David Zalik grows GreenSky into one of largest fintech firms

Over the last 20 years, the trend among financial tech startups has been to vilify and denounce the traditional banking model. Companies like Lending Club and and OnDeck have explicitly rejected the traditional lending role, instead trying to create parallel systems that are able to better meet the needs of both lenders and borrowers.

But of those companies have struggled to stay afloat. David Zalik, the founder and CEO of GreenSky, had a very different idea about how to create value within the fintech sector. Rather than trying to burn the banking system to the ground through disruptive technology, Zalik embraced the world of traditional banking, using technology to eliminate frictions and create value for banks, merchants and customers by facilitating deals that would have otherwise fallen through.

This model has proven to be enormously successful. Within just 12 years, Zalik has been able to grow GreenSky from a startup that he funded by taking out a reverse mortgage to a company worth more than $4.5 billion. GreenSky is now poised to make its initial public offering, a move that analysts say could make it one of the best opportunities for IPO investors this year.

GreenSky has an incredibly simple yet hugely effective business model. The company started by helping home remodeling contractors extend credit with generous terms to customers, helping to facilitate many deals that would have otherwise fallen through due to the customer underestimating the true cost of the project that they wanted to complete.

Zalik quickly saw that this model could be replicated across many different sellers of big-ticket items. Today, GreenSky has over 17,000 merchants who are able to connect with 12 of the largest lenders in the country, including Region’s Bank, Fifth Third and Sun Trust. These merchants are able to offer customers truly amazing loan terms at the point of sale, often involving no payments and no interest for 12 months. Because the majority of the customers have extremely strong FICO scores, almost all of these loans are paid back before the higher rates kick in. And the banks who make the GreenSky-facilitated loans almost never contend with delinquencies.


Upwork’s Suggestions on How to Succesfully Complete your To-Do-List

Upwork is a global platform that helps freelancer become organized. They have recently come up with a list of ten suggestions to help anyone complete their to-do-list more efficiently.

The first suggestion is to make a list; write everything down, even if you have a good memory. There are apps that you can download to help you organize your to-do-list. By writing everything down, you can remove all the incomplete items from your thought process and focus on the task that is in front of you

The next tip is to prepare your to-do-list the evening before it needs to get done. Many people are the most productive in the morning and this time shouldn’t be wasted creating a list.

Keeping your list of things to do in one place is the next tip. If your tasks are scattered on post-it, in apps, on paper lists, and in your phone, remembering to check each spot can be stressful and time consuming.

Setting time attributes is also helpful. By clarifying the length of time the task should take and what time of day it should be done can help you to set a schedule and not overcommit your time.

The fifth suggestion to help you complete your to-do-list is to assign priorities. If an emergency pops up, then you can guarantee that the most important tasks were fulfilled first.

Reevaluating your tasks regularly can also help speed up your to-do-list. Many tasks may not be worth your time and should be removed from the list altogether.

Tasks can be broken up into smaller tasks and then delegated to whoever needs to complete it. Delegating your task is also an easy way to further define your tasks in way that can get them done quicker.

Tasks should be group together for the similarities. Emails can be answered all at once, phone call made at the same time, etc.

Finally, the last suggestion that will help you sail through your to-do-list is to assign each task an energy level. This means assign the harder tasks earlier in the day, when you are the most productive.

Posted in App

ClassDojo Empowering Students and Encouraging Lines of Communication

Since 2011, ClassDojo has been providing a useful and secure service to parents with its innovative classroom app and communication platform. By bringing parents, teachers, and students together, valuable connections are established in an effort to provide ongoing communication and collaboration. Targeting non-English speaking parents, this app is used in approximately 90 percent of school districts nationwide and 180 countries around the globe. Because it is available in 35 different languages, its use and applications appeal to a broad demographic of parents desiring to form a connection with their children’s teachers.

In addition to providing a platform for parents to communicate with educators, the app also enables teachers to communicate with their students. This personal communication leads to the creation of a positive learning culture within the classroom, thus inspiring success and academic growth. The real-time data enables both students and parents to remain informed of current grades and progress towards goals.

One of the key initiatives of ClassDojo is to empower students to take ownership of their academic successes and failures. By delivering a myriad of academic data and teacher feedback and through the encouragement of open communication lines, students feel empowered to take control of their school journey. This revolutionary ground-up change appeals to educators because they can give the control back to the student.

Because ClassDojo is grounded in principles of trust, the creators of the app designed its framework to honor the trust of its users. In this regard, ClassDojo does not collect sensitive data such as gender, e-mail addresses, or social security numbers. The app is protective of its users, offering no third-party solicitations or collaborators. An innovative 12-month deletion policy erases all feedback after one year, offering another layer of privacy and security. ClassDojo is compatible with both iOS and Android devices and can be used on any device containing a web browser. The service is free for educators.


Posted in App