AJ Swoboda ’15, Famzoo.com

I spent three of my Spring Break days working with the CEO of FamZoo.com and Princeton Alumni, Bill Dwight ‘84. As a start up with only two employees, FamZoo “headquarters” are located in Bill’s house in Palo Alto, CA. FamZoo is an online virtual credit union that helps kids learn good money management skills.

I started my first day, Monday, being toured around his home and office, followed by a 30-minute Skype chat with Bill and Chris Beaufort — FamZoo’s other employee and Bill’s former Princeton roommate — about what they do each day, where they’re trying to direct the company, etc. After our chat, Bill continued to describe all that he does at FamZoo. He talked about how he makes decisions (based heavily on ethics), how he interacts with users on FamZoo’s website, and finally how the company has recently shifted and realigned its focus group — first, the company focused on getting month-to-month payments made by individual families, but now it has shifted to bigger registration time periods and has switched to focusing on signing credit unions  and banks to make partnership deals. Bill also showed me how he keeps track of every connection he or Chris has made in the past. Through using a program called HighRise, Bill can efficiently manage contacts, remember how FamZoo is connected to individuals and companies, and find appropriate times to follow up with said contacts.

After getting sandwiches for lunch, Bill and I came up with a project for me to work on on the side as I continued to watch/learn from Bill’s day-to-day operations. It was my job to figure out how FamZoo can increase its company presence on LinkedIn.com, and then begin to implement some of these changes.

AJ and Bill

Tuesday was filled with two major events. First, I listened in on a demo-call that Bill gave to a potential Credit Union partner that was interested in working with FamZoo. Through the hour long demonstration — which Bill knocked out of the park — I got a first-hand look at what FamZoo’s hard sell looks like, how Bill politely interacts with his customers, and the sheer power of a website like FamZoo. I spent the remainder of the day filling out FamZoo’s LinkedIn Company Page. I researched what all companies can do on LinkedIn, talked with Bill to pinpoint the best options, and then began to add banner images, links, and descriptions to the page. The rest of the afternoon flew by as I experimented with additions to the LinkedIn page.

My last day, Wednesday, started with another demonstration with yet another potential credit union partner — one of the biggest credit unions in the US in terms of capital. After this second demo, I finished off the day designing and editing FamZoo’s LinkedIn Page. I left with the final “product” being a three step sequence for viewers to follow in order to learn more about the company, find out how they can partner with FamZoo, and see all the reviews of FamZoo from tons of credit unions and users of the website. Finally, I spent some time tinkering around with the website and all of its functions, and giving Bill any feedback I had during that time.

This blog pretty much summarizes all that I did during my time with FamZoo. I definitely recommend participating in the Princeternship program, it’s well worth your time.