[Disclosure: Exec’s Justin Kan sent me some credits to try out its new cleaning service, which I needed due to my injured ankle. I have paid for all previous Exec services. My review, which is below and not the focus of the piece, will reiterate that.]
Exec, which is a service focused on San Francisco professionals, does all types of tasks for you at pretty decent rates. I’ve used the service to have papers scanned and faxed in the past, and it was always quite super. Recently, the company launched a new cleaning service, for those of you that are busy and don’t have time to clean up after yourself. You know, because you’re busy drinking Red Bull, having toga parties and playing with lions and monkeys at your startup parties. I kid. Maybe.
A new wrinkle has been introduced this week, as Justin Kan, its founder, told me about a pretty interesting campaign to promote the cleaning service. I talked to him on the phone about it last week and here’s what he had to say:
TechCrunch: A VC cleaning your house while you pitch them? I need to know that story.
Justin Kan: We were talking about this idea with him (Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures) and his mom used to be a maid, so he liked it. They immigrated to the D.C. area. He said “I’ll go clean someone’s place.” He really wanted a vacuum jetpack. So this week, in the Silicon Valley area, you can pitch a business idea to Shervin while he cleans your house or office. We’ll pick someone on Thursday.
TechCrunch: Why the cleaning service?
Justin Kan: Basically we saw that 10-20 percent of our jobs were cleaning jobs, and it’s something that people really wanted. We started streamlining this process in the background mid-summer, and we’d get supplies and gave Execs who were qualified for cleaning, some special training. We’re differentiating skillsets and are assigning to people who have those skills. We already had that in the backend; people didn’t know that we could use them for cleaning.
We’ve had really good responses. It’s only live for a week. Mostly homes and some offices. Offices are better, because they’re easier.
As for other verticals, Kan tells me that the company is exploring them, but is focused on its core business of random tasks and now the cleaning portion. Breaking the cleaning service out of Exec into its own business isn’t something that Kan is thinking about too much either. Also, a VC won’t always be coming to clean your house, this is just a promotion. It would be cool though, huh?
Here’s what Exec had to say on its blog about Pishevar’s stunt:
To celebrate the launch of our new Exec Cleaning Service, we’ve gotten one of our amazing investors, Shervin Pishevar, to agree to clean your place while you pitch him your startup idea. You heard us right – he will show up with his own custom backpack vacuum. Shervin has been a prolific entrepeneur and VC, founding Webs and Social Games Network. He’s now Managing Director at Menlo Ventures, investing in hit startups like Uber, Fab, Warby Parker and Tumblr. Since Exec has gotten to work with some fantastic investors, we wanted to pass this opportunity along to you.
How to enter:
Schedule a cleaning for some time during the day on Thursday, November 8th (your place must be in San Francisco) add #PitchShervin to the special instructions.
We’ll pick one cleaning that day and Shervin will show up and clean while you explain your startup idea and why it’s a rockstar investment.
For everyone else: you’ll get a sparkling clean apartment. And in the spirit of entrepreneurship, we will be donating all proceeds from cleanings done for this promotion to BUILD, a California-based entrepreneurship training and college preparation program that makes school engaging and relevant, motivating students to succeed.
The money even goes to a training program, which is awesome. Now for the service itself. This isn’t the first time that Kan’s company has done something to benefit charitable causes.
Clean, Clean, Clean
As I mentioned above, Kan gave me some credits for Exec to try out the cleaning service. I recently injured my ankle pretty badly and have had to stay off of my feet. I was game for this, as my house was cluttered with dust and random gadgets…as it normally is. While I won’t go super in-depth with this review, the women who came to clean my house were super professional, came fully prepared with their own supplies and Kan assured me that Exec trains and insures all of the folks who participate and do cleaning jobs. Basically, I trusted him.
Good thing, because my house looks awesome. I feel uncomfortable with the idea of someone cleaning up after me, because well…it’s my house and I don’t feel like someone should have to do that. But the fact of the matter is that services like Exec are creating job opportunities for professionals, and that’s something I can really get behind.
After I was able to locate my Exec and was informed they were on the way, the duo showed up in their Exec jackets and brought in their supplies. They told me to go relax while they did their thing. After two hours, my place looked great and I tipped them very generously. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to do that, as it might be included in the normal cost. However…I did. Because they were fantastically nice.
Once they were finished, I was able to rate their work and submit feedback, which I did.
Will I use the service again? Yes. Will I pitch Shervin? No. But you can.
Bonus: My clean house, with added touch from my new friends.