Dusty Davidson is a technology-based entrepreneur that is proud to call the Midwest home. Dusty is co-founder and the CEO of Flywheel, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska and provides a website hosting platform for designers and other agencies. Davidson shared he “loves that Flywheel is making a difference in the entrepreneurial community from it’s home in the middle of the continent.”
Dusty describes Flywheel as the engine behind website management that deals with the “technical mumbo jumbo of hosting so that the designers can focus on their skill of creating websites.” The three co-founders, Rick Knudtson, Tony Noecker and Dusty Davidson, met through their interactions in the design and software industry in the Omaha area.
All three have backgrounds in product development, but Davidson credits their successful teamwork to their areas of expertise. “Rick is a great designer, Tony is a brilliant software engineer, and I bring knowledge in the business and financial areas,” explained Dusty. Flywheel is one of many entrepreneurial ventures that Davidson has undertaken in his career. Dusty has experience starting software companies (Brightmix and Tripleseat) and even created an entrepreneurial news organization (Silicon Prairie News) that was recently bought by the AIM Institute.
The journey of launching Flywheel as a viable product took the team a little over a year from its inception. Dusty shared that the team “banded together and worked out of the proverbial garage for about 6 months.” After this development period, Flywheel was offered in Beta testing with a few trial customers for another 6 months. With the year-long process complete, the Flywheel team realized that they were more than just a website hosting company. “We began as a company that hosted websites…then we grew into a company that brought support and assistance in the workflow of designers,” explained Dusty.
Flywheel defines success when their product allows designers freedom to focus on their skill and expand their business. One Flywheel success story involves an independent designer and stay-at-home mother in Atlanta, Georgia who utilizes Flywheel for hosting freeing her up to make more money and reach more customers. Recently, Flywheel has added Local, a software product in addition to website hosting. This new product and the online resources of a design publication called the Layout, and e-books provide designers with yet more workflow enhancements.
Davidson has come to learn that “utilizing the talents of exceptional team members is essential throughout every stage of a startup.” This emphasis on teamwork is seen in the titles given to the customer support staff as “Happiness Engineers.” Davidson explained that Flywheel values “world class support and resourcing provided by their customer support staff so that customers fall in love with our product.” Currently, in the Omaha headquarters, there are 80 people working for Flywheel and hopes for continued growth into the future.
Learn more from Dusty Davidson and Flywheel as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.