Lynda currently has over 1 million paying members and saw 42 million uniques over the last 12 months - a 20 percent increase from the year prior. Thatís not mind blowing, as there are a number of digital publications and blogs that see that much unique traffic in a month, rather than a year. But the real kicker is that Lynda hit $70 million in revenues in 2011.
Co-founders (and couple) Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin started by sinking $20K from their savings into Lynda. They were profitable, Heavin says, within a few weeks, and they havenít taken a penny of outside funding since. And thatís not for lack of offers, as both founders hinted that sizable investment offers have been put on the table on a number of occasions. But the company has been content to fly under the radar and rely on word-of-mouth marketing, subscribing to a ďif you donít need money, donít take itĒ policy.
How Lynda.com Hit $70M In Revenue Without A Penny From Investors
Interesting to me as well.
I wonder if something like this is possible now a days. Maybe it is a cop out for me to think, Well they started the website 14 years ago when there was very little competition so it was much easier.
It is very possible.
I have this in the works right now.
Because there are many untapped markets here.
This and other services are helping people learn new stuff. For a low price. Compared with the price of credits at local community colleges and universities, this is a steal.
And you develop the content once, update it maybe once a year, and keep getting income from it.
There are other sites that cater to businesses. e-learning is now becoming more common as a perk for employees.
Instead of paying $2,500 for a week-long training session for one employee, companies now can get a subscription like this for as many employees they want, and have them learn a new skill or tool, without paying travel expenses, and can schedule it better than having to lose the employee for a week while taking the training.
I see a lot of value right there. The market is still very open.
And speaking of this same topic....
I just got this email from Oracle:
This is targeted to small and big businesses, not to individuals. This market keeps expanding.Not sure if you have looked into Oracle University’s new training offering launched earlier this year. It’s called Training on Demand (ToD) and it was developed to address our client needs for training and more specifically target the issue of not being able to afford having a consultant(s) or employee(s) out of the office for days at a time.
Effective June 1st, you’ll only have access to any ToD class you register for for three months vs. the twelve months access you would have if you registered for a ToD class on or before May 31st .
Please visit Oracle University Select country) to see the list of classes currently available and those coming soon.
Here are some key points on ToD:
• Start training within 24 hours
• Get full classroom content online
• Customize your learning experience
• Eliminate travel-related expenses
• Access anytime, anywhere 24/7
• Start/Stop/fast forward/rewind
• Perform key word/topic searches w/i each chapter for laser focused learning
• Delivered by top instructors
• Video of classroom lecture, white boarding, labs
• Hands-on practice environment
• Ask your instructor
• Bonus material from product experts
Please contact me if you have any questions or forward this to appropriate person(s) for training.
Some awesome Fastlane quotes and lesson in the article. Gotta love it when another great story validates Fastlane process.
Process ... I wonder how many would "give up" after a few months, let alone, a few years.It took almost 5 years before its online content was outpacing the number of courses they themselves were teaching in the classroom.
Passion kept moving them forward despite "immediate success" not forthcoming.But what they kept coming back to was the fact that they started their business not as eager young people looking to get rich quick or find some niche to exploit... they were experts — and they were passionate about education.
The Desert of Desertion and how they fought thru it.As Heavin said, it took years of “walking through the desert,” before they were able to see any real profit, but being passionate about finding better ways to educate people using online tools, and taking into account the modalities of learning — being intimately familiar with their user or target customer — can lead to a positive result.
Always allow the customer to steer you to growth ... this is why many business plans for online businesses are worthless. Soon as you launch, the customer will say yea, or nay ... then the games begin.Allow your customers to keep you honest, they said, and listen to their feedback to help push your business forward.
Sacrifice. Most everyone wouldn't sacrifice, and instead, opt for the nice comfy imagery of a BMW 3-series.Early on, everything they had and made was poured into Lynda.com.
I just started with Moodle and looking into many mods to make it behave as I want. I just started this process though, so do not have too much to report yet.
I do know the current player will have to be modified and probably will buy a good one.
I think this is the most impressive thing, and im not going to make it sounds easy by any means, not sure where the traffic is coming from but but obviously is a major key role in their success.and saw 42 million uniques over the last 12 months
"Ask me for anything," said Napoleon to his lieutenant. "Anything but time."
This story shows how important sticking it out in the first few years can really pay off.
I strongly believe E Learning is going to be the next big thing with the rising costs of tuition. If you haven't so already read the excellent post on the state of the education system by Mark Cuban then do so! (thanks for the share on FB MJ)
The big challenge in my opinion for those of you looking to start a similar site in your niche is in the tricky start up stage. More specifically getting high quality video publishers on board. It would be interesting to know other peoples thoughts on finding publishers who offer lessons of real value who are going to accept submitting videos on your site without a large up front fee?
This is what we have been building for the past 3 years, we do e-learning courses/software for k-12, higher education, test prep, and unschooling interest-led learning courses for children and adults. It is a slow, but profoundly worthwhile and rewarding process.
We had our own learning management system built, so we could get the features we wanted. We are now in the process of upgrading it and adding the features our customers wanted. There are open source products out there, like Moodle and Sakai and out of the box solutions like Coggno, Haiku, and Litmos. We wanted to own everything and not be leasing from other people if at all possible.
Really, looking back the LMS and software development was the least difficult piece, it is the course development that separates the men from the boys. That is where the words "barriers to entry" take on meaning. That is the time and place where you really have to believe in what you are doing.
To see what it took Lynda.com watch their whole story here: It is worth the 47 minutes
Tutorials | The lynda.com Story
Sue, would love to see your site when ready. Feel free to PM me anytime, ok?
I agree with you. Creating the content is the biggest challenge of all.
Thanks for sharing your story.
I think you have chosen an excellent time to jump into this, we are really just at the beginning of the digital education revolution, it is disruptive, and there is a lot of "noise" from the dinosaurs in the educational industry, but they can't stop this train.
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