dailypage is an online application to meet the needs of both students and teachers when it comes to independent reading. It uses the best practices of social training applications for sports (running, biking, swimming) and applies them to reading in order to improve student achievement and motivation, provide more insight into the “training” process, and make it easier for a teacher or a parent to provide individualized, targeted “coaching” to a reader. dailypage transforms struggling readers into engaged and successful readers.
Melissa Jones, co-founder and CEO
Melissa Jones is an educator and information specialist with over ten years of service in high-needs schools and communities. An expert in literacy and reading instruction, Melissa began her career as a 2000 Teach for America Corps Member in the South Bronx. From 2003-2008, she helped build the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School in Brooklyn, a new small school aimed at connecting high-needs students with the maritime resources of New York City. At Harbor, Melissa served as an English teacher, a Literacy Coach, Professional Development Coordinator and a College Summit Advisor. Melissa is trained as a librarian, and has a deep understanding of both the management of metadata and user experience design. Melissa joined the staff of College Summit in 2008; currently, she serves as the Director of Educational Design, where she is charged with designing and developing the next generation of innovative educational products for the organization. She holds a Masters of Education, as well as a Masters of Library and Information Science.
Samir Mehta, co-founder and President
Samir is a seasoned product leader with over 10 years of experience creating and managing large-scale consumer internet services with the past 5 years focused on real-time communication services. He developed the strategic vision and led the product management and development efforts for Yahoo! Messenger’s suite of web-based communication and social products, helping to double the Yahoo! Messenger user base. Previously, Samir worked as a product manager at PayPal where he defined and managed the implementation of online user authentication strategies to reduce fraud. In addition to his deep experience with consumer internet applications, Samir is passionate about improving public education outcomes. He has a long history of tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth. As a college student, Samir worked with struggling students at Berkeley High School to help improve basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. He has served as a summer instructor for Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that provides academic opportunities for underserved students and as a tutor and soccer coach for a charter school in East Palo Alto, CA. He holds an M.B.A. and a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Larry Ogrodnek, Advisor
Larry is a senior software engineer with over 15 years experience in developing complex web applications. Larry earned his Bachelors of Computer Science from Columbia University, and went on to serve on the development staff of several large and small companies, including Citi, TheLadders, and Bizo. Larry currently serves as a technical advisor to dailypage as we seek to build our Technology team.
Market Opportunity & Size
We believe dailypage meets a need in the market by specifically targeting young people in grades 6-12 who need to improve their reading, as well as “coaches” – teachers and parents – who need a simpler and more effective way to track their students’ reading progress. There are approximately 25 million students in grades 6-12 in the United States.
Millions of these students lack the reading skills they need to succeed in college, compete in the workforce, or even understand their daily newspaper. In total, more than six million America’s middle and high school students are struggling readers in that they read far below their grade level.  Furthermore, the long-term trend in reading achievement levels is not promising. Between 1971 and 2004, the reading levels of America’s seventeen year-olds showed no improvement at all.  As such, we believe improving student reading achievement represents a vast opportunity among both struggling and non-struggling readers.
Our analysis estimates that schools, teachers, and parents spend a combined $4 billion per year on books, programs, software, and services related to improving literacy.
dailypage plans to operate as a freemium service. The core dailypage application will be made available to students for free.
dailypage plans to generate revenue from commissions earned via the sale of recommended books and e-books and a set of premium services targeted at the following customers:
Schools: dailypage seeks to offer a wrap-around literacy intervention service to schools that includes class sets of reduced-cost e-readers, access to the premium version of the dailypage application for data analytics, and professional development for educators.
Parents: dailypage will offer a premium service to parents to track and analyze their child's reading progress.
Publishers and other businesses: dailypage will forge partnerships with publishers who wish to access the large and lucrative K12 reading market. Publishers and other businesses will have the opportunity to market newly released books and sponsor contests and rewards for readers.
dailypage plans to be a socially responsible enterprise. dailypage will reinvest its profits to provide reduced-cost in-school programs that serve the most disadvantaged communities in the nation. dailypage will transform the traditional reading experience and truly move the needle on the achievement gap.
There are applications that exist in the marketplace today which enable individuals to communicate with their social networks about books. However, these applications fulfill a different set of user needs and appeal to fundamentally different types of users than what dailypage is focused on. Applications such as GoodReads, WeRead, and Visual Bookshelf help users catalog and share their reading history to aid in better book discovery and recommendations.
Similar to dailypage, other classroom-based applications such as Accelerated Reader focus on meeting the literacy needs of students and teachers. While these applications allow students and teachers to track their reading, we believe that dailypage’s social training and data-driven model to drive student motivation and teacher efficacy towards increased reading engagement is a unique differentiator.
GoalPost Labs, a recently shuttered start-up, began with an idea similar to dailypage. Its founder identified several roadblocks to implementation in a school-setting, which we believe we have addressed in our product by:
Focusing on developing our product as a built-in app for e-reader and mobile devices as opposed to building a web-only application
Offering schools a wrap-around literacy intervention service that includes e-readers
Offering professional development services for educators to increase ease of adoption
Targeting parents as a way of disrupting the traditional teacher-student feedback loop of classroom literacy instruction