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03 Jun, Wednesday
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Local App Oddjobb Launches to Help Users Get More Free Time

Salt Lake City—When Ryan Husk was a child, his mother was much fonder of spending time with her children than doing housework. If it was a nice day, Husk said, his mother would forgo the household chores in favor of spending the day at the zoo with her children. The result? The zoo is still Husk’s favorite place to be. And the housework often remained undone.

Now, Husk wants to make it possible for people to do both: enjoy their free time AND get the pesky items on their to-do lists done. He had the idea to create an open mobile marketplace where people could put up their odd jobs and pay others to do them, thus freeing them to go to the zoo, exercise their entrepreneurial talents, build a ship in a bottle, take tennis lessons, or do whatever else would please them.

“My mom would totally have used this app if it was out there. I have these great memories because my mom wanted to spend time with her kids and not doing chores,” said Husk. “If you can accomplish both things you need to and spend time doing the things you want to, we’d all have a happier life. That’s been my dream from the get-go.”

OddJobb ScreenshotHusk and co-founder Braden Rindlisbacher’s app, Oddjobb, is launching today. The way the app works is simple. iPhone users can download the app for free, create a profile, and put up jobs they need done at the price point they’re willing to pay. Other people who have the time and inclination to, say, walk a dog, bake a cake, or weed a yard, can peruse the open jobs and claim one. When both parties agree that a job has been fulfilled, the doer is paid. Both parties then rate one another on a five-star scale depending on how good their experience was, and then both are free to post up or claim other jobs.

Oddjobb has been beta tested since April, and Husk said that the feedback from that beta test has been employed to create as streamlined of an experience as possible. He calls it KSL.com or Craigslist married with the ease of use and security of using an app. There’s no anonymity—everyone who uses the app has a rating (which is mandatory after each job for both the job-poster and doer), and Oddjobb also offers premium background checks, to create a feeling of comfort and security within its community. If anyone does shoddy work, their star rating goes down. And if it goes down under three stars, the user is suspended.

Oddjobb itself gets 20 percent of a job’s funds, but those are taken off the top: a $100 job will post up as an $80 job, for instance. The percentage, Husk said, is the same or lower than other, similar apps charge. To streamline payment, the money offered immediately goes on hold when a user posts a job, ensuring that nobody gets stiffed for the work they do. When both parties agree the work has been done, the money goes to the job-doer—and if there’s any funny business, Oddjobb will take the users through dispute resolution.

“I think the dream for Oddjobb is to give people a way to do what they want with their time,” said Husk. “I want it to be a company that people feel safe and comfortable with, that’ll become an everyday part of their life.”

It’s been a year to the day since Husk first partnered with his first investor. He said it’s been a whirlwind since the idea to create Oddjobb first sprouted in his brain—from finding an app developer to partnering with Rindlisbacher to beta testing and now, launching the app itself. Husk credited the Oddjobb team—especially Rindlisbacher, whom Husk said is most responsible for creating and streamlining the brand—for its success within that time. “Without them, [Oddjobb] would just be an idea in my head and some sketches in Photoshop,” laughed Husk.

Even with all the work it’s taken in such a short time to get the app off the ground, the team has thought about the app’s future, as well. An Android version is in the works, and, should the app perform well in Salt Lake City, then Phoenix, Denver, Seattle and Dallas would be coming up next—either one at a time or all at once, depending on how quickly Oddjobb is embraced.

“I think everyone can identify with this idea of being never caught up. There’s really an opportunity for people whose time is more valuable to them. They can post their jobs and have their own weekends or evenings back,” said Husk. “Then there are people who don’t want to work the traditional 9-5 and they can do this. There are people who only want to work when they feel like it; they want their own schedule and availability rather than a standard work schedule. So we want to give these two groups of people a way to enhance their lives and have a great time.”