One of the benefits of living in a big city is not needing a car. One of the downsides of living in a big city? Not having a way to move all of your stuff when the time comes to switch apartments.
If you’re lucky, you may have a friend who has held on to their vehicle, despite alternate side parking rules and the inevitability of getting towed at some point. If that friend is especially nice, they may lend you their car or truck to help with the move. If you don’t have 1) A friend with a car or, 2) Any nice friends, you’re basically going to have to resort to those, “Man With A Van,” signs plastered all over town. Hire at your own risk.
For folks living in Los Angeles, there’s now another option: Buddytruk. Touting themselves as “the first peer-to-peer and on-demand moving and large-item delivery platform,” Buddytruk hooks up vehicle-less people with folks who can help them with their move. The app does background checks and DMV checks on all of their riders and also tracks how long the job took via an in-app push button. Drivers get 80% of the money earned, while Buddytruk collects the other 20%.
KillerStartups caught up with founder, Brian Foley to chat about the startup struggle, how to push through when you’re first starting out, and his favorite online tools. Keep reading for some startup founder wisdom!
What’s the greatest thing about Buddytruk? Why is it better than the competition?
Buddytruk is about people helping people, and rewarding those who choose to help. In most traditional moving and hauling companies, the customer is paying over $100/hour for help, and the person helping is getting minimal wage! We’re the only company in the world who gives a majority of the money to the people who deserve it, the person helping!
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I needed a buddy with a truck to help me move my mattress!
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I usually start at 9 or 10, but sometimes as late as noon! I love to sleep in, but will work until after midnight on a regular basis. I’m a night owl.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
Before I come into the office, I make a “to-do” list at the house over breakfast. As soon as I get to work, I start on item #1. Emails can wait.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? On your third beer?
The best ideas always come out of the office, usually in the ocean during a great surf session.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
Oh boy! Sleep? I forgot what that was for a few weeks. I’d say the hardest part is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on those “not so good days.” You’re working your butt off, you’re going above and beyond in everything you do, and you’re seeing all your friends making more money and having more fun than you. And then you have to tell yourself- “Stay focused. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you were lucky enough to be the one to act on it first! This is the most exciting time of your life, they don’t know what they’re missing.”
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
Time away. It took me awhile to realize this, but sometimes you just have to step away. There is nothing to gain from starring at a screen for another 3 hours when you’ve hit a dead-end. My biggest professional frustration has always been internal. As an entrepreneur, you’re the leader of your team. As such, it is your job to be more prepared to lead your company than anyone else in the world! At the same time, you’re smart enough to know you’re extremely under prepared, and you have a lot of work to do. But hey, that’s what makes the journey so exciting! Even if you fail, you come out much more \”prepared\” for life than you were going in.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
We work in a co-working space, so it’s super fun and casual! We listen to music, we hang out with the other companies, we even played a whole 18-hole round of golf in the building! (That’s another story, for another day.)
Got any great tips for the lean startups out there?
Always focus on being profitable. So many companies are concerned about “raising money” but when I ask them how their investors are going to make 2X , 3X, or 10X their money back, they have nothing to say! The focus should never be on raising money, but rather on building a quality product for your customers.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Jump! You can read all the books, get all the advice, raise all the money, but you’ll never learn until you act. As Nike would say, “Just Do It.”
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why?
- Facebook – Love my friends and family
- ESPN – Love my Texas Longhorns
- Surfline – Love my waves
- Twitter – Love to talk
- TechCrunch – I have a man crush on Ryan Lawler
Where can our readers find you?