Work: Hari Seshadri Tutoring
Web application screenshot
When I was in college, I started a math tutoring service to service students all the way from middle schoolers to undergraduates. As the sole founder, it really was a full-circle learning experience; from building the web app, to marketing, to hiring tutors and finding clients, I really learned a lot about all the details of starting even the smallest of enterprises.
From the technical side, I learned a lot building the web application; for starters, I got my first exposure to deploying an application to a remote Linux box (I know... late bloomer). I set up a Cron daemon to send out reminder emails, managed payments, and supported admin, tutor, and student accounts.
With that all that said, I used about the simplest stack on the market to put everything together: PHP/MySQL served by Apache on RedHat.
From the business side, I advertised in local newspapers, high schools, libraries, and even restaurants I frequented. In the beginning business was hard to come by. Before I knew it though, slowly but surely my client base was building up through word of mouth, and it was exciting.
Soon enough, I had enough clients that I thought it made sense to actually hire tutors. I improved the web application to support tutor accounts, and grew the business a bit more. However by this time summer was rapidly approaching, and I moved out to California to intern at Palantir.
Since then business has slowed down substantially, and I no longer actively market the service. But there's a bit of activity on it and, more importantly, the web app hasn't crashed yet!