Exec Finds You Real-Time Help for Small Tasks at a Flat Rate


Too busy these days to get some of your basic tasks done? If so, Exec may be for you. This startup promises to “get anything you want done right away” for the flat rate of $25/hour.

Exec is one of the current graduates from the Y Combinator hothouse that continues to churn out dozens of promising companies every cycle, with increasing numbers of them landing in San Francisco as their home base of choice.

Exec is the brainchild of Justin.tv co-founder Justin Kan, his brother Daniel Kan and their friend Amir Ghazvinian. 

I spoke with Justin Kan at the Atlas Café about Exec earlier this week. One of the first things I wanted to know is how it differs from others in this crowded space, like Taskrabbit and Zaarly.

“Exec enables anyone to hire someone at $25/hour to do jobs and errands like grocery shopping, deliveries, research tasks, or light housekeeping,” he told me. “Our angle is that we find the person in real time. We try to get this done in ten minutes.”

The ”execs” hired to serve you are carefully vetted through a process that includes a video interview, a telephone interview, an in-person interview and a background check.

“We differ from Taskrabbit, which uses a bidding process, because we use a flat rate; and from Zaarly, which is an open platform, where anyone can bid on any job,” explained Kan.

“Our approach is that you’re renting one specific person’s time, so it’s not an open platform. We make it very simple for you. There’s no negotiating. It’s a fair price. You pay through us – one invoice – their time plus cost of goods. We handle all that.”

Exec takes a “small cut” of the amount. The minimum job is 30 minutes, at a cost of $12.50.

So far, their 35 certified execs in the city have handled about 700 jobs, since the company launched on Leap Day. The average task so far takes one hour and twenty-two minutes

The service, which is available over the web and on iOS as a free app, works like this: You sign on, using your email address and password, and just answer the simple question (“What do you need?”) to indicate what you want done.

Meanwhile, the execs sign on whenever they wish, which starts their “shift,” and indicates they are available to work. They see a map of where you are displayed next to the task you need performed.

Both the employers and the execs rate each other, which is mandatory before they can undertake the next task. To date, Kan says, 92 percent of the jobs performed have received a five-star rating.

“Feedback matters a lot to us,” says Kan. “The customer is taking a chance on us. We know that the first time we don’t work will be the last time they use us.”

So, I wondered, with relatively few execs signed up so far, what happens when none of them are available to perform a task?

"Since it’s happening in real time, if we can’t find someone fast enough, one of us from the company will do the work,” Kan explained. “For example, I delivered ice cream to someone the other day. That’s good. I want to understand how our service is working.”

Anyone wishing to check out the service can register here.

Many of the early adopters, not surprisingly, are other tech companies. Kan says some, including ZeroCater, offer their employees five hours of Exec credit per month as a perk.

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