One of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business, Leah Busque is the founder and CEO of TaskRabbit, an online and mobile marketplace where people can go to outsource small jobs and Tasks to people in their neighborhood. Since its founding in 2008, Leah has grown TaskRabbit to more than 50 employees and expanded the service to 9 US cities. Prior to founding TaskRabbit, Leah was a software engineer at IBM. Leah has been a FoundersCard Member since 2010.
1. What inspired you to start your company?
It was a cold winter night in Boston in February of 2008. My husband, Kevin, and I were getting ready to go out to dinner. We had called a cab to come pick us up when we realized we were out of dog food. We had a 100lb yellow lab named Kobe who just had to eat that night. I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place online you could go, say you needed dog food and name the price you are willing to pay. We were certain there was someone in our own neighborhood that would be willing to help us out. Before the cab even made it to our door, I had mapped the vision for TaskRabbit in my head. That was the exact time and place the idea was born. That was more than 4 years ago. Since then, TaskRabbit has moved its headquarters to San Francisco, built a market here and launched in 9 cities.
I wake up every morning and think to myself, “How far can I push the company in the next 24 hours?” With that comes a lot of objectives and opportunities. At times, it can be difficult to prioritize.
From being a barista, to a bank teller, to a Software Engineer, I’ve loved all of my jobs.
4. What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – I love this book – it’s a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in rural Wisconsin, making the classic story much more relatable. Plus, its main character is a large and lovable dog, which reminds me of my yellow lab, Kobe.
Maroon 5 and Kanye West
FLOODGATE Fund’s Ann Miura-Ko. She was TaskRabbit’s first investor and a constant source of inspiration for me.
8. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
One of my first advisers for TaskRabbit was Scott Griffith, the CEO of ZipCar. When I first told Scott about the idea for TaskRabbit, he told me, “I think you’re onto something. See how far you can take it.” Not a day goes by that I don’t remember those words.
We are always launching new, exciting things at TaskRabbit! Most recently, we launched an on-demand delivery feature in San Francisco, called Deliver Now. Our first-ever app extension, Deliver Now provides TaskPosters with on-demand delivery of anything in San Francisco for just $10. As TaskRabbit continues to grow, we will continue to build new features like this on our platform, so be on the watch for additional extensions coming soon!