Esdena: Social Marketplace
Thursday, August 31, 2006
  New Features + More Satisfied Customers
Hi, just a quick update here, after this week of hectic transactions, we acquired some valuable feedbacks from y'all and made some changes to the site accordingly.

First off, we recognize that many of you do not use your school email as your primary email address, and thus offer you to add a secondary email address on your account. To add one, please go to "my account" and then "my profile".

Also, there was a little confusion about what the buyers and sellers should do after the sale online, we therefore included more instructions on our sales emails and emails confirmation, including the contact info of both the buyers and the sellers. We will also add more instructions throughout the sales process to ensure seamless transactions.

We have also compiled a list of ideas you guys gave us and will implement it soon, so check out our site at often!

At the mean time, here's another list of happy customers of! (Thanks Cole, Pradyna, and Gilbert for giving us permission to post your picture here!)

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006
  Why are YOU still at Rice? Go get a life/job!
I have been promoting with Jack on Rice campus for the past 2 days and it is personally quite awkward for me to hand out flyers in the middle of academic quad. It is awkward at several different levels:

1. For students that do not know me or have not seen me:
It is awkward because they think I am some sort of promotion guy that is just soliciting for a company or something

2. For students that kind of know me or have seen me around:
It is awkward as they are probably thinking, "What is he doing handing out flyers?"

3. For people that knows me decently well, well enough to know that I have graduated:
This is most awkward of all, they are like, "What are YOU doing here?" or "Why are you STILL here?" and probably thinking "gosh, go get a life/job". What they do not realize is that this IS my life/job/business. My business is college orientated and campus is where my business partners, customers, suppliers are from.

Despite all the awkwardness, I really treasure this opportunity for me to really interact with my customers, and I got some valuable feedback from talking to some of them face to face. (Thanks Jessica, Monique, Ekim, and Christian) and here are some encouraging statistics of Esdena at Rice this week:

1. Over 1200 students responded to our promotion (flyers and email) and visited our site
2. Of which over 220 of them registered as members
3. And resulted in over 50 sales and countless listings

Here are some of our satisfied customers: (Thanks Alexandra, Ekim, and Vanessa for giving me permission to post these pictures)

From tomorrow onward, we will shift gear and start marketing at UT and Tulane. Jack will be travelling to Lousiana this weekend whereas I will mainly work with Clement on the site stuff and do some internet marketing. So hopefully you won't see me at Rice unitl Mardi Gras (Hanszen's one)!

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  High Hopes for Esdena

Today is the second day of school. I have high hopes for Esdena's capability to work at Rice this semester, the books are selling on Esdena. There were a few transaction problems but overall nothing that our Clement couldn't handle.
Today I will be telling all my friends to put their books for listing on Esdena to have more books available.
Look for me in a green-ring T-Shirt with Buy/Sell Textbooks at

cheers, PS: that's my new cat, Hermione
Sunday, August 27, 2006
  Dis-O Good Time & welcome back Rice!
Yesterday evening was Dis-O at Rice (for those of you that don't know, Dis-O is like a party which celebrates the end of orientation week). It is kind of weird to be there at first since I have already graduated, but after a few drinks, it's alright.

It's good to be back to Rice, everyone seems so nice and friendly and it's good time mingling and catching up with people. What is really funny to seeing those kids who went abroad or took a break last semester/year. Sometimes, it feels like they have never left, or maybe I am just not that close to any of them.

On the other hand, I cannot believe I forgot to wear my Esdena shirt. What is a better chance to promote the site to our target audience?

Anyhow, I will be flyering Rice tonight and also handing out flyers tomorrow. So don't be a stranger, come say hi if you see me!

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Thursday, August 24, 2006
  Open question: What is important to YOU?
This is an open question.

What is important to YOU when you make a decision to purchase a textbook?

Is it just the price?
Is it the convenience?
Do you know what is international edition and do you mind using them?
Do you mind using instructor's version of textbooks?
Do you mind using used textbooks?
How important to you is the CD or whatever there is in the book?
Would you be detered if the site you buy at do not offer payment processing?

Please let me know, cause I am curious.... leave us a comment about what you think about this.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
  Just doing it right
At school, we are taught that we have to do everything right. We have to go to classes on time, turn in assignments on time and properly, and we have to abide to dorm rules or what not. We are accustomed to think "doing it right" is the norm.

Since I have stepped into the business world, this has NOT been the case.

I am constantly amazed that how far ahead from the pack you will be as long as you can just "do it right", you don't even need to be creative or do anything innovative, just "doing it right" is enough. Just like Fedex pride itself on delivering your packages on time; Pizza Hut has a 30 min delivery gaurantee...

In fact, most of the time, businesses do not pay on time, do not answer all their phone calls, and do not deliver products/services on schedule.... Is being "right" too much to ask from the adults?

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Sunday, August 20, 2006
  Hi this is Dominic
Hi this is Dominic, co-founder of, just thought I would say hi here and kind of explain what this blog is all about.

Basically, this blog serves as a communication platform between Esdena's users and us, we will tell y'all (sorry this is a Texas thing) here what Esdena and the founders are up to and then you guys can leave us comments about pretty much anything besides those that are already covered by customer support.

Just a little background about, we are the world's largest student marketplace in terms of no. of listings and the world's first socialized marketplace. The unique thing about Esdena is our focus on locality and social network. In essence, users can join a network (college), add friends within the network, and then trade items within or outside their network.

As textbooks season is approaching, we are extremely busy promoting the site. In the following days and weeks, we will post here and update y'all about our progress and talk about the experience we have here. At the mean time, please check out our site to see if you can find any books you need for class!

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  Esdena has officially launched in the 2006 school year!