In 2012, Josh Verne started a company called Workpaysme which was a marketplace hosted strictly online that set up systems where people can have their purchases deducted from their payroll. He and his partner, and childhood best friend Jon Dorfman had a successful run at that business to the tune of selling it to Global Analytics Holding in the year of 2014.
In 2016 Josh Verne incubated FlockU.com, a college based peer-to-peer content exchanged geared towards millennials in college. The premise of FlockU is that “Nobody knows what it is like to be in college, except people who are in college.”
The FlockU platform is a space where students can communicate, write and expound on what is important to them. Millennials don’t listen to anyone else but other millennials, so the attractiveness of the platform is obvious.
This brings the conversation to the point that most blogs, newsletters and other forms of communication find it difficult to market to millennials because the ear of the millennial is not too focused on outside information or chatter.
Verne seems to have tapped into the secret of communication in that nearly the entire content of FlockU is written and commented upon by college students, many of whom happen to be millennials.
Verne has used social media and a syndicated partnership with Huffington Post to build a following of over 3.8 million monthly impressions with a click thru rate of 35 percent. The result is that the content of FlockU covers the gamut of everything, as there are no topics that are tabu.
To most of the rest of the world, the topics may seem rather weird, risque and out of touch, the contents resonates with the millennials and college students because it is written by them and is all about them.
All ad proposals are sent out to the readers, called Flockers, for a test drive. It either succeeds or fails. There is a drawing to receive free samples, and word gets around whether the product is viable or not.
Verne claims that he is not making money yet, but it seems like he is on the right track. At least his audience embraces the concept as they enthusiastically jump on board and relate to each other.