For Josh Namm and Charles Haspel, their enduring friendship began when they sat next to each other on orientation day in ninth grade. That friendship led to their latest entrepreneurial collaboration, a social media platform: Moptwo.com.
It was 1982 when Charles and Josh became fast friends, even though Charles focused on science and math while Josh concentrated on visual arts and history, with a particular interest in painting. “We’re like the two sides of Crossroads,” says Charles.
Both had gone through a series of schools before finding Crossroads. Josh recalls founder Paul Cummins talking to him about comics like Doonesbury and Peanuts. “He really listened to me, more than any previous teacher,” says Josh. Charles appreciated the School’s combination of “academic challenge and real heart.” At every opportunity, the pair hung out during breaks and lunch in the Alley.
After Crossroads, Charles earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Brown University, designed Mac software and apps and is now chief technology officer at Portner Medical Corp. He and his wife, Katie, have three young children, Lauren, Caroline and Will. Josh graduated from USC with a bachelor’s in political science, studied graphic design and went on to earn an MBA. He worked as a graphic designer and political consultant and was the director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of San Diego County.
Through it all, they remained friends, often emailing news items about politics, a joint passion. One day, Josh said he wished there were a single website where they could post articles that they and the public could access. Charles agreed, and a few years ago, they launched Moptwo, which the duo calls “social media with substance.”
Moptwo (a name inspired by one of Josh’s childhood dogs) invites users to “publish your world” while organizing and sharing articles from the Internet (a la Facebook) in various categories with an indefinite shelf life. Currently, it’s home to 18,000-plus articles, which have garnered more than 4 million views—all without a staff or a marketing budget. Moptwo was one of the first social media platforms specifically designed to share articles.
The two partners, who hold twice-daily conference calls, remain grateful for the holistic education they received at Crossroads. “Not only is Crossroads where we met,” says Josh, “but it’s where we learned to set the bar high.”