How Clark is Shaping the Future of Tutoring

Megan O'Connor

with Megan O'Connor

Co-founder and CEO of Clark

How Clark is Shaping the Future of Tutoring

How Clark is Shaping the Future of Tutoring 512 512 33Voices

Megan and Jenna discuss how her mom inspired her to launch Clark, the core lessons she’s gleaning building the team and funding the business, and her chance encounter with Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.

Insights from Megan

On Building Clark for the Future

  • “We have a very lofty goal to change the way that out of the classroom education is delivered and to empower the practitioners who are working with students with the tools they need to make an even deeper impact.”
  • “We want to create and connect tutors to a community of educators where they can learn all of the how-to information they need to effectively run and scale their business.”
  • “The right type of communication and conversational UI can help people soar in terms of their ability to reach optimum efficiency and effectiveness.”
  • “More teachers than ever are leaving the classroom. We have a 100,000 teacher shortage in the U.S. Families are going to start having more of a hybrid education structure for their kids. We want to give them real-time data; Information about what happened in a tutoring session and what needs to happen next. That will result in a record of their student’s journey in a particular subject. We want to give them insight they need to determine exactly how their child is progressing.”
  • Tutoring is about building real, long-lasting relationships with families. Without the right tools, it becomes hard to maintain a personal relationship and a business at the same time. By using Clark as your professional backbone, tutors can manage this very relationship-heavy business and scale it in a way that maintains their personal friendships.”

On Finding the Right Co-Founder 

  • “The most important piece of advice I like to give is to consider whether or not you want to have a co-founder and think about it very seriously. Having a co-founder dramatically impacted my ability to build Clark. You have to create a whole that can drive the company forward.
  • “It’s an important realization to recognize that you can’t do everything by yourself.  You need to be able to partner with someone who can do the things you can’t but still sees the world through the same lens. Sam and I are the yin and yang to one another, but even more than having completely opposite skill sets we have the same values. If I don’t feel good about something, Sam agrees 100% of the time and vice versa.”

On Raising Capital Efficiently

  • “Be smart about the time you spend externally. Fundraising is a numbers game and you spend a lot of time out of the office away from your team. Assign a narrow period where you are going to be raising money – Choose a start date and an end date. You are going to be extraordinarily busy during those days but they are contained in a set period of time.”
  • “Know when you are a good fit for an investor and know when you are not. You can’t and don’t want to convert everyone you touch into a supporter. Sometimes you are going to meet an investor who isn’t interested in your vertical or the technology you’re building. You need to be the one to call that early on. Instead of pitching for a couple more meetings and trying to make it work, understand that you aren’t a good fit for one another. There are no hard feelings. It’s about being aligned with interests, timing, and portfolio. There are a million things going on that have nothing to do with you.”

On Executing, Not Overthinking

  • “You can make unbelievable things happen with little resources. It’s a matter of how you get organized to do it.”
  • You don’t have to know the exact right decision. You just have to feel confident enough to make a decision. All you do when you are launching a business is experiment. You make bets and then you test them. You can think about the tests forever, and all of the pieces that are required and the different outcomes. Or, you could just do the thing and then you will know the answer. Done is better than perfect. Trying something and having the knowledge of whether it worked or didn’t is more valuable than anything else. You can prepare forever. Unless you actually try something with your users and find out if they like it you will never know.”