A new venture that could be helpful for students

A lot of students plan to become entrepreneurs and we want to help our readers!

That’s why we wanted to give the opportunity to Derek Haake, founder of BookDefy, to talk about his new venture. Good luck to him and hopefully this could be really helpful for students!

Each semester students try and figure out ways to get more money for their used textbooks and ways to save when buying textbooks. One of the simplest ways for students to do this is to exchange their books with each other. Although simple in concept, it is much more difficult in practice. Trying to figure out who wants a textbook is very difficult, and it means talking to everyone you know, then posting signs around campus and filling out information on message boards. Then, if you do find someone interested, you end up meeting some stranger in a back alley to swap your book.

The bookstores love this and keep buying used books at a fraction of what students paid for them, meanwhile, selling that same book for 2 or 3 times what they paid the first student. As students, we take this because we have no real alternatives to feeding the bookstore monopoly.

All of this has changed with BookDefy.com. BookDefy is a social tool that allows students to privately and safely exchange their textbooks. BookDefy’s software allows students to quickly enter in their old textbooks (just by the book’s ISBN), and then allows other students to search for those same textbooks by course (if their professor participates in BookDefy), or by the book’s information. From here, students approach each other in an online environment privately (i.e. no information is disclosed until an exchange is scheduled). Students then meet up in a public location, one of BookDefy’s exchange partners, and exchange their textbooks in a relatively safe environment.

BookDefy is a free service for students, and most of all, the site focuses on online privacy. Unlike most websites out there, BookDefy does not sell a student’s personal information or disclose it to third parties. BookDefy is further regulated by the community – all of which are students (you must have a valid University e-mail address to join).

Simplification – The Key to Success

Taking notes during lectures is perhaps the most important part of retaining knowledge throughout your university semmester, but most students are simply not that good at it. They tend to focus on either writing down every word your lecturer says, and just the important points. There is a much easier method which will definetly pay off when final exams come around.


I have used this method for many months and it always works perfectly. The general idea is to write down the heading of the topic, and write down in the simplest way possible what it is about. Try to imagine that you are talking to a younger child. But you also have to remember to include all the complication information towards the end.

The reason this works is that the next time you look over your notes it may have been weeks since you wrote the information down, and you will not remember what you were talking about. Having a simplified description means that you will remember the basis of the notes instantly, and from there you can focus on the complex concepts, equations, or explanations.

While this may sound counter-intuitive, it really does work.

This method is based on the ever popular K.I.S.S idea (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Trying to keep all of your ideas in their simplest form allows you to really understand the principles rather than just memorize facts. It also gives you more time to learn the more difficult concepts.

Learning the basics is key for any student. Most of the knowledge that you will learn are just extensions of the basic ideas given in the first few weeks. Understanding, not only how to use them, but why is very important, and truly is the key to success.

Naturally there are hundreds of different methods of taking notes, but time and time again simplification seems to reign supreme. Although taking notes in an easy to understand manner does not mean that you skip the hard topics. The idea is that you take a hard concept, and re-interpret it in your own words. The use of images or diagrams can also be very beneficial when trying to convert a difficult problem into a series of simple ones.

The main difficulty with converting to this method of note taking is the mental difficulties. Some people will feel that they are leaving out important information, while others will be able to start with little difficulty. The only way to try out this method is to start today. While it may suit some students, others will find it too restricting.