(Photo by Tyler Woods)
While you might understandably be over the “Uber for X” calculation of so many new services, the truth is they’re there for a reason. Going places other than where you are is not only annoying, but has its own costs in money and time.
So, the Williamsburg-based Quedify is the latest company offering on-demand service. It’s tutoring when and where students need it.
One of the things that Quedify believes sets it apart from other online tutoring services is the ability for quick reaction. If your child gets back a bad test, you can schedule a tutor to go over the hole in comprehension that very afternoon.
“Normally, if you want a tutor, you have to email back and forth or call a company and leave a message,” Nathan Kane, the 20-something founder of Quedify, said in an interview. “With us, you can see who’s available, and you can book on the app and they’ll leave and can be there within the hour.”
Kane was himself a tutor for four years in New York City prior to starting the company. What started as a way to make some money while looking for a full-time job, has taken him to compete against the biggest player in the New York market, WyzAnt.
“I look at them and I see they’re doing so many things wrong,” Kane argued. “I signed up to be a biochem tutor with them and I haven’t taken biochem since 7th grade. They’re about volume. They have the most students and tutors on the platform. You can pretty much just get on there, but if you don’t have reviews the chances of getting picked is low. And if you price yourself low, no one trusts you.”
These items are things he hopes to improve upon with Quedify, which will include user reviews in determining a tutor’s recommended pricing. It will also curate the tutors on the platform, putting more resources into the vetting of tutors by doing live interviews.
“We’ve actually invented special questions we call ‘mirror questions,'” he said. “We’re asking not just about subject matter but if they can then project a lack of information onto a student. If a student doesn’t understand a specific concept, what answer would they choose?”
Kane has aspirations beyond tutoring as well.
“Essentially if you strip away all the tutoring specific stuff, what we’re building is an in-person scheduler for on-demand service. If you can really think of any service with two variable locations, this could be used for that.”
Unrelated, but interestingly, he said the SATs are now wildly unpopular and the ACTs are moving toward dominance, even here on the East Coast.
“I’d say 90 percent of our students are taking the ACT instead of the SAT this year,” he said.