Friday Nooner: New Pendo Investment, Guest Fred Stutzman (Freedom)

Guess who’s back, back again! In this week’s episode of the Friday Nooner, journalist Lauren Ohnesorge joined Pete and Joe once more to discuss everything tech in the Triangle and beyond. You surely recognize Lauren from her pieces in Triangle Business Journal (TBJ), as well as in their new publication, Triangle Inno. The trio talked about Pendo’s recent $110M secondary investment and whether they will be an “IPO story.”

The featured guest this week is Fred Stutzman, the Founder and CEO of Freedom. Freedom is an app and website blocker for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome, which is used to reclaim focus and productivity. [We ran a Q&A with Fred in 2019.]

Here are a few highlights:

  • Pete completely jumps the gun—literally, he almost forgot about the intro—by introducing himself, Joe, and their upcoming guests too soon. The pair talk about their “host vs. sidekick” rivalry and even play a video showcasing it before having Lauren join the stream. [Editor’s Note: Pete is totally the host while Joe is his sidekick; it’s not even a real debate.]
  • Lauren briefly talked about her conversation this morning with Todd Olson, the Co-Founder and CEO of Pendo, about the Raleigh-based startup’s $110 secondary investment from private equity firm Thoma Bravo. She also emphasized what this could mean for the future, such as an acquisition or an IPO. Joe added, however, that going public isn’t always “the holy grail.”
  • Fred joined the trio. Freedom started 10 years ago when he was studying social media and information science in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Social media services had taken over people’s time, including his own, so he made an app that locked you offline for 45 minutes. He shared it on Twitter, and the rest is history. Fred talked about our collective dependence on online platforms; Freedom being kicked out of the App Store; and why Apple’s built-in tools to disconnect don’t work well.

Watch the full episode on Facebook here, or on LinkedIn here.

Or on YouTube:

Or if you’re more of an auditory learner, here’s the podcast version: