I’m not sure how to classify the bevy of VC-backed personal service companies that have been popping up in New York and San Francisco. In fact I wouldn’t have given them much attention at all if it weren’t for a recent gathering of family members from California in which the conversation centered around one of the players, TaskRabbit, as if it were something the rest of us from the Midwest should know about better than Facebook or LinkedIn.
One of the family members was using TaskRabbit to find people to do an office move. It was a job that could have been handled by a staffing company, but it could have been posted on Craigslist or handled via a Google search too.
Besides Task Rabbit which recently received $13 million in venture capital, two other services Exec and Done all resemble an evolved Craigslist services section. Unlike traditional staffing services in which the element of trust depends on the agency’s evaluation and familiarity with its candidates and unlike Craigslist which lets you figure out trust issues on your own, these personal services attempt to create trust through artful transparency and community building. I’ve been through their different websites and while they’re all quite hipster and well-designed, I thought Done had the best shtick going with the video below.
Even if you’re not interested in this space, the video is hilarious, especially the part where the couple makes fun of those irritating captchas (yes, I know, Tempworks uses them too):