I was a Chemistry major at Princeton and wrote my senior thesis on the design and synthesis of sulfur-based based batteries. In the process of writing the thesis, I read hundreds of journal articles for methodology. One major issue I encountered during this effort was that so many papers were failing to communicate their results and conclusions effectively. This was most prevalent among Asian and Eastern European researchers. I decided that I want to help these researchers. After I graduated, I started Emendist.

I created a pretty decent website using WordPress and launched it. In order to reach my target customers, I wrote scripts to scrape email addresses, names, and abstracts from all the journals that I have accumulated during my senior thesis work. In addition, I still had access to all of Princeton's journal subscriptions after graduation. I was able to download a lot more papers in Chemistry research as a starting point. I used the data that I mined to send out cold emails like the one below.

Jeriel was just an alias that I used (based on Jeri Ryan, who played Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager)

I ended up getting responses from a few interested scientists. They even placed orders on the website. However, I ran into issues with they type of customers who were responding. They definitely needed help based on the papers they were submitting through the website. Unfortunately, it was just not economically feasible. For one, they couldn't afford what I was charging. And for the other, the papers were sometimes so esoteric that I felt so out of my element. I figured I could deal with the latter issue by recruiting people with different areas of expertise in the future. But none of that seemed to matter because it wasn't going to be cost-effective.

There were a few industry players in the professional manuscript editing space. They charged a lot of money, almost as much an entire month's salary of some of these researchers that were trying to use Emendist. In contrast, I was charging a fraction of what they were charging but even that was too much. Although I wanted to help these researchers, it only made sense to do so in a non-profit capacity. But I wasn't ready for that.

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