Thanks to all of the folks who have given early feedback on Path101.
Here's what people are saying so far:
First off, no one has bashed the name yet. Personally, I don't like it at all, but I'll admit, it's not awful. It seems like that's what a name has to be these days: not awful and at a dot com. Then, you can focus on having the product create the brand image, not the nomenclature.
The response most often given was, "Why limit this to just college students?" People pointed out the huge opportunity for career changers, moms reentering the workforce, and adults later in life. I absolutely agree that such a platform has more legs than just in the college market. I just think it's good to start somewhere and the college market certainly isn't a small one by far. Plus, that's the market I know. I don't know what it's like to get laid off at 50 or reenter the workforce after having kids, but certainly that's an opportunity for growth.
Others said that I was building something for students just like me, and that most students didnt know what they wanted to do even when they graduated. Because I agree with the second point is exactly why the first isn't true at all. Particularly because most students don't know where to start and haven't done much career prep is exactly why this platform is valuable. Just because they're not doing the work now doesn't mean they don't want to get into an exciting career. Most students don't realize that they can take their passions and make a greate career out of them. Take my friend Christina. She must send out a party evite every week and most of them aren't even for her-she's the consummate organizer and she's been stuck working with kids in a job she's not a big fan of for the past three years. Finally, she came to me the other day and told me she was switching careers and becoming an event planner. DUH! In college, she probably never realized how huge the conference and event planning sector was. That's the opportunity...to take her pre-existing interest in organizing people socially and give her an opportunity to connect with the people, content, groups and events necessarily to fuel and focus that interest. If you do it socially, you don't even need to be particullarly introspective. Your friends will tell you something on the order of, "You're so great at party planning...you should do THAT for a living."
The big knock on students in their first two years of college is that they're not thinking about this stuff. That's not true at all--they're thinking about it all the time and scared stiff by it. Their parents and families keep them thinking about it, and they definitely think about it when it comes down to deciding what you're going to do with your summer. Most students would love to pursue interest over the summer, but they just don't know where to start. It's not like there are a lot of job ads out there for "freshmen with no experience."
The other piece of feedback I got, before I added the biz model page to the deck, was on how college students won't pay for this, and that's right, they won't. That's why we're going after the deepest pockets in the ecosphere on this one... the recruiters, companies, advertisers, etc. We will not charge colleges or students to use the service, unless of course that a college wants to advertise themselves... like for grad or continuing education programs.
Keep it rolling it... I'm off to setup our (my) Basecamp account.