At the end of the day we’re making it super easy for users to get rid of their unwanted things.
Here’s the trunk of my car:
What you see in the above photo is an auto emergency kit, and a whole mess of old clothes that have been there for three months. I drive by a DI nearly every day and yet, there in the trunk of my car, the clothes remain.
So here’s me downloading GiveIt, the free donation pickup app:
I selected the category in which my donations belong:
Snapped a photo, entered my address, and seconds later I received this text:
Then, about five minutes later I received this text:
So, let me offer my testimony. When GiveIt founder MacKay Crookston calls GiveIt the “magic go away button,” he’s barely exaggerating. “People just want stuff gone,” Crookston explains, and adds that most of those people don’t really care where the stuff goes. Most are perfectly happy giving their stuff to charities so long as that stuff is no longer in their house/car/garage/storage facility/soul. It’s the getting the stuff to the charities that becomes difficult. While driving a car full of stuff you don’t want anymore doesn’t sound hard, for many of us who have jobs or families or lazy tendencies, it is hard. It’s time consuming and cumbersome and it really shouldn’t be such a process. Which is precisely why Crookston simplified it.
“At the end of the day we’re making it super easy for users to get rid of their unwanted things,” Crookston says. “We make it as easy as taking a photo.” GiveIt uploads the photo of your unwanted things to a virtual warehouse. Charities in your area can sort by location to find donations. The charities that agree to pickup the items are charities that will put the items to their best use. And, because the charities pay a nominal fee upon pickup commitment, there is very little chance of them flaking and leaving your donations stranded on your porch. Charities save on the cost of marketing by using GiveIt, receive items they actually need, and give them to recipients who have a good use for your junior high soccer uniform or whatever. And you don’t even have to get up off the couch. That’s my kind of charitable act.
Crookston knew he wanted to start a company that was scalable, and could improve people’s lives. He went to Startup Ignition, where he honed his idea. “Startup Ignition really gives you the proper foundation and core understanding on how to validate an idea and turn it into a startup,” Crookston says. During Startup Ignition he found mentors and trusted advisors that have helped him launch GiveIt. The first version of the product went live on the final day of StartFest last year, and I can’t believe I didn’t start using the app right then.
GiveIt is growing quickly, thanks mostly to word of mouth, but Crookston recognizes that’s not a sustainable method and that the company needs to expand their marketing efforts. “Every entrepreneur thinks they have a golden idea that will change the world. In reality it doesn’t happen that way,” Crookston says. Crookston hopes to find and connect with others who have built apps, and gained experience. “We know very little, and we have so much knowledge to gain,” he says, displaying a maturity that is sure to make him a willing listener to any app builders willing to impart their knowledge.
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