How much work is there for developers wishing to create educational software systems? Education has changed a lot in the past decade. Has this created a new market for developers?
Here’s my answer:
I’m working with a friend who’s launching an EdTech company (just spent the day hacking on his idea yesterday… super fun!) and the amount of “work” necessary to create an educational software solution and system is………..
……… not as much as you think.
When you first start the goal is to prove that your wrong. Market research can easily help illuminate a lot of this. Surveys are really, really useful to validate and refine. I know, most people hate surveys, but, they are actually quite useful.
Secondly, the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) needs to be just that.. minimum. Most people struggle with doing this and they build something too complex and too large for the first pass. Lots of time and energy and resources are blown away when you do this. Generally-speaking, most people fail at delivering a true MVP… even when they are trying their hardest.
The point is to save time, money, and resources. Be relentlessly resourceful, as Paul Graham likes to say. It really is a worthwhile mantra.
Finally, education has changed… in some ways but not all. I personally believe in the power of relationships in education and the MOOCs idea, although fascinating and super-helpful (and successful in many ways) isn’t super-attractive to me. I think there’s still something very powerful about mentorship in education.