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The lynda.com Story: Founders and key executives share accounts of learning, teaching, and building their company.
Company cofounders Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinman, with CEO Eric Robison and other top executives, present the early roots, current landscape, and future vision of lynda.com. This short-form documentary covers how Lynda and Bruce's careers, relationship, and company started and evolved, and how their vision and high standards have shaped the lynda.com mission to help others.
(music playing) Lynda Weinman: Well, I think education in general is still based on a very old 19th to 20th century model that you have a teacher in front of a classroom, and you know, all the students listen to the same lecture and go home do their homework, take a test. That's how we measure their success. And the Internet has really just changed how education can be distributed, and we're living proof of that.
We've watched, you know, technology change and transform so many industries. The way we shop, the way we date, the way we bank, it really hasn't transformed education yet, but it's going to. And I think we are an example of how that is possible. And I'm really proud of the fact that we really offer sort of this flexible learning environment where you can come in, just answer a single question, or you can learn something from scratch and go deep.
Eric Robison: Education is really changing. There is much more need for lifelong learning, that you have to continue to update your skills, and that you have to be practical with the skills that you learn. It's a very competitive workplace out there, but also it's very complicated. The skills--the diversity of the skills you need today to be successful in a job, it just continues to get more and more complicated. Bruce Heavin: No matter how many courses we do, we just don't seem to be able to do enough. And I really see a future, a vision, where we're going to be doing a lot more than we're doing today.
Today, this year, we're doing more than one course per day, and it's going to end in about 370 courses or more. And I really see a future where we really cover the depths. So, people that really want to get involved in the subject, really have a good deal, a ways to go. We also look to grow our platform and look at what we could do with technology to grow the ability of instruction. What is the best learning environment? What is the best way to find what you're looking for, to search, to find, to browse, to stumble, you know? How can we--how can we satisfy curiosity? Michael Ninness: As I think about the future and the opportunity that we have to provide even more value to our members and future members--and we're living in pretty special times, the convergence of media, the access of the Internet, the mobile device explosion--and I think we have this unique opportunity to really create a platform that meets people where they are at, to have continuous learning in their pocket.
And even more than in terms of the content areas, we have a unique ability to create content and teach people the skills that the schools are just completely missing. You think about life skills and business skills and design and thinking, those are really untabbed markets, and I think you're going to see lynda.com truly focusing on those areas to broaden our reach beyond just software tools. Lynda: And so we know that this is a powerful idea and that we're still in the infancy of this idea. There are a lot of things that we want to do to improve our service. We have ideas that will take us years to accomplish, but we're many ideas farther along than what people yet see, and not only in terms of growing our own delivery platform and our own content, but also the scale and the scope and the reach.
So we are interested in taking lynda.com international, in localizing to many different languages. We think what the Internet does is it democratizes education. That technology is transforming our lives and that we can use technology for positive purposes and really advance our culture, advance ourself, advance our world, change our world for the better. And so we see that as our mission, and we're not anywhere close to being done.
Erik Tarkiainen: As the company grows, our brand will continue to evolve with it. You know, as we enter international markets, as we explore different courses and different subjects, our brand will have to change to accommodate that, you know? At the same time, though, the core of it, our principles, our values will have to stay the same and be consistent and be authentic. Monetta Williams: Great companies attract great people, and moving into the global market, we're going to continue to attract even more talent internationally and domestically.
Michael Schaeman: As for the future, we see companies really focusing on their greatest asset, and that is their people. They want to have their people access learning content at their fingertips anytime, anywhere. And whether it's a product like lyndaCampus, whether it's a product like lyndaEnterprise, whether it's accessibility on any mobile device anywhere, they see this as being the future for E-learning. Lynda: I don't think anybody can really imagine how much potential we really have because it's on a scale that's unprecedented, you know? To be able to create something and distribute it to anyone in the world has never been possible before.
And so, I know even though we've been at this for 17 years that we're still in the infancy of what we're doing. Bruce: I think to see it and to hear it and to do it is the best way to learn it and retain it. And now I think with the advent of all of these devices and screens that we're going to be able to see a whole new future in a whole new direction, where education can go into whole new places. We've never seen that before. And that to me, is exciting, and lynda.com is going to be there.
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