Justin.tv founder Justin Kan is moving onto his next project: Exec, a web and iPhone app that will let you throw up your hands and delegate your first-world problems to someone else, such as a starving artist who’s grateful for the work.
The app has just launched in San Francisco, and it provides those long on funds and short on time with a fleet of background-checked go-fers to do their bidding at a moment’s notice.
In a phone call with VentureBeat last night, Kan called it “an Uber for tasks.”
Kan, who has taken a reduced advisory role at Justin.tv, said he got the idea for the app during an eventful ride to Burning Man.
“We’re in a van 200 miles outside of San Francisco, and it turns out one of the guys forgot his ticket. It was in his house. Now, another friend was getting ready to leave San Francisco and drive to Burning Man. But the first guy’s keys were with another friend, so we had to get the keys from point A to point B within 30 minutes.
“In the end, we had to call an Uber car to go from one apartment to the other, and we had to sit on the phone and walk the driver through it… And I thought, there should be a service like this.”
As fate would have it, there already is a service like that: TaskRabbit, a marketplace for finding someone to do quick tasks. But Kan says Exec is even better for those who are in a time crunch because, rather than fielding bids from prospective task-doers, the Exec user just lets Exec select an employee and get down to business.
“Our goal is to make something really simple for people,” Kan said. “You don’t want to think about choosing the best person; you just press a button, and you don’t have to think about it any more.”
So, how does Exec find those perfect (and trustworthy) short-term employees for doing your bidding? The startup actually has a four-step interview process that includes a full background and criminal check, just to be on the safe side.
Kan said a lot of the applicants are creative types, people who have their own dreams and goals, but who are also looking to pick up some extra cash while working between 30 and five hours each week. And Kan emphasized that he and the Exec team want to create sustainable part-time jobs, something that won’t result in high turnover and that will add up to a great workplace and great customer service.
The three-person Exec team is a Y Combinator-backed company and has been testing its product for about four weeks in the city of San Francisco. Kan said the team is looking to raise more cash and will be expanding to the rest of the Bay Area and then to other major metropolitan areas.
For each new market, Kan said the team will move to that city for a few months to get a good handle on the customers, the part-timers, and the types of tasks the service will need to accommodate. Even now, the founders will occasionally deliver a sandwich or pick up someone’s dry cleaning to better dirty their hands and understand the service they’re building.
Image courtesy of watcharakun, Shutterstock