about this episode
Lynda Weinman bought the domain lynda.com in the mid 90s, when she was teaching herself web design. Fast forward through writing how-to books, and a classroom education program in Ojai, California. Today Lynda.com is an online resource with video-based courses, millions of registered users, and over $100m in late stage investment. The videos aren’t free, but Lynda has never raised prices above $25 per month. And the company has been profitable every year. From her garage to a 12 acre campus with a 100 person sales team, Weinman shared her journey at LAUNCH Education & Kids.
Show Lynda some love!
And to Audible. Jason’s Audible picks of the week are One of Kind: The Story of Stuey “The Kid” Unger, The World’s Greatest Poker Player, and a bonus pick: Wheat Belly. To get your free audiobook, go to audible.com/twist.
1:25 Every conversation I have with people about education, it seems like your name gets brought up. You’re one of the first founders in technology that made it work.
2:08 Is this (photo from the mid 90s) where Lynda.com started?
6:01 Was putting them online because travel was expensive and difficult to get to your classes?
7:45 A thousand people signing up the first year, you probably thought about shutting it down.
8:46 Millions of people have signed up for the service, and it’s $25 per month still?
9:15 How many courses now, courses and videos? The innovation really was video-based training.
10:18 People thought wow with YouTube, this would be a threat to the business. But it’s gotten stronger. You have over $100m invested from Excel, Spectrum, Meritech. $100m in revenue last year. The business has grown while many free options have emerged. To what do you attribute that?
14:30 You were one of the first people to charge for subscriptions online. But you certainly innovated in that this radically low price for something video professors were charging $299 a course in infomercials.
17:50 When you see the aggregate numbers heading in the right direction, it can give you confidence in not increasing the price.
18:05 Let’s talk about the teachers and recruiting them. Do these teachers lose money compared to their day jobs?
23:20 You’ve raised money, the revenue is extraordinary, overnight in 18 years as you said. But what an amazing position you’re in, to do a documentary which has quite a different production cost.
24:30 I hear from people, they want to support Lynda. It’s a PBS or NPR feel about the brand. Is that something you curated, or something that happened?
25:27 How wide will it get? Do you see this brand teaching language or math? Could it become a global education brand?
27:15 You started with in person classes. It seems to me that a Lynda store in every mall seems like a great way to use all that space.
30:31 Is K-12 something you anticipated?