Exec, the startup led by Justin.tv’s Justin Kan that lets you hire people for errands and cleaning, is getting a new look today. It’s also expanding beyond the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time by offering its cleaning service in San Diego.
Kan told me that until now, Exec has been running on the same website since it launched a year ago. I think the old site looks just fine, but Kan argued that recent additions feel a bit awkward — most notably, the cleaning service just appears as a random tab at the top of the site, not a core part of the Exec offering. He added that he wanted the website (which accounts for about two-thirds of Exec orders) to incorporate some of the design improvements from the mobile app.
“We wanted to clean up the site and make it convey that emotion that we’re making things easier for you,” Kan said.
Now the site has been divided cleanly into two sections — Errands, for the broad range of tasks that Exec started out offering, and Cleaning. And there’s plenty of room in the design to add other services, too.
Kan said his vision for Exec has evolved over the past year. He still wants to “solve all your real-world problems” in “the easiest and simplest way possible,” but instead of providing customers with an open-ended box for requesting any task from a general workforce, it has become clear that Exec can deliver a better experience by creating a custom interface for different types of work, and bringing on workers who are experts in that specific job.
“I want to take the approach that every time we look at a new vertical, we ask, ‘If we didn’t already have a business, how would we design this?’” Kan said.
The errand service still looks pretty open-ended, but Kan said the company is starting to “steer customers away” from tasks that it can’t currently do very well, such as moving. Another sign of this more “verticalized” approach is the launch in San Diego, which is limited to the cleaning service for now.
Not surprisingly, Exec has broader geographic ambitions, but Kan said the team is taking the time to figure out how to grow the service without opening an office in each new city. One of the key strategies: “We ruthlessly seek and destroy anything that requires people’s time,” creating technology and product solutions to help manage the jobs and workforce.
Exec has served “on the order of” 10,000 customers and has a workforce of about 300 people, Kan said. (Investors include CrunchFund, which itself is backed by TechCrunch-owner AOL.)