We like Weebly



Checking out the Weebly site with Chris, David (seated) and Dan (Nov '06)

Just when I thought it wasn't possible to like the Weeblys any more than I already did, they went ahead and helped me create this new blog. I admit that Dan, Chris and David gave me access to some features that aren't yet released (one of the perks of being an investor), but even without the VIP treatment, the Weebly software makes it simple for anyone to set up a website. And I know they are working hard on a bunch of new features that will make the user experience even better.

I remember being immediately impressed by the Weebly founders during their Y Combinator interview last November. Their product was really cool and the founders seemed talented and confident. But what struck me most of all was how determined they were.

I worried that, if accepted, they'd have to take a leave from college one semester short of graduation. I may have even suggested waiting until our next funding cycle. But they told us that they were going to leave school to work on Weebly no matter what. With or without our funding, they didn't want to lose any momentum. (They were featured on TechCrunch that very morning in fact).

So I asked the founders a question I think few investors ever do:

"Are your parents okay with this?"

They assured us that their parents approved, and explained that they had talked with their professors and hoped they'd have enough credits to graduate on time.

Y Combinator really worries about this and often discourages people from dropping out of college to start a startup. But for some, there's just no stopping them.

So far, it seems to have been a good call for the Weeblys. David, Dan and Chris moved to the Bay Area and made a lot of progress with their product. They were a big hit at Demo Day, were featured in Newsweek and, though two are a few credits shy of a degree, even managed to walk with their graduating class back at Penn State.

Thank you enormously guys!


Wayne (l) and Robby (r) with Newsweek's Steven Levy

Zenter founders (and new Google employees) Wayne Crosby and Robby Walker moved to Mountain View last January to found Zenter. In the 3 months that followed, they worked around the clock on their web-based presentation software, writing over 40,000 lines of code. At Y Combinator’s Demo Day, they were one of the startups that generated the most interest among investors. They each dropped 15 lbs. in the process (I think unintentionally) because they lived almost exclusively on frozen dinners.

The Zenters created a very impressive product in a short amount of time. This wasn’t too surprising because they seemed promising from the start: they were talented hackers, they were extremely focused, and they were building a product that they themselves would use.

But the pair had another important quality that is sometimes undervalued in cofounders: Wayne and Robby were good friends who had worked together before. And they are extremely upstanding people. Despite its relatively short existence, Zenter (like most startups) had its share of ups and downs. Wayne and Robby’s friendship helped carry them through some stressful moments.

The news is particularly pleasing to us since we were shocked to learn, a few weeks after the founders had moved to Mountain View, that Wayne’s wife was back in Arizona expecting their first child. (Wayne and Christi had a baby boy in May!)

I’m really excited for Wayne and Robby-- congrats guys!