David Siminoff has a history in Silicon Valley as an early investors in PayPal and Yahoo, but it was his pet project writing about literature that became his next big thing.
In 2007, Siminoff began writing about literature for Shmoop, a digital publishing company that educates students with learning guides on literature, math, writing and college."I wrote all the original guides as an experiment," Siminoff told Press:Here. "And we put them up and we hoped they were humorous."
Siminoff said the goal was always to make kids "love learning," but he wasn't sure his writing and idea would work. "We put up the website with no advertising and a million users came to us," he said."We just started having a real sales force."
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Siminoff chose "shmoop" because it was a Yiddish word is grandmother used meaning "to move something forward a bit." He said that most students need a little push, but not material that is too advanced.
"The students may be hooked on the story at any given level, but they don't understand the $5 words," he said.