As some of you know, i’ve been helping build a new product/team for over a year now. This week we launched “Prefer,
” a new way for service professionals and clients to find each other via referrals and work together. It was designed to help surface the “small-world connections” within private networks of friends. The more time I spend with service professionals of all kinds (from babysitters, tutors, personal trainers, and yoga instructors, to dog walkers, chefs, and accountants…), the more I realize how much of their careers are at the mercy of circumstance. They are dependent on employers or other technologies that inhibit rather than enhance their relationships with clients.
Last week I spent 30 minutes with a manicurist in NYC, creating her “service menu” and helping her invite private clients to book her directly and refer her to their friends. She was so excited. She also seemed proud, as if she was taking the reigns on her own business for the first time.
For clients, the benefits of Prefer are quite simple: It helps you find the service professionals you need from people you know. It also removes the stress from scheduling, payment, etc…
Anyways, it is early days and there are still so many obstacles and puzzles the Prefer team must overcome. Just about the only positive signal that really matters in the early stage of a new business is the quality of team that is attracted to it. Promising! If you’re interested, read the story behind Prefer (link below), and get the app
. I’ve also enclosed an article from Fast Company that profiles a few service professionals that have been using the product since we launched the beta test in NYC.