It was Thanksgiving 2013 and the San Francisco offices of Homejoy were uncommonly quiet.
The online home-cleaning startup was in the midst of an explosive expansion and only shut its doors two days each year: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
But on this particular holiday, a booking had slipped through unnoticed, due to a website malfunction, according to a former employee. Rather than cancel an appointment at the last minute, Homejoy’s cofounder and CEO Adora Cheung grabbed a toilet brush and a vacuum cleaner. Then she headed to San Francisco’s Mission Dolores neighborhood and scrubbed.
“The customer had no idea,” said Arjun Naskar, one of the earliest employees at Homejoy, who shared the story as an example of the founders’ intense determination to succeed.