The mobile education company I'd start would look something like this:
Customers: The near poor and aspirational middle-class in emerging economies.
Revenue Model: Advertising and up-sell to paid content and services.
Delivery Mechanism: Mobile internet devices (from smart phones to inexpensive tablets/notebooks).
Services: Everything from English language lessons to test preparation to remedial learning to fully accredited degrees.
The vision for this education company rests on 3 assumptions.
Assumption 1: The price of Internet enabled mobile computing devices (smart phones, tablets, notebooks etc.) will drop to a level where they are affordable to a mass audience.
Assumption 2: The power of these internet enabled mobile computing devices will increase to where a rich educational experience is possible.
Assumption 3: The cost of ubiquitous and universal bandwidth will decrease to near zero.
We know that the demand for education will not be able to be met by the incumbent providers in the emerging economies. We know that the model of a bundled, campus education does not work for most potential learners (too expensive in both direct and opportunity costs). Education is a great business to get into because it is sticky. A student working her way through a lesson or course or a degree will stay with that content for a long amount of time. Higher ed, due to the requirements of accreditation and recognized quality, is less fungible than entertainment.
Education will be the next great business of the 21st century, delivered to people in today's non-rich countries on mobile internet-enabled devices.
Who else wants to start this company?
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