As co-founders of Got It, we have this vision: enable anyone to get instant, interactive expert help on their knowledge related problem, anytime.
This is a different kind of idea for person-to-person interaction in a social world focused more on self-expression and sharing of opinions.
We deliver our vision through safe, AI assisted, 10 minute chat sessions with ranked and vetted human experts. You could be a learner, but you could also be an expert, in some topic.
We are humbled by the magnitude of this vision. But we truly believe that the knowledge and expertise in people's brains is a vast, untapped resource, which can be unleashed into amazing "Got It" moments for all.
It enables win-win fair trade. The "learner" gets ahead in their job, career, hobby or class. And the "teacher" monetizes their free time to gain a source of income: without having to own a car or a house. Just their brainpower, and even just 10 minutes of free time.
Let's check out current alternatives for someone who has a problem they are stuck on.
Search, is reliably quick, but overwhelms with pages of content: relevant to your problem? Sometimes yes, and sometimes, confusing.
Communities, both real world, (as in friends & family), and online, like Quora, or Stack Exchange, or even social media based Q&A like Jelly offer more relevant and concise advice, but... and this is a big one... they aren't reliably quick, like search.
And here is the kicker: neither of the online options offer real time and interactive chat!
Our vision offers a third alternative: quick AND highly relevant help via a 10 minute, interactive chat session, mobile first.
For us, every word in our vision matters: "instant" and "problem" and "quick" and "help" and “relevant” and "safe" and "AI assisted" and "ranked". We are committed to these words as core principles of Got It and we strive to excellence in our metrics associated with these words.
Quick means two things: "instant", as in Got It will find a vetted and ranked expert within seconds. Quick also means the expert will usually provide the help you need, within 10 minutes.
Highly relevant means that you are matched to an expert selected for your problem, not a generic "knowledgeable person". Experts are tested, audited and ranked continuously in their subject/knowledge domain.
From a product perspective, initially we focused on tastemakers of new services: high school & college students. We discovered they have big problems in STEM subjects. So Got It has become an on-demand service for academic help. We've now hosted millions of sessions, 90% of which got 4 or 5 stars.
We are redefining the multi-billion dollar academic tutoring market with on-demand, instant STEM help at an affordable price.
It's hard to get all this right, but we've been busy building the technology platform and products to get closer and closer to something we are proud of.
It took us two years to iterate on the technology and algorithms and product design to support the above core principles of our platform. We've connected millions of learners to tens of thousands of experts. We've had to build tools so experts can use technology to become better at teaching, even if they've never ever taught before. In fact 80% of our experts say they've never taught or tutored before.
Why focus on students and the academic tutoring market? Hung and I care a lot about education. We both come from backgrounds where we had to fight for an education. The only reason we are where we are today, is because of the education we received: specifically STEM education.
I was born in a refugee settlement, and the reason I got opportunities in life was my father saved enough, while working as a street cleaner in the settlement, to pay for college, which got him a decent job, so he could educate his kids.
Hung was born in Nam Dinh in Vietnam and his parents saved every penny to give him an education. Later he became one of a few Vietnamese students to come to the U.S. and receive a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Iowa.
By the way, both of us paid our way through college by tutoring: our first jobs. I scraped by enough to get a degree, but Hung actually had some savings from tutoring and he poured his entire savings into starting this company.
One of the challenges of STEM in higher education in the U.S. is large classroom lectures, faculty that has a great incentive (as they should) to do research and publish papers, weekly TA office hours for an hour or two, and a shortage of affordable, supplemental teaching resources.
So as you can imagine, we have some tutoring DNA :) And both of us are Computer Science engineers. So we used our DNA and our tech skills to build a platform, and a service that enables the most affordable tutoring, unbundled (not by the hour, but by one problem at a time the student is working on). We are doing for tutoring what iTunes did for music: unbundle the CD and offer it by the song.
And we also are aware we are not alone in the educational community: Khan Academy, Wolfram Alpha, Quizlet, College Board, ACT and others are all providing critical resources. It's awesome. We're just doing our thing in a very different way: through the most popular mechanism for interaction in the world today: chat sessions.
Today we offer instant help with STEM problems: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. More subjects will be added especially in Technology and Engineering.
We believe in real teaching, not just providing answers. Chat sessions are organized into an interactive concept discussion phase, an interactive step by step explanation phase, and a final solution phase with a chance for more Q&A at the end. Experts who don't follow this format are suspended. Repeat bad actors are fired for life.
Sometimes students press experts for just providing answers. But we want the experts to show them steps and ask questions, which sometimes frustrates the student. But, so be it. It's a balance we know we will be managing, forever.
And in our vision, AI doesn't get rid of jobs, or automate away jobs. It adds jobs! AI assisted STEM tutoring actually helps reduce unemployment. Here's why.
There are 2.5 million unfilled STEM related jobs in the country today. And millions of young people who can't find jobs. Those who can graduate with STEM degrees can get good paying jobs. But there aren't enough. We can, and we will address this gap. And we will help hundreds of thousands of underemployed STEM trained experts make an income. Here's how.
Every day hundreds of people apply to Got It to try to join our pool of experts. Many don't make it: the entrance exams are tough. The audits are tough. But those who do: 50% of them say that now Got It is their only source of income.
Longer term we want every person to have access to Got It both as a learner and as a teacher. For all kinds of problems that can be solved through expert help.
General information/content retrieval and advice seeking will thrive through search and community forums. But the Got It approach can become a standard approach to get help with solving problems.
So that's our story. Please join us as a learner, or as an expert, or simply spread the word, and help us elevate every person on the planet who seeks to learn or teach.