I had a great July 4th weekend here in Seattle, spending most of it grilling meat on various roof decks and patios. During one such session, I had a friend pitch me their idea for a new business venture.
On Monday, July 7th, I wrote back on my walk to work:
Been thinking more about your idea, and I think it’s bigger than <redacted>. An area that hasn’t been much impacted by the sharing economy yet is minor housework. Imagine a service where you can schedule (or book ad-hoc) various household services/chores like doing your laundry, dishes, cleaning, walking your dog, maybe even do some grocery shopping while you’re at it and put the food in the fridge…
As long as you had some kind of keyless entry, could be a pretty slick way to improve household work. Taskrabbit wasn’t able to tap this market because (1) remote home entry and (2) too much friction for small tasks. If a service provider has a large number of positive ratings, odds are pretty good they won’t steal your TV while you’re out.
A mere three days later I see the following headline:
Farther down they comment, “The biggest change is getting rid of the auction format. Instead of posting tasks and waiting for people to bid on them, clients will now post a task and let the algorithms match them up with people willing to carry it out.”
A very smart way to deal with the second problem I mentioned, which is reducing the friction in the matching process for small tasks. But if I were Task Rabbit I would look to partner with a keyless entry system to reduce the coordination headache further. If I’m already home then I don’t need to worry quite as much about the insurance; it makes a bigger difference when I’ve granted someone access to the property without my presence.