Santa Barbara local Jacob Reitzin is a people person, wine expert and CEO of Dude I Need A Truck, whose company was created out of the simple notion that everyone needs to use a truck at some point in their life to move bulky items in a pinch. Reitzin took the stage at Innovate Pasadena’s “Friday Coffee Meetup” at Cross Campus and discussed his unconventional entrepreneurial experience.
“I just thought about how at some point everyone needs a truck at some point and they also need a dude to help them,”said Reitzin.
Reitzin is the original Dude who spent ten years happily working in the wine industry and raising a family in the Santa Barbara area. He described his life a few years back as he approached the age of 30 as entering a mid-life crisis of a sort with a burning desire to buy a pickup truck.
“I wasn’t sure why I wanted one, I just knew I wanted one and so I went out and bout an old truck from a used car dealership,” said Reitzin.
It all changed one day when he had an idea to put up a Craigslist ad with no intention of anyone contacting him due to the unnerving idea of having a complete stranger come to your house and transport personal belongings.
“Within a few hours I got my first response. She wrote me a check for $35 and i told myself, ‘I’m in business. I’m a firm believer that we stumble into destiny,” said Reitzin of his unexpected entrepreneurial endeavor.
He continued to take side jobs with his truck while still being a full time employee at a winery in Santa Barbara. He coined his services as “micro moving” where all of the loads fit in the bed of a pickup truck. The idea is to keep the moves quick and easy and having one Dude help out the customer.
“From there as I began to do this, I started to feel like Superman. I would get a text at work that someone needs help and I would take off my suit, jump in my truck, and change into a tank top ready to go help someone move stuff,” said Reitzin.
Half of the American population completes a micro move every year, according to the website.
Business started to pick up and Reitzin realized that he needed to go one step further and put his services on a digital platform. After getting a group of investors on board and a savvy business team comprised of friends and family professional who believed in his vision, he was able to eventually develop the Dude App.
“We created an app designed for anyone to use, whether its a seven year old or seventy year old,” explained Reitzin.
His business model is most commonly referred to as the “Uber for moving things” with a small team of contracted drivers dubbed Dudes and Dudettes who connect with customers via the Dude App and arrive on location within fifteen to forty five minutes ready to help.
“I’m learning that it’s about building a successful company that about value. It’s about your team, the problem you’re helping and the problems you’re solving,” said
Dude I Need A Truck has since expanded is services to Austin, the greater Los Angeles area, and Sacramento and is expected to move into new regions as the company grows.