When you need a service done – maybe house painting, landscaping, or even plumbing– it can be time consuming to go out and find the best candidate for your job. You may go through your Yellow Pages, send an email to friends and family asking for a referral or even just Google it. Even then, you have to evaluate each contender – what’s the best value for the price you want to pay. You are the payee so why should it require so much time and effort on your part?
RedBeacon, Rackspace Cloud Customer (on Slicehost), was designed to solve this problem. You can go to their website, enter the service you need and they will update all potential providers in your area they believe can serve you best and invite them to submit a price quote for your job. You will receive a list of service provider descriptions with price quotes interested in doing your job. Choose the best one and you can simply book an appointment with them. The workload is not on you anymore.
“Just interviewed @redbeacon — I am even more impressed with their thinking now (TC50 winner). I was wrong to not pick them.”
I had the opportunity to catch up with Aaron Lee, co-founder of RedBeacon, to find out more about the origin of RedBeacon, their experience at TechCrunch50 and why they chose cloud computing.
As ex-Google product employees, the founders of RedBeacon did take notice that finding local service providers was difficult and unfortunately, they hadn’t leveraged the existing technology to make the lives of consumers better and easier. The idea was to fulfill this need and that’s essentially how RedBeacon came to be.
TechCrunch50 was the perfect platform for RedBeacon to launch their product, receive feedback from the experts and to network. Lee quotes:
“For any startup, TechCrunch50 is definitely a must attend event. It’s a great way for a startup to gain exposure and recognition. We received great advice and feedback from TechCrunch, panel judges, and the audience. The guidance and presentation feedback from Jason and Michael was just phenomenal. They also provide a low cost way for young startups to showcase their ideas to industry veterans and VCs.”
Currently, RedBeacon is signing up service providers (it’s free) to establish a good foundation. Once they seed the database, they will launch in early October to consumers. They will only make money (10% commission) when the service provider makes money. Their next steps will be focused on deploying exciting new features such as leveraging social graph and partnerships with merchants, associations and publishers.
As a start up venture, RedBeacon wanted a cloud computing provider where they could easily turn servers off and on when needed. They chose Slicehost for this very reason but most importantly for the support and the control panel:
“Slicehost has kickass 24/7 technical support – it’s like having a master system admin on your team and only for a fraction of the cost. The UI is slick and intuitive. Bringing up and down servers is a breeze. We spun up a dozen servers easily to handle the load during TechCrunch50. Overall I am very happy with Slicehost and would definitely recommend it to others.”