“We are a Tech Company that sells shoes”
Tony Hsieh famously described Zappos, the online shoe selling company, as a tech company that sells shoes.
This was a monumental statement at the time because it forced us all of us non Silicon Valley people to realize there was a new paradigm in business. Companies that were to thrive did NOT just do their business and then add gadgets and gizmos, like tech, later or as a supplement to their offering. Companies that were to thrive would put technology at the CORE of it’s approach to business.
Using this well known anecdote, how would education stack up? Are colleges tech companies that sell education? At Smashing Boxes, we see trends and themes in the way technology is being adopted, created, and leveraged to disrupt industries and break boundaries. Here are trends we are seeing.
From our first person research and interview with industry leader Momentum Learning and their CEO, Jessica Mitsch, we have learned that:
As far as what the future may hold both domestically as well as globally, several themes were consistent. When thinking about tech, the usual suspects appeared, which are:
However, the biggest theme by far was just as much of a business model innovation as a technical innovation. Online education, the need for widely distributed access and a move towards Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, would be critical for the wide array of learners across the globe. It is interesting that the research states that MOOC’s have seen a renewed interest...key word being renewed. The current education business model would seem to widely discourage what is best for the global population, which is unfortunate. Going forward, will institutions become content contributors in the future versus walled off silos? Only time will tell.
Seeing this all in action
Additional Resources for Educators or Innovators in the education space that are free:
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Smashing Boxes is a creative technology lab that partners with clients, taking an integrated approach to solving complex business problems. We fuse strategy, design, and engineering with a steady dose of entrepreneurial acumen and just the right amount of disruptive zeal. Simply put, no matter what we do, we strive to do it boldly. Let's talk today!
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When an ad slogan lasts for nearly 25 years, it probably meshes with a company’s DNA. Chances also are pretty good it strikes a chord with customers.