If you use Thumbtack, and millions of people do, then you already understand how utterly brilliant this company is. Sander Daniels helped found a company that is increasing the gig economy exponentially by allowing skilled professionals and clients in need of work to connect easily. Of course, there's always more to a person than what their business does. We took a more in-depth look at this tech dynamo and came up with ten things you didn't know about him.
1. With Friends
Sander Daniels co-founded Thumbtack when he was still at college in Connecticut. The tech entrepreneur worked with Marco Zappacosta, Jonathan Swanson, and Jeremy Tunnell. It was no overnight project, but the friends managed to work out all the details for their business model and start a fantastic business all while Sander was taking exams and studying for a very different sort of career.
2. Legal Plans
Sander wasn't just 'in school,' he was actually a law student at Yale when the idea for Thumbtack was still just a rough draft. He'd spend a few hours a week on the phone helping to flesh out the business plan and concept for Thumbtack, and then head to class, or go back to doing his homework. It can't have been easy, but it was certainly worth it since Sander got a career out of it, and not as a lawyer. Instead, he gets to do what he loves with the people he chose to work with. Plus building a great brand that Mr. Daniels is genuinely proud to be a part of. Plus he holds a bachelors and a Juris Doctor in law from Yale, which means he always has a fallback plan just in case people stop using the internet and needing things done for them, according to Crunchbase.
3. Customer Support
Sander's company, Thumbtack, has software engineers, but he isn't one of them. In fact, he started the customer service end of the business. In 2008 he had a Gmail account and a team of one, himself, to answer all the inquiries and help customers connect to service professionals in over a thousand categories. He handled every problem or question personally, which is a far cry from the career in law he had initially intended for himself.
4. Family Man
While he was in school and building a business, he was far from his wife often, and that was hard for the young couple. They managed the distance well while both attended school. Now they have a young son who Sander takes to school every morning before he rides his bike to work and cleans up for his day at the company gym downstairs. It was well worth the effort, and he says he's a very different person for the experience.
5. Quietly Uplifting
Sander is becoming quite the people expert. He handles them all day long, after all. However, hearing complaints isn't his only job; he also helps to uplift and promote other people from within his business. Sander may not say a whole lot on social media, but he shares what matters, and it shows how deeply committed he is to being part of a better business model. It's nice to see someone successful who's social media pretty much seems to consist of positive statements and accolades for others rather than self-involved and shameless self-promotion. It's nice to see a calm and sensible approach to sharing that doesn't seem to include any sort of negativity beyond the occasional mild "I disagree with ___," sentiments.
6. Diverse & Inclusive
Even though he seems relatively quiet, it's not too hard to see where Sander's heart and head are at in many ways. He posts about his own focus on things like diversity in the workplace openly and often. His refreshing take on inclusion and quiet opposition to treating people like they're less-than is charming. He often talks about people reaching their potential and how much he wants to improve workplace culture by being a thought leader in the industry. It's easy to admire someone who doesn' need to scream their opinions from a rooftop but instead chooses to calmly state what he thinks is right and back it up with his actions and choices.
7. Sweet Tooth
Though he's not one to overshare his personal life and tastes, Sander did mention in an interview for the Thumbtack Blog that he's "A Sucker for desserts." He also talks about his simple gratitude for the meals the Thumbtack Kitchen makes for employees. He seems genuine and surprisingly humble about his life and accomplishments and thoughts, always expressing surprise and delight at small things, like tasty sweets.
8. Live Music
If you look at Sander's Instagram page, you won't find a million selfies. You won't see a whole lot of fashionable photos with business associates, nor will you find pictures of his lunch. What you will see are photos of his family and wife. The couple has a habit of going out to see live concerts together. We think that's a great way to spend your 'date nights,' and it's nice to see people who seem just genuinely to enjoy each other's company.
9. Two Jobs
Sander has worked with Thumbtack for so much of his adult life that he's only had two other jobs. He worked briefly as a Summer Associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in California. Almost a year later he took a position as an Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP on the other side of the country in New York.
10. Fibo Investor
Fibo is an up and coming trading tool for binary options. What does that mean? Well, the company is working on bringing technology to places that most people don't work with computers yet. They're saving a lot of work hours by helping companies that track work in the field with paper to convert to digital means and streamline the process. What does that have to do with Sander Daniels? He's investing in this business. We know he has a head for excellent tech opportunities, so we think that keeping an eye on both Sander and his technology investments is a good idea.
It's not often you come across an up and comer in the business world who's so quietly powering their way to the top. With his firmly held convictions and willingness to act on what he thinks is good and right, Sander Daniels is a name to watch for sure. We can't wait to see what he does next.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker