Website founded by University student makes exchange of services easier


Kevin Nam, sophomore in LAS, created the website Taskfriend.

By Manisha Venkat

When Kevin Nam, sophomore in LAS, temporarily left the University after his freshman year, he began laying down the groundwork for a website — Taskfriend. It’s meant to simplify completing tasks and earning a few quick dollars through user friendly navigation, account creation and user-to-user communication.

Taskfriend is different from Craigslist in that it shows users the time frame of the task and allows direct communication between the customer and the service provider on the website itself. It also is designed for more immediate tasks than long term requests. Taskfriend verifies the customer’s and service provider’s payment and contact details, and after the task is completed, the transaction is finalized with the payer’s confirmation.

Taskfriend is still in its beta form, which means it is in the process of detecting bugs and making necessary amendments to the website. Nam currently runs the website on his own while balancing schoolwork. He hopes to continue developing the website and create its own smartphone app. The Daily Illini spoke to Nam about Taskfriend and its development over the past year.

The Daily Illini: How would you describe Taskfriend?

Kevin Nam: Taskfriend is an open marketplace where there are no limitations on what jobs/services can be offered. And due to the open nature of the website, it can be used anywhere even in small cities such as Champaign.

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    DI: When and why did you start Taskfriend?

    KN: After freshman year, I quit school because my parents were unemployed. I went on Craigslist and looked for some jobs around the neighborhood, but it was a bad experience. I made the website, and, over the winter, I shoveled snow off of some driveways (using Taskfriend).

    DI: What kind of services can be posted on Taskfriend?

    KN: The website is really straightforward. You can create an account and post jobs on it like “Give me a ride to Walmart” or “Deliver Chipotle to me.”

    DI: How did you get involved in creating and designing websites?

    KN: I am an economics major, but I did web designing as a hobby and worked on projects occasionally in school. It was partly a hobby, but it took some online collaboration as well. I did some coding for the website myself but got some help from my friends who do it too. The hardest part was working on the website while attending school. I’m constantly working on it and trying to improve it.

    DI: TaskRabbit is a service very strikingly similar to Taskfriend. How is your website any different from TaskRabbit?

    KN: Despite the similarity in name, the two services are very different. TaskRabbit is an on-demand service that hires their workers and are paid hourly through the website, and, when a customer requests a tasks, the website sends a hired person to do the job. The consumers on TaskRabbit can only request four types of tasks: cleaning, handyman, assistance, and moving. Because of this closed nature, it is also only offered in major cities and not smaller cities such as Champaign. Essentially, TaskRabbit is like a company. They hire and fire their workers and are paid hourly to do a job. Taskfriend is a marketplace where users interact with each other to do a job based on a fixed price.

    Manisha can be reached at [email protected].