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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work