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.