There are 2 main reasons I invested in clusterFlunk.
the founders + my own Personal experiences
The founders are worth following just to see what happens. They have that built-in midwest hustle and clarity of purpose you just don’t find very often.
How much they’ve built on a shoestring budget is really impressive and their story about coming up with cash to pay a designer when they didn’t have money is one of my local favorites. It’s what starting companies is like. I also think their software helps solve a problem that I personally had in school.
I had a hard time absorbing all the information in the classroom. However, an open forum between peers to discuss what was going on in the class and bounce things around isn’t something I had. You could argue that a study group could have solved that but I just wasn’t confident enough. The idea of sitting with people who made me feel dumb didn’t help me much.
It just made me feel really stupid.
Now, I’d probably just interrupt every 5 minutes stating “I have no idea what you just said. Please repeat it.” I didn’t have the confidence then and I’d wager most college students don’t either.
The internet on the other hand empowers you to share quickly and get feedback without the social oddities we all have as young adults. As a student, being able to put myself out there to a message board to get some help would have been easier than to a group of peers in person. I’m not sure how that will manifest itself in their business but I’m excited to see how it unfolds.
I also thought it was an opportune time to try and point some things out from a community perspective:
1. If you want the investment community of angels to grow in Des Moines then angels making investments need to put their name on it publicly. It’s critical to reduce the barrier to entrepreneurs finding you and other angels.
2. Life is short. Put some skin in the game and bet on people you believe in. Great entrepreneurs are in Iowa, just like they are in the Valley and quite frankly we’re specialists in frugality because we don’t know what resources are out there. That’s one of the reasons DRIVE has a midwest focus and with $300MM+ to put to work, I’m betting they do just fine…
I’m super excited to learn more about the educational market and tap some other friends for feedback. All in all, I’m just excited to watch these 2 guys swing. One of my favorite things about having free time in Iowa is spending time with founders and these are some of my favorites.
AJ & Joe are on the right road and I’m excited for what the next few years of their life will look like.
I still learning to love the name but as a friend told me once while I was trying to come up with a way to get them to change it:
It’s so bad it’s good. You don’t forget it. that’s pretty amazing.
See what I mean? They’re memorable… Swing on my friends. Swing on.