1/ I see a lot of ppl starting education businesses these days, whether they want to or not, and whether they call it that or not

Here's the best 4x4 for thinking about the online education landscape I've found so far
2/ I just made it and it's not self-explanatory, so let me explain

Most online courses until now have been performance-driven, as in "direct response performance marketing." This is the world of sales webinars, evergreen funnels, countdown timers, endless bonuses, etc.
3/ This is mostly where online courses get their bad reputation from

It's an inherently scammy culture because the only thing that matters is endless optimizing around short-term sales, not the long-term customer relationship
5/ Wes worked with Seth Godin to create one of the first truly brand-driven courses, the @alt_MBA

They avoided tactics like these that would have brought in a windfall in the short term, because they wanted to build a long-term reputation
6/ AltMBA explicitly positioned itself against MBAs, which was a very bold move. No discounts, no special sales, no false urgency. Everything was centered on creating a world-class brand, with the very best students, and a powerful community network on par with Ive Leagues
7/ We're now seeing a whole group of brand-driven courses. B-School from Marie Forleo was another one, and that is the kind of online school we are trying to build at Forte Academy
8/ Now for "skill-building" vs "edutainment"

Skill-building is like vocational or trade school – you have a problem, you need a skill to solve it. It's factual, how-to, practical, measurable
9/ Whereas "edutainment" focuses on inspiring and entertaining learners

This word has often been used with derision, but it doesn't deserve it. It is JUST as important to inspire students to learn, otherwise all the how-to content in the world won't help
10/ As an example, I took Ken Burns' class on documentary filmmaking on Masterclass, and was so inspired and moved that I committed to making one of my own

Once I had the motivation, all the how-to content could be found for free in abundance
11/ As this post by @adam_keesling on the success of @masterclass explains, we think MOOCs "failed" because "only" 5% of students completed them

But "completion" only makes sense for skill-building courses, not edutainment
12/ We're now seeing online courses split into the 4 quadrants, to better match the needs students are seeking to fulfill, and the time horizon of the business teaching them

This is a really good thing for everyone involved
13/ Skill-building, Brand-driven: Teachable/Thinkific, AltMBA, SPI, Udacity

Skill-building, Performance-driven: Udemy, online certification courses

Edutainment, Brand-driven: Masterclass, B-School, Coursera

Edutainment: Performance-driven: Skillshare, Mindvalley
14/ I'm going to get a lot of flack for the above categorizations, but they're all approximate. Most of them actually operate in all four quadrants to some degree. You have to to have some diversification and serve different kinds of customers
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