Thursday, May 18, 2017
“Dude, I need a truck!” No, it's not the sequel to the 2000 Ashton Kutcher movie Dude, Where’s My Car? but a tech start-up based in Goleta. The brainchild of lifelong Santa Barbara resident Jacob “Dude” Reitzin, Dude I Need a Truck is a moving company best described as Uber meets U-Haul.
“In the beginning was a dude,” Reitzin said, “but it wasn’t good for the dude to be alone; he needed a truck. So he got a truck, and then the dude realized with this truck he could start helping people.”
Placing an ad on Craigslist in 2014, Reitzin and his then-truck (a Ford F-150) began helping people move things around locally in his spare time. Calls came in along with checks, and Reitzin realized he had a business. Around the same time, rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft started to take off in metropolitan areas, creating a buzz and culture Reitzin thought he could tap into.
“I started to see there was this massive need, a massively underserved marketplace, with people that don’t want a traditional mover. They just want a few items moved, so we dubbed it a micro-move,” Reitzin said.
As Dude grew, Reitzin’s brother Jared got involved, himself a mobile entrepreneur who has helped to build five companies, including Dude. The two brothers became partners and cofounders. Shortly thereafter, the siblings developed a mobile app with the goal of connecting people to “good dudes and their trucks” in cities all over the country.
With a focus on the best user experience possible for their niche market — people who want things moved on demand and don’t want to use traditional moving businesses such as U-Haul — Dude brought on a third team member and chief product officer, Sonya Lee, and started building a business around the data derived from Jacob’s 300 logged micro-moves.
This year, Dude is expanding into other cities such as Austin, Texas, as well as developing partnerships with area Santa Barbara businesses such as Ace Hardware to provide local deliveries. Other “large” expansion plans are in the works, but Reitzin wanted to keep those close to his chest at this time.
Currently, Dude has approximately 100 “dudes” (drivers) on its network providing 150-300 micro-moves per month throughout Santa Barbara and L.A. counties, San Diego, Sacramento, and Austin, with multiple cities coming online this year.
For more information, visit dudeineedatruck.com or download the user-friendly mobile app from the app store.