Why I helped Start School Shark (Part 2)

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 2 of my story.

Picking up where I left off on my previous article, my team and I were at the point where we had finally found a problem in the world that applied to us and was applicable to all of those around us. We recognized that the price of college textbooks was a problem that needed to be solved, yet we did not have a solution yet.

The important part was that we finally had a problem to work toward solving, which got us real fired up to start brainstorming.

This was when the fun started.

We started brainstorming on ways to eliminate the unfair price increases that bookstores do on used books and the first idea we came up with was to buy the books back from students for more than what competitors offered, and then sell it for cheaper than the competitors offered. After doing the math we quickly discarded that idea.

Being the "broke college students" that we were, we didn't have the capital or the space in our 12x12 dorm rooms to make that idea actually logistically work.

Then an idea came. I had previously bought a book from a friend who had the book that I needed and it was a win-win situation for the both of us. I saved big money on it and he sold it for significantly more than what he would have gotten for it if he sold it back to the bookstore. The issue was that this situation was a rarity.

But now we had momentum. We had found a super small scale solution to the problem, now the question was: how can we take this small sample solution and make it accessible to an entire population?

After thorough customer research of getting feedback from over 500 students through surveys, one on one conversations, and market research, we came to the conclusion that we needed to create a platform that connected students that needed textbooks with students that had textbooks to sell. This process would eliminate the price increases of textbooks and put the pricing and purchasing power back in the students hands. The next question was how do we do that?

The easy answer was to build a website, the hard part about that answer is that none of us knew a lick about web development, which was (as you could probably guess) a problem.

At this point we were in a similar situation as we were at the end of my last article, just further down the road.

Did we know how to develop a website to create a solution to our problem? Absolutely not! But we committed to learning how to.

1 comment

  • I’m so caught up in such a situation right now only difference is I can come up with front end site. How did you go on to resolve the issue?


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