18 March 2022 |

Ep41: Maven: When Top Level Creators Turn Educators



  1. Why you need skin in the game: 03:25
  2. Entertainment as education: 07:06
  3. Inspiration versus bad tech: 15:09
  4. Being your own brand: 19:29
  5. Replacing the gatekeepers: 20:47
  6. Getting hyper tactical: 25:52
  7. Flipping the norms: 27:33
  8. The Maven business model: 32:04
  9. Fitting into the education sphere: 36:59
  10. The future: 37:55

When Education Meets Internet Creators

“It’s not enough to disseminate facts and for people to just stare ahead on Zoom for an hour and a half, It doesn’t work. Professors need to bring their A-game.” –  Wes Kao, Co-Founder of Maven.

When the world’s best content creators step into the classroom, a whole new generation gets to download their knowledge first hand..

Wes Kao is obsessed with learning, for herself and others. But the problem with a lot of online courses boils down to bad tech. Hours spent glued to a Zoom call with zero interaction between professor and student, often on your own and without real time feedback on tasks.

Maven flips that around.

This is a platform that acts more like a classroom than a course. Where students interact, work together and get a two-way dialogue with their professor. And not just any professors but creators already at the top of the game like Amanda Natividad, Shivani Berry and Anthony Ware.

Capitalizing on The Difference

Most online courses experience only a 3-6% completion rate, but if you’ve paid less than $100, what’s your motivation to continue when you hit a road bump?

Wes believes making the course content exceptional and charging the right price is essential to take those numbers through the roof.

Whatever amount it would take for it for your audience to feel like they had skin in the game. Enough to actually show up and do the thing they said they wanted to do.”

When you know you’re paying for great quality, and great teachers you’ll see it through. And what makes great content? The opposite of 90% of what’s out there.

Most courses will give you 80% of the what and why and 20% of the how. Maven flips this with professors hyper-focused on the practical. When you’re practicing what you’re learning, refining and going again, then you master what you’re learning.

No More Gatekeepers

In the past, book editors, academic administrators and so on dealt the final blow when it came to gaining access to materials and courses. That form of gatekeeping has died, or radically transformed. The crowd is the judge. They say whether your course is interesting or useful, they determine your success.

That’s why Wes teaches her professors to be 50% instructor, 50% entertainer. Not, she’s at pains to point out, clownish or childish, but engaging and receptive to feedback from your cohort of students.

Get this right and the rewards speak for themselves. 

Wes points to the fact that several creators have already made $100k+ through running courses and are on track to make more as they grow and develop.

Having already raised $25 million in first round funding, the company is keen to help its professors create even better courses and become even more successful in their course delivery. Unlike other platforms, the Maven business model takes 10% from its course providers, allowing them to keep the rest.

Maven Into The Future

And where is this ambitious platform heading 20 years from now? Wes and Co-Founder Gagan Biyani believe Maven could easily become the university of the future and with their growing army of world class creators, investment, and smart software, who’s going to stop them?

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/weskao

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