Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Exec Is “An Uber for TaskRabbit”

Justin Kan, who you may remember as the eponymous co-founder of, is onto his next start-up. It’s an iPhone app called Exec that helps people complete tasks on demand.

Creating a marketplace for moderately skilled labor is something lots of people are working on — TaskRabbit, Zaarly, Coffee & Power and others. What Kan is doing is the real-time, appified version of that. So if you want something done, Exec can find someone to help you with it, right now. You might pay a slight premium for that convenience. Kan calls it “an Uber for TaskRabbit.”

Exec is only available in San Francisco right now, with a team of 30 part-time errand runners. They cost a flat rate of $25, and can do things like pickups and dropoffs (of objects, not people), cleaning and research. It’s all managed through the press of a few buttons in the app.

Exec is part of the current Y Combinator class. It’s actually Kan’s third time through the start-up program. First he did the online calendar Kiko, then the video start-up (which still exists, but is now focused on gaming, has about 60 employees and 16 million monthly unique visitors, and is led by a co-founder). Another co-founder, Michael Seibel, is also at Y Combinator now, with Socialcam, a direct spinoff of

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user miss karen)

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik