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!