Dailies Co-Founder Jessica Shelley Discusses the Importance of Uniting Home, School, and Community for the Future of Education

Forbes “30 Under 30” honoree Jessica Shelley shares her insights on the role of technology, teacher qualifications, and future plans for her online learning company, Dailies.

Jessica Shelley, a former schoolteacher and mother of five, has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of this year’s “30 Under 30” in the Education category. As the co-founder and CEO of Dailies, an online learning platform, Shelley is on a mission to unite the home, school, and community to create a brighter future for our youth. In this interview, she discusses the inspiration behind Dailies, the role of technology in education, teacher qualifications, and her plans for the company’s future.

The Birth of Dailies: Embracing Daily Learning Moments

Shelley explains that the name “Dailies” reflects the frequency with which we learn new things. By emphasizing the importance of daily learning moments, Dailies encourages individuals to be intentional about their education and embrace small, bite-sized learning opportunities each day.

Leveraging Technology for Broader Impact

Technology plays a crucial role in Dailies’ success, allowing the company to have a broader impact and reach families who may not have access to educational support in their area. Shelley believes that technology should not replace human interaction but rather facilitate communication and connection more easily. The company’s learning app is designed to be completed offline, ensuring that even those with limited internet access can continue learning daily.

The Dailies Team: Small but Mighty

With just two full-time employees, Shelley and her co-founder, Manuel Zamora, lead the Dailies team. They also work with a group of teacher contractors who contribute to teaching classes, curriculum development, programming oversight, and marketing efforts. Recognizing the undervalued role of teachers in traditional systems, Dailies encourages teachers to upskill and grow with the organization.

Marketing Strategies: Word of Mouth and Organic Social Media

Dailies primarily acquires customers through word of mouth and organic social media channels. Shelley believes that parents seek products and services they can trust, so the company focuses on providing value in various groups and contexts. By establishing trust, Dailies introduces parents to the idea of becoming educational partners through their platform.

Funding the Journey: From Friends and Family to Bootstrapping

Dailies initially received funding through a small friends and family round. They later secured additional support through the 500 Global Accelerator program. Currently, the company is bootstrapped as it continues to scale. Most of the funding has been allocated to developing the learning app and building the online class platform.

Balancing Motherhood and Entrepreneurship

As a mother of five and the CEO of a growing company, Shelley manages her time intentionally. She sets aside dedicated family nights and relies on her supportive husband to care for their children during the workday. Balancing the most urgent needs and pre-allocated time slots allows Shelley to focus on both her family and the business effectively.

Key Metrics for Success: Users and Customer Lifetime Value

Dailies measures various data points, but their primary driving measures are the number of users and customer lifetime value (LTV). These metrics inform the company’s impact, product development, and marketing efforts. Revenue and expenses are also crucial indicators to ensure the business moves towards profitability.

The Importance of Customer Acquisition Cost and Lifetime Value

Shelley believes that customer acquisition cost (CAC) and customer lifetime value (LTV) are vital data points for any business. These metrics directly relate to the business model, revenue, and product/service development. If the cost of acquiring customers outweighs the value they bring, it becomes challenging to achieve sustainable growth. Dailies learned this lesson early on when testing large group classes, realizing that low-cost classes did not cover teacher pay and additional overhead.

Becoming a Dailies Teacher: Autonomy and Personalized Learning

Teachers interested in joining Dailies can apply through the company’s website. Dailies teachers enjoy the autonomy to create their own schedules and teach a variety of classes, from enrichment offerings to academic pods and full homeschool programs. Classes are capped at eight students, ensuring a personalized learning experience. Dailies values teachers who align with their teaching and learning philosophies, are comfortable with technology, and are open to feedback.

Support and Reception from the Education Community

Dailies has received overwhelmingly positive support from educators and administrators who recognize the need for their services. As a former public school teacher herself, Shelley understands the real problems faced by schools and families. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of personalized learning and educational support.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Shelley advises aspiring entrepreneurs to plan their strategy intentionally and leverage social media platforms. By focusing on the unique value their product or service provides, entrepreneurs can carve out a niche in the market. Prioritizing the customer at every step and considering customer acquisition cost (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV) are crucial for sustainable growth.


Jessica Shelley’s journey as a co-founder of Dailies and her dedication to uniting the home, school, and community around youth education is inspiring. By leveraging technology, providing personalized learning experiences, and prioritizing the needs of teachers and families, Dailies is making a significant impact in the education sector. With plans to expand partnerships with schools and reach more families directly, Dailies is well-positioned to shape the future of education.

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