All posts filed under: Micro-Entrepreneurship

Redefining the Neighborhood

  Our founder and CEO, Leah Busque wowed and inspired the crowd at the TEDxSOMA conference a couple of weeks ago with her thoughts on how TaskRabbit is re-defining the neighborhood. (To view Leah’s full presentation, please click below.) Coincidently, I wrote last week about how we at TaskRabbit are bringing back the neighborhood by connecting folks in a community to share their time and skills. In her TED presentation, Leah goes one step further. She describes how TaskRabbit is not only resurrecting the neighborhood but also re-defining what it means to be part of a neighborhood.   As Leah mentions in the video, people have formed communities and neighborhoods since the beginning of time. We are intrinsically collaborative and social beings; at our core, we just want to belong. Typically, neighborhood formation has relied on physical space and proximity. However, this model is changing.  Neighborhoods can now be formed around specific interests, your dynamic location, or perhaps even the time of day. For example, there are online forums on almost any topic – forming a …

A History (and Economics) Lesson in Service Networking

  As one of our loyal blog readers, we hope that you’ve already discovered the power of TaskRabbit and agree that our service marketplace is revolutionizing the way that people get things done.  Many of you may know the TaskRabbit story – it all started when our CEO and founder, Leah Busque, and her husband, Kevin ran out of dog food for the 100 lb yellow lab on a cold night in Boston. Leah and Kevin decided to create  a way of allowing busy people to outsource their Tasks and services to others in their community. Thus, the concept of Service Networking and TaskRabbit were born. TaskRabbit is continuing to lead the way in this exciting space. Before TaskRabbit, if you wanted to get something done, you either simply did it yourself, asked a friend for a favor, hired a professional, or threw something up on Craigslist and prayed for a response.  Of those options, hiring a professional specializing in your Task was clearly the best choice due to the benefits of “comparative advantage.” But, as we …

Gaming With TaskRabbit – Introducing our New Runner Level Program!

This week, we launched our brand new Runner Level Program and it is starting to feel like we are deep in the throes of an old-school Nintendo video game. There has been a lot of talk around the office of how many points so-and-so has, how many points so-and-so needs to level up, and intense discussion of who will hit level 25 first. Oh, it definitely takes me back to when I was 13 and dominating Super Mario Brothers. So what is the new Runner Level Program, you ask? Really, it’s more than just a game. It is a cool new way to distinguish Runners based on their TaskRabbit activity and experience. Take a look at the yellow circle next to any Runner’s profile pic. This number is the Runner Level. Runners improve their Runner Level by earning points, which are collected through different TaskRabbit activities, like running Tasks (of course!), introducing a new Sender to TaskRabbit, bidding quickly, and more. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out new ways for Runners to …

Who are the Rabbits?

People always ask us, who makes up your Runner community?  As I blogged earlier this month, our Runners are truly entrepreneurs; real people, neighbors, all with wonderful stories and a collective desire to make our community better than they found it.  Every TaskRabbit Runner goes through a three-step vetting process, including an online application, a phone screening, and a background check.  It is quite competitive to become a TaskRabbit Runner, and we now have a waiting list hundreds deep. Our vision is to harness the power of a community, to connect real people in your neighborhood to help one another out.  You can think of us at the Etsy of services.  You go to Etsy to purchase handmade goods and those guys are creative, they are entrepreneurs.  You can come to TaskRabbit to meet the Runners who have both free time to share and want to help you out.  What could be better than that?  Some TaskRabbit Runners may also have special skills to share as well – we have photographers, chefs, teachers, designers, and …

Our Runners are Entrepreneurs

In case you missed it last week, check out our appearance on The Today Show.  The angle was supporting folks who are unemployed with a flexible way to make money on the side.  The reporters wanted to know if more Runners are getting involved during this ‘down economy’.  The truth is, that when we launched TaskRabbit in September 2008, it was the very beginning of this recession.  We have never known anything different, and we are happy to provide a flexible options for those in between jobs. What’s even more interesting is the notion that in any recession or tough economic time is when entrepreneurs are born, and we are empowering our Runners at TaskRabbit to be entrepreneurs – in charge of their own schedules and work environments.  We’ve even got some very exciting functionality queued up on the product side 100% focused on this notion, so stay tuned! Take super star Runner Briana B, who just opened her own retail shop in San Francisco called Urban Bazaar.  An active member of the Etsy community, Briana, is leveraging …

Her Majesty’s Entrepreneurs

Good day RUNmyERRAND! It’s Steve here wishing everyone a season’s greetings from London, UK where I’m studying for the year. Among other things, I’ve been checking out the entrepreneurship scene here and there’s some pretty cool stuff going on! Here’s four companies to give you a taste of what the Brits have to offer. Who knows, you might even start seeing these names in the States soon: 7digital: When it comes to digital music, the market is dominated by iTunes and Amazon, but 7digital is trying to break their dominance. The company has secured rights to a fairly large library with many of the mainstream hits of its larger rivals as well as some indie artists. However, 7digital is trying to differentiate itself with its online locker feature, which remotely backs up all your music. It also has a pretty strong B2B business going and there are plans to add video and ebooks soon. 7digital is available in the U.S., so check it out! eCourier: This one has a strong American connection (founded by Dartmouth …

“Real World” Start-up

Well, I guess all good things must come to an end. This is my last week as an intern at RUNmyERRAND and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on life at an early stage start-up with the help of one of my favorite bands, Matchbox Twenty, and their song “Real World.” For those of you unfamiliar with the song, the lead singer Rob Thomas asks a series of questions wondering what things would be like if he lived a different life. I thought these are also really great guiding questions for what I’ve learned. So here’s my reflection on the past two months featuring Matchbox Twenty: I wonder what it’s like to be the rainmaker. I wonder what it’s like to know that I made the rain. First and foremost, entrepreneurs are creators. At RUNmyERRAND, I learned what it’s like to be part of a creative team. Things aren’t perfect, but you feel an immense amount of joy when your idea succeeds. I wonder what it’s like to be a superhero. I …

Recap of TEDxBoston

Last week, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to TEDxBoston– an independently organized TED event. “TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future… The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists – is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.” Well, we didn’t have any Presidents at TEDxBoston, but we did have my favorite speaker, Benjamin Zander, leading the Youth Orchestra of the Americas to Beethoven.  Here is a video of Zander in action at a previous TED event. Here are  a couple connections between TED and RunMyErrand: –  TED exists because there have always been people breaking assumptions, and now TED has devoted itself to spreading these ideas for free! For any dreamy entrepreneur, it is relieving to connect with …

From a Runner: “Reestablishment of community on a human level”

On a daily basis we are bombarded with rave reviews and feedback from people using RunMyErrand.  Over the weekend, one of our new runners and talented ballerina, Magdelena G, shared her experience with us. “I just wanted to let you know that I ran my first errand last night.  It was a great experience, and I just wanted to let you know that I think this site is fabulously well organized in terms of it’s functionality.  I’m glad to be a part of this, and I think that even more than people just being able to cross things off of their to-do lists, it will allow for some reestablishment of community on a human level.  It is basically using virtual social networking to create interactions between people that are avoided more and more everyday thanks to the internet boom.   I look forward to doing more work, and helping the site succeed.” Thanks, Magdelena, you hit the nail on the head!  Instead of using technology to further separate true human interaction between people, we are …