When I was first introduced to Chegg several years ago, the company’s original concept was to be a Craigslist for college students. But soon after launching, the founders discovered that what people needed more than anything else were used textbooks.
At the time, it was far from certain that a business could be built around distributing used textbooks. After all, most people felt that need was being adequately met in the dusty backrooms of college-town bookstores. However, standing here today at the New York Stock Exchange celebrating the company’s IPO, I can say that we have once again seen the success of an approach that involves more than simply funding a company and hoping for the best. In the course (pun intended) of working with Chegg for the past several years, we began to see striking parallels between Chegg and other iconic companies that had found success.