Celebrating Ten Years

Ten years ago, in the unfinished basement of our tiny Connecticut home, Jesse wrote the first edition of our flagship book, “life after school. explained.

What I remember most about that time are the late nights sitting next to each other in that damp New England basement – Jesse endlessly editing and trying out new jokes, making me laugh out loud while I was trying to write papers. It was our first year of marriage, my first year of graduate school, his first entrepreneurial venture.

The book was born out of a seminar series. In the beginning, schools would advertise free pizza to get their students to a taxes seminar. Jesse quickly learned that if you don’t make HMOs and 401(k)s funny, people will smile, take their pizza and leave.

The book has had its high moments: when a 22-year-old Marist College grad was elected mayor of his town and credited his early success to our book in his inaugural speech. And we didn’t even know the guy.

Photo from an article in the Hartford Courant, 12/6/05

And, of course, there have been low moments: like when the warehouse storing books caught fire. We learned that books are made of wood.

Over the years, we’ve loved watching our creative process spark the creativity in our customer schools – from amazing cover designs to cover photo shoots.

With over half a million copies sold, the book is very much still a living document. Over the years we’ve improved the customization options, revised pop culture references (Britney Spears out, Kim Kardashian in) and kept up with technology (Facebook didn’t exist, so neither did Facebook etiquette).

Most recently, we added chapters on Unemployment, Renters Insurance, and Travel Insurance. The book content is the foundation of our newest product – a mobile app called Crib Sheet.

A decade later, Jesse is still at his desk making edits to the book and I’ve joined him. We’ve traded in a damp New England basement for a humid Orlando office, and been joined by a local staff and a team working around the world to improve our products.

We hope you will give the updated book a read, and welcome your feedback.

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