Business & Real Estate

Making effective use of technology to get ahead

Living in Silicon Valley can make us feel like we are constantly driving in the fast lane, with little time to slow down and enjoy life. Between work and life demands, and tending to daily routine chores that take up most of our time, we all feel the pain of time poverty.

An idea is born

The frustrations of time management and a growing desire to delegate routine chores without having to hire a full-time assistant led Michael Duran, a physician and single dad, to found Crowdservice.

Crowdservice is Duran’s local startup whose vision is to put a personal assistant into everyone’s pocket, by making use of mobile technology to build a platform that elegantly taps into the power of the Crowd to find, sort and vet workers to help busy people, while allowing greater flexibility and earning power to workers who are bidding on jobs requested.

In a perfect world, Crowdservice acts like a personal assistant who can take care of all of the traditional and nontraditional chores a personal assistant could do and more, depending on the skill set of select workers.

“The platform has been optimized to automate most things, making it safe, affordable, extremely easy and quick to use,” Duran said.

According to Duran, listing a job takes less than 30 seconds. Users can get help ranging from grocery shopping to pet sitting, handyman services and mobile mechanics. Requests for small jobs such as “pick up my dry cleaning” or “fetch me a cup of Starbucks coffee” can also be completed via the app, he added.

“This efficiency lets our fees be the lowest around, which makes even little jobs – like ‘bring me a coffee’ – practical and affordable in Crowdservice,” he said.

Filling a need

Duran believes that Crowdservice is unique among gig-work platforms, where workers of all types can get on-board, using it to help them find jobs in their communities, such as picking up work between gigs, lending a hand when they have pockets of free time or even using it to test a hobby they may want to turn into a profession.

“TaskRabbit only supports certain jobs, only works in certain cities, sets prices and charges its workers 20-30 percent for the privilege of working for them,” he said. “Crowdservice lets workers set their own prices, subject to what people want to pay – just like workers have done for thousands of years.”

Duran noted that Crowdservice takes 9 percent of fees to operate, which is “two-thirds less than what others would take,” and there are no hidden fees. There’s no charge to list a job, or to bid on one.

“You don’t have to jump through hoops to register,” he said. “We just need a name and an email address to get you started,” he said.

Crowdservice also handles charity jobs, so bidders can feel good that they can help out seniors or the disabled at no charge while earning “Karma Points.”

Don’t let time control you

Outsourcing to Crowdservice not only saves you time, but pockets of free time that you’ll get back can be used wisely for sacred moments that bring you happiness, or focusing on important things to get ahead in your life journeys.

“Research has shown that there is something satisfying about simplifying and organizing your life,” Duran said. “When you are free from chore clutters, even a 15-minute break could improve your mood, in the midst of a long day.”

Crowdservice launched nationwide in December, with Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area as the first focus market.

“The Bay Area has the right culture for us,” Duran said. “People here are more on the go and tech savvy than anywhere in the country,” according to Duran.

The app is currently available for download at the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

“With scale, it will act like an alter ego sitting on your shoulder and waiting for your command,” Duran said. “Tell it a mental list of things to do, and it delegates them. That’s where we’re headed.”

For more information, visit

Jenny Huang is founder and CEO of Jenny Huang Marketing LLC. She has more than 20 years of experience as a strategic marketing consultant and helps young and progressive companies launch, market and expand their businesses in local communities. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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