What does impact mean to you?
Impact means creating a real, tangible difference in a person’s life. The impact we have daily on our users’ lives is what we strive to support everyday at TaskRabbit. I’m especially proud that our network creates meaningful income opportunities for our Taskers who earn an average of $35/hour in the U.S. We recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary and it was an honor to quantify that impact: in 10 years, we’ve become a network of more than 140,000 Taskers who have saved clients over 4 million hours of time and who have collectively earned over $140 million. That day, I called a lot of our long-time Taskers - some who have been with us since Day One - and thanked them for being such a great part of our TaskRabbit community.
We also recently launched TaskRabbit for Good to build more compassionate and sustainable communities by connecting neighbors so they can be generous with their skills and resources. We’re focusing our efforts on two main pillars: ending homelessness and environmental sustainability.
This is an initiative we’re currently piloting in the San Francisco Bay Area market, where our headquarters is located. If you’re like me, you likely have a few bags sitting in your closet or your garage of things you want to donate, but just haven’t had the time. Our TaskRabbit for Good feature allows people to add delivery of those items to the local Goodwill chapter onto their regularly-scheduled task, and the Tasker gets paid at their same hourly rate for that service. On top of that, TaskRabbit also donates a portion of the service fee we normally receive to nonprofits tackling social and environmental challenges.
This is just the start for us as we have ambitious goals to iterate, expand and make an even bigger impact in the communities in which we operate.
If you could take a walk in someone else’s shoes for a day, whose shoes would you choose?
This is a tough question because there are a lot of interesting people in the world, but someone I have great admiration for is Angela Merkel, the first woman Chancellor of Germany. She’s had to navigate and deal with some very macho and aggressive leaders from other countries, and she’s held her own. She’s a beacon for human rights, welcoming in a million refugees from Syria; she’s led on global climate change policy; and has been the “only” during a lot of her career, especially on the foreign policy front. Her fashion gets critiqued from time to time, but I get a sense she doesn’t care about that.
At Thando’s, we believe the customer is always right! Do you share this same philosophy? Why or why not?
Absolutely. As a two-sided network, both our clients and Taskers share equal importance and weight as our “customers.” I believe it’s important to understand and have empathy for all of our customers (or users, as we call them) in order to create the best product and overall experience for everyone. That’s why all of us at TaskRabbit are both clients and Taskers. I’ve been hired as a Tasker to clean someone’s apartment, to assemble their IKEA furniture and make deliveries. This first-hand knowledge of how the app works and interaction with our users is invaluable and keeps us proximate to our mission of making everyday life easier for everyday people.
What has been the most defining step you have taken in your career to date?
In 2012, I made the decision to leave Google and make the jump to TaskRabbit. Working at Google was a wonderful experience. I worked with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, led some amazing consumer product operations initiatives, and it’s where I grew into a leader of teams around the world. But after nine years, I felt in my heart that I was ready for something else, and TaskRabbit’s mission of making everyday life easier for everyday people spoke to me. It brought me back to my hometown of Detroit. TaskRabbit provides an opportunity for people with skills and talent to earn a meaningful income by helping people in their own community who don’t have the time, skills or inclination to do the job. Whether it’s mounting a TV, assembling furniture, help packing and moving, or dropping a package off at the post office, TaskRabbit offers a fast and easy way to connect with Taskers whose skills match what you need done. We’re help for life.
When it comes to fashion, what is most important to you? Comfort, Style, or Both?
I’d like to be someone who says “comfort always” but truly, if I have to pick, “style” is the honest answer! Because I often take the train and then walk to work, I end up wearing a lot of “comfortable” shoes during the week for practicality-sake, but when I get a chance, I love wearing more stylish shoes, especially on my weekly date nights with my husband. That’s why I love my Thando’s - they are comfortable AND stylish - perfect for walking to work and date night.