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Grammar rules can be confusing to many people and are constantly evolving. Grammarly was created to provide an easy way for students, professionals, job seekers and English language learners to become better, more accurate English language writers and help them learn and understand the rules of grammar.
Grammarly aims to perfect written English by continuously advancing the world’s most accurate grammar checking technology. Grammarly helps users correct and learn written English, by checking for more than 150 types of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, enhancing vocabulary usage and suggesting citations. Its patent-pending algorithms not only find writing issues, but also provide context and suggest corrections.
MO: Have you had any mentors during the course of your career? Is there anyone that inspires you?
Brad: I’ve been fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout my career starting with my father, who currently runs a mental health care institution in California. Among many other things, he taught me the value of mission-driven organizations like Grammarly. During my time with VC firm General Catalyst Partners, I had the opportunity to work with highly successful start-up visionaries and leaders. I’ve learned a lot from Grammarly co-founders Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko as well, who are inspirational in their own right given their success as serial entrepreneurs from a young age.
MO: Can you talk a bit about the development process behind the world’s most accurate grammar technology? What were some of the early challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Brad: At the start, Grammarly founders Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko asked our technical team to solve the most interesting problem they could think of; our engineers decided to create the world’s most accurate English grammar checker, and some time later, Grammarly was born. The creation of Grammarly required a variety of algorithmic breakthroughs, and our team continually pushes the boundaries of natural language processing as we evolve our algorithms. We do so by maintaining an exceptionally high hiring bar – we typically interview more than 50 people for every person we hire thanks to a dedicated in-house recruiting team – and also relying on a network of luminary technical advisers such as Bob Berwick at MIT.
MO: How does Grammarly work? Are there any features that you’re particularly proud of?
Brad: More than 3 million writers worldwide trust Grammarly’s products, which are also licensed by leading universities and corporations. Grammarly helps students achieve academic goals and improve their writing on essays, reports, theses, dissertations and college entrance applications. Professionals use Grammarly reviews to provide expert help and instant feedback on the accuracy, impact and credibility of their English writing in a variety of disciplines — including legal, healthcare, academic, marketing, technical and journalism. Grammarly can be an equally powerful tool for job seekers who can use it to perfect cover letters and other related communication with potential employers. Foreign students and non-native English language speaking professionals may also benefit from Grammarly.
Essentially, Grammarly provides context and correction suggestions about grammar, spelling, vocabulary usage and plagiarism. It’s easy to use:
● Copy and paste any English writing into Grammarly’s online application or install the Grammarly® Plugin for Microsoft® Office Software.
● Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and provide context and suggested corrections, enabling users to make informed decisions about whether, and how, to correct an issue.
MO: What are some of the most common grammar mistakes you see people making?
Brad: English writers make different types of errors on different documents. For example, Grammarly recently looked into job seeker errors on resumes and learned the following:
● There are 5 potential errors on a typical job seeker’s resume, and most of these issues (nearly 60 percent) are grammatical.
● Female job seekers make an average of 4 grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes in their resume, while male job seekers average more than 6 mistakes.
● The average job seeker makes more than 1.5 punctuation errors, but very few spelling mistakes (less than one per resume).
● Job seekers from the Southern U.S. make more mistakes (6 errors) on their resume than any other region. Job seekers from the Northeast made an average of 3.9 mistakes on their resume and Midwestern and Western job seekers made 3.6 mistakes on average.
Although spelling mistakes in a resume are not as common given the prevalence of spell check, the most common mistakes in a job seeker resume are as follows:
● Hyphen use (eg. entry-level)
● Verb tense (Led vs. leads, etc.)
MO: The editing needs of writers vary from a college student, a grant writer to a creative writer working on a book. How does Grammarly provide the right amount of help depending on the requirements of the writer?
Brad: Grammarly provides an online English writing correction and learning tool. It is not intended as a tool for professional writers to achieve the next level of language mastery, to judge prose, or to replace English professionals. Rather, Grammarly is an extra pair of eyes for students, professionals and advanced English language learners with limited time, skill, focus or access to English professionals. For each potential issue flagged by Grammarly’s algorithms, users receive detailed explanations and examples so they can make an informed decision about whether, and how, to correct the potential mistake depending on their particular writing requirements.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Brad: We’re expanding access to part of our powerful spell and grammar checking engine via free Chrome and Firefox extensions. This will allow users worldwide to access Grammarly wherever they write online, for free, which represents a big step towards our goal of helping the world’s 1+ billion English writers.
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