Here’s a multi-million dollar teenage success story.
This is the story of how a high school yearbook took a digital turn.
In 2005, brother and sister Catherine and David Cook were flipping through their school yearbook. The 15 and 17-year olds thought it would be cool to make it digital — on a website.
During spring break, with the help of their older brother Geoff, they launched MyYearbook.
It started out pretty much as a social media site for their fellow students at Montgomery High School in New Jersey. Well from little acorns mighty trees will grow. They soon merged with an ad-supported site and expanded their audience.
Visitors now could share poems, jokes and other content. New features were continually added — things like interactive games with virtual currency, instant messaging, and media sharing.
Did people visit? Well, 20 million users isn’t a bad number! And that’s why major advertisers like Disney and ABC wanted to be part of it. By 2009, four years from its launch, MyYearbook revenue hit $20 million.
And in 2011, 21-year-old Catherine sold their startup for $100 million to a Latino social network. Today it’s known as MeetMe.com.
So what do you do when you cash out so young — retire at 21? Not these young entrepreneurs. They say, MyYearbook was only the beginning. They have a lot more innovative products to create.
Catherine and David Cook exemplify one of our Business Axioms For Entrepreneurs: Take the tried and true and make it new.
Turn the high school yearbook into a digital product.
Now why didn’t I Think of That?