After 18 years of bootstrapping, lynda.com took $103 million in a single round of funding. CEO Lynda Weinman took the stage for the closing keynote at the 2013 Women 2.0 Conference.
She as 28 years old when the Apple II was invented and was so proud of her accomplishments on the early computer. She openly shared her knowledge and realized that she was quite good at it. She explains that "before I discovered teaching, I didn't know I was really good at anything. I'm really lucky I found my calling."
On "making something once and selling it many times"
Lynda wrote on web design, which she wrote because one simply did not exist. She made enough to buy a house by selling the book. Then her husband and herself opened a school to teach web design, and she became frustrated with her book publisher because he didn't think some of her proposed topics had a big enough market. So she began selling VHS videos of classes that she made, and realized that "these were all form factors" - whether VHS or a book or a website
"When we decided to put our lessons online and became what people today know lynda.com as" (the website teaching you web design and software), the first month saw 30 subscribers. The couple did whatever they could to stay alive, even producing conferences, as their traffic grew slowly over time. Today lynda.com has 3 million subscribers in over 130 countries as an English-speaking product.
It was only while on vacation at the Olympic games "in an international group hug", Lynda Weinman realized that "tThe problem that lynda.com solves is not an American problem, it's a human problem. We've been for a very long time - we know that we're international with some educated people are lucky enough to know English - but we would reach so many more people that
Today lynda.com announces buying video2brain in English, German, French and Spanish - welcoming 60 more people to their 400 person company.
Disrupting Education: MOOCs vs. In-Person Education
Lynda Weinman states that "while we've watched so many companies disrupt and transform... education is ripe for disruption." She states that "there are things that are done in person that cannot be done online. Face-to-face is incredibly important, as are live teachers." She believes that teachers are still needed to help people realize their true ambitions, not just escort diplomas into hands. In a way, teachers are career counselors or life coaches for students - technology cannot do this.
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Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.