Hate Moving? The buddyTruk App May Change Your Perspective
The entrepreneur is the modern day alchemist. They transform something into gold through a process of passion and a dash of magic. Innovation always comes when someone find a problem or pain point and creating a solution to transform it. Take moving. No one liked moving, especially those of you who own a truck. If you’ve already invested in the “Yes, I have a truck. No, I won’t help you move,” bumper sticker but still find the question popping up, now you have a solution.
Refer your friends to the about-to-be-launched app, buddyTruk. It’s the latest hybrid app creation of our increasingly social sharing world combined with the convenience of ride sharing… in essence, now YOU have a friend with a truck. Login, find a “friend” willing to help you move your stuff with their truck and labor, pay the fee and voila! No more hiring U-hauls for your studio apartment move and no more borrowing a friend of a friend’s truck to pick up your dresser from Ikea when you have a Honda!
I met up with founder and CEO Brian Foley to talk a little more about buddyTruk. Here’s what he had to say…
What gave you the idea to create buddyTruk and how did you transform that idea into a business?
The idea developed out of a combination of two things: my love of ride sharing and other social initiatives, and my own personal hated of moving. In college, I moved 6 times. Additionally, I had very few things, so usually the only thing I needed help moving was my mattress. Thus every time I moved I was either renting a U-Haul or hiring a “professional” company to help me move 1 item.
When I graduated college I found a room for rent on Craigslist in this house in Santa Monica. I always wanted to live there, so I packed up my mattress in a U-Haul and drove down to this house. I drive a small car, and by no means would call myself a qualified truck driver. As I tried to pull up to the house, I misjudged how wide the back of the truck was and I had the corner of the truck stuck against the side of the parked car behind me. In the moment, I decided the only option was to continue driving forward, and apologize to whoever’s car this was later. As I begin to drive forward, the box truck gets stuck on the car’s bumper and it RIPS THE ENTIRE FRONT BUMPER OFF THE CAR!
I put the truck in park and ran into the house to introduce myself to my new roommates and to see if they knew whose car I just manhandled. It turns out that the car is my roommate’s! I decided then that I would never use a U-haul again and the idea for buddyTruk was formed.
As for the transformation process from idea to business, that was done rather quickly. I had just left my (short-lived) career in Finance to pursue a separate entrepreneurial venture in fashion, but quickly pivoted when I came up with buddyTruk. Thankfully, I had a history with start-ups, with buddyTruk being my 5th, so the process of incorporating, cultivating a team, and drawing up a business plan was relatively painless.
What has been your biggest challenge in getting started and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge at buddyTruk has been learning the different aspects of the tech business which I did not know. I didn’t have any tech or coding experience coming in, so learning the industry enough to where I could speak intelligently about it with our coders and investors was a challenge. I remember the first time I had a phone meeting with a mobile app developer and he was talking about wireframes and screenshots for the app. He kept saying he would be putting everything in “psd” files. I interrupted him and asked, “What’s a psd file?” Although I couldn’t see him, I could tell he was rolling his eyes as he answered, “That just means it was done in photoshop.” At that moment I realized I had some homework to do.
Did you already have experience in the app or tech world or was this totally new?
When will buddyTruk launch and where can people find it?
The buddyTruk app will be launching in the Los Angeles market in the next few weeks. After almost half a year of development, we just got the application to work on our phones. We’re going to continue to test it out here first before we release it on iTunes and Google Play later this month. If people want to get the app the day it comes out, please go to our website, press the download app button, enter your email address, and we will alert you the day it’s released! If you’re interested in becoming a buddyTruk driver, the process is easy and can be done by clicking on the “Become a Driver” tab on our website.
If Blogtrepreneur readers would like to get further involved in our “Social Hauling Movement” they can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @buddytruk. Additionally, to donate to the Social Hauling Movement, check out our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs who want to start their own business?
This is my 5th start-up, and although I’ve failed more often than I’ve succeeded, I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade my career path for anything in the world. My advice to entrepreneurs would be 3-fold:
- Trust your gut. There are a million entrepreneurs out there who will give you advice on how you should run your business (and sometimes good advice!), and their advice will lead you in a million different directions. As a mentor once told me, “If you’re taking advice from two people, you’re listening to no one.” Thus, listen to yourself. There is no one better suited to execute your idea than you. It’s your idea after all! Ask for advice, seek help, but at the end of the day, you are your own best teacher. Follow your instincts, you’ll be surprised how often they’re right.
- Your reputation is the most valuable part of your business. And I’m not talking about your business’s reputation. I mean your own personal reputation. Before people buy from you, they must buy into you. This is true for your business partners, your team, your investors, your mentors, and your customers. Ask yourself before starting your business: Would I work for me? Would I buy from me? Would I invest my own hard-earned money in me? When all those answers are: “Absolutely,” then proceed. If you’re struggling with those questions, ask yourself why and address the issue. Are you too lazy to start a business? Not “smart” enough? Don’t know where to start? Whatever your excuse, if you have reservations, everyone who follows you (or chooses not to) will have the same. Becoming an entrepreneur is synonymous with becoming the best “you” you can be. Entrepreneurs are leaders, and they choose to work on themselves first. As Warren Bennis said in his book, On Becoming A Leader, Leaders work on their lives, not in them.
- Jump! At the end of the day, you either jump or you don’t. Entreprenuers learn by doing. There is no book you can read, seminar you can take, or advice I can give you that will teach you how to be a successful entrepreneur. The only way to learn is by going out and doing it! If you choose to take the jump and start your own business, you may fail, or you may make millions! The only certainty I can tell you is that you won’t regret it.