A few years back it dawned on me that internet activity was moving to video, and I wanted to be a part of it. After consulting some friends on the virtues of Finalcut Pro vs Adobe Premiere, I signed up for a Premiere class on Lynda.com to start my production journey. While the content was thorough, I found the presentation a bit dry and not well suited for mobile. So within a couple months I experienced what usually happens when I discover a new earth shattering idea. I forgot all about it. My hopes of riding the video wave to the height of vlogger stardom were dashed in an instant.
Then six months later my college buddy Mo Koyfman revived my machinations over dinner when he mentioned Skillshare to me. Mo was a partner at Spark Capital at the time, and I had asked him about which of his portfolio companies was considering international expansion. I went home, signed up for one of the many Skillshare classes on Premiere and found the content much more digestible especially on mobile than some of the other platforms I had tried. Skillshare was also focused on the creative class, so beyond the ability to improve my technical chops I could also learn about design leadership from John Maeda or social media marketing from Gary Vaynerchuk.
As a very happy customer of the platform I told my partner Ramanan (who leads edtech efforts here at Amasia) about the company and CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn with whom I had been tremendously impressed. In addition to a great product that fit my specific needs, a couple macro trends got us excited about the opportunity.
1. While historically intelligence was measured by the ability to store and recall information, in an age of infinite computing what sets capable people apart from incapable people is increasingly creativity. A platform focused on training the creative class prepared the world to go where the proverbial puck was heading.
2. In my parents generation folks worked for one employer their entire lives. My peers seem to be hopping around much more but the big trend for the next generation is a shift towards entrepreneurship and contract work. We can start to see it today in everything from photojournalists (leaving newspapers and working freelance) to mbas (choosing the valley over wall street) to uber drivers and airbnb hosts. In an era of large organizations and deep specialization, the finance guy didn’t need to know how to build a website. But in tomorrow’s world entrepreneurs of all backgrounds will need some basic skills around creativity. (Case in point: Yours truly… the VC who wants to know video)
Ramanan developed a great relationship with Michael and ended up co-leading the Series B financing. We're excited to work together on their expansion efforts, and perhaps as importantly just wanted to say thanks to Mo, Michael and the team for reviving hope in my video ventures. I’m definitely still a novice, but thanks to Skillshare I’m excited about the road ahead. Please feel free to view a couple Skillshare enabled videos below.