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Duo Turns Their Surroundings into Motivation

Murfreesboro, TN, February 28, 2008 --( These Two guys have defied many odds to start a dot com that is now defying all odds.

At first, Ron Akins and Stephen Watkins seem to be two well-rounded young men poised to change the entire college textbook market. Both are college grads with that healthy notion that they change the landscape around them. The guys have founded, the first three day textbook rental site used by bookstores across the nation. Best friends and worst critics, Ron and Stephen’s journey sparks inspiration to many who want to succeed.

One stop at their office and you get a glimpse into their unusual story. They share one 150 sq ft. room in the heart of their city’s ghetto. A couple of laptops, wireless connection, and dry erase marker boards are all the really stand out in this small space. “I don’t think a day goes by that we don’t have Jay-Z or Jeezy playing loudly on the computer” Ron states. “Many people see rap as just a lot of cursing and drug-dealing; we hear the motivation in their songs” Stephen adds. On the wall are emails from their merchant banking account. Ron explains, “These emails are from our first sales in each of the states we are operating; we will never get the opportunity to frame our first dollar.”

Their view from the office is not of the entire city or some serene landscape. “This is the hood, the same one that’s in every city.” Stephen replies. “This is where we grew up, right beside the corner store and across from the barbershop” Ron states. Just one month earlier, a gang shooting happened five houses down from their corporate office. “Someone shot 15 times into the house; I stay in my childhood home between the office and the scene of the crime” Ron states. It is almost ironic to see their success in an area with some much disparity.

Living in disparity is too often the case for many minorities today. That’s why the duo is satisfied with their humble surroundings. “We know that our surroundings don’t limit our minds” Stephen states. Both guys prove that in their actions. While in high school, Ron and Stephen started an urban clothing line. They went on to raise $16,000 from doctors and friends to start their business before they reached the age of 18. “We have been showcased in just about every news outlet in Tennessee; I know that we have given more than fifty speeches over the past six years” Ron replies. “We have traveled throughout the nation, managed to get our college degrees, started a consulting company that works with some of the NBA’s top players, and never left this same area” Stephen states.

They prove that hard work and determination pays off. From their small office, they are taking on an industry that hasn’t changed since 1636. Their company,, is now used by 30 colleges in four states. Some of the colleges include Georgia State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Spelman College, University of Memphis, and Arkansas State University. “We are an example that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s about how hard you work to get where you’re going” Stephen states. “We are an example of the unconventional guys that harness the internet to achieve our dreams” Ron states.

Contact: Stephen Watkins
(770) 574-4803

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Steve Watkins

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