My name is Colin Milligan and I am writing to you as the Co-Founder & CEO of Sydetasker. As the first blog post, I thought it would be nice to outline an introduction to Sydetasker, our story, and why it was created as a business.
When I was in college at UW Oshkosh studying Economics and Sustainability, there was a limited amount of part-time jobs available that would work around my school schedule. I worked at the local coffee shop making $7.50/hour for about 10 hours a week. This income was not nearly enough to pay for my rent, education, and living expenses. I could have gotten another job, but it got in the way of my studies. Then the idea for Sydetasker came.
In 2018, after a friendly gathering the night before in our college house, my roommates and I were left with a mess that we did not want to clean in the morning. We thought about hiring somebody, but the prices to hire a cleaning company were too high. I then had a thought - a college student who enjoyed cleaning would probably complete the task for lower than the price of other businesses in the market. This started the idea of College Cleaners. I started passing out flyers around the neighborhood saying we (My friends & I) would complete odd jobs for customers at a discounted rate.
My first gig was cleaning for $12/hour and the customer was willing to work around my school & work schedule. I was ecstatic to work outside, on my own time, and to make more than my coffee house job. I told my friends about what I was doing and they were very interested. Soon enough, my friends and I were helping people get all sorts of jobs completed from snow shoveling, to yard work, to heavy lifting. This opened my eyes to the large gap in the supply and demand of the Home Services Industry.
After completing various gigs for customers in Oshkosh and participating in the Titan Accelerator Program, I graduated with my Economics degree in 2019 and decided to keep working on the business. I realized that many different communities could benefit from this type of service so I decided that with the increasing use of technology, I could find a Co-Founder who could help develop software for a mobile & web application to scale the vision to different areas.
Later in 2019, I met Sydetasker’s current CTO & Co-Founder, Dr. Zaid Altahat, computer science professor at UW-Parkside. We had a meeting at a restaurant in the middle of Wisconsin where we decided we would work together on this project - with the goal of helping all different demographics get more tasks done by friendly & trusted individuals, while also at a good price.
While the Sydetasker platform was being developed by Zaid’s computer engineering team, I continued to work various gigs in the industry (landscaping, handyman services, snow removal, and more) while finding new customers who would be willing to try out our Sydetasker mobile app when it was completed. By the Fall of 2020, we had a product that could be beta tested with real customers & workers.
While working in the industry, I learned about the dark side of the contracting world - where contractors run off with customers’ money, jobs do not get done, and overall inefficiency. It showed me just how important Sydetasker’s secure payment & reviews system could be to a customer who is going to hire a contractor.
Sydetasker was released to the public in January of 2021. Colin and Zaid have both been working full-time & self-funded Sydetasker since - increasing Sydetasker’s software experience, overall customer experience, finding trusting and reliable contractors, and everything in between. We want to provide a safe place for people to get work done, as well as providing quality help that they might not find otherwise.
In the past, Angi’s List & HomeAdvisor had been at the top of home services, however, there is a HUGE inefficiency in these platforms. Contractors/businesses get sold empty leads leaving the contractor in the red. (I was listed on these platforms when I started my cleaning company in college, and couldn’t believe they were charging so much for people who didn’t even need the work done) I set out for Sydetasker to be more contractor/business friendly by making sure they get more work without being charged for projects they do not perform.
Sydetasker has been steadily growing since 2021 after lots of technology fixes, adding new features, finding our rhythm, and getting great workers on our platform. Providing a supplemental income for good-hearted, hard working Taskers is what keeps me motivated for the future of the Sydetasker’s place in the world. Lots of people need help getting things done, and we are making the help readily available, for an affordable price.
We currently are doing business throughout the great state of Wisconsin and are going to launch in Houston, Texas in the next few weeks. I still do some tasks through Sydetasker in the role of a Tasker when I am needed. I have learned the ins and outs of the industry by doing the jobs myself for years, so I understand both the customer and contractor viewpoints. I hope that you can find value in outsourcing your tasks on Sydetasker at some point and I thank you very much for reading the first blog post.
Let’s Get More Done, Together!