Jonathan Gillon, co-founder and CEO of Roost, wants to help you stash your stuff. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — The latest innovation of the so-called sharing economy seems perfect for this city’s hypercompetitive rental market, where tiny apartments go for outrageous sums and space is at a premium.
Sort of like Airbnb for storage, new startup Roost connects people who need to stow some stuff — furniture, boxes of books, whatever — with individuals with room to spare in an attic or garage.
The company was founded by Jon Gillon, who came up with the idea after his older brother moved here from Texas with a Subaru full of stuff.
“We improvised,” Gillon told Cult of Mac. “I made room in my apartment in exchange for drinks and dinner. When his place was ready we were like, ‘This is a great idea.’ The light bulb went on.”
With Uber or Lyft, you can summon a car to pick you up with a tap on your iPhone. TaskRabbit makes it that easy to find someone to do your grocery shopping or even stand in line all day for the new iPhone.
Until today, TaskRabbit has operated on an auction-like bidding system for handling tasks. Not only is TaskRabbit killing that model, but it’s releasing a redesigned app with automatic Client and Tasker pairing, one-click hiring, and its own messaging platform.
After today’s changes, TaskRabbit has become a blend of two things. It’s a more evolved, mobile-friendly version of the jobs section of Craigslist, and it’s applying the on-demand aspect of Uber to just about any kind of errand or odd-job you could hire someone to do.
Thanks to your iPhone you can couch surf, catch a ride downtown, find a date or maybe even source a freebie for dinner.
The sharing economy has gone mainstream, filling our smartphones with apps that run counter to your mother’s admonitions. You know, those common sense “Stranger Danger” rules we’ve all had drilled into our heads about talking to strangers, letting them in our houses or accepting stuff from them.
But it’s one thing to talk about these apps and another to actually use them.
So we did. Cult of Mac staffers jumped into cars with strangers, let them stay in our houses, took random jobs and put out free treats for the taking. The results were, uh, mixed.
Let us know in the comments what your experience has been!
SAN FRANCISCO — This is Charlie Hufnagel, who was paid $1,500 to be first in line for the iPhone 5 at Apple’s flagship store here in the city.
Hufnagel was hired through TaskRabbit, an increasingly popular freelance odd-job company in this economy. He’s been camping out in front of the store for 94 hours (nearly 4 days) to snag a new iPhone for a “private investor.”
In fact, there are about 70 “TaskRabbits” in line here in San Francisco, who are being paid $55 to wait up to four hours for other people. A TaskRabbit rep estimated that one in four in line here are TaskRabbits.
Too lazy to do your chores or errands? Willing to pay some cash to crowd source it? Meet TaskRabbit, a collaborative service that allows you to post up things you don’t really want to do, along with how much you’re willing to pay for them to get done, and then get a willing stranger to show up at your door to do them.