All posts tagged: leah busque

The Shared Economy: Doing Business With the Joneses

On Thursday, Leah sat down with some of the leaders of the collaborative consumption movement for a frank talk at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Moderator Liz Gannes, Senior Editor of All Things Digital, kicked off the evening by asking author Lisa Gansky how she first identified sharing as a movement. The author of The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing chalked collaboration up to way more than a trend, attributing the rise in sharing-based businesses to the 2008 recession. “Things that we value that go unused, actually in that moment are wasted,” said Gansky. “It’s more convenient and less costly to share or gain access than to own.” Panelist Shelby Clark, Founder and Chief Community Officer of RelayRides, agreed that “rational triggers” like price and convenience are the initial draw for consumers, but that it’s the community that keeps them coming back. The evening’s discussion ended with an eye toward the future, with each panelist imagining where the sharing economy might lead. Although he admits it’s fun to imagine the Marty …

How to Hire Extraordinary People

The more than 50 people on our team have totally different interests, hobbies, tastes, backgrounds, and skills, but we also have an awful lot in common. For example, it’s no secret that we’re all culture junkies here at TaskRabbit. We’re also obsessed with sharing, learning, and food. Oh, and we’re all totally product and data-driven. What is this, a cult? Nope, it’s just the results of some really fantastic people sourcing. Our founder knows a thing or two about hiring amazing people (if we do say so ourselves), and she decided to share this wisdom in her latest Huffington Post column, “How to Hire Extraordinary People.” Here’s a peek: Hiring’s tough. It’s not just filtering through hundreds of applications and blocking out big chunks of your day for interviews — those are the simple parts. The difficult thing is the nagging feeling that, despite your best efforts, the perfect candidate will somehow fall through the cracks. This feeling is deepened by screening processes designed for efficiently identifying suitable candidates, rather than isolating the absolute best …

Founders Fund Leads TaskRabbit’s $13 Million Series C Funding Round, Company Announces Two New Board Members

It’s been a thrilling ride at TaskRabbit since the start of the year. In that time, we acquired another startup, SkillSlate; released our API; partnered with Bravo TV to launch our service in Austin at SXSWi 2012; opened up our service in Seattle, Portland, and San Antonio; and we debuted our on-demand delivery service in San Francisco, called Deliver Now. In that time, Task volume has increased four-fold and gross bookings have nearly quintupled. Yep, we’ve been pretty busy. And we’re not stopping anytime soon! We’re thrilled to announce today that we’ve received $13 million in Series C financing, led by Founders Fund. Existing investors — including Shasta Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Shervin Pishevar, and 500 Startups — also invested in the round. The new funds will support us in aggressively expanding the engineering and product teams, as well as the executive team. [pullshow] Founders Fund’s Bruce Gibney will join TaskRabbit’s Board of Directors, as will former eBay Vice President and current Trunk Club Chief Operating Officer, Rob Chesney. Rob’s vast expertise in …

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 …

Leah Busque Returns as TaskRabbit’s CEO

Today, we are pleased to announce a change to TaskRabbit’s leadership team. Leah Busque, TaskRabbit’s founder, is returning to the role of CEO. Eric Grosse will remain as an active and supportive member of the company’s board. As TaskRabbit’s founder and visionary, Leah has been instrumental in leading the company’s product development and innovation efforts. This year, we plan to enter several new markets, and recognize that providing an amazing product and user experience – above all else – will help us maintain our competitive edge and drive our continued success. We remain focused on delivering rapid-fire product innovation, which we consider critical at this stage in TaskRabbit’s development. Because this effort demands a strong emphasis on engineering, product and marketplace operations, it’s appropriate for Leah – with her founder vision, passion and leadership – to step back in as TaskRabbit’s CEO. The company is excited for Leah’s return to leadership and looks forward to Eric’s continued support as a board member.

The Role (and Future) of Social Reputation

Do you know what kind of social reputation you have? Better question: do you know what social reputation is? All those ratings, reviews, stars, and badges you earn through being a stellar online citizen make up your social reputation. Maybe you’re a dynamite Airbnb host, a member of the Yelp Elite Squad, or a responsible and friendly eBay seller. However you earned your stellar rep, don’t you wish you could use it to your advantage? In her last Huffington Post column, Leah discussed the evolution of online trust and pondered what might happen if her social reputation could follow her from one company to another. In this week’s column, “The Role (and Future) of Social Reputation,” she pushes the question a step further: What if your social reputation could replace your resume? What if it could replace your credit score? Here’s a sneak peak: We find our homes on Craigslist, score our most treasured items with eBay, send gifts via Amazon, and order dinner through GrubHub. There’s no denying it, we’re all creatures of the …

The Evolution of Online Trust

Cultivating a trusted marketplace is something we take pretty seriously at TaskRabbit, so much so that Leah decided to tackle this very topic in her latest Huffington Post column, “The Evolution of Online Trust.” She shares a bit about the efforts we make to build transparency and authenticity into the experiences of both TaskPosters and TaskRabbits, and also turns an eye toward the future by pondering what happens when online companies work together to make social reputation a currency. Here’s a sneak peak: Trust is the mechanism that inspires people to expect good things from other people and products. Expecting good things isn’t just what keeps us coming back to brands we love, it’s what leads us to try new products and services in the first place. As an entrepreneur, it seems clear that this simple reality should fuel every decision about how to build a product, grow a community, and structure a business model. It’s foundational. We shouldn’t be asking ourselves if trust matters or how much, those things are self-evident. The only question …

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 …