By guest author John Mullins
Crowdfunding is all the rage today, with more than 50,000 projects funded, and more than $1 billion raised to date on Kickstarter alone. It takes many forms, of course, but the form I worry about is equity-based crowdfunding that is intended to start an ongoing entrepreneurial business, rather than to fund a one-off creative project. >>>
This interview is a great discussion about the various experiments going on in the world of higher education and how online learning is playing out there.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s introduce our audience to yourself as well as to what you’re doing at Sloan vis-à-vis executive education.
Peter Hirst: I’m the Director of the Executive Education program here at the MIT Sloan School. Essentially, what we do is run short, non-degree courses for individual executives and Senior Managers. We also do this for companies in a more customized >>>
Sramana Mitra: You were able to build a minimum viable product, start monetizing it right away, and then, scale it from there.
Katya Andresen: Not right away. Most of the overnight successes have a five to seven years lag.
Sramana Mitra: That’s my point. How do you finance five to seven years of development?
Katya Andresen: We did it slowly with MVPs and self funding through our own growth. It was really hard work and that’s why we didn’t scale faster.
Entrepreneurs are invited to the 224th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.
If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.
Sramana: If you were to pinpoint the key positioning points in your approach that are dramatically better than your competitors, what would that be?
Chris Gladwin: To summarise it succinctly, they don’t virtualize the data. They make actual copies of data, which means the data inherits the properties of the physical world. It can be lost, damaged, or compromised. In our case, we virtualize the data as a way of storing it. That allows us to disassociate the properties from what happens in the physical world. That enables greater efficiency. Our competitors create reliability by creating multiple copies. We make reliability by not making multiple copies. It’s just a different way to storing data at a very fundamental level. >>>
Sramana Mitra: San Francisco is very expensive right now but I don’t think it’s as expensive as London or New York.
Peter Bauer: I do have some funny stories. During the interviewing process, there were some guys living in Spain. You realize that these are top class. You get talking about pay and ask for their expectations. Then they say, “Maybe 40,000 pounds a year.” You have to say, “I don’t know how to put this, but we’re going to have to insist that you take at least 55,000 pounds.” They say, “Wow!” Then you would say to him, “Come over here. Look for a flat.” >>>
Sramana Mitra: The concern is that it is complicated and expensive to build these programs. Then, if everybody wants everything for free, how do these businesses sustain themselves? That’s the real question that I’m extremely worried about.
Katya Andresen: I think no one ever jumps to the opportunity to pay for something, right? If it is incredibly hard to build, it’s a big investment, and if you’ve invested in high-quality learning that is not equally replicated, that has a lot of value and people do pay for it. I don’t know what the amazing, fabulous, and free learning experiences are out there that are as good as those other ones.
This Washington Post feature discusses the merits of a latest study that raises questions about the age old saying, “Practice makes perfect”. The paper published in the Psychological Science journal assesses the relative contribution of practice and talent to success. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>