When David Zalik was running his own e-consultancy firm, OutWeb, he started to notice a pattern with some of his home-improvement industry clients. Many of the nation’s largest home-improvement companies, like Lowe’s, Benjamin Moore and Home Depot, were losing large amounts of business at the point of sale. Zalik dug in a little further and discovered that even more business was being lost through contractors that usually buy supplies from these outlets. He started to zero in on the cause.
Bridge financing for retail customers
What Zalik found was that there were a large number of high-end home remodeling projects that were falling through due to the fact that the people trying to complete them had severely underestimated the true final cost of the projects. Over a period of months, Zalik started looking into this issue, doing in-depth research. What he found left him stunned. Zalik estimated that there were billions of dollars in home renovation projects being lost each year due to the customers simply running out of cash to complete their projects or not having enough to begin with. He saw a golden opportunity.
This was the original insight that led to the creation of GreenSky Credit. GreenSky Credit was founded as a way to help homeowners who were looking to complete costly and cash-intensive home renovation projects but who didn’t have the cash on hand to do so. One of the most brilliant aspects of the GreenSky Credit business model is that it only focuses on prime borrowers, most of whom are doing projects that will very clearly lead to added value on their homes. Although the loans themselves are mostly unsecured, Zalik realized that homeowners who have high FICO scores to begin with and who are seeing immediate boosts to their home values of more than the cost of the projects are extremely unlikely to go into default.
The lenders that GreenSky Credit partners with to extend these instant point-of-sale loans, therefore, are more than happy to offer some of the best loan terms in the business, including no payments or interest for the first year. Almost all GreenSky customers end up paying off their loans with no penalties.
Although teachers are surrounded by people, the profession can be lonely. There is not much time to have discussions or collaborations with peers. Technology is helping to bridge this loneliness while benefitting the educators and the students. An excellent example is a teacher who decided to start using the ClassDojo communications app for the students. The environment in the classroom became much more positive.
The teacher used messages, videos and photos to enable sharing with the families of the students regarding what was happening in the school. ClassDojo effectively strengthened the classroom community by sparking conversations about teamwork, empathy and skills. The classroom was suddenly an encouraging and positive space. ClassDojo has an online community of teachers reaching into the tens of thousands worldwide. This teacher started receiving helpful feedback by brainstorming on Instagram and Facebook about technology in the classroom.
When a student entered the classroom a few years later and did not speak English, the teacher turned to ClassDojo for help. Suggestions about how technology could be used to provide assistance started pouring in. This enables helpful and exciting resources to be created by the teachers. Teachers have become friends and spend time sharing practices and ideas due to this community. Many of these teachers are in small schools in remote areas. ClassDojo provides opportunities they did not have in the past.
Smart educators from all over the globe communicate through conferences so they can share their love of teaching and demonstrate ways to use technology to make teaching even better. One teacher began by attending the state meetings that were fairly small. After the knowledge gained from the ClassDojo community, this teacher realized how much they could contribute to the conversation due to all the new ideas that had been discovered and learned. Eventually this educator was making presentations at much bigger events. The expertise of the teacher was established and led to quotes and statements being published in prominent publications such as USA Today. Without ClassDojo this teacher admits none of this would have been possible. There is no doubt ClassDojo is making a positive difference in the classroom.