So…how long until we can share class notes over Facebook? Just kidding, someone’s already thought of it. That someone is 18-year-old Jakub Roz, a high school student in Prague. He is the founder of MySchoolNotebook.com, the Czech version of which was founded in 2010. If this 18-year-old entrepreneur isn’t impressive enough, consider this: he has been involved in the Internet business since age 14! Therefore, it’s not such a surprise that his website launched a second, English version barely a year after the Czech premiere of MySchoolNotebook.com.
MySchoolNotebook.com allows you to develop online notebooks for all of your school subjects and share them with your Facebook friends, rent them as read-only notes or publish them. Furthermore, it only cost $2 per month for the premium version, which includes features such as an unlimited number of notebooks, ability to print notes as PDF files, drawing tools and a mobile version for iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Your notes are automatically numbered, dated and sorted. What MySchoolNotebook.com markets as one of the best features, and perhaps rightfully so, is that you can use the service offline, as well. This is a great benefit for schools where the wireless Internet is either spotty or non-existent.
I was lucky enough to hear from the creator Jakub Roz (via the Internet, of course) and here’s what he had to say…
Why did you launch MySchoolNotebook.com?
I was dealing with a problem with notes when I started to attend high school. My classmates were using Word and other programs to write down their notes, but it did not seem convenient to me because it did not offer a complex solution. It was only a page of notes, which you had to save somewhere and back it up. Also, you had to constantly sort your notes not to get lost in them, which happens anyway after some time. That is why I programmed a very simple system for recording notes. My classmates liked it; therefore, I made it accessible to them as well. Finally, it reached the point when I had a feeling it might be good to make this service accessible to all students. As a result I set up a Czech version of mySchoolNotebook.com with my friend who is a programmer.
Why did you choose the name mySchoolNotebook.com?
The Czech version is Školní sešit.cz which means “a school notebook.” This name describes very nicely the nature of this service. The English name is not as nice as the Czech one, but other domains have already been occupied.
Who is a typical visitor of your website? How many people can your products potentially appeal to?
Approximately 80% of users are people between the ages of 13 and 24, simply an everyday student. In the Czech Republic we have 25,000 users, but we do not dare to estimate the number of users at the global level right now. It is a big number because many students use laptops at school.
Why did you decide to launch an English version and enter the global market?
Our service is becoming very popular in the Czech Republic and has more and more users every day. However, the Czech market is not large enough for our service. Also, we want to offer this useful service to more users. Therefore, we have just launched an English version that will be able to serve more people.
Who are your biggest foreign and domestic competitors? What do you think is your advantage in comparison to your competitors?
We do not have a direct competitor, but there are competitors such as Evernote, Google Docs, and so on. However, these are not direct school systems, which create notebooks divided into themes and lectures. In addition, we number the lectures and sort them to create well-arranged notes with fast searching capabilities. Right now, there are a number of our potential customers who use these services. Therefore, it is necessary to show them that mySchoolNotebook.com is more advantageous for them.
What is your plan for next six months? How do you plan on growing?
In the following six months, we would like to enlarge the number of users of the English version. Also, we have launched a German version of MSN called mySchulHeft.de just last week. Right now the team is working on Spanish version.
In summer, we should bring another additional service called School Store. At this store students will be able to sell their notes by offering them for a price that they will determine. By visiting our School Store you are able to find notes of students from the same school with the same professors from the previous year. It is not possible to find those relevant notes somewhere else on the Internet.
In general, we would like to become the main player on the market of educational innovations. We want to publish an educational magazine informing about how schools use and should use digital tools in schools, what issues they are experiencing, important numbers associated with it, and other news.
Jessica Errera is a Sophomore, double majoring in Dramatic Art and English at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She loves theatre, reading, tennis and all things FASHION. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a contributing writer for TalkNerdy2Me. You can follow Jessica on Twitter at @thisJESStin.