The taxi service business is getting more innovative with the entrance of companies like Uber and Roadie. Marc Gorlin, the founder and CEO of Roadie, provides an on-the-way delivery network that taps into unused space in passenger vehicles already on the road, providing retailers with a cost-effective delivery service that increases sales and exceeds customer expectations.
We had a chance to interview Marc Gorlin and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of Roadie.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
The idea for Roadie struck me one day when my remodeling project stalled out because my tile showed up from the manufacturer broken to bits. I needed a couple boxes of tile from a warehouse a few hours away, and had no practical way of getting them same day other than driving the 5 hour round trip to pick them up myself. I knew there had to be someone already making the trip who’d be willing to throw some tile in their trunk for $20, if only I knew who they were. And from that problem, Roadie was born.
How did you come up with your business name?
Being a Roadie isn’t really a new concept. Roadies have long been the unsung heroes behind rock and roll. And that’s a big part of what inspires us and our name. Our love for music, folks in black t-shirts making sure the Gigs run on time, all the gear getting there safely and that nostalgic feeling of Americana we get from being on the open road.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
Roadie is an on-the-way delivery network that connects people with stuff to send with drivers heading in the right direction. Our app-based community taps into the unused space in the more than 250,000,000 passenger vehicles already on the road — a captive fleet of employees, customers, and local commuters already driving around town or across the country. It’s a model we call Collaborative Delivery(™) and it enables efficient, point-to-point delivery for senders and rewards drivers on trips they’re already taking.Traditional shipping companies still rely on the same 100-year-old hub-and-spoke delivery model, which has been severely strained by the explosive demand for same-day delivery options. For consumers and businesses, getting it there same day often means headaches and high costs, especially sending oversized or bulky items. At Roadie, we’re disrupting that old model by tapping into a hidden transportation network that already exists, and using it to move everything from car keys to couches to kittens.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Our business is growing because we saw a giant hole in the market. With on-demand transportation services, folks are going out of their way to pick up someone, and then going out of their way again to take someone somewhere they weren’t already going. Lyft and Uber are great, but at the end of the day they’re mobile-enabled taxi services with higher fixed costs, limited geographic footprints and restrictions on package size.By leveraging resources that already exist, we’re building a faster, cheaper, greener alternative to those on-demand services, and also to traditional couriers and carriers. And with over 50,000 drivers nationwide, Roadie has delivered items to more than 4,000 cities and towns across America — a footprint similar to Amazon Prime Now.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
Most of the shipping industry has spent the better part of the last decade or more optimizing routes and traffic patterns, and my guess is there’s not an enormous amount of unexplored territory there. But in our business, route mapping and predictive modeling is the key to the whole puzzle. We’re using the power of data and analytics to connect you with someone who’s already heading the same direction your stuff needs a lift. Over the next 3-5 years, our goal is to continue leveraging those existing resources to make same-day and last-mile delivery easier and more cost-efficient for people, small businesses, and enterprises alike. Simply put, we want to make sending big, bulky, hard-to-handle stuff as easy and convenient as getting a sandwich delivered down the street.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
I always tell my team: the woodpeckers inside the boat can do more damage than the storm outside. All the competitors, outside business forces, and economic downturns combined can’t do the damage of a few toxic employees in a team.That’s why culture and team are my single biggest focus, and it’s why interviewing is so important. A candidate might be great at marketing or sales, but if they’re too self-absorbed to empty the dishwasher too, they don’t make the cut.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
I guess if you’ve made it this far, I really just want to thank you for your time and interest in our story and the exciting future we’re trying to build. And we hope you’ll want to be part of it. It’s easy to get started as a Driver or Sender – simply visit us online at roadie.com or download the Roadie app in the Google Play or iTunes Store.