- Notehall caters to the very essence of being a college or university student. While parties do reign supreme, the fundamental basis for college has been the pursuit of knowledge, and, of course, a legitimate degree.
- Notehall does a great job of incentivizing the one element of student learning that students, themselves, have direct and immediate control over: the ability to produce notes. Most students know that their notes are essentially their lifeline to academic success. Their future careers hinge on their academic performance, which makes having access to a web site that will serve as a transaction platform for the buying and selling of quality notes a near necessity. It is simply surprising to me that no one has successfully executed this awesome idea yet.
- Notehall is relatively new, however, their presentation on "the Shark Tank", coupled with the massive onslaught of traffic that they received from being on a show on the abc network, I am certain has gained almost immediate visibility and interest in their brand and company.
- Unfortunately, the issue of attracting consistent, yet quality and accurate, note content, was a legitimate issue of concern amongst the 'sharks' on 'the Shark Tank'. In defense, however, these young entrepreneurs spoke of how they afforded a 3 page, automatic note preview, as well as, a refund policy in the event that the purchased notes failed to meet the expectations of the end user and purchaser.
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On October 6th, 2009, of all the entrepreneurs to present, I was particularly drawn to the very first set of two young entrepreneurs: DJ Stephan and Sean Conway. These particular entrepreneurs were former University of Arizona students who had the brilliant idea to begin a website entitled "Notehall", which is essentially a user submitted consolidation and aggregation of course specific notes that can be accessed, or contributed to, with frequent monetary transactions occurring. Dead certain that their venture would go on to have a multi-million valuation in just a few years, Sean Conway had no hesitation in slating his emerging start-up company as "an eBay for lecture notes". In all practical applications, in my honest opinion, their idea is so unique and awesome, that they just could be right.
As a former college student, simple exploration of their website immediately elicits several positive things that I notice. To say that I'm mildly envious of their ingenuity would be an understatement, however, I am always convinced that the producer's of "the Shark Tank" television show know exactly what entrepreneur ideas will do well, and which will simply flop under unrealistic expectations for funding or company evaluation. There was a reason why "Notehall" was presented first on this evening's show, and the more I explore their website, the more I realize the awesome potential of their idea. Not to mention, simply appearing on "the Shark Tank" probably directly quite a few unique visitors immediately to their website.
In fact, I had great difficulty accessing their site for roughly an hour immediately following their presentation on this show. While I rarely find myself searching for a website, especially after a series of verbal cues on television, this presentation, as well as the passion of these young entrepreneurs, led me to keep an open Google search screen open relentlessly, with attempts to access it roughly every 15 minutes. Perhaps they had some underlying issues with their web site, although, I am fairly confident that their web site was not functioning the way it should function because of the massive onslaught of traffic that overloaded their servers within seconds.
I was drawn to this web site, and many other college students were, as well.
Much like my Info Barrel article on recent "the Shark Tank" start-up company entitled Element Bars, Notehall follows gracefully in the footsteps of this company, with young entrepreneurs at the helm. The interesting thing about Notehall, however, is that they have successfully carved out an amazing niche with very little, legitimate, competition. While other similar websites do exist, the founders of Notehall quickly rebutled with amazing numbers regarding their ability to leverage certain viral channels online, in order to attract frequent visitors, as well as, quality note contributors.
As a permanent fixture in my rarely updated website bookmarks, this achievement clearly places Notehall into a league all its own. Although it is currently a start-up company, I am 100% confident that this website will have an immediate appeal to college students across the country. With thousands of online users already, just like Facebook's story, it is only a matter of time, in my honest opinion, that Notehall utilizes these viral marketing techniques to take its amazing website platform to an entirely different level.
By immediately addressing a clear student need, not only are they providing an opportunity for students to purchase quality notes, but they are also affording college students an opportunity to sell their own notes. When students become aware of this website's services, this may also entice them to take even better notes, so as to provide them to the website, as content, with even greater potential for earning. Had I been aware of Notehall during college, I would have exploited this opportunity to its fullest. In fact, I am seriously considering going back, re-writing all my notes, and then submitting them to Notehall, with intent to make continual passive, residual, income on every quality note submission.
In my honest opinion, this is an ingenious concept that could also spread beyond the college student niche, and also encourage involvement of high school student's as well. Even though Facebook began by tailoring specifically to college students, it quickly branched off when it realized the potential. In my mind, there is no reason why Notehall can't do the same eventually.
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