The on-demand economy can take its toll on its employees every bit as much as it can ease the daily stresses of its customers. Look at Uber, which sees drivers working upwards of 12 hours a day without overtime pay, benefits or even an option for riders to leave a credit card tip. Oftentimes on-demand companies leave its 1099-freelance employees strained and overworked to make ends meet—which can result in hurt sales and lost customers. But one company is changing the way on-demand services work by turning the tables and making their employees their Number One concern to lead to better customer satisfaction. Hello Alfred helps customers complete their chores with an on-demand, salaried personal assistant. Today on ‘Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg’ the co-founders of Hello Alfred, Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck, discuss their successful model.



“People who were successful all had one thing in common and that was help.”

“I’m very pro-business school. It’s a great place to think freely and do creative work.”

“The original idea for Alfred was Jess’. She drew a stick figure running errands for her and she said, I want this.

“When we talk about help it’s about building a support system.

“$30 a week and you can get all the help you need.”

“We thought the target market was Millennials. The first people to sign up for it were entrepreneurs who needed help taking care of the basics.”

“Alfred is great for couples and young parents who both want to keep their career.”

“A lot of the Alfred employees are stay-at-home moms which, once hired are actually then employed.”

“We’ve expanded into NYC where so many people are following their creative passions.”

“If you get to scale then economics works. But it doesn’t make sense for a business where you need to pay your employees high salaries.”

“We got a lot of early press and 60,000 sign ups in NYC alone.”

“The same dedicated Alfred assistant attends to the same client every week.”

“You can ask for anything, they can install things, wait for the cable man. Most everyone has that core routine of cleaning and groceries every week.”

“Most things people ask for we can do. We get a lot of tech care, walk my dog, get cat food requests.”

“We’re like Siri with legs.”

“The employee is a primary customer because ultimately customer and users will all be happy.”

“We wanted to make a commitment to our employees from the start. We offered benefits and paid our employees well.

“There’s a false dichotomy about flexibility for 1099 employees. For Alfreds there is flexibility, they work certain days.”

“We’re bringing everyday hospitality to the home.”

“The biggest challenge is people. Communication. We have a large workforce. How do we maintain that culture?”

“Our first Alfred we found off of Craigslist. She was a stay-at-home mom. She’s been working with us ever since.”

“Our first customer was a 9-mo pregnant executive director of a non-profit. She customized our first package for us which we now use.”


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“I am excited for where technology is heading in 2017.”

“I can’t wait to see the numbers from all the VR games sold for the holidays.”

“Being able to stay alive and thrive in three years says a lot about the economy.”

“I would to have a tech concierge who comes every month to check on updates and remove apps I don’t use.”

“I started as a tax lawyer and ended up in broadcast journalist.”

“I had just graduated law school and got a call from ABC news looking for help.”

“I was working at ABC news and had 12-15 hours of news a week. It’s rough waters for journalism now.”

“Journalism is about facts. Storytelling is essentially a way to communicate information in a way your audience can relate to.”

“I went from exposure therapy for fear of flying to experiencing time with the Rolling Stones. It was nothing like anything I ever experienced before.”

“VR is not only one thing or for movies only. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“Iris VR allows you to create a 3D model from a dream or an idea.”

“I saw a medical VR company. There hasn’t been changes in x-rays or scans but with VR it gives 3D viewing before you ever have a scalpel held to you.”

“My daughter swims with whales in Australia from our living room.”

“It’s so early with VR and AR that the challenges are finding people to create it plus the ethical questions.”

“Do we need to have a rating system for AR and VR? What impact will it have on young brains?”

“VR is almost like you’ve had the experience rather than been a part of it. There’s a lot of research that needs to take place in terms of impact.”

“I’m a micro-angel. I don’t do it full time. I care about media and tech mostly.”

“My first reporting job was in ABC in LA with a well-known actress from One Life to Live.”

“Fair trade cocoa, CISSE LTD, was the first company I invested in.”

“I was introduced into Pipeline Angels which gives women the information about what investing is.”

“I’ve been doing consulting lately and creating content for marketing purposes.”

The Hustle is a newsletter that comes out everyday. Viacom Next has just released SMASH a VR experience of smashing things.”