Blast from the Past
A PiHi reunion sparks a web business
by Madeline Strong Diehl
It's not easy to find the office of ClassCreator.com on Packard. "We've been too busy to put up a sign," explains founder and CEO Brad Switzer. A 1986 Pioneer High grad, Switzer was asked to do a pro-bono website for his class's twenty-year reunion--and almost immediately recognized the potential of a business that would make it easy for classes to create their own sites. For eighteen months, Switzer paid programmers to develop wizards, templates, and other simple tools for planning reunions. He used his own money to help dozens of reunion organizers develop their own sites at no charge. Then, this past January, ClassCreator.com launched a billing system, charging a maximum of $9 per month to reunion site administrators. Other class members pay nothing--and by September, more than 600,000 had signed up. With revenues of $40,000-$50,000 per month, the company now has seven full-time and two part-time employees. Switzer--who studied communications, not programming, at EMU--attributes the site's success to ease of use. He says reunion organizers can have a site up and running in half an hour, and many users are in their seventies.
[Originally published in November, 2009.]