Concierge Service for the Masses
While the rich and famous can have subscriptions to concierge services (such as the famed Quintessentially) to plan a vacation or book opera tickets, a recent Princeton grad is trying to bring such amenities to the masses. Harry Schiff, class of 2010, has started an online market for errands. He says he was sitting around craving a sandwich when the idea for Agent Anything happened:
The idea itself came from standard college laziness … I had the remote firmly in hand, but was sorely short of a sandwich. The University Store was only about 50 yards from my dorm, but that morning I had watched Al Pacino’s “Inches” speech (from Any Given Sunday) twice before getting up the pluck to put on a pair of pants, so walking half a football field was clearly not in the cards. As is well known, though, laziness often leads to a considerable amount of thought and work so long as the effort is focused on getting around the task that needs to be accomplished. So, I began to ponder a way out of my predicament.
I thought about this a little more — okay, nobody was going to do anything for $1-2, it’s just not enough money, even if it was on their way. But what if my roommates were home and we each put a buck or two in … someone would totally do it for $5-10 bucks. In fact, if it was on my way, I would definitely do something like that for $5-10 bucks.
Agent Anything is part matching and part auction; it sets up “agents” with “missions,” with the price for each task set by the buyer. The missions range from delivering food to assembling IKEA furniture to doing manual labor like data entry. The other night, my roommate had some Ben & Jerry’s delivered at his right price. He even gave a tip.