Michael Karnjanaprakorn is the CEO/Head of Product of Skillshare. You can follow him on Twitter.
Can you tell us a little bit of how Skillshare works?
Skillshare is a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone. All of the classes happen in the real world (that means offline, despite what us nerds may consider to be “real”). We believe that learning should happen in communities and groups around shared interests and passions. When you bring together a variety of voices and hands-on instruction, something truly spectacular happens. This magic just can’t be replicated over a webcam and chatroom.
You can learn more by watching our product video:
What was the inspiration for Skillshare?
The inspiration for Skillshare was to combine my passion for doing good + education + technology. After watching the Sir Ken Robinson TEDtalk, I know this was something I had to pursue indefinitely. I believe the biggest social problem in our society is that people stop learning when they graduate from school, which I think is really odd. Our goal is turn every community, neighborhood, and city in the world into a university by using the power of the web.
What were the trends that you saw that helped make the case for building Skillshare?
A lot of different trends combined into one for me when thinking about Skillshare. The rise of collaborative consumption which describes the rapid explosion in swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting in ways and on a scale never possible before, college debt exceeding credit card debt, and the desire for many people to learn interesting new things.
Besides Skillshare, what other learning/educatoin based initiatives and startups excite you the most?
I really like Khan Academy. I think it’s a brilliant concept. It “provides a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.” The mission of Khan is very similar to the mission behind Skillshare which is why I love it. More companies trying to tackle the same social problem with different solutions will ultimately make the world a better place.
Is there the intention to create courses as opposed to one off classes?
What you see on the site right now is 1% of what we plan on releasing for the future. We have enough product work to keep us busy for the next 5 years so expect a lot of great things to be implemented. So, yes, we will have courses in addition to classes soon.
What’s the biggest challenge you foresee in building Skillshare?
Convincing every single person on the planet that they have something valuable to share and teach others.
How can our readers help push along the learning revolution with Skillshare?
They can teach a class on Skillshare! You can do this by visiting http://skillshare.com/teach.
Photo credit: Photo from VFS Digital Design
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