Angie’s List: An Empire Built on a List

Angie Hicks, Angie’s List

As many of you know I’m a senior producer for a news network in New York City. I cover everything from surgeries to fitness classes. Recently I was fortunate enough to do a segment about saving money on your medical bills with one of the most famous list makers of all — Angie Hicks — the founder of Angie’s List.

Her consumer review website helps people find doctors, contractors and other local services. Angie’s List now has 1.5 million members across the country — and to think it all started with a list!

Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list maker?

A: I wouldn’t necessarily call myself compulsive, but Angie’s List is certainly getting a national reputation as the mother of all lists… Angie’s List started out as just that – my list of the best and worst companies in and around Columbus, Ohio. We’re in more than 200 U.S. cities, now and the list just keeps growing – both of cities served and number of companies rated by consumers in each local market. So I guess I am compulsive about making lists, after all!

Q: What do you make lists about?

A: If you can hire it out, I probably have a list of companies to tell you about. We have information on more than 500 categories of service – from home improvement to health care and all stops in between. The number of categories grows as a result of the information consumers want to share with us. So we have tons of information on things related to pet care, auto service, child care, even on rental companies.

Q: How often do you make lists?

A: When it comes to Angie’s List, the business, every minute of every day.

Q: What type of list do you make the most?

A: One of our favorite lists is the annual most and least list – that details which categories of service earned the best grades from our members the prior year, and those that failed.

Q: How do you make lists?

A: Most of Angie’s List’s information these days comes to us online, though we accept telephone calls, handwritten notes and letters, too. Heck, we’ll accept a member report that’s written on the back of a napkin as long as the person submitting the information is a member or registers with us so we know who they are. They also have to affirm they’re telling us the truth, and we’ll check things out if they look bogus.

Q: How have you found lists help you succeed?

A: Clearly, Angie’s List is a success story, but it’s because we saw a demand and work hard to fill it. We keep lists of how local service companies perform so consumers don’t have to – or more precisely, we work with local consumers to develop, store and share lists about local service professionals and companies.

Q: Specifically what was the last thing you wrote a list about?

A: I have a list of goals we want to accomplish this year to expand our reach and depth of service. I keep that one close at hand.

Angie Hicks is THE Angie of Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider of consumer reviews on local service companies. She co-founded the company 16 years ago in Columbus, Ohio. Now the business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and has more than 1.5 million members across the country. A working mother herself, Angie helps ensure that Angie’s List continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing, dynamic needs of today’s families and homeowners.


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