Last week, I found myself in a predicament. I drove to Athens in my Nissan Leaf, an electric car with a range of about 80 miles, and my battery was almost dead when I pulled up to my girlfriend’s house. I threw open my trunk to grab my charger, and it wasn’t there. My forgetful self was stuck…
As I sat in my girlfriend’s driveway with my dead car, all I wanted was to get in touch with someone with a little extra room in their trunk leaving Atlanta for Athens before sundown, so that I could charge my car overnight. Then, I remembered the company I work with and realized it was a perfect solution to my problem.
Two months ago, a tech startup was born in Atlanta named Roadie. Roadie is a neighbor-to-neighbor shipping community that connects people who have items to send to drivers (also known as Roadies) already headed in the direction that the Sender’s stuff needs to go.
At any moment, there is someone leaving where you are and going just about anywhere. These travelers resemble you and me, driving to visit family, commuting to work, or finally embarking on that long awaited road trip. Some drive because they enjoy the journey as much as (or more than) the destination, or maybe because some just need to get away. Whatever the reason, the open road is their escape.
These voyagers have something else in common too. Most of them have extra space in their trunk, and all of them could use a little extra gas money.
Just think… What if we could use that extra cargo space in cars going everywhere to get our items to the places they need to go? What if we could throw a little extra moolah to the neighborly nomads who help transport our stuff? What if we could do away with the superfluous packaging, gas and impersonal touches associated with the way people send stuff today?
An answer to all of these questions is Roadie. Here’s how it works: Senders simply snap a picture of their stuff, enter in a pickup and dropoff location, then post their gig to the Roadie community. Once a driver picks up the gig, the Roadie and Sender work together to coordinate the details. The Sender can watch the package move across the app’s map in real-time until it safely reaches its destination. Along the way, Roadies can stop at “RoadHouses” (like Waffle House) to grab a free waffle, refuel with some free coffee or drop the package off at a safe, well-lit location.
Around 1pm, I posted the gig for my charger. I had an offer from Rosa within an hour, saying she could get my charger to me by 10pm that night. Sure enough, at 10pm I met Rosa, picked up my charger, charged my Leaf all night, and got back to Atlanta safely the next day. My Roadie really helped me out, and got paid for going somewhere she was already headed.
With a Roadie in every continental state in the U.S., and the user base growing every day, this community has an opportunity to truly change the way people get their stuff where it needs to go. Plus, this kind of communal power allows us to stop paying top dollar for lost packages, broken contents and unmet expectations.
Instead, we could pay a reasonable price to a friendly member of our local community willing to help us out on his/her way. We would be helping to rid the environment of unnecessary plastic packaging, tank loads of gas and large trucks that congest our roads. Our generation could be part of a movement that changes the world for the better. No matter what Jimmy Kimmel says about us, Roadie is about people helping people. 🙂
The Roadie community saved me from a tight situation when I needed some help, but don’t just take my word for it – download the Roadie app to try it with promo code “SHIPNOW” to get $10 off your first Gig.
If you have any questions, comment below. Thanks for helping us build something awesome.