|Born||November 15, 1979|
|Occupation||Founder of TaskRabbit|
Traditional models of work only let us cross out the needs on the very bottom of the pyramid – basic sustenance. On the flipside, independent employment within the network of the new sharing economy addresses our needs for a sense of community and belonging, autonomy and respect, creativity and problem solving.
Life is like the monkey bars: you have to let go to move forward. Once you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship, be sure to loosen your grasp on old concepts so you can swing your way to new ones.
Some people revel in getting their hands dirty. These are the people that make startups grow wildly. People with hustle also tend to be much more agile – they're the water that goes around the rock. These are the people you want around when everything goes wrong. They're also the people you want beside you when everything goes right.
I'm an engineer turned entrepreneur who's passionate about connection.
I had the idea for TaskRabbit one night when my husband and I were getting ready for dinner.
I've had some very strong female role models, so I think that's an important thing.
People with highly transferable skills may be specialists in certain areas, but they're also incredible generalists – something businesses that want to grow need.
Learn to bet on yourself and have confidence in your own decisions. No one knows your business better than you.
Surrounding yourself with people who are actively and enthusiastically working toward their best futures will keep you moving toward your own goals.
Swapping out the nine-to-five for a more agile, independent working life brings with it one other huge benefit – a channel for self-actualization.
I am definitely a keep-it-clean type of person when it comes to e-mail. My 'important' folder on the Gmail app is constantly clean. When a new e-mail comes in to my important folder, I immediately look at it and determine what action item comes with it. The action item may not get done until later, but at least I know it's coming.
Online transactions, once relegated to leaps of faith, have evolved into our status quo. We no longer ask ourselves whether or not it's wise to buy online. Instead, we ask whether or not it's wise to deal with a particular person, service provider, or business.
Entrepreneurs have a natural inclination to go it alone. While this do-it-yourself spirit can help you move forward, adding an element of collaboration into the mix can make you unstoppable.
From my background in travel at HotWire and Expedia, the metrics that TaskRabbit is seeing are more than double at what I saw at both those companies.
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.
All of our TaskRabbits go through a vetting process, which includes an online application, a video interview, a series of background checks, and then an online quiz that they have to pass before they're activated on the site.
Whatever the future of social reputation online, I'm excited to dig in and help forge the path forward. Not only will embracing and enabling the growth of these reputation elements benefit my business, the consumer in me can barely control her excitement.
I've never thought of myself as a female engineer or founder or a woman in tech. I just think of myself as someone who's passionate.
The excitement of being a Task Rabbit is that you can create your own businesses and become an entrepreneur. We're creating jobs for people in this economy. Some of the Task Rabbits are cashing out at $5,000 per month.
TaskRabbit is really my first baby. So balancing the second child is something I've tackled, but I'm really passionate about what I do, and then I'm passionate about coming home and putting my baby to bed.
There are plenty of things I wish I'd known when I decided to quit my position at IBM and work on the idea that later became TaskRabbit. Maybe that's why one of the things I cherish most about being a founder and CEO is the opportunity to offer advice to new entrepreneurs.
Corporate efficiency has led to a nasty trend of filtering resumes for keywords. This might save time, but it ensures that many of the best candidates will never make it to the interview.
I believe there's been a slippery slope of new companies that have formed in the name of on-demand services… that maybe aren't having as much of a focus as they should on the worker.
Sprout's a really cool app for pregnant women. It shows you what your baby's development is in real time, so I find myself checking it quite often.
Since most startups operate at a break-neck pace, with a concept to prove or a product to launch within a rapidly shortening runway of financing, company culture often gets shoved aside. This is a big, big mistake: Nobody serious about their business should put culture in the corner.
One of the cool things we're seeing at TaskRabbit is local tech and gaming startups hiring TaskRabbits to test their products and deliver immediate user feedback. As the founder of a tech startup, I can tell you that this type of focus group testing is paramount – and usually really pricey and difficult to coordinate.
I've always been fascinated by what you can learn from looking into your DNA.
The TaskRabbit community provides thousands of individuals access to the kind of economy that puts them in charge of their own lives and income. TaskRabbit offers a new model of work, one that makes it possible for people to set their own schedules, establish their own rates, and use their talents and skills to earn a living on their own terms.
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.
The Gmail app is definitely the app I use the most. I am always running from meeting to meeting, so it keeps me up-to-date with everything going on. I actually e-mail more often from my iPhone than my laptop, so having a nicely designed e-mail app is really important.
As a small business or startup, one of the factors you should always consider when looking at a potential partnership is the incremental potential reach. Note that wider reach doesn't always mean a better partnership opportunity. Instead of sheer scale, take a look at which communities your potential partner can open up for you.
Beyond brand, culture can help drive your product itself by creating the conditions for the idea generation that is and will continue to be the lifeblood of any company.
Startups need to focus on building a foundation for their company culture early, and then they need to revisit it often. Every time a hire is made, a feature is launched, a Facebook status is updated, a press interview is given, a round of financing is raised, or a meeting is held, culture should be part of the decision-making process.