MBA Mondays Live and Skillshare

If there was ever any confusion about why I blog, maybe this story will be illuminating.

Six weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called Teaching. It was about a dream I had about teaching in front of a live classroom and it went on to talk about the value of in person teaching and learning.

Later that day an entrepreneur in NYC we know pretty well forwarded that post to my partner Albert with the news that he was about to sign a term sheet with another VC firm and that he was drawn to our firm's vision of teaching as outlined in the blog post.

That led to a frantic weekend of phone calls, a monday meeting, and a decision to invest alongside the other VC firm.

That entrepreneur is Michael Karnjanaprakorn, the company is Skillshare, the other VC firm is our good friends at Spark Capital, and today Skillshare is announcing that our two firms have teamed up to finance this vision:

transform every community into a campus, every address into a classroom, and every neighbor into a teacher and student

That's a compelling vision and Michael and his partner Malcolm have built an equally compelling product through which anyone with a class to teach can offer it to willing students. 

If you go back to my Teaching post, you'll recall that I ended it musing about where to take MBA Mondays next:

I've been thinking about the ideal model that combines all of the above. A freely available curriculum on the web that grows and evolves over time. A physical space where people can come and take classes that are recorded and broadcast live and also available for viewing after the fact. Some version of that seems ideal. Should it happen in connection with an existing education institution (an engineering school or a business school), or should it be its own educational institution? Not sure.

I've answered my own question. Sometime this fall, MBA Mondays classes will be offered via Skillshare. I will teach them in the USV event space on Monday evenings at 6pm. Classes will be one hour. They will be streamed live and recorded for posterity. The live stream and the video will be free. The classes will have an attendance fee which will be given to charity, most likely Donors Choose.

I'm still working out the schedule, how many classes a year, whether I go back and start teaching from the first post, or whether I teach the post of the day. I'm working out how to select the students for each class (first come, first serve?, something else?). I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and also on Skillshare. Here's my partner Albert's post on the USV blog about our investment in Skillshare.

#hacking education#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Congrats! Great news. Fits your thesis of large engaged network of users (did I mess up your wording?). I’ve taken a class using SkillShare and it was dead simple, and obviously empowering for teacher and students.Giving the proceeds of your class to charity is a great idea provided demand for attendance doesn’t drive the price so high (good for Donors Choose) that it puts it beyond affordability of young entrepreneurs.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not going to use price to manage demand

      1. JimHirshfield

        You’re a real mensch.

      2. Tereza

        You might incorporate comment activity as a criterion in ticket distribution. Some people contribute some serious time to advancing the collective AVC knowledge base.That said, while I might not pay to see Fred, I sure as hell would pay to see JLM when he’s in town.;-)

        1. fredwilson

          JLM’s Skillshare class:”You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate for”JLM’s lessons on negotiating and winning at business

          1. Peter Beddows

            How clearly so true – but then, as we have observed in posts to this blog over time, JLM is a master class teacher on the subjects of negotiating and winning at business as Fred likewise is in the scope, breadth and depth of the insights he has shared through this blog.Now, my only question is – where were these folks and their wisdom when I could have really used some related guidance to the subtle differences between setting up business in the UK and in the US after first coming to the States to start a new business in NJ in ’79? ūüôā

  2. kirklove

    Boom goes the dynamite. Nicely done.

  3. awaldstein

    Fred–Congrats!Three ‘likes’ from me:1. MBA Mondays on video as a class. Lot’s of learning to come here.2. The investment itself. They are new to me and I’m intrigued.3. I should teach something on Marketing. Maybe this is a good venue for me.

    1. ShanaC

      I would take a class on b2b marketing

      1. awaldstein

        Love B2B because there is always a C.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          What about A and D?…

          1. awaldstein

            ūüėČ

      2. Tereza

        If Arnold’s sick, I’ll cover for him. Unless I’m with a customer. ūüôā

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Or you could teach one too — or team up on at least one course. ¬†You both breathe marketing.

    2. fredwilson

      i would attend your class on marketing.¬†because i know i’d learn a lotand also¬†as penance for saying “marketing is for sucky products” ūüôā

      1. awaldstein

        You’ve paid penance aplenty for that one Fred;)And you are one of the best marketers I know, in the true sense of the word, creating value through community.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          First statement: ¬†Nah, he needs to pay a little more for that one.Second statement: ¬†That’s part of the irony of his stated views on marketing — Fred has brilliant marketing instincts.

          1. awaldstein

            Marketing’s a wonder. Can’t win without it. You can lose even with the best of it.What Fred calls network dynamics and marketplaces, I call platforms for behavioral expression and community from a marketing perspective.On the ones that are overtly winners, you can see this clearly. Watch ones like this investment, Canvas and in many ways even Disqus, as the community builds on itself and the growth dynamics evolve. They are all about people and communities not simply clicks and traffic.

          2. Peter Beddows

            Again, well said Arnold: Completely agree with you.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          That just reminded me…¬†We should setup a meeting soon – maybe for around the AVC meetup in November? ūüôā

          1. awaldstein

            Certainly…right now my schedule has me in NYC at that time.

      2. Tereza

        Can I be Arnold’s TA?

        1. Robert Thuston

          Saw you were featured in an NPR piece recently : )

          1. awaldstein

            Well done!You are keeping very high profile company in this piece.

      3. Peter Beddows

        A great teacher is also a humble person: Well said Fred. ūüôā

    3. Donna Brewington White

      “I should teach something on Marketing.”That’s a no-brainer, Arnold. ¬†Would love to see that happen!

    4. Peter Beddows

      Totally agreed on all points Arnold.In particular, I agree that, given your background, your years of real experience in this field and your commitment to the field, you should create a Marketing class.Clearly, given many previous posts from a variety of sources here in this blog on the topic of Marketing, what Marketing actually is, what its purpose is and how it is related to building business, Marketing is, quite possibly, the most misunderstood of all functions and objectives related to business development amongst the current batch of startups and entrepreneurs. Whereas your input has frequently helped to bring the focus and reality back into view; I wholeheartedly endorse this idea.

  4. JLM

    One of the great themes of our times is convergence. ¬†Everything is coming together and making a more valuable whole.You — a VC who not “normally” be interested in teaching full time is able to teach part time. ¬†Knowing that your Dad was a WP Prof also makes it the fulfillment of the family heritage proving that all sons become their Dads eventually. ¬†A good thing.A delivery mechanism that is able to leap over the theory, written documentation, teaching materials hurdle thereby getting real world knowledge into the classroom quicker. ¬†Real time education by real practitioners.A remote delivery technique which marginalizes the necessity of having real real estate to deliver education.Convergence while delivering a superior product.This is great stuff.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      It allows a way for people who want to teach to be supported financially for the value they bring; Over time they can get a bigger or bigger following.It’s like blogging with a pay-wall — maybe even a porous pay-wall..

      1. JLM

        Nicely played.  Love the back spin.  Indeed!

        1. Matt A. Myers

          80,000,000 people subscribing to something they gain high-value from would be pretty awesome; However the platform can only take a certain %.. profits might actually be higher than NYTimes, etc. though.

    2. andyswan

      I will gladly pay you Wednesday for your BBQ recipe today….

    3. fredwilson

      it sure is. and i love your line about becoming our dads. so true even though we try so hard not to.

  5. sujal

    Sounds like a great idea – hope the attendance fee is nominal so new founders can stop by for a few of them without breaking our banks. I think the live streams are great, but its nice to be in the room now and again. ūüôā

    1. fredwilson

      nominal is the right word

      1. Julie H. Setbon

        Hello, this is my first post to your blog which I’ve followed for the past year or so. Great timing on the skillshare endorsement, I had vaguely¬†heard about this application a few months ago¬†and your post¬†prompted me this AM to design a pilot class for¬†a niche within an industry that¬†far away from the¬†Web 2.0 and still very much relationship based: http://skl.sh/qyL1QIThe Audio Visual¬†industry ¬†has several active linkedin groups and how to get people interested in continuing education has been a long standing discussion. I hope to leverage the linkedin groups that¬†I participate in and the one that I founded targeting people with careers relating to simultaneous interpretation systems for mul¬† http://www.linkedin.com/gro…¬†to spread the word about the skillshare class.

        1. Julie H. Setbon

          Oh and I would love to pre-register for onsite MBA Mondays if possible! 

  6. ShanaC

    Class request:some sort of business course that isn’t normally taught in an mba program.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      AVC.com?

  7. Jennifer McFadden

    Very exciting. This is a great format for MBA Mondays. Acouple of suggestions based on the experience that the CUNY crew (Jarvis et.al.) had teaching a class at General Assembly. If you have some flexibilityaround scheduling, put up a survey on your site that asks people what theoptimal time/day would be, the optimal length of the class, and the optimalnumber of classes. Is it realistic to assume that someone can get out of workand down to Union Square by 6PM every Monday for 8 weeks? Or, is it easier toteach 4 classes that run from 7-9PM?Think deeply about your pricing. I was supposed to take Michael’s class lastnight (I missed it b/c I had mistakenly put it on my calendar forThursday–very bummed!). What was compelling, outside of the subject matter, wasthe fact that it was $18. I think that you can quickly price people out ofbeing able to attend when you offer courses that cost hundreds of dollars toattend. Again, this is something that you might be able to explore in a survey.I‚Äôve been watching SkillShare (as well as GA, GirlDevelopIt,P2P, etc.) closely to see how the market for evolves. I think that there aretwo pieces of the puzzle that still need to be worked out: achievementrecognition and financing.StackOverflow is working on the achievement recognitionpiece via their use of badges, but there needs to be an open and universalsystem that can be transported across sites. Mozilla is working this and we‚Äôllsee where they go (see https://wiki.mozilla.org/Ba….As for the financing piece, not everyone has access to thecash required to take these classes. In order for the adoption to be universal(as opposed to restricted to upper-middle-class technologists in major cities),there needs to be a way for people to get access to funding. It would beinteresting (albeit likely complex) to see if this could be done in a P2Pformat.Glad to see also that they will be livestreamed. It‚Äôs agreat way to extend reach.

    1. fredwilson

      super points. we are thinking carefully about all of this

    2. Tereza

      Jen what a kickass comment. You go.

      1. Jennifer McFadden

        Thx. Tereza ūüôā

    3. FAKE GRIMLOCK

      UNIVERSAL SKILL/ACHIEVEMENT ROSTER GREAT IDEA.BUT OBJECTIVE MEASURE MAYBE NOT POSSIBLE.

  8. Emi Gal

    Will risk sounding like a kiss-ass but as I’m not raising money at the moment I will say I’m amazed at how many things you manage to achieve with the same amount of hours as us normal people, Fred. When I grow up I wanna be like you :-).

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’m not sure Fred would admit to being grown up yet ūüėČ

      1. fredwilson

        trying hard to be peter pan

        1. JimHirshfield

          Will you be teaching the class in green tights?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Oh, that was just the most amazing visual ever..

        2. Peter Beddows

          Hey Fred, being peter pan is really hard to do when you’ve just played up about reaching your 50th birthday – but good luck with that anyway and if you discover the secret, please do not hesitate to create a post and class about it: IT will be a blow out success! ūüôā

  9. Mike Kijewski

    Hopefully the class admission fee will be less than a prorated Wharton class.

    1. fredwilson

      way less, just enough to insure that the students care and will come

  10. Jan Cifra

    My question is how can we contribute? I love MBA Mondays even though I am graduating with my MBA next week. I think the discussions here are a very valuable asset and even more as a source for further classes. I am thinking about following up some of the classes with material and maybe case studies? What do you guys think?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Early congrats on graduating!

      1. Jan Cifra

        Hahaha, thank you very much! Excited.

    2. JLM

      As a newly minted you are fully qualified for only one real job………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..CEO of Exxon.Think about it.

  11. Darren Herman

    Love this.  First, sounds like a great investment area and second, opening up MBA Mondays is going to be fantastic.  Looking forward to it Fred.

  12. baba12

    How does this compete from khanacademy.org or the various university systems that have been deployed like MIT’s Open Courseware. Yes there are courses on topics that are not covered by formal education systems. But I am guessing skillshare is the online equivalent of say a learningannex with a wider array of courses offered.I believe¬†knowledge¬†should be shared freely, I am not sure if there was no opensource software there would not be many a start-up that gets funded and VC’s like USV get to profit from.A revenue neutral skillshare service platform would probably not get funded and that is the irony.Maybe I am the lone wolf who believes knowledge is something to be shared without any ulterior motive or any profit motive. If it were not for the many teachers generations ago teaching what they knew for free we won’t be where we are.

    1. Jan Cifra

      The answer to this is that Skillshare is a marketplace for skills. As a market it will allow best prices and best products to succeed. And the consumer has a choice. If it were free you would not be getting a good product. 

      1. baba12

        So by your definition MIT’s Open Courseware http://goo.gl/BXpY ¬†being free is not a good product or Opensource software that is free is not necessarily a good product. I wish to disagree ¬†that¬†knowledge¬†that is free is not a good product.Thanks for clarifying what skillshare is more specifically i.e. being a marketplace, but the goods being transacted happen to be knowledge and my personal view is it is something that can be gained if one wishes to do so without an capital expenditures, just a desire and time to want to learn are necessary requirements.¬†I was at MIT when Opencourseware was started and many people said it would dilute the value of MIT but it has done none of that and more people have gained knowledge and have contributed to a better society.

        1. Jan Cifra

          I apologize for the wording. Don’t get me wrong I think OCW is a fantastic initiative and I have used it on occasion myself. I merely want to point out that Skillshare will allow people to make money on teaching. And the marketplace nature of this system will allow for the best to emerge.¬†

    2. fredwilson

      albert’s post talks about thathttp://www.usv.com/2011/08/…

  13. Chris Waldron

    Platforms like Skillshare, TakeLessons, Teachstreet, etc offer instructors the opportunity to do what they love (and get paid for it). Reading your blog, you are inspired to share your knowledge for the betterment of the community. Not everyone has that opportunity. A lot of people need to pay the bills. But disrupting education through tech platforms like Skillshare allows musicians, chefs, photographers and others an opportunity to share their expertise and earn a reasonable living.I think a key part of this is the offline piece. People want to connect with others and feel like they are a part of something bigger. There is no substitute for a good warm smile and the ability to share a space in the real world.I’d like to thank you Fred for investing in Skillshare. It helps the entire education ecosystem.

  14. William Mougayar

    It’s a great thing to see the transparency on a full lifecycle of an investment, i.e. from blog to contact to investment, and in 5 weeks. What percentage of USV investments (say in past 2-3 years) have come from people you met from your blog and that you didn’t know at all previously?¬†

    1. fredwilson

      we knew Mike. it was the aftermath of the blog post that allowed him to close us

  15. Keenan

    Fred,¬†What i find most compelling here is your giving nature. It’s why this blog is so popular and why you have the reach you have. ¬†You give. You are a giver.¬†Teaching is a giving field. ¬†The very notion of teaching is based in the concept of giving and sharing. ¬†The fact you are a partner in one of the most successful VC firms in the country, are so super busy that you can’t even empty your email, yet you commit to give at the level you do sets you apart. It’s impressive Fred! ¬†It’s one of the reasons I respect and admire you. ¬†Thanks for setting such an example. ¬†Thanks for sharing. Thanks for giving. ¬†(cue tissue, and soft music) ¬†ūüôā ¬†

    1. fredwilson

      awww

      1. Tereza

        Fred’s a lover, not a fighter.

        1. fredwilson

          until i get pissed off

  16. Michael Lewkowitz

    Awesome. Mike is a great guy, they’ve built a great service and seeded a great community. Feels like New York is really becoming a central point for services that bring people together in meaningful ways that will shape the future.¬†Kickstarter, Meetup, StackExchange, SkillShare are all great examples. There’s some magic in the that… and feels like they ‘future making’ side of ‘large networks of engaged users’. Looking forward to seeing what’s next.

  17. mike gilfillan

    Terrific idea!¬† Even though I’m in Atlanta, I’ll definitely plan on attending some of your classes.¬†Feedback:¬† Why wouldn’t Skillshare also include video classes?¬†¬† From their site: “All of the classes happen in the real world … When you bring together a variety of voices and hands-on instruction, something truly spectacular happens. This magic just can’t be replicated over a webcam and chatroom.”I agree that you lose some of the magic, but I can’t tell you how much I and my kids have learned with youtube and video tutorials — someone just needs to aggregate the good ones and charge a nominal subscription.

    1. fredwilson

      i am including video and i’d love to see them build the technology to allow me to do that

      1. matthughes

        Skillshare looks terrific.I got carried away just now sifting through the classes.Online classes would really put it over the top.

  18. William Mougayar

    It reminded me of a Meetup of courses. Love this Made in NY¬†http://nytm.org/made/…Each tech community should have that kind of a branding.

    1. awaldstein

      Cool list but I bet is is wildly incomplete.And seems to be only tech. What about the mass of artisanal entrepreneurs that are popping up everywhere? At least a dozen local food products from Brooklyn in my local Whole Foods.

      1. William Mougayar

        True the list is incomplete. But I thought the link at the footer of their website was cool. Definitely a tech focused label.

        1. awaldstein

          Don’t get me wrong…I loved it and sent it along to some people who contacted me looking for work.Would be easier if there were any sharing tools on it of course.

  19. leigh

    The transition from ‘free’ to micro-commerce platforms is really really interesting. ¬†Will be watching to see how skillshare evolves. ¬†

    1. fredwilson

      marketplaces are large networks of engaged users with built in monetizationwe love them at USV

  20. SDB

    Great idea! ¬†I have¬†successfully¬†raised capital ¬†and subsequently¬†successfully¬†sold company¬†using lots of information from your blog. ¬†Time spent reading your blog and applying those¬†learnings¬†to the business yielded much¬†higher¬†returns and overall work satisfaction than 2 years and $$$ spent at the MBA school. ¬† I am all for getting a “degree” from Fred Wilson School of¬†Entrepreneurial¬†Business Management. ¬†:)Also, as JLM stated, nice product packaging approach.I would suggest¬†opening¬†up the classes to the students who could apply the knowledge in a real time (e.g., individuals who are in the process of raising capital if the class topic is capital raising options.) ¬†It would make for much more interactive but at the same time topic focused session.

  21. brmore

    Wow, wish I lived closer to NYC. ¬†Thank you for the stream though …¬†

  22. reece

    like i said at the game the other night…only so long before you become a teachercan’t wait, Professor Wilson

    1. fredwilson

      see you soon reece

  23. jason wright

    That’s a date. Can’t wait.

  24. Joe Lazarus

    Awesome news, professor. When I lived in NYC, I volunteered one day a week at an after school teaching program for kids in Harlem. It was one of the more rewarding things I’ve done. You’re a natural teacher and what you’re setting up through SkillShare sounds like a great fit for your skills & interests. Love it.¬†

  25. Dave W Baldwin

    Great news Fred!On the subject of Education, was caught by surprise will.i.am buying the airtime on ABC featuring a live back-to-school special about the kids who competed at the 20th Annual F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Competition, an event which aims to inspire young people to become science and technology leaders.The program was geared to the younger, especially those not in the best neighborhoods promoting the need to make school cool.¬† He is joined by Beiber, Timberlake, Tyler, Bono, Spears… and even the Snoop.Like this quote:¬† “I’m only going to make a video when I’m inspired,” he explained. “The whole Crypts and Bloods, Republican Democrat hoopla. I’m not about that. I’m about true innovation, true inspiration and that inspiration is via technology and watching these kids do amazing things…You have to applaud these kids. You have acknowledge what they’re doing.”I can tell you working with the kids in FIRST Robotics is a great experience.Congratulations again Fred… and we’ll keep working with the raw material for your program.

    1. fredwilson

      i like will.i.amdidn’t want to at firstbut i do

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        http://www.facebook.com/iam… let the vid play.You can see the passion and that can go a log way.Just seeing the mix of people listed above realizing it is time to turn it around toward the child’s POV¬†is great.On the BEP’s side, the best I can use for comparison is fringe, but Fergie’s timbre against Will.I.Am’s is similar to Kate/Cindy against Fred’s of the B-52’s insofar as a on purpose micro step off… fatter sound.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Thanks for sharing this, Dave. Very cool.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            Appreciate it… feel free to send the big thanks to will.i.am.¬† If you do, put in a good word for me¬† ūüėČ

  26. Kyle

    This is a great way to market Skillshare Fred, certainly adding value as a VC. I also see skillshare managed to get press from some major outlets, quite impressive! I’ve seen many websites with an identical utility to skillshare come and go; network effects are key here, and it looks like y’all have done some great work towards that end.

    1. fredwilson

      we invest in networks and understand them and do what we can to bring our networks onto them

  27. Sebastian Wain

    Strange, nobody yet correlated USV investment and the open course on Machine Learning from Stanford:¬†http://www.nytimes.com/2011…

  28. Eunice Apia

    Cool! Look forward.

  29. testtest

    1. testtest

  30. Eric Friedman

    As a user and teacher of skillshare this is certainly very exciting news!

  31. Tereza

    I believe at Wharton they give you a ‘budget’ of points which they can use to bid on attending certain topics. So you can blow your wad on a barn-burner topic like the single marketing or negotiations classes…. or sprinkle across many many finance classes.Also consider who is the audience — if it’s founders and wannabe founders…. and also your stance on service providers.Per class, you may ask a founder to volunteer him/herself as the Case Study for the topic. So you ‘lecture’ on the mechanics, and then you have a ‘fireside chat’ with a founder who dealt with the specific topic. Then group Q&A.My 2c.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s great Tereza. thanks for those ideas. i’m not sure we had the points system at Wharton when i was there

    2. awaldstein

      This is the best way to talk about marketing and most topics where approach and tactics¬† are subject to business model and situational dynamics.”Per class, you may ask a founder to volunteer him/herself as the Case Study for the topic. So you ‘lecture’ on the mechanics, and then you have a ‘fireside chat’ with a founder who dealt with the specific topic.”Just finished a mentoring stint and used this weekly as the ‘curriculum’ with the same group as they changed and evolved. Worked well I thought.

  32. Douglas Crets

    I’m sorry, no disrespect, but I am having a hard time believing this was not completely obvious to you as an investment choice, or that you would be soon checking them out, given with whom you invest and in what. But I am glad that others see the light and are investing in Michael.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      we knew it was in our strike zonebut we wanted to see a bit more tractionthe other term sheet forced us to move

  33. campryenwater

    My thoughts on the criteria for those that get to attend in person:1. They have to teach a Skillshare class themselves where 10 or more people signed up.1A. From that pool, select the attendees that can add to the topic being taught. Similar to HBS where the students add to the discussion as the teacher add his/her expertise. What is the point of a live studio audience that is not engaging and can not contribute. The last person you want in your finance class is somebody like myself that is asking the basic HP 12C calculator NPV formula. 2. Perhaps auction off the seats via E-Bay, 4. Random lottery conducted by SkillshareRegardless,¬†use your following to drive the business to SkillShare. Don’t waste this moment to self promote.JJD – Watchin’ from afar…¬†

  34. Robert Thuston

    As for the selection of students: ¬†This goes with Tereza’s comment… ¬†your first 25 posts on AVC gets you into one Class, you next 50 posts get you into another, and 75 into another. ¬†Start from January 1st this year. ¬†Only one post can be counted a day. ¬†This way you create an incentive for entrepreneurs to comment more on the blog, and you get highly motivated people into your class.I hope skillshares opens all kinds of “adjacent doors” for education.¬†Wish I wouldn’t read this so late… it’s going to keep my mind stirring while going to bed.

    1. fredwilson

      you mean commenting?

      1. Robert Thuston

        Yes, that’s correct.

  35. Stephen Albright

    I love your commitment to revolutionizing education.¬†As a young entrepreneur, the Gates and Jobs of the world are inspiring, but youtruly are a role model.¬† My university’s entrepreneurship curriculum (orlack thereof) leaves much to be desired, though your blog posts offer anexcellent complement to my education.Since stumbling across your blog last month, I’ve become increasinglycomfortable with my (diminishing) na√Įvet√©.¬† Thank you for making the VCworld less intimidating and easier to understand.With these classes being recorded for posterity, it may be most effectiveto start from the first post.¬† This way, the class can become a completeproduct with a distinct beginning that continues to build upon itself.Ultimately, I trust you will do what‚Äôs best for your students and, again, thankyou.

  36. howardlindzon

    sweet

  37. howardlindzon

    i guess my momentum mondays will have to go on skillshare.

    1. fredwilson

      they must

  38. David No√ęl

    Loving this story behind the investment and agree with @JLM:disqus , it all comes together. Congratulations to everyone involved. 

  39. Donna Brewington White

    First of all congratulations! ¬†What an exciting investment that aligns so closely with your values and also seems to broaden the USV portfolio in an interesting direction but still in keeping with the general theme. ¬†As an onlooker and fan, really enthused about this — the vision, the investment AND the product.BTW, even without all the implications, this is a fantastic and inspiring story! ¬†Thank you for sharing this.

  40. edutechguy

    Examville.com has been doing this for awhile now and about to launch a newly designed marketplace soon. From what I know they approached you guys but did not hear back a year ago.¬† They were one of the NYC finalist in IBM’s SmarterPlanet camp earlier this year.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, they emailed me about 18 months agoi didn’t like the look and feel of the service and i really did not like that an indian company owned a big piece of them

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        I understand the look and feel … how does an Indian company owning a big piece bothers you as an investor?Which indian company? … the website says “Made in NYC” how come an Indian company came into picture?

        1. fredwilson

          it has nothing to do with the indian. i just mentioned that because i remember it was an indian companycoporate investors early in a company’s life are a total disaster

          1. Raj K

            So Google Ventures is bad?¬† I think you should look at individual cases and also pay particular attention to how Indians look at education and how they value it.¬† Quote from Rediff CEO: “Examville is an early stage startup in New York, and it gives us, for a very modest investment, a ringside seat to see how the educational technology sector is faring, but at a relatively low cost, we get a ringside seat to see what is going on in that field in the United States.”

          2. fredwilson

            Yes. Google ventures is far from ideal. I blogged about it when they launched it. Companies build products and businesses but make lousy investors

  41. Jason

    Examville.com has been doing this for awhile now and about to launch a newly designed marketplace soon. From what I know they approached you guys but did not hear back a year ago.¬† They were one of the NYC finalist in IBM’s SmarterPlanet camp earlier this year.

  42. johndefi

    Congratulations to Malcolm and team. I attended a Skillshare class taught by Malcolm and thought it was great, not only the class, but the concept of community knowledge sharing.As for MBA Mondays, I am eagerly looking forward to the next incarnation. Personally, I’ve been trying to avoid the substantial financial debt of business school and in the meantime attempting to obtain as much MBA-type knowledge as possible. For this reason alone I would be highly interested in attending classes.

  43. Pramod Dikshith

    IT would be really great if you could for emerging youngsters like me..I am really looking forward for that and would be one of the first members to signup if you start the program..Kindly keep us posted about it.Pramod Dikshith

  44. Donna Brewington White

    Deleted my earlier suggestion because I didn’t catch at first that the live streaming and video you mentioned weren’t part of the Skillshare offering but something you were doing separately.¬†I hope they add an online video/livestreaming feature — or develop a partnership to do this, at least for some courses.Nevertheless, still love that you are teaching an actual, live class! ¬†Perhaps, you can take it on the road, occasionally.

  45. Guest

    You guys are just cleaning up. Props!

  46. FAKE GRIMLOCK

    @fredwilson:disqus WHY IT ALL IN NY? ME, GRIMLOCK, WANT TEACH CLASS IN DC.

    1. Douglas Crets

      Another clue is dropped. Grimlock is……Arne Duncan!

      1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        WHO THAT?

    2. fredwilson

      DC is cominghttp://www.skillshare.com/l…

      1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

        HOORAY!

  47. tomcatalini

    I like the concept and the enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing, re-vamping education, etc. But, why would someone need/use Skillshare when Meetup.com offers the same capability to self-organize in-person meetings (for any purpose), and, presumably has a larger audience?Is specialization at the platform level that valuable? How will that be leveraged over time to greater value-added products and services? Recordings of classes, online testing and certificate programs, shared teaching tools, improved feedback loops? Surely there must be more in the plans… would love to hear more about the strategy.

    1. fredwilson

      we are investors in both meetup and skillshare and talked this out with both companies. we are convinced that the two services are addressing different needs and wants

      1. tomcatalini

        Interesting! Didn’t realize you were investors in both. Will enjoy watching how this plays out (and hopefully teaching via one – or both – of the platforms!).

      2. Austin Clements

        Both do a pretty good job of mobilizing people online to do something offline. I would like to see Skillshare add some kind of badge/ranking system so you can easily see what people are interested in and how active they are. That would make it easier to decided to follow people you may not know personally. Either way, I look forward to attending some of the AVC classes live. I thought the class that Christina hosted at USV a couple week back was excellent.

  48. Grant G.

    I found about skillshare using duckduckgo just a few days ago and immediately was hooked to Mike/Malcom’s (and Zach K) methodical approach to a great concept and ground up tactics on building a local and loyal community. Attending skillshare’s SF launch party two days ago was awesome experiences.¬†Not to be a copy cat, but I have learnt a ton on community building just these couple of days from them and decided to take local approach to launch a peer to peer fitness training and active living site to San Francisco bay area.

  49. RacerRick

    I hope they allow customers to charge for classes. ¬†There are many schools who need to find an opportunity to sell their teachers/professors’ knowledge online.

  50. wayne s

    Congrats! personally i think the concept of skillshare is coming from airbnb.

    1. fredwilson

      or etsy before that

  51. fredwilson

    hmm. that’s an interesting approach