search instagram arrow-down

Gatekeepers

In the consumer space, the most important objective should be straightforward.

Build a product that delights the end user. That is the obsession. It likely starts with the founder building something they want to see in the world. But ultimately the self makes room and the company becomes hyper focused on delighting the end user.

That’s the primary objective and then the business model has an opportunity to thrive

For years many entrepreneurs and investors have avoided investing in the education. The barriers were well known: long sales, shrinking budgets, how to train the teachers, decentralized decision making.

The list goes on.

The biggest problem I had with the education market was previously companies were building products and selling them to non-users. They were creating products for one set of users (teachers or students) and then "selling" them to non users (ie administrators and people in the IT department.)

Oy.

The reason why I’m over the moon excited about opportunities in the education space lately is because startups are building products for their users and they are ignoring the non user. They are ignoring the traditional gatekeeper. 

Skillshare is a perfect example of this. A product and community that is focused entirely on users.

It’s a big deal and opened my eyes.

Same thing is happening in financial services. By focusing on the end user services like eToro are shining a light on the user. Not the instituiional gatekeeper.

This represents a huge opportunity in markets that are still operating under a top down, gatekeeper model. We see it in education, finance and especially healthcare. Too many products and services being built for insurance or hospitals or being sold to the IT department. What about the patient?

Can you imagine what a Skillshare for healthcare might look like?

We also see gatekeepers losing their power in areas like research and the process to publish papers. The whole notion of peer review and process in research journals doesn’t make any sense. Researchers should be able to seamlessly shar ether findings with the world without gatekeepers like Nature or the New England Journal of Medicine in the middle of things.

We have always had gatekeepers in public policy. Top down and with limited access.

Now we see real change happening because tools that serve end users can make a difference in the law of the land.

So when people ask me what gets me excited, this is what I end up talking about a lot these days.

Breaking the status quo and taking down the gatekeeper.

Who’s in.