Q+A: PICKUP CEO Brenda Stoner Talks About Turning a Truck into a Revenue Hauler

In advance of her appearance at the Digital Dallas Startup Comedy Roast, PICKUP CEO Brenda Stoner looks back at what prompted her to start the delivery service and the lessons she's learned along the way.

PICKUP CEO Brenda Stoner

On any given commute through Dallas, you’ll see hundreds of them. Big, bright, shiny trucks.

Texas, after all is the truck capitol of the world. I mean, c’mon, Ohio didn’t get its own Buckeye State Edition Ford F150.

PICKUPTragically however, most of these trucks will never fulfill their destiny. They’ll never have an off-road experience or haul anything of consequence — besides, of course, that good-looking digital marketing exec.

But our friends at PICKUP are changing all of that. PICKUP is not only helping truck owners turn their urban crawlers and mall monsters into revenue-hauling machines — it’s also one of our stars at this year’s Startup Roast.

I caught up CEO Brenda Stoner who’s leading the charge to make PICKUP the standard in two-hour deliveries for heavy items.

Where did you get the idea for PICKUP?

Just driving around Dallas I saw them everywhere — people in big pickup trucks with an unexploited hauling capacity. It was clear that if we could figure out how to fill those truck beds up with people’s stuff — they’d pay us to move it. So I bought a truck and tested it out. We moved a lot of armoires and dressers those first few months. But over time, we tapped into a demand that allowed us to contract with other pickup truck owners. Now we’re not only growing our private customer base, but we’ve partnered with several brick and mortar retailers. We’ve essentially become those stores’ white label two-hour delivery service for heavier items, like furniture pieces.

What’s been your biggest struggle with PICKUP and how did you overcome it?

Oh, that’s easy. Raising capital. Raising millions is hard, especially when you’re an operational-heavy business. So, we’ve had to go outside Texas’ borders to find investors.

If you could go back in time, before you started PICKUP, what one piece of advice would you give yourself?

We’re a workforce. We solve our problems with a human touch, and apply tech where and when needed.

When someone on your team doesn’t belong, get that person off as soon as possible. You know if it’s going to work from the beginning. And you know when things start to go south. It may be hard to part ways, but you just have to let that person or group go in order to grow the company.

What do you believe is PICKUP’s biggest advantage?

We don’t see ourselves as a tech company or just another app experience. We’re a workforce. We solve our problems with a human touch, and apply tech where and when needed. In fact, our slogan is “instant delivery by good guys.” And our good guys are largely made up of first responders and veterans who are filling up their time off with PICKUP. Those good guys are our front lines to the customer and have turned out to be our biggest advantage.

What’s the Golden Rule you live by?

We consider ourselves a white hat company. So if we err, it’s on the side of making our good guys successful. Even if the transaction loses money, but wins a client, that’s a success for us.

Now, if you’re looking to “pickup” (yes, pun intended) some extra laughs, then join Digital Dallas and Brenda’s team at this year’s Startup Roast. You can find out more information about PICKUP at pickupnow.com.

Be sure to attend this year’s Digital Dallas Startup Comedy Roast — you can grab your tickets here.

A version of this content originally appeared on the website of Digital Dallas, a Dallas Innovates partner organization.


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Aaron Cook is a partner at TimePiece Public Relations & Digital Marketing who is writing on behalf of Digital Dallas, a group that works to cultivate the community of digital professionals in Nor(...)