“Nobody teaches you this stuff” is a pretty good platform to build a business on.
Like a car mechanic or farmer or entrepreneur that creates an invention because they weren’t able to buy the item they needed to get the job done in a store (example: Daniel Odio’s Phone2Projector), many websites and blogs are founded because someone realized there wasn’t a great resource out there that was providing quality information about a topic that was important to the user.
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That’s how Alexa Von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com got started. Well-educated and coming off a stint at Morgan Stanley and tech company Drop.io, she didn’t feel there was a website filling the need of relevant financial life-planning information aimed at women aged 20-35.
So she did something unconventional (perhaps the one thing they wouldn’t recommend on LearnVest), dropping out of Harvard Business School to launch a startup during a recession.
But the timing could end up just right, as we talk about the major shakeups in the financial world, from the bad (Wall Street) to the good (Mint.com being acquired for $170 million).
If there’s one thing they got right, it’s the design. LearnVest tapped the design team that worked on Hulu.com and The New York Times. The website is clean and easily walks users through a step-by-step process to teaching women what to expect when addressing financial issues during major life events such as:
– Graduating college
– Buying a house
– Getting a credit card
– Getting married
– Checking your credit score
It’s been more than a year of hearing the phrase “these challenging economic times” (so often that you have use air quotes) and the stream of headlines coming from Wall Street.
So in an era where people took out mortgages they didn’t understand, ran up considerable debt by living beyond their means, and didn’t have an emergency fund when they got laid off suddenly, Learnvest has a very good shot at filling the need in their goal to be the answer to the question “why didn’t anyone teach me this?”