Have you already sitting in a college dorm kitchen space shared with your roommate and decided to start a business?
I have to be clear here: we haven’t really decided to start a business; it was more of a project to create a tool that we could use while studying at school.
Born out of our own frustrations in putting together the right study material to prepare for exams, Jacques Huppes and I began noting what the perfect platform would look like for easily sharing resources like study guides and course notes. with other students. We knew we had to create a simple interface to get started, which was quickly followed by the tedious process of manually uploading hundreds of documents that we had gathered during our preparation for the previous exam and other friends of the university.
After just three weeks our idea started to blossom, with friends from other universities asking if we could create the platform to share their school’s study resources as well. We simply requested their documents and started to subdivide the content according to the university. Our company, StuDocu, was officially born and grown faster than we could ever have imagined.
Our first investment was a USB hard drive, which took us from dorm to dorm – we knocked on doors to share our story with as many students as possible. We were using the hard drive to plug in their laptops, copy their files and upload them to the StuDocu website that evening.
As more and more students are now going digital, in 2010 we would often come across students with handwritten or printed notes, which we gathered and brought back on the train ride to Delft to scan and upload to the library. For the first three years we worked from our dorms in Delft before moving to Amsterdam to expand our business.
We have introduced many iterations of the platform based on feedback and data. At first, we worked based on what we thought was needed, using our own frustration of studying as a guide on how the platform should evolve. One of our other co-founders, Lucas van den Houten, introduced the idea of ââmeasuring the data we collected from users through Mixpanel, and from there we were able to breathe new life into the platform. -form. Suddenly the data was telling us where to grow and where to improve. Over the years, we have developed many features and continue to perform A / B testing based on the hard data we now have.
Building a website is a lot of work, but for us each update had a direct correlation to the increased downloads and student engagement we wanted to reach. Seeing these little successes day after day was reassuring.