Ok, this is a good one to know about. Chegg.com, started by Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra in 2007, rents out college textbooks to students, with the option of keeping the book for either a quarter or a full semester. Most importantly, the book rental also comes at a fraction of the cost of purchasing overpriced textbooks. For example, an Art History textbook listed at $130 at a college bookstore is available for rent at Chegg for just over $40. For those of us who have to buy dozens of books every year, this is a serious joog.
Apparently, we must be a little late on this one, since the company listed its' revenue at well over $10 million in 2008. The company's growing success, as well as the ingenius idea behind it prompted some of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists to invest over $25 million. As a business model, Chegg certainly seems to have a lot of potential, given the absurd amount of money students are asked to pay for their books, in addition to the tuition bills they already pay. And, as cited by Rashid and Phumbhra, Netflix serves as a precedent for success, proving that consumers are comfortable with the idea of online renting. Yet again, the internet threatens to undermine an inefficient market in need of creative change. Learn more here or just peep Chegg for yourself.