ben@clever

This week, I joined Clever as VP Engineering. Clever makes K-12 education software vastly more efficient and effective by simplifying how students and teachers log in. It’s this simple: imagine if you could give teachers and students 10-15 minutes back in every single class. That’s 30-40% more time for actual teaching and learning. That’s what Clever does today, with much more in the works.

I’m incredibly excited about this new adventure, and I want to gush a bit.

Priorities

My priorities in work are:

  1. people
  2. mission
  3. product

People – strong contributors who know how to work in teams that accomplish more than the sum of their parts – are my top priority. A mission and a product, no matter how good, survive contact with the real world only if backed by strong, honest team players.

A Mission – a clear goal to make a positive, socially beneficial dent in the universe – is my close second priority. Products come and go, pivots happen, but a strong mission gives an organization an invariant, a true north when the storm hits.

And finally, a strong Product. Because once you have great people, and once you have a clear and stable mission, you still need a compelling product to deliver that mission to the market. The product is the last mile of your impact on the world.

Clever

Clever meets all three of my priorities in spades.

I am blown away by the quality of people at Clever, starting with co-founders Tyler, Dan, and Rafael, and including every engineer, business-development partner, school experience advocate, recruiter, etc. Clever team members have oodles of education experience, with ex-teachers, ex-DOE, and ex-school-technologists joining hands to build the next-generation education platform. And it’s not just individual quality and skills, as Clever has also built a strong team culture, one that mirrors the values of the education products we want to see. Every team member is always a student, and Clever is a group effort.

The Clever mission is clear and deeply impactful: to save teacher and students time, all the while protecting student privacy and preserving data access controls enforced by schools.

And finally, the Clever product is catching on like wildfire. There remains a mountain of work because there’s a mountain of opportunity to make education software better. But the market is already speaking, and Clever has struck a a very clear chord.

Join Us

We’re a growing team of 20’ish engineers, passionate about applying technology to making K-12 education far more effective. We’re committing to building a diverse team, because teams with a variety of life experiences build better products, and because darnit it’s the right thing to do.

Do you like working on code that makes the world a better place? Do you want to learn from and teach your teammates every day? Do you want to work on hard technical problems not just because they’re hard, but because they’re hard and impactful?

Clever’s a unique place and a unique opportunity. Use your powers for good. Send me a note.

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