Ten years ago, Marco Zappacosta co-founded Thumbtack, an app that connects people seeking help with items on their to-do lists with local professionals. We chatted with Marco about his new daughter, entrepreneurship and some exciting new updates coming to Thumbtack.
Congratulations on the ten-year anniversary of Thumbtack! What was the inspiration for creating your business?
My co-founders and I wanted to do something meaningful, but it started with a small observation: why is it so hard to hire a plumber? We were interested in solving the real world challenge of helping customers hire professionals, and supporting these pros as they grew their businesses. I knew this would keep me motivated for a long time, and I can confidently say that’s true 10 years later.
Does Thumbtack have any new innovations in the works?
Absolutely. The Thumbtack team is in the midst of reworking the entire customer experience so that customers no longer have to wait for quotes from pros. Instead, customers are now matched to available and interested pros instantly based on each unique job requested. Customers can filter by price, location, schedule and more to guide them toward booking the right professional for the job. We want to make finding a skilled, local pro as easy as buying something online – the online experience customers have come to expect.
You come from a family of entrepreneurs—is there anything you hope to pass onto your kids about entrepreneurship?
The biggest gift of having parents as entrepreneurs was knowing that being one myself was possible, and I’ll work hard to pass on that same mentality to my children. I want them to know that this is a path that’s open to them should they choose to pursue it.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
We just had a baby girl in April, so I have been washing a lot of bottles these days! That’s a chore I could do without (but for her, anything).
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
I read books in my spare time and cook for my family whenever I can. I am actually signed up on Thumbtack as a chef, so when I can, I cook for smaller groups in the San Francisco area as well.
What is your best parenting hack?
I’m still learning, but we are big Amazon Prime customers. Living in a city (and with a newborn), it’s been so helpful to have almost anything delivered to you quickly.
If you could describe fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your fatherhood journey that has made you proud?
This early on as a parent, it’s the little things, like getting her to fall asleep and getting good burps. My wife and I are really enjoying being new parents and each day seems to top the last.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
Be deliberate! You will grow up in such an expansive world with so much to offer you, and what matters most is that you choose and dedicate yourself to your own path.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other parents?
You’re not alone. Being a new parent throws you into a new community that’s happy to help you through anything you have going on. Tap into it and accept the support and the help. One day, you’ll be able to give it back to other new parents.
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
I take it all day by day. I do my best to be honest about what I can and cannot commit to, and work hard to then honor those commitments.
What was the last book you read?
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, by Nick Kane
Favorite Form of Exercise:
What is on your DVR?
I don’t own a TV.