PROFILE SHARING A DREAM Why buy when you can Ruckify? W by LINDSEY MCCAFFREY hat do you do when you’ve already founded 15 local and na-tional businesses throughout your career — many of them rental-related — and generated hundreds of millions in sales? If you’re like serial entrepreneur Steve Cody, you start up another one! Just last summer, Cody resigned as chief executive of Ottawa-based Better Software Company to focus on his newest venture: Ruckify (ruckify.com), an online marketplace where people can experience the financial and environmental rewards of sharing something they own with others. A DIFFERENT KIND OF RENTAL BUSINESS Cody has come a long way since age 15, when he first started up a window-cleaning business with just a bucket, squeegee, ladder and $1,200 to his name (a donation from his grandfather). Struggling with dyslexia, Cody made a deci-sion to drop out of school as a teenager. But he was always fuelled and driven by an entrepre-neurial spirit. Consequently, he grew his first venture into a viable business over an eight-year span. More than 25 years later, Cody has been the founder of more than a dozen businesses, including six rental companies: the popu-lar Ottawa-based Cody Party Rentals chain of stores; the national franchise Monster Halloween Sales/Rentals; and numerous local businesses specializing in rentals of aerial lifts, Bobcats and general tools. Almost all of his companies have since been acquired. “Where rentals are concerned, I think it’s cool that you can buy something once and make money from it,” he says of the industry. “It’s a great way of being in business. When you’re not 16 CANADIAN RENTALSERVICE | March 2018 dealing in rentals, you’re always having to re-in-ventory or chase more business, whereas rental customers come back more often.” Interestingly, even his latest business — the Better Software Company — is a rental business of sorts. As a SaaS (software as a service) com-pany, it “rents” out its franchise business man-agement software and customers pay a monthly subscription for access. Moving forward with his newest venture, Cody will combine the technical expertise he gained at BSC with his extensive background in rentals. HOW RUCKIFY WORKS Essentially, Ruckify is a website and mobile app where people and businesses can post, promote, search, share and temporarily book any number of things from a specific geographical location. It could be a Jetski or an RV, sports equip-ment, camping gear or even heavy equipment. It could even be a chainsaw, which, in fact, is how Cody first came up with the idea for Ruckify. After a tree fell in front of Cody’s house in 2013, his neighbour (tech CEO and Canopy Growth Corp. founder Bruce Linton) brought over a chainsaw to help clean up the mess. However, they soon realized they wouldn’t be able to get rid of the stump without a bigger tool. “I realized someone in the neighbourhood probably had a bigger chainsaw — and maybe if I had an app to find them, I could get someone to rent it to me for free or at a really low price,” Cody recalls.