Back during my freshman year in college, Facebook was like the wild wild west. Only college students were allowed, and it was awesome. As Facebook slowly expanded its membership to "everyone with an internet connection," it lost its exclusivity. I left Facebook the day my mom sent me a friend request, and young people are abandoning the site in droves.
Enter "Blend," which just secured $2.7 million in seed funding, created by UM dropout Akash Nigam:
Blend, founded in 2013, is a social app available exclusively to college students. The model is “Share, Snap, Score” – students share photos based on the Blend theme of the day, earn Snaps or ‘likes’ on their photos from their peers, and use Snaps as “social currency” to score Blend Gifts, such as products and gift cards from popular brands. Blend is very selective and solely partners with trendy, college-relevant companies. Since October, Blend has partnered with over 200 brands. Some perennial favorites include Uber, Chegg, Rowdy Gentleman, Fraternity Collection, and Alex & Ani.
Granted, I'm a few years removed from college, but this app sounds hideous. Who the hell logs online to interact with "trendy, college-relevant" brands? This is all without tackling the suicide-inducing terms of "social currency" and "Blend Gifts."
But here's the kicker (emphasis mine):
After launching its beta in late October at the University of Michigan, Blend has gained over 50,000 daily active users through word of mouth. Blend is available to all Universities within the United States, except for Ohio State.
Banning the largest university in the world from your college-only social app isn't a good business model, Akash.
Even worse for him, like all Michigan Men, his hubris will be broken. After all, he's indebted to investors who won't allow Akash's inferiority complex to stand in the way of making more money. (But hey, I guess he got some free words about his app, eh?)