Lessom is a school with a twist. At this point when the word education is mentioned you probably automatically think of cream walls, pencils and blackboards right? Well, this is where Lessom comes in - they’re hoping to change just that. Lessom is a digital startup which wants to bring education into the 21st century. Its founder Mark McCarney describes it as “A new way to approach education in the digital age”. Mark recently took some time out to tell us a little more about this innovative startup and to share some words of advice and wisdom for other self starters
So Mark, what exactly is Lessom? Lessom is an online school aimed at providing help to higher education students or anyone who is interested in learning a bit more. We produce clear and precise tutorials to help people accomplish what they want in their studies.
Where did the idea from Lessom come from? For as long as I can remember I’ve had a dislike for education but a passion for learning. We have entered a time where things are evolving rapidly every day, however our education systems haven’t changed in decades. The idea for Lessom came to me about 3am one morning - I was trying to finish some university coursework and was searching for tutorials on You Tube trying to find out how to do a particular thing on the software that I was using. My search results brought up thousands of irrelevant videos that I wasn’t looking for. I got very frustrated, thinking that you would just presume there would be somewhere online where the stuff I needed would be! However, there wasn’t! So I said I would do it...
How did you find starting up a business initially? Well, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and run my own business but always felt that it had to be something special to me. Starting a business is tough but also very exciting. When you are starting an entirely new, innovative business which has never been done before, there are no rule books to look at. There are lots of things that you need to sort out and often you’ll find you’re doing these on your own. Everything that Lessom has achieved so far has been entirely by myself with minimum budget. I have created the branding, the tutorials, the website and managed the social media. My goal is to bring it as far as I can with the skills that I already have so that prospective investors can see the real potential that Lessom could offer if it was given funding.
As a Startup CEO, what is a typical day like? At the moment I am spending lots of time creating and producing free tutorials to give people a taste of what Lessom can offer them. Today for example I was brainstorming ideas for tutorials and then I was designing a new in-house studio to help with live action videos. I could be doing absolutely anything and that’s what I love most about it! You tend to wear many hats when setting up and running a business and you need to be prepared to do just that.
So Mark, what is the future for Lessom? Well, we are a relatively small company at the moment, however I have big plans for Lessom. I believe you need to have big dreams in order to keep pushing yourself and your business forward. In the short term the plan is to just continually improve Lessom every day. In time I hope to get a talented team together to add content regularly and to build and grow a community around Lessom. In the long term I hope that Lessom will become a new way for someone to receive an education and to be the first place that people think of visiting when they need help with their studies or work.
Finally, have you got any tips or advice for other self starters (including ourselves)? Firstly get feedback from people however do still trust your own instincts. Also, be patient, there will be setbacks along the way but you’ll have to just try and navigate through the rough parts as best as you can and keep a level head. Most importantly, never give up. A wise businessman once told me “Never give up unless someone hits you over the head and tells you, you can’t do it! Then get up and do it anyway!” If it’s something you believe in, then you just have to do it.
Thanks Mark - Lessom is an interesting startup for sure and your interview has some lessons (*groan) for us all!
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Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.