Richard Byrne hung out in the hallways dodging security guards on rounds, ate the catered food, slept on company couches and showered at the company gym -- they have all that stuff like Google for the employees.
This was so he could "live his dream" which consisted of making a web site called ClassConnect about helping teachers share lesson plans.
He wound up getting another $500,000 from investors -- I wonder who?
The problem is that while he was mooching off AOL and preparing for his "second round," he was busy undoing other people out of their livelihoods.
His site seems to stress sharing, rather than selling class plans.
There's a raging debate about whether or not such plans constitute intellectual property -- it was based on this article in the Times and whether it should be the property of the individual teacher or the school that makes the setting possible -- the platform, if you will. Sound familiar?
And it seems no venture capitalists were harmed -- or enriched - with this business:
With most of the growth occurring in the last 18 months, it is clear TeachersPayTeachers is a prime target for funding at very favorable terms. However, Edelman made it clear that after his experiences with Scholastic, he is hesitant to accept funding. Instead, he is working on growing the site organically, unless funding becomes necessary to accelerate growth.
And other sites like this one where lesson plans are sold in PDF form. You cannot stop a market that wants to exist, where a willing seller meets a willing buyer instead of a coerced sharer meeting an indifferent slurper.
I'm all for teachers selling their lesson plans. It is their intellectual property. Many of them go to great lengths to add in their life experience and creativity to these lessons. They're working in soul-less situations in the public schools where all kinds of rewarmed Marxist drivel is thrust on them and the existency of teaching to the test. If they get something creative wedged in AND can sell it, great!
So why is somebody giving $500,000 to this squatter kid to make something that looks like yet another share-bear trying to "disrupt" good business?
Byrne wants to "crowdsource" lesson plans rather than reward the individual's innovation and hard work in a free marketplace.