"The secret of success is to find a need and fill it, to find a hurt and heal it, to find somebody with a problem and offer to help solve it."
-Robert H. Schuller
In the 1970s and 80s, between 11-20% of Americans reported feeling lonely; in this decade, the rates have catapulted to 40-45%. With burgeoning technologies, mobile apps, and social media platforms, chronic loneliness has become a modern day pandemic. The personal connection humans once thrived on are being largely replaced by likes, swipes, and comments.
Thick-bearded, plush-bellied, struggling actor Chuck McCarthy recognized that need. In fact, Chuck has become Los Angelos's first professional small talker and "people walker". Charging $7 per mile, Chuck accompanies clients along sidewalks and in parks near his home, providing companionship and communication.
With humble marketing efforts -- involving lamp post signs and a homemade t-shirt -- Chuck has already expanded the efforts, recruited five other people walkers, and is now able to cover five other parts of the city. This "accidental entrepreneur" stepped into a problem, and his success demonstrates the undeniable demand of his solution.
Chuck is now exploring possibilities of developing an app, in Uber-esque fashion, to connect people with their walkers, in efforts to use technology to solve the very problem technology created. The concept has been the source of international intrigue, and franchise opportunities are now being discussed in major boroughs in Britain, New York, and Israel.