Robbie Berndt's Internship

Career Administrator

This summer I will be a Market Research Analyst for a startup company called Anthropy, created by my boss, Ross Byrd. I applied to numerous internships, but eventually chose to be an intern for Ross because of how interesting his new startup business sounded to me. Anthropy is an online site that’s intentions are to connect mentors to mentees, in any type of industry. For example, if someone wanted to learn computer science, they could go on Anthropy, search for “computer science”, and find a list of experts who they could get in contact with who could teach them the ins and outs of the field for a certain rate. As described by Ross Byrd, “Anthropy is a library of humans with the intention of communication. Anthropy’s goal is to connect humans to humans, rather than humans to information.” There are also much more basic industries such as jewelry making, so the experts’ fields on the website vary substantially.

Anthropy is currently attempting to use YouTube as a platform to get their product into circulation, but it hasn’t panned out as hoped for. Anthropy has recruited numerous “YouTubers” who have large followings that make instructional videos of all sorts, and asked them to use Anthropy as a way to connect the YouTuber and the viewer on a more meaningful level. YouTubers would benefit from using Anthropy, because they could set their own rates for these interactions, while Anthropy would take a small commission of that rate. So far, the responses from the YouTubers are great and they all seem very interested in the idea, but none have yet to mention Anthropy in their videos nor provide a link to the site in the description underneath the video.

This is where I come in. My first role for the internship is to come up with reasons as to why these the YouTubers are yet to advertise the company through their YouTube channels, and what could we do as a company to fix that. So far, Ross has chosen to follow the Lean Startup Model, first proposed by Eric Ries, which states that a startup should not spend on advertising and submit raw products to the public that can produce feedback to better that product at little to no cost. This way, if the company needs to pivot or take a new approach, they still have money to do so, as opposed to going broke due to spending on advertising on a product that turns out to be unmarketable. As a starting point to come up with potential solutions to Anthropy’s problems, Ross has asked me to look at other similar companies, such as Skillshare, TaskRabbit, CollegeVine, and Sixer, as well as other companies, and see if they are successful, and if they are, what are they doing that Anthropy could be doing better to make the company more successful.

I’m very excited to for this opportunity and the work I have done so far has been very interesting. I am not sure I would have been able to accept this unpaid internship without the Parents Fund Internship Grant, so I’m so thankful that the Parent’s Fund made this opportunity a reality for me. As an intern, I feel like I have a lot of responsibility in the company, but I am up to the task and excited to see where the summer takes me and Anthropy as a company!