Google employee Aditya Mahesh wrote a post on TechCrunch earlier this year, and from that post a new startup was born – MBAx.me. The idea is simple yet incredibly powerful and came from a problem he validated and then took action to solve. The initial problem he experienced himself, he wished he had learned things like Excel, Photoshop, iMovie, basic HTML/CSS and a few other things before starting work at Google.
Like most people he scoured the Internet looking for classes and while the education was there, finding good quality courses was hard to find. For anyone who has done a Google search for “Learn Excel” or “Learn HTML” you know what he went through. For example, when you search for “Learn Excel” on Google, the first video to show up on the first page was made six years ago!
After talking with other employees at companies like Facebook and Twitter Aditya had validated the problem and was off to the races building on his solution along with fellow Googler Saleh Altayyar.
I love startup stories like this because they really do start with a minimum viable product, heck, a minimum viable post, and then go through the process of validating their market before building anything. Then, when they do build something, rather than re-creating the wheel, they use what’s already out there. In this case they turned what could be the herculean task of creating their own course and instead focused on curation.
There is a lot of information out there online and curating this is no easy task but for those who do it right there is a nice market ready and waiting. I have seen a lot of startups brand around .ME and .CO and think these are both fantastic TLDs for brands to use when they have a name in mind but don’t yet have the budget for the .COM.
It’s a trade-off, do you go with your first choice name in a non .COM or your second or third choice name in .COM. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer but I do think that MBAx.me is a great brand name and easy to remember. Sure, someone could accidentally type MBAx.com, but when they do that they’ll immediately know they are in the wrong place and while someone could try to build something similar on the .COM, it will be hard to compete with two smart guys from Google that already have a nice headstart.
Huge congrats to Aditya and Saleh, a great idea and always awesome to hear of startup truly validating a problem and then getting a solution out in a couple of months. Something tells me we’ll be hearing about MBAx.me quite a bit more over the course of this year. If you want to learn more about the company make sure to watch the video below courtesy of TechCrunch: