We are excited to welcome Andy Ballester, Co-Founder of GoFundMe, to our Board of Directors. Andy has a passion for creating products that drive change on a massive scale. GoFundMe changes the way the world gives. Members of the GoFundMe giving community come together to support one another and the causes they care about most. Campaign organizers on GoFundMe have raised over $3 billion for medical expenses, education, community projects, sports, emergencies, pets, and more, making it the world’s largest online fundraising platform. We sat down with Andy recently to chat about the experience he brings with him and why he’s excited to join the Guru team.
How has your experience creating GoFundMe shaped the way you look at business, technology, and social causes?
When you’re dealing with the internet and new technology, and especially money and the internet, people have a lot of anxiety. On GoFundMe, some people are going through horrible things and others are raising money for positive things. You have to think: any changes we make to the product, how does that affect the users? We had an around-the-clock customer service center where users only had to wait 5 minutes to get feedback. This wasn’t an autoresponder. This was an actual person answering messages. We organized feedback and every day we rolled out a new feature that addressed that feedback. For us, that was taking ultimate care of the product and ownership of user experience. If users are having a bad time on your site, take it personally. That service cycle was very important in establishing trust and making a better product.
What do you hope to contribute to the Guru team?
I hope to contribute my years of streamlining and enhancing user experiences for the Guru product and to provide support in scaling the product massively.
Guru has a product that takes educational offline experiences and makes them fun and more enriching. Firstly, I believe Guru will help millions of people find joy in educational experiences. Secondly, I personally have future goals in education and offline to online experiences.
What do you see in the future for Guru?
I would like to walk into almost any museum and have the ticket counter tell me that I should download a Guru app. I want my Instagram, FB, <fill in the blank social media> feeds to have posts from friends who enjoyed the Guru app.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.” – Rocky Balboa
When you’re not kicking butt in the tech world, where can you be found?
My sister and I run a craft beer bar/restaurant in PB and I’m involved in a massive expansion to an existing small brewery, so pretty much beer-in-hand & talking business! Or two babies climbing on me somewhere in South Park.