Creating a Blog using Collaborative Consumption Services

I am fortunate to see dozens of innovative new internet products and services every month.  But, it is not often that I have the opportunity to utilize those products in a business context.   So, it was fun (and effective) to use two new services to create the logo and design the layout for this blog with minimal effort, at a very reasonable cost and, hopefully you'll agree, in a high quality way.


I chose crowdSpring to create the logo for my blog.  crowdSpring is a marketplace of designers who submit proposals for logo and graphic design projects.  I offered a $300 payment and received 50+ submissions for logos.  I was able to give feedback on the logos, easily share them with my colleagues for reactions, and ultimately iterate with the designer on the one I chose.

A small selection of the 50+ logo ideas I received through crowdSpring
I hired a TaskRabbit to design, configure and implement the blog layout, add content from my existing bio and instrument analytics & social media feeds for the blog.  TaskRabbit is a fantastic online service for finding people to help make your life simpler (i.e. do many of the chores you don't want or have time to do).  For this task, I found an expert in web design who did this project for $85.  The designer was incredibly proactive and attentive to detail.

So, for $385 and minimal effort, I was able to get this blog designed and launched very efficiently.  And, I was able to focus on developing content rather than worrying about implementation.  In both cases, I only communicated with the designers virtually.  I don't know where they live and we never had a phone call.  I trusted them based on their design submissions and, in the case of TaskRabbit, the person's profile and reputation on the site.

I'm not an investor in either crowdSpring or TaskRabbit, so this is not meant to be a promotional piece.   But, I am a fan of both services and others like them.

These companies fall into a space that I'm very interested in called Collaborative Consumption

What is Collaborative Consumption?  Essentially it is a new category of online service that harnesses the fact that people are now organized into online networks with real identities and reputations.  In these networks, people interact with each other in a variety of ways (design collaboration, peer to peer lending, eCommerce, vacation rentals, car sharing and the list goes on and on).  There are a number of exciting new companies that are joining the pioneers of this category (e.g. eBay): Uber, Zaarly, 99Designs, LendingClub, oDesk, AirBnb, Ridejoy, Redbeacon, Skillshare, Getaround and Grubhub.

InterWest is an investor in Carwoo, an innovative online car buying service that is in the collaborative consumption space.  Carwoo has aggregated a network of auto dealers who bid against each other in an open marketplace to win a new car buyer's business.   New car buyers enjoy a simple experience where they enter the make/model of the car they want to purchase and then begin to see offers from dealers on Carwoo. 

If you are working on a new idea in this category, please send me an email.

P.S. See below the before and after pictures of my garage after a TaskRabbit project.   I have used TaskRabbit on ~6 occassions now, all with fantastic results.

Garage: BEFORE TaskRabbit
Garage: AFTER TaskRabbit



17 comments:

  1. Doug,

    Wonderful post. Love the real-world application of both crowdSpring and taskrabbit.

    Cool stuff.

    Will

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  2. Another great start-up in the P2P rental space is Fun2Rent.com.  Fun2Rent connects owners of recreation and powersports vehicles with qualified renters. Owners make money, and renters save money. Win-win!

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  3. I think that TaskRabbit is one of the most disruptive startups I've seen since moving to SF. They would be my number one recommendation for an investment from you Doug! Great to see a VC get their hands dirty with some of the different products.

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