How I Made It: Thumbtack’s president left the White House for Silicon Valley

Jonathan Swanson, 34, is the co-founder and president of Thumbtack — a services marketplace that is sort of like the Yellow Pages of the digital age. Instead of trawling through hundreds of listings for plumbers, electricians, masseuses and tutors on paper, customers tell Thumbtack what kind of professional they’d like to hire, and Thumbtack presents them with options that fit their criteria. The 8-year-old company has on its platform more than 250,000 professionals. Swanson was interested in politics from a young age, aspiring while he was in high school to one day be an economic advisor to the president. “It was very specific and very dorky, but I saw politics as this big platform for making the world better, and economics appealed to me because it felt like there was some science behind it,” he said.

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