David Siminoff — ASU+GSV Summit Talk

LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

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it's all inspiring and its cleverness The problem that we

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found is that a lot of the original content is

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boring it's ungodly boring And so a lot of the

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engineering goes around to try to re present incredibly boring

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content on ipads on mobile phones on androids in chinese

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arabic russian spanish and so on and it's all just

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boring I grew up on speed racer and kimba and

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u h f when it was brand new programming and

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was like the fourth channel because fox wasn't invented then

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in the early days of mtv so i have really

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short attention spans and i need things to be moving

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and booking along Or i get bored and i tune

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out really really fast on So i started shmoop with

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the idea that it was kind of an experiment Could

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funny scale large corporations have a hard time being funny

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intentionally so on eh So we tried to create an

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experience where students love learning and they find it Fun

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and funny and really difficult subjects can be taught easily

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if you have a sense of humor and if you

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reach people and if you understand their pathos and the

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conductivity of the human soul So that's how shmoop started

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started with fifty or sixty literary guides that we're not

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meant to be short cuts there's nothing like we get

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compared to spark notes or cliff notes Some of these

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things these air actually textbooks on the books a lot

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of more longer than the books themselves They're done lovingly

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Try t o get people to understand how awesome gatsby

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is and how sparing the words are and how it's

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living poetry that we still celebrate today almost hundred years

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after it was written So fun that wait put up

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the website thing It might be a nonprofit are not

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intentionally nonprofit but just something in my wife and i

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would would fund on and a million people showed up

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We get one hundred letters a week from librarians We

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love you the current stuff we have it's so boring

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and our children our kids love you blah blah blah

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Why don't you do these books And why don't you

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have this product and let me have that product so

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we kind of looked at each other and said hey

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we might have a business here We've gotten lucky winning

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lottery a few times a silicon valley you can read

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about us in yahoo and facebook and bunch of other

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investments and things that we did along the way that

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that worked and let us have the freedom to go

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do this that so what is shmoop well in front

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of you is a small list of what we have

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hundreds of thousands of different units we have hired hot

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and cajoled and probably killed hundreds of people along the

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way to create what we have as very demanding high

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standards Funny really engaging deep and complex what we think

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is kind of a new form of literature If you

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want to learn about neil modernist existential theory from the

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perspective of batman you can do that on from up

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You want to learn how to trade derivatives you can

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do that on from up through golf So i was

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taught you can do all kinds of things where you

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hang these very abstruse concepts onto very tangible things Like

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baseball golf you know hot dog eating contest and so

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on So we started with late guides Then we went

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to the most ungodly boring thing on earth which is

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test prep If you're some poor schlub seventeen year old

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and all of you were at one point taken the

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s a t o my god pity yourself back then

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because it was a miserable experience It was a miserable

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experience at the best levels and it shouldn't have to

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be because the should be a reflection while the stuff

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that you learned and should actually be a learning experience

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unto itself It's actually not so painful So we have

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the basic sort of text and a gamification process of

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taking the ap exam study as well as the and

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other things were a bunch of videos Does that go

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with it to that silly questions and try to be

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off beat in and you'll you'll recognize thie speed racer

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era japanese animation style because again that's what i bond

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with here so we built ah this massive video library

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that we continue to build today and it naturally compliments

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courses so shmoop has built hundreds There were two hundred

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change courses out on the site You can take everything

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from medieval literature and junior year english to bruce springsteen's

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america or a nano on cyberbullying That's not how to

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do it That's how to avoid it We have all

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kinds of other elements Some of them we just give

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away free two schools We have ten million customers now

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mostly in the us A massive amount of page views

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and traffic in time And we've never marketed We barely

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raised any money We took a little bit of money

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from ah small vc shop recently to expand and mostly

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in china and korea And we're selling into large districts

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no and proudly wear the back end Now several states

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which has been very exciting toe to see what happens

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when an entire state just uses shmoop and we have

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lots of kids telling funny get his jokes john we

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also talk to teachers who need a lot of help

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You know teachers get vilified for the one or two

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bad actors who show up drunk to a classroom Yes

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Those people should be fired but most people going to

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teachings they love teaching And they need help They need

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to be helped in the classroom they need armory they

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need they need love and so shmoop is trying to

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help make their job easier so we armed them with

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children who are engaged and excited about the material The

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minute they show up into the classroom they don't have

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to be cajoled into reading the book and doing their

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various elements So you've heard of common core endlessly painfully

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we teach to it it is something that is imbued

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across all of our courses and all of our structured

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materials teachers seem to like us They're they're spending a

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lot of time on our site going through our common

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core explanations and if you really have a hard time

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sleeping read the legal stuff behind the common core it's

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excruciating So we try to make it a little bit

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less excruciating The literary criticism was start sort of the

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core part of shmoop and i'm zipping through here to

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give you some examples of new products that we have

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coming a big one is shakespeare quotes you know shakespeare

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said a lot of really amazing things that we use

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in our common parlance today and so there's a whole

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course now on this that students find interesting because they're

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you know got eighty seven different sayings that they didn't

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realise came from shakespeare and then it gets him engaged

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actually go back and read pamela or romeo and juliet

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or something like that and they come out with a

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perspective like oh that's where that came from and it's

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really cool of my daughter's fourteen i goto like these

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high school thing where i'm like baby sitting and you

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get kids quoting shakespeare which is really cool and actually

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quoting it properly What one of the other big frictions

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we finding learning is writing essays children have a really

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hard time doing it and we hold their hand and

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we ask him a lot of questions it's an arrest

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italian method where we tease out a thesis sentence from

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them and then the seminal quote that they're trying to

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draw from and then the introductory sense to the whole

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paper that that actually brings people in immediately What's the

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conclusion what are you trying to leave the teacher with

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So she gives you an a run How does all

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that work Structurally we go through biology chemistry bunch Of

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other areas courses that support all of these Andi you

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can see there's what's live on the site now what's

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coming soon like in the next month or two and

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then what's coming soon ish there's a massive careers area

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that we're about to go into Like i said i

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want to hop on the bus and join you guys

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Flash cards is about to be launched a zaveri meaningful

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effort in our area where we'll take our core content

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Put it on We have this product math shack that's

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an algorithmic lee rendered set of math questions that gives

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you an infinite set of practicing exam problems for the

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case of the and all the various ap exams Shmoop

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tube is the place where we house our videos and

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test prep sort of divides into all of those videos

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so that you can study for the s a t

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on the bus coming home Just watching your smartphone lots

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more coming all in chinese korean spanish and arabic very

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soon to a theater near you That's it Thank you 00:09:02.9 --> [endTime] from shmoop