Thumbtack is a Frankenstein’s unicorn


“We like to say we are not part of the sharing economy. We are part of the real economy,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist at San Francisco-based Thumbtack. “It’s like a direct-connecting Yellow Pages.”

Lieber was speaking earlier this week to a Congressional panel in Washington D.C. that had been convened to discuss the policy implications of the sharing economy. It was the first of many planned hearings on the issue before a subgrouping of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing’s name –The Disrupter Series: How the Sharing Economy Creates Jobs, Benefits Consumers, and Raises Policy Questions – sounds like the title of a breakout session at a tech conference from 2011.

When Thumbtack hired Lieber away from his advisory role in the Office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last year, the company joined a growing list of startups to employ economists in de facto marketing roles.

An article on this phenomenon in the Washington Post last year explained Lieber’s new role…

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