its-kind partnership, TaskRabbit and Etsy are celebrating what it means to be part of a people-powered economy, making it easy and fast for Etsy sellers to find flexible short-term help from TaskRabbits to help run and manage their creative businesses.

We worked with Etsy to identify the most pressing needs of their seller community. With that information, we designed TaskRabbit for Etsy, a portal that makes outsourcing these common Tasks a breeze for any Etsy entrepreneur. Getting help with everything from packing and shipping to photography and writing listings takes only a few minutes through TaskRabbit for Etsy. Etsy sellers simply visit the landing page, select the Task type they need, and customize according to their needs. By using TaskRabbit for Etsy, these creative entrepreneurs can focus on growing their business instead of finding temporary staffing help.

Read more about TaskRabbit for Etsy on the Etsy News Blog.

Don't grow extra arms. Just use TaskRabbit for Business.

Have You Tried One of the Top 6 Types of Business Tasks?

Don’t grow extra arms. Just use TaskRabbit for Business.

1. Office Errands
Sometimes you just need a company-wide breakfast of bagels and bacon to get going on Monday. That’s why office managers and small business owners use TaskRabbit for food errands or any other errands your office needs.

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2. Deliveries 
Bakeries, sandwich shops, and coffee companies in all our active markets use TaskRabbits as an on-demand delivery force. And no wonder — they’re fast, reliable, and you only hire them when you need them.

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3. Admin Support
Professional TaskRabbits can handle all kinds of admin duties — virtually or in-house. More and more companies are trading the hefty temp agency fees and frustrations of freelance hiring in for the easy and secure experience of working with TaskRabbits. Data entry, travel planning, comparative research, filing — TaskRabbits are experts at it all.

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4. Event Staff
Smart companies don’t take chances on event staffing. They hire TaskRabbits because they’re polished, friendly, and ready to work as bartenders, caterers, event planners, photographers, DJs, and more.

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5. User Testing
When it comes to testing out a new product or feature, there’s nothing like having an on-demand focus group. Entrepreneurs and product teams work with TaskRabbits from all over the country in every demographic for easy user testing, customer feedback, and even secret shopping.

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6. Office Handyman 
From assembling the furniture in a new office space to changing the lightbulbs, more and more companies lean on TaskRabbits for all their workspace handyman needs. TaskRabbits can even help hang white boards and build bookshelves.

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Interested in trying out your free business account? Just go here.