Courtney Smith Externship at LONDR

Courtney Smith Externship at LONDRHey there,

Do you have an interest in a startup company? Have you ever had an idea and thought, “I could sell this or that”? Well, I have a great idea for an app. My plan is to create a startup and retire next year. Fortunately, I landed a job with a local startup here in the Treasure Valley called Londr. My intention was to work and learn everything I could so that I could pass that knowledge on to my students. However, what I’ve come to realize is that there’s so much more to it than just having a great idea.

Londr is an app where you can sign up to have your laundry done for you or sign up as a washer to make money through gig work.

Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is gig work? Well, it’s a term that refers to a job that lasts for a specified period of time. Traditionally, musicians used the term to define performance engagement. Examples of gig workers include freelancers, independent contractors, project-based workers, and temporary or part-time hires. Londr is the company behind the Londr app.

So, how do I get my idea out there so I can retire next year? Well, it’s not that easy. You need capital and lots of it. How do you get money when you don’t have any? You can try crowdfunding, find investors, or sell what you have. However, in today’s market, it’s not that easy. To sell something, even if it’s yourself, you need to know it like the back of your hand.

When I joined Londr, it felt like I was part of a family from day one. I spent the first few days getting acquainted with the people and processes. Once I had a few starting points, they gave me the freedom to explore. I had the responsibility of approving washers, matching them with customers, and helping them find work. So, how did we find customers? We had to understand their needs and preferences, so we created forms to gather feedback and improve our service. It was a fun process. Now that we have some valuable information, the challenge is to organize it in a way that showcases what we do with all the data we’ve collected. Londr has been around since 2020, which means we have three years’ worth of information that needs to be carefully analyzed to help promote Londr.

LONDRInvestors are always looking for data and information. Just watch Shark Tank, and you’ll see what I mean. It may sound tedious, but going through data is actually quite exciting. We’re working on creating a compelling story about Londr, and the data will play a key role in telling that story. Let me tell you, it’s an amazing app. I’ve had the opportunity to see how all the jobs played out, from the first one to the last one. If you enjoy storytelling, this is a fascinating experience. We didn’t sit down and write a story; the story emerges from the data itself. People are using the app for so many reasons. Whether they’re falling behind on their laundry, wanting more time to spend with family, or needing help with chores while working away from home, Londr has proven to be a cost-effective and simple solution. They pick up and drop off the laundry without any contact. The list of reasons goes on and on, including giving spouses a break or providing laundry services for small businesses with minimal weekly loads. If you can think of it, Londr can make it work.

Now, let’s talk about why someone would choose to be a washer. Surprisingly, the data shows that gig work has just as many reasons. Believe it or not, some people actually enjoy doing laundry. There are more of them than you would think. The big draw for many is the extra money they can earn while working from home. They only need to travel to pick up and drop off the laundry, and they know the fixed rate they’ll be making before accepting a job. They get to work on their own terms. The list of reasons goes on, but those are the main ones.

As I dug deeper into the story of Londr, I noticed that life happens for both the customers and the workers. Everything we experience, they do too, and it gets documented in the job logs. It all contributes to the overall Londr story.

Now, our challenge is to put together this story and find a way to sell it. Will people invest in our idea? That’s the ultimate goal.

So, what do I get out of this deal? I get to take the knowledge I’ve gained this summer back into the classroom. Luckily, I teach a hands-on engineering class, and I have students with million-dollar ideas who think they have it all figured out. I can spend some time talking with them about the process and give them pointers as they develop their own ideas. I truly believe that this experience will benefit my students in some way. I will not know the extent of my experience until I take it back into my classroom.