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Higher Ed in the News

People rent movies, so why not textbooks?

July 7, 2009

When two entrepreneurs started Chegg, then called CheggPost, in 2003, they envisioned a sort of Craigslist for college campuses, a network of university-based websites where students would buy and sell everything from used mattresses to textbooks. It didn't turn out that way. CheggPost gained some traction on a handful of campuses but didn't take off.

So, in 2007, Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra, the co-founders of, went back to the drawing board and came up with the idea of renting books. As Chegg prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly.

CHEGG is shorthand for “chicken and egg,” a reference to what Rashid called students’ quandary after graduation: they need experience to get a job, but can’t get experience without having a job.


Read more in the New York Times.