TaskRabbit is one of the defining companies of the emerging “peer” economy. A marketplace of occasional labor for doing real world tasks (as opposed to UpWork, which focused on online work), it focuses on using local resources. It demonstrates how networks can create new liquidity of opportunity for workers at all levels of society. But TaskRabbit also teaches us something about how the peer network is evolving. The website says, “It’s an old school concept—neighbors helping neighbors—reimagined for today,” yet Taskers (as the company calls its workers) are increasingly being professionalized. Even more interesting, Leah sees her company’s key goal as building tools to improve the lives of its workers. That’s a worthy goal, and one that has much to teach us about the role of the firm (or the network) in the 21st century labor economy.
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The vision for revolutionizing how work gets done led Leah Busque to pioneer the concept of “Service Networking,” forging a leading role in the Collaborative Consumption movement. Since bootstrapping TaskRabbit in 2008, Leah has expanded the company internationally, raised nearly $40 million in venture funding, and inspired legions of startups to launch in the Collaborative and Service Networking space.
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