Hawkable is #junksolved
There are lots of ways to dispose of old items or junk online, using older services like Craigslist or more recent market entrants like OfferUp and Wallapop. But all the existing options lack a key element, according to Kyle Schmidt, chief executive and co-founder of Hawkable: portability.
“These features don’t exist in the current apps that are out there,” said Schmidt, who along with his co-founder had the idea to create an app that links a seller’s items to his or her location, thus increasing the overall number of potential buyers. “This is the unique feature that we’re bringing to the space.”
Portability is key to Hawkable, giving sellers an advantage over others listed on competitors’ platforms. By saying an item is “with you,” a potential buyer can track a seller via mobile phone and know if he or she is nearby.
This means sellers have more potential customers, more potential items to sell, and no need for a delivery service, assuming the item on sale is not a refrigerator or some other big ticket item.
Cutting Down Consumption
Schmidt said he is not necessarily passionate about the resale market, but is instead driven by environmental concerns linked to overconsumption. He said he wants to help people buy fewer things and reuse the items they already own.
“I hate waste, I cannot stand waste,” he said. “If we put things on the marketplace then maybe we can reduce the carbon footprint of junk.”
Schmidt had already founded one startup and wanted to use what he learned from his experience creating a separate venture from the ground up. But there was one component from this past that seemed daunting: software development.
“I have had a difficult time with development,” said Schmidt, noting that he had bad experiences previously with outsourcing his development needs. “I was not excited about it because neither of us are technical co-founders.”
Schmidt and his partner, Peter, started bouncing around the idea for Hawkable in the middle of 2015, but were unsure how to progress. Schmidt said he heard about Gigster while looking at his Twitter feed. There he noticed a TechCrunch story profiling Gigster and the money it was attracting to its business model.
He supplemented this interest by listening to the This Week in Startups episode featuring Gigster founder Roger Dickey.
“I thought, ‘Hey, this sounds like a place where I may be able to have some competent outsourcing,” Schmidt said.
Don’t Get Left Behind
At the same time his business partner was seeing more commercials from rivals advertising their product and getting frustrated by the feeling that Hawkable could get left behind. The co-founders decided to move forward and they agreed to approach Gigster.
Within days, they were onboard. Schmidt said he first set up an account on Gigster and responded to an initial message by sending wireframes he mocked up the previous summer. Gigster got back to him in less than an hour with a quote.
Hawkable is Schmidt’s second startup. His first one revolves around health care staffing. Schmidt said meeting Peter, whom he describes as “a total ideas guy” was the key to getting Hawkable off the ground.
“He came up with this idea through his own frustration,” Schmidt said. The duo are now hoping this idea, and its underlying technology, is enough to take on the likes of Craigslist, OfferUp, and Wallapop.
If you’re thinking about turning your own idea into a reality, Gigster can help.