Do you ever get the feeling that the people you’re talking to just aren’t picking up what you’re putting down? Words are coming out of your mouth but rather than being met with polite hmmm’s and head nods all you’re getting is squinted eyes and furrowed brows.
That was the exact scene on Wednesday morning as I pitched out new service to the 3P learning team, in an event called the Dolphin tank (like the Shark tank, but not as scary because Steve Baxter wasn’t there).
After that indifferent pitching session, Leo and I locked ourselves in a room to answer that ever nagging big question: “Just what exactly are we doing again??”.
(The Dolphin Tank @3P Learning)
The Stock Take
At the start of the week, we were informed by the EduGrowth team that it was time to review our 3-month milestones. At the start of the program, we set ourselves a series of 3-month milestones to aim for. These milestones were meant to act as a motivating factor as our second tranche of investment was due to be decided at that three-month mark.
The inconvenient truth is that we’ve missed those Milestones, badly. We set ourselves the goal of selling 50 courses and building a 200 strong email list. Needless to say, we seriously undershot both those numbers.
In the interests of transparency (and because I like you guys) I’ll share some of the reasons that we outlined in that report as to why we missed those goals:
- Underestimation of the challenges involved with communicating a new product/ service;
- The large upfront monetary and time commitment to our program (8-weeks + $400), which is not;
- Poor planning by Leo and myself in terms of giving ourselves adequate time to market this service;
- Difficulties in managing a process for employers and students at the same time, which creates severe deadline pressures.
- Negative perceptions about this service being an internship that people need to pay for.
It’s a bit sobering to write that all down. Essentially we’ve got very little to show for the last three months. We’re going to have to turn things around quickly if we want this business to survive.
What’s changed for us
Again because I like you guys and I want this blog to be at the very least an accurate representation of our journey with this program, I’ll share the high-level plan for us moving forward.
We believe in the core concept of our previous service offering – an immersive learning experience that includes practical experience and real-world connections – we just need to package this up in a different manner.
Our updated service will only focus on Digital Marketing. The key difference is that we’re segmenting the learning content from the practical experience. Students will purchase access to our learning content and through completing the work they will receive opportunities to work on live projects by real employers. The advantages of this service over the previous one is:
- It’s scalable: our capacity to provide value to students isn’t directly tied to a number of employers we can attract.
- It’s more flexible: rather than requiring the students follow an 8-week structure, they will be able to engage with the content at their own pace.
- It’s more affordable: the cost for access to our platform will be between $100-$200 for a yearly membership. This price is much more affordable for our target audience.
- It has greater synergies with University curriculums: this course could form the practical element of a digital marketing unit at a University.
- It’s clear that this is a practical learning experience and not an internship that people need to pay for.
The plan for next week
The good news is the internship accelerator course is now done. I didn’t manage to upload all the videos before I left behind the WeWork Wifi, which meant I spent about 12 hours staring at an uploading screen over the weekend.
We’re going to be pushing this course out first thing next week. Whilst I’m back in Perth I’ll be visiting my old University to spruik the Upstart Academy to anyone willing to listen. I’ve got 200 flyers to hand out and one day to do it all!
Leo is putting the finishing touches on the new website, which we seriously hope will launch next week.
Until next time.