Why I Helped Start School Shark (Part 1)
My team and I at School Shark are committing to producing content more consistently to help our audience better understand who we are and what our mission is. Our first goal is to all tell our story of how and why we started School Shark. This article marks part 1 of my story.
My brain operates differently than most. It doesn't have a "relaxation mode". Growing up and to this day, when given a mental break from whatever task I am working on, rather than my brain relaxing, it takes that break from work and immediately allocates its efforts to think about "what could be".
I start to think about possibilities in the world and problems that need to be solved or ways to make what I had just done better or more efficient. I have always had a fascination with being able to innovate items or ideas. Because of this mindset, I have found myself with the occasional struggle to focus on small mindless tasks because my brain wants to think about bigger things and ideas.
However, despite all of these thoughts, I never had something to channel those thoughts to, they were simply thoughts, which got me nowhere. In fact, it took me away from the task at hand at times yet I didn't have anything to apply it to.
It has been my dream to one day own my own business. But not just any business, I wanted to own a business that I truly believed was something that solved a problem in the world, and had great add-value to it's customers. The issue was that I had not experienced any applicable problems for me that solved a real problem in the world versus creating a device that could open any jar in the world. Although 8 year old me thought that this was a huge problem in the world, the value-added to the customer was very little and didn't address a large enough market.
Once I got to college, however, and became more financially independent with everyday expenses and costs associated with attending college, I immediately began trying to figure out where I could save money and/or make money on top of my campus job as an admissions representative. But then the question came up again, "What is a problem that I have faced that many others face that needs a solution?"
After selling my books back to the book store at the end of my freshman year and then seeing how much they were going for on the site the following semester opened my eyes to a problem that needed to be solved.
The textbook industry is broken.
It was ridiculous, almost laughable to see how badly I got screwed. I had sold my book back for a buck or two and saw it back on the site used for over $90. Following my defeat I sat down with my two friends John and Christian in the cafeteria. For weeks we had met in the cafeteria trying to find a way that we could service the college student in a way that adds value to their lives. However, after countless (and some downright stupid) ideas, we couldn't find anything that stuck. I complained to my two friends, John and Christian about my textbook situation, and they laughed and said the same thing happened to them.
About 5 minutes later an idea was formed and we became business partners.