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David Namoong and Alex Kacyra: Students and Business Men of UCR

With midterms out of the way, and winter quarter more than halfway over, spring break is just around the corner. This means it’s time tuck away the worries of lectures, discussions, homework, and well...school in general, and look forward to the oh-so-satisfying feeling of what one student may call, seven days of sweet-sweet freedom. But before you shove last quarters text books to who-knows-where, and you really don’t care (so long as you never have to see them again) consider this: textbooks are a great way to make some extra cash!
 
Attempting to sell textbooks can be a tedious task, and who likes receiving annoying spam through r’mail, anyway? If there was an easier way to sell and buy textbooks, why not utilize it to make those textbooks be something of value, even after you’re done with them? Thanks to rtexts.com, created by two of our very own UCR students, David Namkoong and Alex Kacyra, selling and buying textbooks has never been easier. Check out the interview I had with the two brains behind rtext!
                     
Name: David Namkoong (left),
Alex Kacyra (right)
Year: Sophomore, Junior
Hometown: San Jose, Pinole
Major: Undeclared - Business, Psychology
Relationship Status: Single, Single
 
What is rtexts? 

rtexts.com is a free-to-use website where UCR students can buy and sell used textbooks to each other.
 
What motivated you guys to start rtexts?

David: I was in my Business 10 class, and I had a quarter long project to do. During one of the discussions, one of our group members dropped the class, and we didn’t have a full group. Alex joined our class and was added to our group, he presented his idea for rtexts, and we immediately agreed to do it. After the quarter ended, I was driving up back to the bay thinking, “rtexts seems like a good idea. Why not give it a try and create it?” I texted Alex to see if he wanted to do it, and everything else is history!

Alex: We thought that the website would work out because, at the time, people were using either rmail, facebook, and other various methods to buy and sell their used textbooks. UCR students didn’t have a large enough platform that brought all the students together into one place. One person can now reach all the students on campus quickly and easily.
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What was the process like, and what was the most difficult part about it?

We first started off by looking for someone who could create the website for us. We both didn’t have any computer programming experience, so we were going to need a little help. We reached out to our friends to help build the website. We drew up sketches showing what we wanted, and they did a great job at making it come to life. The toughest part was trying to get the word out, especially since we got back to Riverside with only a few days before the quarter started. We got creative at times using methods like chalk art to reach students on campus. After the first quarter, word had slowly got around, and we were starting to see more users on our site.
 
What’s the next step for rtexts? How do you guys plan to expand or improve the site?

We’re planning to promote rtexts even more starting next quarter. We’re hoping to get at least half of the UCR student population to use our website before the end of this year. We’re also playing around with some new ideas that would change the look of our website to make it more user-friendly.
 
You guys are both from Norcal. What is the biggest difference between Norcal and Socal? What do you miss most about Norcal?

David: One big difference is the slang for sure. The thing I miss most about Norcal would have to be my family. I have all my cousins, aunts and uncles scattered around Socal, but I can't forget my parents and brother. Also, just the Norcal feel. Gotta stay true to your roots.

Alex:  I’d say the biggest difference is how close everything is in Norcal compared to Socal. From where I live in the Bay Area, I can be in Berkeley in 10 minutes or SF in 30 minutes depending on traffic.  I miss my family and relatives the most. I don’t get to see them too often since I’m down here. I also miss bay slang and Cheese Board Pizza.
 
If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be, and why? 

David: I would trade places with my dad. He's a boss in my opinion. I mean coming fresh off the boat isn’t easy man. Dude barely could speak English and attended UCLA while working at his dad's doughnut shop. Everything was hard to gain, and everything he has in his life and to support his family and I want to be just like him. Plus, to me he's superman and honestly, who wouldn't want to trade places with superman?

Alex: If I could, I would trade places with that guy who passes out religious magazines in front of the Rivera Library. He’s probably one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever seen in my life. Whether there’s rain, sleet, hail, or snow it doesn’t  matter. He hustles hard!
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Besides What do you like to do on your free time?

Alex: I like trying new restaurants with my family and friends.

David: Play sports, video games, go to the gym, sleep, and kick it with friends. 
 
I see that you guys are both single. What are some qualities that you look for in a girl? 

David: Independent, chill, spontaneous, and someone who can go with the flow are just a couple of things. She doesn't have to be to hottest girl in the world, as long she’s pretty to me, I'm down with that.

Alex: She definitely has to be silly and have a sense of humor. She also has to be driven and goal-oriented. 
 
What is something you want to accomplish in life?

David: I want to travel around the globe and then space.

Alex:  I hope that one day I can help my parents build their own house. They’ve done so much for me, and I know that they would love that. If worst comes to worst though and I don’t have enough money to do that, I guess the least that I could do for them would be to try graduate in 4 years instead of 5.
 
What advice can you guys give to others for their own endeavors?

David: Honestly, just do it. You’re going to get results equivalent to the time you put into your work. In our business class our professor or T.A didn't come up to us and tell us we had a great project or anything. Alex and I just felt like it was a good idea, so we went with it. Also, if you just spend 10 minutes working on anything in life, you're not going to get the results you want. It's about using that extra free time that people usually use to just rest up or be lazy, instead just go out and do work. Success comes with a price.

Alex: Don’t be scared to turn your business dreams into a reality. College is the best time to be an entrepreneur, because there are so many opportunities to network with other students. Professors are also supportive and willing to offer you valuable advice.

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