In the Spring of 2007, Facebook decided to compete with Chegg in its core business: College Classifieds. With only three months left of runway, the founders decided to shut classifieds down and bet everything on a pivot to an idea that was on the backburner: Textbook rentals. The goal was to put all the company’s resources on this single idea for the Fall semester. It would either work so well the company could raise money and go forward…or it would burn out before Thanksgiving.
The textbook rental idea worked spectacularly, and less than two years after that daring experiment, Chegg saw its first $1 Million of textbook rentals in a single day. Chegg was on its way to an IPO a few years later.