E271: Sebastian Thrun of Google and Udacity – TWiST



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Today on This Week in Startups, Jason sat down with Sebastian Thrun, the man behind the innovations at Google X and the exciting new learning model of Udacity, to discuss the future of education.0:30 Welcome everyone, I have Sebastian Thrun of Udacity here with me today.
1:45 Thank you to Scott Walker of Walker Corporate Law. If you need a lawyer, call Scott at 310-288-6667.
4:00 Sebastian, welcome to the program. Explain to the audience what Udacity is.
5:30 What happened after the class really picked up steam?
6:00 How many people took the course and how many finished?
7:00 Do you believe that the university system is worth the money people spend?
9:00 Why did it take Khan Academy and others to change education? Why wasn’t it done inside of universities?
12:00 Who are the co-founder of Udacity?
13:30 Does your success make Stanford less valuable?
14:30 Will kids be going to Stanford in 20 years or will they be taking courses on Udacity?
16:15 What will the role of teachers be in the future?
19:30 Let’s talk about the business model.
20:45 Is the price sustainable?
21:15 Did you give up a large amount of personal wealth to pursue this?
24:30 Thank you to Squarespace! To get 10% off, go to squarespace.com and use the code TWiST7.
27:15 I heard that you had top VC firms vying to fund Udacity. Tell me about it.
28:45 Why did you go with Charles River Ventures?
30:45 What founders do you try to model yourself after?
33:30 What is the role of the teacher?
34:30 If this fails, what will be the reason it fails?
37:30 What about gamification: badges, rewards, etc. Is it worth it?
39:00 Do you think that it’s possible to turn the public education system around?
41:00 Congratulations on the early success, Sebastian, and I look forward to having you back on. We’ll see you all next time on This Week in Startups.

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