If you are considering becoming a 1M/1M premium member and would like to join our mailing list to receive ongoing information, please sign up here.

Subscribe to our Feed

Bootstrapping an Online Education Company to $12M: Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Aug 27th 2012

Sramana: What plans do you offer today, and what are the feature of each plan?

Aaron Skonnard: We have a standard plan and a plus plan. Our standard plan provides access to the entire library as long as you are connected to the Internet, and it is $29 a month. We also have mobile apps that allow you to watch the courses on tablets and phones. Our plus plan provides access to the lab files, offline viewing via mobile apps, and assessments. It costs $49 a month. You can quiz yourself at the end of a course. We also offer both plans, standard and plus, at annual rates of $299 and $499, respectively.

Sramana: Are your customers consumers?

Aaron Skonnard: Our customer breakdown is 50% individual developers who sign up by themselves online. The other 50% come to us through our corporate sales team. We have multi-user business subscription plans. We have plans for small businesses and for enterprise accounts.

Small businesses can sign up for our classes online without talking to a human being. They can sign up for 10 licenses, 20 licenses or something similar to that. They provide a credit card and create an admin profile that allows them to start adding in their users. They can give their licenses to whomever they want. The admin also gains a lot of visibility into how their users are viewing their courses. We provide reporting and assessment scores. We offer pre-assessment and post-assessment [features] that allow the instructors to see how much improvement the students have made. Companies absolutely love that.

Sramana: Is there any kind of certification?

Aaron Skonnard: We provide a certificate of completion when someone finishes watching the course and completes the assessments with a score of 70 or higher. That is a PDF that students can download from the website and provide to their managers. It is not an official certification. In our industry, the really good developers and the sophisticated developer organizations do not believe in the certification programs. That is an interesting quirk of our industry.

Sramana: Naturally, somebody else could be taking the test for them. There is no way of validating that the person getting the certificate is the one who took the test.

Aaron Skonnard: This is a core part of our business strategy. We want to stay away from vendor-specific certification programs. We want to create our own reputation system that is based on the results we show. Our goal is not to make that based on passing a test but rather making it work on a reputation system. The more courses you take and the more assistance you provide to students, the more points you get. You know someone is good based on the feedback and reputation system. We are in the process of building that system right now. That is our solution to the certification problem.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping an Online Education Company to $12M: Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos


Excellent approach. This man has his head screwed on right.
Doe he have courses for Mac?

John Lynch
Santa Barbara-cell 805 252 8879

john lynch Monday, August 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM PT