All posts filed under: Micro-Entrepreneurship

When Your Employees Thrive, So Does Your Business

In her last Huffington Post column, Leah came out strong in favor of company culture. She quickly debunked the myth that a positive company culture can continue to grow organically over time, and underscored the role of culture in everything from recruiting to marketing. This is a favorite topic of our illustrious founder and CEO, so it didn’t surprise us to see her dive even deeper into culture last week in her latest column. In “When Your Employees Thrive, So Does Your Business,” Leah trumpets the importance of creating the kind of working environment that makes employees happy, productive, and creative. Here’s a quick look: As founder and CEO of an early stage tech startup, I get to decide exactly what our office is like. From the SOMA location within a short stroll of some of San Francisco’s best restaurants to the color of the walls (neon green, bright blue, and stark white), I get to help design the space where we work and play and grow. It’s a luxury most people will never have, …

Does Company Culture Matter? Yup.

The culture of TaskRabbit is pretty distinct, in fact — it’s downright enviable. Like many startups, we’ve got ping-pong tables, Nerf guns, and bean bag chairs to spare. We’ve also got an office full of puppies, a TaskRabbit yoga instructor twice a week, and a kegerator. We work in an enormous SOMA loft in a big, open space designed for collaboration. If we want privacy, we grab one of the brainstorming rooms. Oh, and there’s even a bacon platter on Fridays. Our working environment reflects our cultural values. Collaboration, great humor, puppies… it’s also the foundation of everything we build as a company. That’s why we were thrilled (but not surprised) to read Leah’s latest Huffington Post column on why small business owners should care about company culture. Here’s an excerpt: It seems like those of us who run a business can’t go five minutes without encountering the term “company culture.” The phrase is always uttered with extreme adoration, yet the very concept seems as nebulous as it is elusive. I could use this column …

The Very First TaskRabbit Town Hall

Last night, dozens of TaskRabbits descended upon NextSpace in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood for the very first TaskRabbit Town Hall. TaskRabbits mingled with each other, nibbled on a catered spread from Bi-Rite Market, and brainstormed ideas about running Tasks at stations throughout the room. The TaskRabbits in attendance gathered in a circle for the night’s discussion. TaskRabbit Ambassador Erika Murdock Balbuena welcomed everyone, and began the evening by debuting The TaskRabbit Credo. The Credo is a living document encompassing the spirit and ethos of the micro-entrepreneurs that make up the TaskRabbit Community. You can read the entire thing here. The evening’s panel introduced themselves by sharing their favorite Task stories. Holly C., a level 11 TaskRabbit, said her most memorable Task was doing a Costco run for a blind woman. “It made me realize that this is a significant thing we’re doing for people.” Level 14 TaskRabbit Kim E. loved delivering a Thank You card for an applicant to the TaskRabbit team who was later hired. John L., a level 12 TaskRabbit, shared the story …

The TaskRabbit Credo

Our mission is to connect busy people with entrepreneurs who can help them get things done. In the process, we’re bringing back that old time neighborhood spirit. In celebration of these incredible entrepreneurs who are the heroes of the TaskRabbit community, we’re thrilled to introduce the TaskRabbit Credo. This statement is a living document that reflects the spirit and mission of what it is to be a TaskRabbit. The TaskRabbit Credo We’re entrepreneurs. We decide when we want to work and how much we want to bid for each Task. We master every single Task because we love to make TaskPosters say “wow.” If things go wrong, we make them right. We’re awesome communicators because being that way makes every Task better. We know how to listen and ask the right questions, and TaskPosters love us for it. We think creatively to solve little problems before they become big problems. We’re trustworthy, not just because we’ve been vetted through formal channels, but because we’re dedicated professionals on a mission. We’re part of the movement working …

Task of the Week: Sew Me This

We’ve seen plenty of Tasks posted for basic clothing repair and alterations. There’ve also been many seamstress Tasks about curtains: making them, shortening them, splitting one panel into two. Yep, the TaskPoster community has long tapped into the sewing talent of their TaskRabbit neighbors, but lately we’re seeing an evolution of sorts. TaskPosters like Michelle F. are finding inspiration — like this gorgeous (but sold-out) tutu-esque skirt from Shabby Apple she spotted on Pinterest — and hiring crafty TaskRabbits to sew similar pieces with personal touches from scratch. Boston TaskRabbit Jennifer R. tackled Michelle’s tutu with style and grace (just like a ballerina). Likewise, TaskPoster Alfred M. was impressed by a jacket with LED turn signals sewn into the back for biking, so he hired Sarah W. to build a T-shirt that functioned in the same way. Knowing that so many TaskRabbits are masters of needles and thread gives way to endless possibilities: Imagine, every time we see some covetable piece of clothing on a blog, in a magazine, or gracing our favorite Pinboards we …

Introducing TaskRabbit Ambassador Erika Murdock Balbuena

Bringing back that old time neighborhood spirit is easy when there are good neighbors involved. We’re lucky to have a whole army of them in the form of friendly, talented, and entrepreneurial TaskRabbits. Every day, TaskRabbits in cities around the country put smiles on faces, scratch errands off To-Do lists, and save the day for busy people right in their own communities. Supporting TaskRabbits in every way possible is a top priority for us, which is why we’re thrilled to welcome Erika Murdock Balbuena to the team as our new TaskRabbit Ambassador. Say hi, Erika:

How the Sharing Economy is Helping Small Businesses Thrive

Businesses within the sharing economy help busy people live more efficiently while supporting micro-entrepreneurs. But did you know they can also help small business owners set up shop, struggle through the lean times, scale their companies, and even improve their product offerings? Leah’s latest column in The Huffington Post is about just that. Here’s a look: When a person decides to open up a brick-and-mortar business, push “go” on a startup concept, or venture in any other way into full-fledged business ownership, a lot of questions pop up. Questions about money, product viability, staffing, working space, equipment costs, and about whether their company will be welcomed into the market. One question in particular overshadows the excitement of having a great business idea: Is it worth the risk? I’ve witnessed case study after case study of the sharing economy taking this risk off the table for small business founders, and let me tell you: I’m inspired. There used to be only a few inconvenient answers to the question, “How will I finance this?” A founder could …

When TaskRabbit and Skillshare Meet…

Last night at The Hub in San Francisco, our marketing maven Jamie V. handed out some lessons to a sold-out Skillshare class. The topic? How to be a lean, mean marketing machine. Entrepreneurs, marketing and PR pros, and representatives from other collaborative consumption companies all showed up to see how we do it at TaskRabbit. Jamie’s core message was simple: “Give your customers amazing experiences, that’s what’s going to drive your business.” She spoke about the power our community members have in the development of TaskRabbit — pointing out that customer feedback is the most important element to making us better and better each day. At TaskRabbit, we test everything to see what works best for the TaskPosters and the TaskRabbits at the individual level. We also closely monitor community feedback on Twitter and Facebook to continuously improve the user experience. Jamie also talked about the importance of knowing and believing in your mission. Our mission at TaskRabbit is to bring back the neighborhood by providing a marketplace for micro-entrepreneurs to help their busy neighbors get …

The New Model of Work: Why Independent Employment Is Killing the Nine to Five Job

We’re thrilled to report that Leah’s very first column for The Huffington Post’s Small Business section was published this morning. It’s only been live for a few hours and has already trended to the front page. And no wonder, Leah discusses a very cool and exciting vision for the future of work: no more 9-to-5 jobs. Here’s a quick teaser: The term “nine-to-five” has long symbolized a kind of drudgery that sucks up our lives and eclipses our identities, but it wasn’t until the Great Recession that the pejorative phrase was crowned with an entirely new distinction: old-fashioned. Even as the jobless rate continues its slow decline, the still-anemic U.S. employment market is prompting more and more people to do the math: There are 12.8 million workers looking for jobs — that means multiple candidates for every open position. Summation? The paths of least friction and risk are increasingly leading away from traditional employment. Read the entire column here. This installment is the first of many: Leah’s column is dedicated to topics like collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer marketplaces, …

The Upside to the Down Economy

  More bad news hit the US economy last Friday. First, we learned that employers added hardly any jobs, which is startling evidence that the highly anticipated economy recovery is stumbling.  And second, a survey of US households showed that more people were actively looking for work. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 9.2% in June.   Not good! But, while the focus is often on the unemployment rate, “underemployment” is a significant concern as well. The economic downturn and the downsizing it triggered have created a virtual epidemic of underemployment. Underemployment can be defined a couple of ways: 1) having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and/ or 2) working a job that is considerably below your education or skill level. According to a recent Gallup survey, nearly 1 in 5 working Americans describe themselves as underemployed. The underemployment epidemic has spared no one – tenured professionals, Ivy League grads, budding entrepreneurs, etc.   As to be expected, the underemployed are looking for ways, any way really, to make ends …