In the beginning there was just me. A 31-years-young entrepreneur with a ton of ambition, a great idea, and the ability to turn the idea into a business.
I started working on GoShare in early 2014 after my plans to open up a 24-hour deli/convenience store fell through. I worked on the deli business plan for well over a year. I had the numbers all figured out, I interviewed vendors, scouted locations, met with architects, developers, bankers, and commercial real estate brokers. I even went as far as submitting lease offers on three commercial properties in downtown San Diego. After figuring out the cost of rent, equipment, construction of the space, and inventory, I realized I was looking at a price tag of close to $400,000 to get the business off the ground. Fortunately for me, every landlord rejected my lease offers. Maybe it was fate.
At first the rejection was tough. I was so frustrated after one landlord said no that I wrote a scathing email to the landlord’s representative explaining why she would regret not letting me lease the space. I couldn’t understand at the time why they would rather leave the space vacant than rent the space out to an ambitious entrepreneur. My gut tells me that I will owe that woman a call one day to apologize and thank her for not letting me make what could’ve been the biggest mistake of my life. After careful consideration (and more landlord rejection) I knew it was time to pivot. I needed a better idea, and a better solution to a bigger problem.
Trying to come up with an innovative idea that solves a real problem is not an easy task. I started by setting a new goal for myself. I was going to think of past problems and try to come up with a modern solution. I remembered a few occasions when I really needed to rent a pickup truck for a small task but always had a hard time getting one. I either had to borrow one from my friend, which was never easy, leave a job site mid day, or I would have to rent a truck from U-Haul by the hour which was kind of a pain in the ass. I thought there had to be a better way, but there was not…
Then I had a light bulb moment! What if I could create a ride-sharing service for pickup trucks? The application would allow users to locate a pickup truck nearby to help them with moving, towing, shipping, or just getting a ride across town. Drivers could earn money driving their pickup trucks and giving a hand to people in their community who need help.
The idea is to solve problems for 3 different types of customers: For consumers, it gives them access to a fleet of trucks to help them out with a variety of tasks when they need it. Consumers can use GoShare as an alternative to truck rental for on-demand towing, moving, hauling, shipping or delivery of large items. Retail businesses can use GoShare for lower cost same day delivery. Labor focused businesses can use it to help move tools and materials without leaving their job site. Finally, we will support the sharing economy in order to reduce the macro problem of over-consumption in America by promoting collaborative consumption.
We will test these hypotheses in two markets to start, with plans to expand nationally. The two test markets are San Diego, CA where the company in based and the great state of New Jersey where I grew up. We are currently hiring drivers who own their own pickup truck or cargo van who want to earn money driving locally. Drivers will need to pass a background and criminal history check, have a vehicle that is less than 15 years old, a valid drivers license, and auto insurance.
I’m looking forward to the rewards and challenges that come with building a startup. In the past five months I’ve already experienced a range of emotions from the excitement of a small win every time I receive a job application and the frustration of small mistakes that we have made. My ultimate goals are to build a sustainable business, create jobs, and hopefully making a positive impact on the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the company’s progress. You can learn more about Shaun Savage here.