In the spirit of the Holidays, the team at TakeLessons put together this awesome cookbook, filled with our favorite recipes. I’d like to give it to you as my gift and to wish you and yours the most joyous Holiday season!
“Our team at TakeLessons put together a little something special (and scrumptious!) just for you!
We’d love to bring you a plate of cookies and Grandma’s eggnog, but since we can’t be everywhere at once, we had to get a little more creative to bring our home to you! Below you’ll find the TakeLessons Holiday Cookbook 2014 with our favorite holiday treats. We hope you enjoy these delicious homemade dishes!
From our home to yours, cheers to an incredible year. Here’s looking forward to a delightful 2015!
Marc Bailey: Earlier this month, Forbes magazine ranked San Diego #1 as the best place in the nation to start a small business this year. The publication surveyed 50 big cities and surveyed small businesses. Among the criteria used, those in high growth areas, those with Facebook pages, those with websites, and those that accepted credit cards. The magazine says that the categories demonstrate the community’s engagement and use of relevant resources.
If you’re trying to start a business, that’s why we asked Steven Cox to come in because he knows what he’s talking about. You started TakeLessons.com? You started it here in San Diego?
Steven Cox: Sure did!
M: And it teaches music? Music lessons online?
S: Not only music lessons, but tutoring, sports, fitness, wellness, arts and crafts, and more. if you think of eBay and how they have created a marketplace for both buyers and sellers. What we have is created a marketplace for parents or consumers who are looking for a great instructor. On the other side are instructors who are looking to earn more money and are looking for new students.
M: So, you match these people up? You just combine the two. Most of these ideas, when we break them down, the beauty of them and the commonality is we all look and say, “I should’ve thought of that.”
S: Or, “Man, I did think about that.” Yes, I get that a lot.
M: When did you decide to follow up on that and why? What was the motivation?
S: I’ve been doing tech startups since 1999. I moved down here to San Diego to take a little bit of time off and started wondering what I wanted to do next. I was living downtown in San Diego, and we came up with this idea. I happened to also be in a rock band as a bad lead singer. My drummer was looking for new students and was going to quit music and take an office job in order to pay in his bills. So, we put together this idea of helping him make a living do what he loved to do by helping him find students over the Internet, and that just happened to be my background. It kind of fell along this whole movement of being able to establish a business in a marketplace and then watch it grow here in San Diego, which is where we started, and then immediately start taking on new cities. Now, we’re in about 4,000 cities all across the U.S.
M: So, I’m going to say that’s successful, but it started right here in San Diego.
S: Yep, it started in a downtown office right here.
M: Why San Diego? Now, again, we heard Forbes’ reasons why businesses are successful starting up here in San Diego, but what’s the deal? Why San Diego?
S: Well, first of all, I can say that being in the industry for the past several years, the tech industry and the San Diego startup community is worlds different from where it used to be five and six years ago. One of the factors that Forbes had mentioned was the clustering, which is the ability for a large number of startups to all be in the same area, and we’re starting to see that downtown. There are thirty or forty startups right off the top of my head just within this little radius of where the TakeLessons headquarters is down there, which is a super cool thing to see.
M: That’s good energy, and you can share information.
S: They share information. They collaborate. You kind of feel like you’re not alone.
M: Is that one of the keys? Collaboration?
S: Absolutely. You get that and also just the number of industries that are in kind of a high growth aspect. So, anything from consumer Internet to clean tech to bioinformatics, San Diego has all of those. In addition to a great environment to start a business, there are a ton of smart people, and if you compare it to some of the other cities out there, San Diego has better air quality than L.A. I’m sure that you would know that. It has better traffic. The cost of living is 40% cheaper than it is in Silicon Valley. Finally, San Diego, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we have better weather than Boston and New York.
M: We’ve got to go, but give me the one misstep that people make. You’ve told people all of the positives. What’s the one thing that makes you say, “Don’t do that.”?
S: I’ve got to say that it is don’t believe that is super, super easy just to start an Internet business, and then the next day you’re going to be a success. It takes the exact same amount of work in order to grow a successful business.
M: That meaning you have to be totally committed to it.
S: That’s right.
M: Alright, Steven, thank you so much. Steven Cox, CEO of TakeLessons.com. So, check that website out, especially if you’re trying to match up your learning with a teacher. Great idea!
I’m happy to announce TakeLessons.com latest round of venture funding today. This round increases the total amount raised to $20mm and will allow us to accelerate our expansion into more categories outside of music, including tutoring, performing arts, and languages. We’ve even started to see new matches in categories such as welding, crocheting, robotics, and basic HTML.
We’ve tripled the number of instructors on the TakeLessons platform over the past year and continue to be excited about building a marketplace that helps consumers easily find the right instructor, while helping instructors make a better living doing what they love.
As one of my trusted business associates, I wanted to reach out to you to see if you might know of someone interested in an unbelievable opportunity to make a significant impact on a hot, growing company – and I’ll pay you $7,500 for an intro.
Here’s an email you can cut and paste to send to your contacts:
A great opportunity for a VP of Software Engineering just came across my desk and I wanted to share it with you in case you, or someone you know, might be looking to make a career move.
TakeLessons.com is America’s leading music lessons company, providing in-person lessons in over 3,000 cities across the USA. They drive their sales online, and the service is delivered by certified teachers in person at the customers’ residence or teachers studio.
The company has 74 employees, located in downtown San Diego, building interesting technology, and is backed by the same venture capital firms that backed Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, and other internet powerhouses.
They are looking for a rockstar VP Software Engineering to help take them to the next level of growth and I thought about you. Here’s what they are looking for:
Someone that has: – Experience leading a consumer internet software division. – Expertise in software development, architecture, coding, QA. – Ability to lead and grow a team using JQuery, Symfony, PHP, PostgresSQL, and Linux. – Reports to the CEO and can interact favorably with investors.
Steven Cox, TakeLessons’ Founder and CEO said, “this new investment will aid our continued growth and leadership in the music space and will fuel our platform expansion into new marketplaces, including tutoring and the other performing arts.”
TakeLessons has paid out over $10,000,000 to music teachers who are serving students in over 3,000 cities. The rapid growth has recently been driven by TakeLessons’ Online Lesson platform, which enables more flexible scheduling and eliminates geographic constraints.
In addition to music education expansion, TakeLessons announced the launch of its new tutoring marketplace in San Diego this month and will serve Austin, Las Vegas, Sacramento and Denver by the end of Q1.
The funds from this round will be invested in product development to deliver an improved lesson experience for teachers and students and to pave the way for horizontal expansion into new markets. Karen Baumbach, VP of Finance and Alan Cole, Chief Revenue Officer, recently joined TakeLessons to support the company’s aggressive growth targets.
“We’re committed to helping teachers make a living doing what they love to do,” remarked Cole. “This funding will support investment in our tools that allow private instructors to acquire and retain the best students.”
About TakeLessons TakeLessons, the largest online service marketplace for music lessons in the U.S., has been connecting music students with the best local music teachers since 2006. The company provides convenient, safe, affordable and fun music lessons to students of all ages. A pioneer in the online services space, TakeLessons also equips teachers with web-based scheduling, billing and communication tools. For more information and to find the best local teachers, interested parties should visitwww.takelessons.com