'We need human interaction': Meet LA man Chuck McCarthy who walks people for a living and wants to build an Uber for Walking app.
Marlene Breverman stashed this in Entrepreneurs
The idea initially struck the underemployed actor several months ago as a joke, an imaginary way to make extra cash, until it became real.
“The more I thought about it, the less crazy it seemed,” said McCarthy, draining a bottle of water – he now takes hydration seriously – and heading out into the sunshine for another walk, this time with the Guardian trotting in step.
So many requests have poured in that McCarthy has recruited five other walkers to serve different parts of LA, though he will not take any cut from their earnings until he figures out a professional business model.
It could grow fast. A woman in Israel has copied the idea, someone in Britain wants him to do it there, and a guy in New York asked him to walk his eight-year-old son to the bus stop each day.
McCarthy, bemused and excited by the attention, is considering crowdfunding to hire techies to design an Uber-style app. In addition to ensuring proximity – he wants to stay local and on foot, not drive across town, let alone fly thousands of miles – the app would let walkers and clients rate each other for personability and walking speed. The latter is a key point for walkers since a slow pace, say two miles an hour, yields $14, versus $28 for a brisk four miles an hour.
Wow. Here I thought nobody walks in LA.
He's right that we need human interaction.
A stroll with this soft-spoken, hirsute hulk seems to be what much of LA wants, judging by the response to his Facebook page and homemade flyers.
“Need motivation to walk?” they ask from lamp posts. “Scared to walk alone at night? Don’t like walking alone at all? Don’t want people to see you walking alone and just assume you have no friends? Don’t like listening to music or podcasts but can’t walk alone in silence, forced to face thoughts of the unknown future, or your own insignificance in the ever expanding universe?”
"... can't walk alone in slilence, forced to face thoughts of the unknown future...". Insightful motivator.
Well now you me wonder why there aren't more people walkers.
And why there isn't yet an "Uber for Walking".
I know a guy who does this for free.
Is there a lot of demand to walk with him?
Price tends to follow demand.