Transcript of Currents 060: Panos Siozos on Online Education

The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or Panos Siozos. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.

Jim: Today’s guest is Panos Siozos. Panos is the CEO and co-founder of LearnWorlds. It’s a leading platform for creating online education. He holds a PhD in educational technology and has worked extensively as a computer science educator, software engineer, IT manager, and researcher in many EU funded research projects. Before following the startup route, he was working in the European parliament as a policy advisor for research and innovation. Welcome Panos.

Panos: Hi, Jim, and thanks for having me on your show.

Jim: Yeah. This should be an interesting conversation. This is something that I’m personally very interested in, which is alternative routes to deliver education to the people. And of course, I’m always interested in interesting software businesses. So how is it that you came to go the startup route. Sounds like you probably had a nice job, but what made you want to make that change in life?

Panos: I think it was a niche that we had since our university days with my co-founders, we go way back. I have two co-founders, we’ve known each other since 1995. We studied together computer science, and then we actually embarked on post-graduate studies on educational technology. So we actually built our first platform back in 1999, but it was in an academic setting. We were able back then to create some amazing products, test them with a couple hundred students who we used as guinea pigs, really advanced some aspects of educational technology, but we never, because all these things were happening in an academic setting, we didn’t have any huge impact. We didn’t have any many thousands of users to actually use our products. And this is where after completing our PhD studies, after doing different kinds of works, we always had these each to go back to the roots and actually employ the state of the art of e-learning to improve education and give an amazing platform at the hands of actual trainers that are out there and are craving these kinds of amazing user experiences.

Jim: Oh, very good. So that was a rich background, not just get rich quick scheme kind of deal. That’s what I like.

Panos: Definitely. Know then we started, I have to say that we were more scientists than entrepreneurs. We didn’t know how to build a startup or how to focus on marketing or sales or stuff like that, but we were amazing at creating an amazing product. So this is what we did first. And gradually through our customers, we also learned how to become good businessmen and then promote our platform.

Jim: Yeah, not at all uncommon, I was the same way. I started out as a product guy and was fairly naive in my startups on how to sell, but one, I had some good co-founders who knew more about that and over time I learned. So let’s focus on the need from the end learner. We’ll talk about your customer, who isn’t the end learner, but let’s start with where the fundamental demand comes from. Why is adult lifetime learning so important right now?

Panos: Well, I always consider learning to be the only legit superpower that humans possess. Learning is something that nobody can take away from you and it can really be a catalyst for social improvement, financial improvement, for wellbeing, for getting better every single day at everything that we do. And we see that increasingly traditional education cannot keep up with the needs of today’s people, of today’s skilled workers, of today’s students even. And especially with the millennials and the younger generation, you see that people are used to having amazing slick digital experiences with their mobile devices and their tablet devices and their gaming devices. And then in some cases, when they try to use e-learning, they end up getting thrown a PDF or something of 100 pages and somebody says, “Okay, you got a PDF, you have been trained via e-learning,” which is not actually we are used to learning in our everyday lives.

Panos: I remember 20, 30 years ago, experts were saying that in our lifetimes, we might have to change careers six to seven times. I think in today’s situation and today’s economy, we would be lucky if we change careers one, every couple of years. Everything moves so fast. Knowledge is getting obsolete so fast. So we need to keep learning and we need to keep learning both for improving our situation in the job market, but also as persons, this is one of the best ways to improve our situation in every respect.

Jim: Roughly, where do you see the demand pull from the end learner with respect? Let’s say two categories, one job related and then the second, personal development related.

Panos: I would say it’s about 50/50 in what we see. Always, anything that has to do with jobs attract more focus and usually the courses in these kind of topics are more expensive, let’s say. People are willing to invest top dollar in something that can improve their situation and help them get a better job or get a raise or a promotion, but also people increasingly… And we’ve seen that to be catalyzed also by COVID, people increasingly invest in their wellbeing, becoming a better parent, a better spouse, a better gardener, invest in your hobbies. Things that help us stay sane and safe and help us improve in what we do.

Panos: And also, Jim, something else that we are seeing is that, increasingly there’s a bigger overlap between skills and hobbies. We see more and more people try to make their hobbies into their full-time job or the other way around, people trying to escape 9:00 to 5:00, escape all these boring demanding jobs that obliges them to be in a specific place for a specific time and do things at a specific way and try to become more free. And we’re seeing all these strengths, all these things were also visible before COVID, but have been massively catalyzed by COVID. Like escaping 9:00 to 5:00, digital nomads going back to a nice place outside of a city and be able to work remotely on my own side projects or the things that really fulfill me as a person.

Jim: Yeah, certainly we’re seeing that trend here in our rural area I live. People moving here who would never have moved here 10 years ago, because at least if they’re on the roads that have decent internet, which isn’t all of them, the opportunity to work remotely is quite real these days and that may require some skill upgrading and platforms like these could be very good. But now let’s flip to the other side, which is your actual customer, which is the people who are creating courses and curriculum and even schools, as I understand it. And I imagine some of those are digital nomads who as part of their livelihood are using their ability to create educational materials. Maybe talk a little bit about that. That’s a little bit wider. Let’s say who are your customers with various classes?

Panos: Anybody who has an audience and has some content, which are they’re trying to monetize can really become a customer. So we’re talking about authors and bloggers and YouTubers and podcasters and coaches. Anybody can really create an online school or an online academy or a coaching or a membership side, and this is what our platform facilitates. But also you mentioned even digital nomads. These are people who are usually much more flexible and they were, let’s say the early adopters of the platform. But increasingly, more and more, we see traditional business who realize that learning can be an amazing asset for their business, whether it’s a purely business that deals purely with professional training, whether it’s offering continuing professional education, or they have some other kind of knowledge that people are interested in. This is a big part of our customer base, but increasingly any business that wants to train their customers, train their employees, train their associates.

Panos: We’re talking more and more about a remote workforce and people being able to work from any time, any place, all these people can really rally around education and any business can profit from training, all the stakeholders let’s say in a business. So now even with COVID, hopefully is subsiding, we’re talking about, let’s say a business who wants to train 200 employees. I don’t see any future where they will bring these employees in a hotel for five hours of PowerPoint. There will be a riot. Now, we’ve seen in the past couple of years that there are ways to offer education in much more and efficient and cost effective ways through online training, but we’re not also here to replace traditional schools and physical schooling. That’s not the purpose, but finding the balance between what we can do online and what we need to still be doing in the physical space can be a great… Can provide great flexibility and great value to any business.

Jim: So you’re speaking of brick and mortar schools, as we’d say here in the US, do any of them use your platform?

Panos: Yes, of course. And first of all, at the peak of COVID, let’s say online training was the only way that these brick and mortar businesses couldn’t continue to exist and keep in touch with our customers, with our students, with our professors, but also people increasingly ask for more and more flexibility, because you might not always be able to commute or reach your physical place of schooling, but also people increasingly want the freedom to study anywhere, anytime.

Panos: So even if the main delivery of the course, let’s say happens in a physical place, you can still profit from having online access, self-paced access, even to the same content that was delivered in the class. And you can have so many more affordances and functionality that can frame your course, because you can, let’s say using an online platform, you can connect with your fellow students, you can ask questions, receive answers, you can revisit the content that was presented to you. So all these things can really create a world of learning, hence the name of the platform as well, where you can immerse yourself and can use all the different ways and different forms of media to learn at your best.

Jim: Interesting. Yeah, and one thing to make clear to anybody who’s listened to this who might want to use the platform, it’s best I could tell a true white label platform. You don’t attempt to brand it at all. At least at the above of the free level, I suppose, is that accurate?

Panos: Yes, it is accurate. We are not a marketplace. So we are not the ones selling courses for our customers. We are a wide label platform, which means that anybody can go in and create their own online school and they get to keep a 100% of the profits and also they control their own audience and control their own content. So you can just go in and create the online school, upload your content, sell your content from there, and you get to keep 100% of the profits.

Jim: And you do provide mechanisms for monetization, so credit card clearing, PayPal, et cetera.

Panos: Of course. We’re an all in one platform. So we offer all the tools that anybody would need to set up their online school, all the customer facing pages, like the full online website that anybody would need and also we provide all the marketing and sales tools that people need. So you can sell courses, you can have your checkout, you can sell memberships, we capture credit cards and PayPal as you mentioned, we offer full analytics. And obviously, we offer the full course delivery experience. And this is where students will spend most of their time consuming the courses, whether these are videos, interactive videos, eBooks, a full school community. So we are an online business in the box. Everything that you would need to create your own e-learning business and share or sell your courses to the general population.

Jim: Yeah. And I thought it was quite interesting that you promote pretty strongly that you can literally create your own school, not just a course or two. Maybe talk about that a little bit.

Panos: Yes. I think our biggest school right now runs with more than 350,000 users. So as you can imagine, this is a multimillion dollar business. A very specific school about data science and data analytics. This is a full business that runs entirely on top of LearnWorlds. But also we can obviously help even the individual prosumers, somebody who just knows their stuff, whether it’s marketing, photography, do it yourself subject, gardening, anything can be really put in on a LearnWorld school and sold.

Jim: And you have the course authoring things. I looked at the video that showed how that worked, looked pretty straightforward. And also the ability to define curricula. Is that correct?

Panos: Yes.

Jim: So different courses relate to each other.

Panos: Of course. In LearnWorlds, the platform is very flexible. You can either create a free simple course that can be like a 10 minute video and even that these free courses are amazing lead magnets. They can be very useful in attracting people to your school and have them sign up and leave you their contact details. So let’s say the smallest minimum course can be a 10 minute video all the way to a course that can combine 20 hours of video, multiple exams, assignments, eBooks, and all this stuff. And obviously you can also create multiple courses in all sorts of different combinations. So it works for the individual, but it can also work for the SMB or the larger business that wants to train thousands of employees or students.

Jim: Now, one issue that’s always important in these platforms is the assessment part. Why don’t you talk a little bit about what you guys offer with respect to testing and assessments?

Panos: This is a subject very much to my heart because my PhD was on computer assisted assessment. So this is a part that really, as you mentioned is very important for customers and they’re always asked for more. In the assessment part of the platform, we offer two things. We offer simple self-assessments for students to self-check their knowledge and see if they’ve progressed enough. If they managed to get the content that was presented to them. So this can be simple, multiple choice tests that people fill out themselves and then at the end, they get a score and they also get some feedback about where, or when they miss the mark.

Panos: But also we can create… Our customers can create formal assessments. This can be for example, 100 question, 90 minute randomized tests that you would have to complete in order to get a certificate of a continuing professional education. And I think one of our first customers from the US was teaching continuing professional education courses for accountants and our platform had been verified by the IRS to make sure that the assessment module that we offered was compliant with their CPE requirements. So both simple things that one can set up for self-assessment all the way to formal exams that a person would need to complete in order to get a formal certificate.

Jim: Yeah. I like the fact that you’ve added the self assessment layer, where people can use the assessment tools in ways that aren’t necessarily punitive or et cetera, that are actually helping them in their learning experience, rather than something that’s a hurdle they have to jump over.

Panos: This is very important. And in fact, we have added this self assessment part in other parts of the platform like interactive videos. The interactive videos I mentioned it also, I mentioned the concept before. This is a unique feature of LearnWorlds where you can just upload a simple linear, and in some cases, even boring video like that you show yourself with a mobile phone and within the platform, without the requirement for any external expensive software or any unique expertise, you can just convert this video into an interactive experience. And one of the ways to do that is to add quizzes on top of the video.

Panos: So the video can play and then at some point it stops, a question pops up, and you have to answer this question. And based on your answer, you don’t get punished as you mentioned, but you get some useful feedback or you can even advance forward or backward in the video to get to the place where this concept was explained, let’s say. So really we’ve seen, we know this is where our educational technology background comes into play and our pedagogical, I guess, expertise. We know how formative assessment can be crucial for advancing learning. And we have employed that in key parts of the platform.

Jim: Yeah. I actually watched one of your training or something, I think it was an independent company’s training video about your video enhancements. And I was very impressed with it. It looked remarkably simple and yet very powerful.

Panos: It’s as easy as editing a PowerPoint. So you don’t need any expertise to do that. There are some very expensive authoring software out there that you can get to get the same results, but in our case, you simply upload your video. And then just like editing a PowerPoint, which is fairly easy, I would say, you go in and you can add pointers and text and then notification on cards on your video. A simple example, you can have somebody teaching you how to play tennis or golf, let’s say, how to hold a racket. So you can put frame, pause the video, put pointers and frames to show how you actually hold the racket or the club or anything else, and also offer assistive text and guide you through this process. So a simple video that you showed yourself can really become a very interactive and engaging experience, which as you can imagine is very captivating also for the students.

Panos: So at the end, you have happy students who have engaged with the content and are willing to purchase more courses from you. This is what we’re trying to create. Learning cannot be passive with this kind of interactivity and engagement and questions, you keep people engaged. Attention, the short attention span is one of the major problems that everybody is facing today. So with the right instructional tools, we are trying to make the courses very much engaging and captivating so that people spend more time. They’re happy with what they’ve learned and they become happy repeat customers.

Jim: Very interesting. Now that short attention span business I’m hearing about, I’m an old school boomers. So for me, 45 minutes is okay, but that may not be the case today. What are you finding… I’m surely you have metrics on this. What are typical lengths of bits of video content on your platform?

Panos: As you say, not every generation treats videos the same way or has the same attention span. Increasingly now, we see that people cannot really engage with video that are longer than 10 or 12 minutes. So sometimes we have some amazing trainers that come to us. They are trying to launch their first online course. They have years and years of training. And the first thing that they are trying to do is to get their usual lecture PowerPoint and try to record a 45 minute video to upload to the platform. And we say that, okay, this doesn’t really work. First of all, it’s very difficult for you to produce because you have to edit a 45 minute video. Otherwise, it will have lots of gaps in there and things that are not very polished, but our analytics and lots of research shows that people cannot really view a video like that and still be present after 10 or 12 minutes.

Panos: So what we say to our trainers is to create short videos, multiple videos, like you can shoot one after the other, but keep them short and sweet between three and eight minutes, each one covering a single concept and then you can just put one after the other. And this way, it’s much easier to produce your content and it’s also much easier to update or replace your content because you don’t need to replace the entire 45 minute video or edit it. You can just go in and add an extra concept or replace one of the videos that you shot there. And in this case, we see that students, they might end up spending 45 minutes, like one after the other watching the videos one after the other, but it’s not just one video. They realize they just click the first and then the next and the next and they have a sense of progression that they’re doing actually something, that they’re not watching an [inaudible 00:22:57] video like it was TV.

Jim: Good and guidance for those who want to reach today’s learner. Something else you mentioned, I’d like to revisit and get into maybe in little depth and that is certification. On an episode we did last year, I had Rob Tursick on, we talked about education today and in the future. And one of his predictions was that, education particularly post K to 12 education would start to become decomposed from these four year bachelor’s degrees, PhDs, et cetera, into many more micro certifications. And that there would be, and there already are, platforms that allowed shared and validated certification, et cetera. What was one of them? Open badges, I think was one we talked about. This was back in EP 139, for those who want to hear Rob Tursick on education today and the future. So maybe if you could go a little bit into, what is the state of play to your mind of certification versus degree programs, and then what does your platform enable with respect to either custom certificates or interaction with the broader certificate ecosystem?

Panos: First of all, I fully agree with your previous guest. We see increasingly that traditional education and traditional schooling cannot keep up with a kind of demand for skills that companies have and professionals have. So we see that more and more of education happens outside traditional educational systems. So student debt is a classic example. This is not so much a problem that we have here in Europe, but it’s a huge problem in the US. So in some cases, becoming, let’s say a developer, perhaps the best way to… The best avenue to become a developer is not by going to a traditional university, get a bunch of student debt and after three or four years, get a degree and then do a masters for another year and then become a developer. In some cases, we’ve seen amazing developers doing self training or going into a bootcamp and after six months, starting working for a company like Google and become amazing developers in one or two years.

Panos: Obviously that’s not something that applies to every profession. You wouldn’t like your surgeon, for example, to be trained online and not from a top university. So that’s definitely not a general comment. But increasingly we see more and more of education happening outside of traditional education systems. And in some cases, certificates might not even be required. There is this tendency towards micro degrees. So if I want to learn something about a very particular software library or a very particular methodology that has been developed, I don’t need to do a full degree. I can just go in online, find a top certified provider of this kind of knowledge. I can go into some of the top universities offer executive courses or online classes, and I can learn just the things that I need for the right at that moment in order to perform that task or in order to complete a project.

Panos: But increasingly, we’ve seen more and more people going to non certified sources of knowledge. If you attend an online course by one of the, let’s say the most accomplished person in a specific profession, an expert, do you really need them to have a certificate? There is the example of a very well known marketplace, like masterclass, where you have some of the top professionals in lots of different arts and even sports, where they’re doing their classes. Let’s say how to play basketball taught by Stephen Curry. Does he really need a certificate in order to teach basketball? Probably not because he’s already who he’s. So there is definitely this tendency, we see more and more things happening outside of the framework of let’s say three and four year degrees and PhD, PhD degrees, more and more people trying to learn just the things that they need at the point where they are at their careers.

Panos: And this can be a one month course that teaches them something very, very specific and gives them a certificate with which they can prove to their employer, that they have this piece of knowledge. But also increasingly we see people just getting the knowledge and being able to prove that knowledge without the certificate, by performing actually and being able to complete that task. And all these things are something that we can facilitate with the platform. We have simple software mechanism to create your own certificates within the platform. You can upload your own templates. You can even combine these templates with formal assignments as we mentioned before.

Panos: So in the case that you offer a course that is certified by a certain certified body in the US, this can be a state certifier, a state board, or something like that, whether it’s about cyber security, accounting software or something else, you can go in, get the final exam. And if you get the passing grade, then you are immediately presented with the certificate that you can print, you can share in your social media, you can publish it in your LinkedIn profile. And also the certifying body gets informed about the CP credits that you received through this certificate. So your professional profile is also updated as well. So with the platform, we can facilitate those things for people who offer professional training.

Jim: I like that. Personally, I was a lifetime learner. Much of my career was in tech and I took one computer course in college, the rest I taught myself. And as you said, I never had to present any certificates to anybody because I was either an entrepreneur or later a very senior executive. On the other hand, in my businesses, both as a entrepreneur and then later as a corporate executive, I was very aggressive about reimbursing people for education. I always said that I would pay for any book anybody wanted or any reasonably priced course. And in that kind of environment, a certificate would be useful to prove to a somewhat skeptical character like me, that they had actually done the work. So I can see how both styles actually make sense for different people in different contexts.

Panos: It’s absolutely correct. As people say, in a professional setting, it makes sense to have the certificate even tie the certificate to specific exam or even a board approval, like a proper professional approval for being able to offer these kinds of certificates. But we’re also seeing the other end, even in a very soft subject, let’s say something that is just a hobby. People’s still love their certificates. We’ve seen that, even if it’s a simple photography course or a knitting course or gardening, whatever, people love to get this sense of accomplishment that they have achieved something, they get a certificate, perhaps they will not put it up in their walls, but still they like this token of accomplishing something.

Jim: Yeah, it makes sense for you to be flexible. Now, when people hear online education, one of the negatives that comes to mind is it’s linear, just do this, then do this, then do that and not much in the way of interaction with either a teacher or with the rest of the learners. Looking at your website, looks like you do have some social features, the ability to incorporate Zooms, et cetera. Why don’t you talk about the nonlinear aspects of what can happen in the environment?

Panos: This is a great observation. Definitely learning is not linear. There isn’t a single way to approach a body of knowledge. There are multiple entry ways and multiple paths and even the same kind of knowledge should be presented in multiple forms like multiple media, multiple representations in order to be effective. And definitely learning doesn’t happen in as relation, it’s a team sport. And this is where an amazing charismatic teacher can help. This is where fellow students will help people who are passionate about the same subject. They are at the same level or a bit ahead or a bit behind, but they still tackle or trying to tackle the same problems that you are facing as you go through this subject. We really believe that this is a team sport. Hence, the platform does help you to create multiple representations of the same kind of knowledge you can upload videos, or you can have eBooks, you can have transcripts of your videos because some people are visual learners. Some people prefer to listen. Some people prefer to read the text, or it might be the same person using different media throughout the day.

Panos: As you commute in the morning, you just might want to hear something like a podcast or to listen to the audio of a lecture. At night, you might be relaxing in your sofa and then at that point, you might want to read something. So it’s not always about the… It’s not only about the learning style of each person, but it’s about also what is the right thing at the right time. And with the social features of the platform, we help you stay connected both with the teacher and also with your fellow students. You can ask a question, receive an answer. We see that in many, many schools, people who have completed the course are amazing teaching assistants because humans like to show what they know and also they’re they like to help other people. So we see that in many schools, lively communities are being created. They don’t happen automatically, there needs to be a critical mass of people and interest in order for a community to be created.

Panos: But once a community is created, it functions as a flywheel and more and more people coming in. In some cases, people come in just for the community and then they explore more courses and discover more courses. So this is what also LearnWorlds as a platform is trying to create worlds of learning where students will interact, not only with the knowledge, with the text or the video that they have in front of them, but also with their instructors and with fellow students. And also, because you mentioned Zoom, this is where Zoom or any kind of live teaching tool can also interact because self-paced course might be easier for a professor to create once and then deliver hundreds or thousands of times and sell it hundreds or thousands of times. But if you add in regular check-ins with your students, which can be a weekly session, a recap or a monthly session or a live webinar, there you can also use this method to keep your students close and you can react instantly. You can deliver feedback and you can take the best of both worlds.

Jim: That makes sense to me. Yeah. I’ve had on the podcast, I don’t know, half a dozen times, Zachary Stein, who’s one of a leading philosopher of education from Harvard and he’s written a very interesting book called Education in a Time Between Worlds about what does the next form of education need to be for this liminal world we’re living in. And one of the things he underscores a lot is that while the computer based learning can help a tremendous amount, we have to make sure we don’t give up the value that comes from teacherly authority, is the term that he uses. That a good teacher is able to subtly assess where the holes are, what the strengths are, what next for each student. And it sounds like you have some facility for that in your platform.

Panos: I totally agree with what Dr. Stein mentioned and what he believes. We’re not here to replace schools and we’re not here to replace amazing teachers. Amazing teachers are individuals… Everybody in their lives have an amazing teacher that really changed their outlook in their lives. We’re here to facilitate them. And in some cases technology cannot always replace the amazing, magical interaction that can happen between a charismatic teacher and a student in a room, but we can multiply that. We can facilitate that and we can help every teacher becomes slightly better and every student learns slightly better. And one of the ways that we are using to help teachers bridge this gap and still feel that they’re close to their students is analytics.

Panos: So we offer an amazing analytics package within their platform that in a very fine detail allows you to see the interactions that happen between students and the content, and to really see where are the bottlenecks, where people stall, where people progress so that you can go in and improve, obviously your content improve your interactions or do interventions so that you can help people progress through this course, something that a charismatic teacher would be able to do within a classroom of 10 or 20 people, much more difficult to do that within an amphitheater of 100 or 200 people, because they’re, you cannot really keep up with anyone. Here with our analytics, even within an online course that is attended by a few thousand people, the fine grained analytics can allow you to pinpoint those cases that are left behind, or those bottlenecks and be able to stage interventions.

Jim: Okay. Very good. For the audience, if you want to hear what Zach Stein has to say, that starts with EP 57, actually three episodes. I don’t remember the other two numbers, but start with EP 57 and hear Zach on Education in a Time Between Worlds, truly fascinating stuff. Now, a bit of a more technical question. When I was going through your materials, you talked about SCORM compatible. What is SCORM and why is it important?

Panos: SCORM is a nice little package of courses. It’s a standard, not very new. It was created 25 years ago. I think the latest update of the standard was done in 2004. It’s kind of a zip file that in a structured way, packages an online course that can include some video, images, text, some interactivity, perhaps a few questions and even a certificate. So it’s kind of an old standard, but that’s also the purpose of a standard to be old and to be used. So there are millions and millions of lessons and courses that have been created using SCORM. It might not be the most interactive, let’s say or up to date material, but there’s still amazing content and is still being created. Amazing content is still being created today, mostly in corporate settings.

Panos: So our platform is SCROM compatible, which means that any course that has been created in the past, or is created still using this interoperable standard can easily be uploaded in the platform and reuse. So even though we offer full authoring functionality within the platform, and you can just go in and create amazing courses within LearnWorlds, if you don’t want to do that and if you have your courses, or if you purchase a few courses from ready made libraries of courses that exist out there, especially for professional training and corporate training, you can just upload these files, these SCROM files into LearnWorlds and have them play right out of the box.

Jim: Okay. Yeah. So it sounds like it’s really more for compatibility with older course material, not necessarily for what people might do for a custom state of the art course, but back what compatibility is a useful thing, as we know.

Panos: Yes. Especially in corporate settings, like when you’re creating content that will be consumed by thousands upon thousands of people. In some cases, compatibility can be a major factor.

Jim: All right. Well, Panos, this has been an incredibly interesting conversation. I will have to admit I was doing my research yesterday afternoon and early this morning, and I was starting to think, I wonder how some of the projects and organizations I’m involved with could use something like this. So I’m going to actually try to assemble a few people from one of my projects to take a look at your platform and see if there might be an interesting way for us to deliver content to our communities. So it did engage me. I liked the mix of power with reasonable ease of use. And as you know, as a designer, it’s hard to get that balance right.

Panos: It’s not too easy to get it right. This is what we’re trying to do even though we have all this ED tech background and all these lofty ideas about what the state of the art of e-learning should be. We’re also very practical and we’re trying to offer a very valuable tool at the hands of any one. Not only educators, but every business today can benefit from online training. Whether it’s training your customers, your associates, your resellers, your remote sales team. I don’t know, the people you have around you, your affiliates, anybody can benefit from learning. And also we truly believe that education can be an amazing form of marketing, a very effective form of marketing, even the best form of marketing for every business. So if anybody has questions about how they can use a platform like that, or how they can use education to benefit their existing business, or complement their existing business, happy to help them and show them around the platform and give them some use cases that they might get ideas from.

Jim: And you can check it out at Thank you, Panos for a fascinating conversation.

Panos: Thanks Jim for having me on your show.