Flywheel grows to 13 employees, plans move to Downtown office

Flywheel, Omaha's WordPress hosting startup, has hired 10 more employees and is moving to a new office Downtown to accommodate its growth…

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Flywheel, Omaha’s WordPress hosting startup, has hired 10 more employees and is moving to a new office Downtown to accommodate its growth.

It’s been almost a year since Flywheel launched their product to the public and the response has been tremendous.

So tremendous that they needed more help. Co-founders Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker and Rick Knudtson began working on the company in fall 2012 before hiring one other employee in May 2013.

This spring, however, they went on a hiring spree. In all, Flywheel hired seven more full-time employees—developers, customer “happiness engineers” and marketing—plus a developing intern and a marketing interns.

Knudtson said hiring is always difficult because you want to get employees with the right skill sets and have the best fit for the culture.

“We’ve tried to ingrain ourselves in the community, making ourselves available as mentors and employing partners to things like Omaha Code School,” he said. “We’ve met people and have had eyes on them and some of those fell into place when we had those openings.”

Flywheel hired one of Code School’s recent graduates, Andy Von Dohren, who is working as a junior developer. Another hire, Dan White, comes from managing a Best Buy Geek Squad—he’s working on the customer service end. Another happiness engineer, T-Rave, came up from Kansas City where he previously worked as a digital media coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.

They all come from interesting backgrounds and Knudtson says he’s pleased with a “pretty incredible team assembled in Omaha.”

“We’re a support heavy industry so we want to focus on customer happiness and that means staying ahead of demand and having enough people to keep up with support,” Knudtson said.

Flywheel has launched several support lines including a website chat, phone, email and Snapchat, which might not be so serious. He thinks good experiences and word of mouth have been some of their best allies when it comes to getting customers. Their quirky marketing also seems to help. Flywheel is also making the rounds to WordPress conferences in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

In the meantime, Knudtson is calling this summer the “summer of product development.”

The team is adding features customers have been asking for including bulk plans, akin to a reseller account for design firms who like to host sites for our clients; an affiliate program, where people who want to share Flywheel can be incentivized to do so; and staging sites, a clone site where developers can work on their code without screwing up the original code.

New office at 14th and Harney is above Wilson and Washburn

In late summer, the Flywheel crew will be relocating from the Mastercraft building (where they co-office with SPN) to a new 6,000 square-foot space above Wilson and Washburn bar and restaurant at 14th and Harney.

“We’re spreading our wings,” Knudtson joked. “We just needed more space and being closer to the Old Market is a plus. It’s more walkable, has a few more amenities.”

The space is newly renovated and has a thrift shop in the basement, the restaurant on the first floor, clean, industrial office space on the second floor and apartments on the third and fourth floors.

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