Thursday, 30 September 2004

My birthday red egg to her birthday party

Stephen Downes, in his usual inspired way, pointed out 4 things the e-learning industries are wrong about:
1. misreading the marketplace
2. misreading the technology
3. misreading the business models, and
4. misunderstanding convergence.

I won't write any better than Stephen. So I am not going to attempt anything like that. Instead, let me just tell you an exaggerated story.

When I was young, on my birthday, my mother boiled an egg. Dyed it red and gave the egg to me as a birthday present. Cost: AUD0.50 in today's value.

Unfortunately, my family was poor. So I need to jump a generation to continue this story.

When my daughter was young, we bought her a cake from a local bakery and invited a few cousins to join her. We sang the happy birthday song and ate the cake. The cost: AUD20

Now, she wants to hold a birthday party in a 10-pin bowling centre. She wants to invite about a dozen of her school friends. The bowling centre will provide a party leader and a birthday cake (as part of the package). The cost: AUD150

The "birthday business" started as NOT a business at all, to become a bakery and to become an _______________ industry. [Fill in the blank here]

Now, please try to replace "birthday business" with "eLearning industry". What would you like to see this industry develop to? At what stage is the eLearning industry now?

My humble answer starts on the next paragraph - deliberately in white so that you can't see. To cheat, highlight to the end of the post. The answer will appear.

Fill in the blank answer: experience
What would you like to see this industry develop to?
Answer: experience industry
At what stage is the eLearning industry now?
Answer: bakery

Finally, I don't think it will take a generation to move to the next stage. Internet has speeded most thing up. Before you realise, e-Learning will be a service experience industry.

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