Dwolla employee, friend build Angie's List competitor in spare time

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:00 am

Derrick Hans and Nathan Gibson have been friends since kindergarten. They grew up just outside of Ankeny, attended the same high school, and would eventually start a business together. That was never the original plan though.

Hans (far left), who works at Dewey Ford in Ankeny, and Gibson (near left), a builder at Dwolla, both have other full-time engagements, not to mention families that keep them busy. But Gibson's entrepreneurial idea was one neither of them could shake.

The proposed business has since become Bid On My Job, a web service that helps connect qualified professionals with individuals looking to have work done around their home. Residents post the job they need done, say fixing a sink or maintaining a lawn, on the site and businesses from the surrounding area can submit a bid for the job, allowing the user to select the best company for their needs.

"I just thought in this day and age, why am I having to call all of these people when they're paying all of this money on marketing trying to reach me? So it's like both of us are wasting our time and money," Gibson said. 

Since the site launched in December, the bootstrapped company has helped facilitate around 300 jobs and hosts more than 800 contractor profiles. Businesses specializing in everything from cake baking to building houses can create a landing page complete with customer reviews, links to social media profiles and contact information.

On Bid On My Job, customers can request quotes from builders, contractors and repairmen.

While similar services, even the more traditional Yellow Pages, also help consumers connect with contractors, Gibson said the process is time consuming and ineffective. He also believes those services offer few advantages for the companies using them. 

"We talked to these businesses and found out they hated places like ServiceMagic and even Angie's List because you have to pay for leads and then you don't even know if you're going to get (the job) or not," Gibson said. "We really thought that was ridiculous."

Gibson said Bid On My Job will continue to operate on a subscription-based revenue model, so that businesses can view and be alerted of all job postings after paying a flat annual rate.


Credits: Derrick Hans and Nathan Gibson photo and Bid On My Job screenshot courtesy of Nathan Gibson.

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